Do You Wear Too Much Perfume?

Trying a New Perfume

Scents are powerful – they can attract, repel, trigger emotions, and create memories.

Understanding the power of fragrances can help you use one etiquette-fully.  For as much as you love a particular scent, there are others in your vicinity who may not enjoy it at all, whether as a preference or perhaps suffering from allergies.

After all, the very reason you wear perfume is to make yourself more attractive to others, not to drive them away.  The fragrance you wear can easily create your trademark.  Pleasantly subtle will always win over aggressively outspoken.

The key to wearing any fragrance is finding the right one for you, and applying just the right amount.

Your Signature Scent

Perfume follows you; it chases you and lingers behind you.  It's a reference mark.  Perfume makes silence talk.

~ Sonia Rykiel

I remember the perfume my grandmother always wore.  I didn’t know the name of it, but I clearly remember the little spritz that was part of her morning dressing ritual.  Were I to smell it again, I would immediately be carried back to memories of fun times visiting her as a child.  And great big hugs.  

Do you have fond memories related to a particular scent?  I bet you do.

Finding the perfect scent for you may take a bit of work.  Depending on your body chemistry, a popular scent may or may not smell pleasant when you wear it.

Keep an open mind when shopping for a fragrance.  Remember, you’re searching for your signature scent – the one that smells uniquely and wonderfully you.  Therefore, you likely will not be choosing the fragrance that is the current best seller.

Try a variety of samples.  Place the scent on the pulse point on your wrist (the warmest spot on your wrist).  The warmth activates the various notes in the fragrance.  After about five minutes, smell your wrist and assess the scent.  It may be quite different than what you smelled before putting it on.  Now the question is: is this the scent you want to be known for?

How Much is Too Much Perfume?

One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re wearing too much perfume is if you can smell it.  While your fragrance may smell heavenly in the bottle, you must remember it will vary when blended with your body chemistry.  One little spritz is all it takes.

Ask a trusted friend about your fragrance.  Remembering that everyone doesn’t have the same attraction to certain scents, instead of asking if she likes your perfume, ask if it’s pleasant on you.

Also find out if the scent lingers when you leave the room.  If it does, you’re wearing too much perfume.

Historically and currently, perfumes have been used to mask perspiration and body smells.  Masking is also used when smoking, drinking, visiting bars or places with characteristic odors that cling to your clothes.

Even though perfumes have the capability to mask odors immediately, applying it heavily will create a toxic combination of scents that can interact in an extremely unbearable way.

Bottom line: if you’re trying to mask a smell with perfume, don’t bother.  It will only be obvious and/or make you smell even worse.  The best option is a bath or shower.

Your Perfect Scent Application

Once you’ve chosen your signature scent, learn to apply it so that it balances perfectly for you.  You already know that more is not better.  But how little is optimal?

If you use a true perfume (the highest fragrance concentration, and most expensive) a small dot on one or two pulse points is all it takes.

Using an eau de toilette?  Try lightly spraying it about a foot in front of you or above your head and walk into it, letting the scent fall onto you.

Men, apply your after shave and cologne with just a few drops in your hand.  And if your fragrance comes in a spray, apply as an eau de toilette described above.

More Fragrant Tips

  • Never apply your fragrance in public.  Someone nearby could be allergic, or simply offended by the scent.
  • Never use outdated perfume.  Check expiration dates or make a note of when you purchased it.  Rancid perfumes are not pleasant!
  • If your workplace forbids wearing fragrances, respect the rule.  There is likely a good reason it was put in place.
  • Don’t spray your fragrance on clothing.  The oils in it may stain your clothes and is very difficult to remove.
  • If you purchase a “set” of your fragrance – perfume, bath gel, body lotion, etc. – avoid wearing more than one product at a time.  Layering your fragrance can make it much stronger than you realize.

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