Manner Monday: Overbearing Scents

Overbearing Scents

The other day I was headed to a meeting and stepped into the elevator only to be met with a smack in the nose of too much cologne. Goodness gracious – it about made me lose my lunch.  And I was trapped – as the doors were closing, I started having flashbacks of my own personal run in with the perfume bottle. 

Back in the day I was a huge fan (to say the least) of the wildly popular Lauren perfume (yes, I’m dating myself).

If you ever were a fan… you may remember a little squirt went a L-O-N-G way!!!  It was pretty strong stuff.  I’ll never forget going to school one day and a friend met me around the corner and said, “I knew you were here… I could smell you.”  Yikes! That was my first experience with perfume overload.

Don’t Camouflage

Don’t even think about trying to cover up repugnant smells with perfume or cologne.  The chemicals never compliment one another and always end up making the situation worse.  If camo is necessary – grab the febreeze!

Know your limits

Fragrance and adult beverages have a lot in common.  A little of either can make you feel a bit more confident.  A lot, and you end up being the person everyone wants to avoid. Personal fragrance needs to be subtle. Especially when many people converge in the same area…too many scents in the same room can be overpowering.

Ironically, perfume is supposed to make you more appealing. If you’re overdoing it so much it is making others ill, causing nausea, or even triggering a migraine – well then it’s failing miserably for its intended purpose.

As a general rule, others should only be able to smell you when they step inside your own personal ‘scent circle’, about arm’s length away. A tip for removing too much perfume from your skin if you do over douse … rubbing alcohol, it works like a charm!

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CareySue Vega

Carey Sue Vega is a business and youth etiquette expert. For ten years, she honed her skills with an international audience as Cruise Director for the Norwegian Cruise Line. Vega has been featured in numerous radio and television shows and magazine articles, sharing her etiquette expertise.  She’s also social savvy with social media. Connect with CareySue.

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  1. Cathy Shanes says

    Too much perfume is never ok. But I think everyone has at least once felt in love with the new scent and forgot there supposed to be limits… If talking about workplace etiquette understanding the perfume limit is as important (or even more) as dress code. The sense of smell sometimes can influence the person’s opinion more than the eyesight, so I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

    • Carey Sue says

      Great points Cathy! Thanks for taking the time to comment. Love how you make the association with perfume and dress code! So important!


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