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  1. #1
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Question Perfume etiquette?

    Is there such thing as perfume etiquette?

    I can recall my grandmother telling me while an adolescent "Don't bathe in EdT / EdC / EdP, it is not polite and it shows lack of class". On the other hand, women could smell, while men should not since it was considered unmanly.

    Common sense tells me that one shouldn't force anyone to be a slave of one's olphactory preferences, but products launched in the market ignore this: many fagrances designed since 1980 don't take this into consideration, thus atributes like longevity and sillage are considered good while correlating to the perceived quality of the fragrance. If it lasts, it is good. Obsession by CK is a good example. I read reviews on Yatagan and BN members recall its strength.

    So, as a conclusion, changes in preferences change notions of "politesse".

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    your grandmother also grew up A LONG TIME AGO.....when women were slaves to their husbands and children.

    i think scents are worn to be smelled.
    Last edited by everso; 14th October 2008 at 02:09 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    A good question. Everything is a construct! We put our current values and tastes onto experience and call that "reality." So tastes change. And also society is less uniform than it used to be. Not necessarily less conformist, just less consensus as to what we are conforming to!
    It is nice to smell good! It is as simple as that. But how one achieves that is up to each person.
    It is good not to barrage others with YOUR preference. I think it is considerate to be aware that others may not share your tastes.
    But by all means please yourself first. "To thine own self be true."
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  4. #4

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    In regards to politeness it can go beyond merely a question of taste. The thing that I try to be sensitive about is the fact that I know what asthma feels like, and there are perfumes which, when over applied, can cause violent asthmatic reactions in people, not to mention causing aggressive migraine headaches in other individuals. If you aren't plagued by such conditions you may not believe that they are serious, but many licensed physicians would disagree.

    For example orris root is a common cosmetic and perfume ingredient which can cause certain asthmatics to wind up in the hospital when they are exposed to it in too great a quantity. There are several other constituents as well which are commonly known culprits. Wearing "responsible" amounts of perfume don't tend to cause as many of these violent reactions, but a person who over-applies certain scents and then takes a trip in an elevator with the wrong person can literally be lethal.

    I know there are several posters on these boards who have made it very clear that they could not care less about such things, but I personally would rather not be the person who literally bathed in a fragrance which happened to be toxic to someone around me, and possibly sent them to hospital.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 14th October 2008 at 05:48 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    Your grandmother was probably right as far as 'bathing' in anything, but I agree with everso that scents are, obviously, made to be smelled.
    Try not to wear overwhelming amounts of anything, and you'll be fine.

    PS, thank you to Odysseum for managing to bring postmodern philosophy into a discussion about perfume.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    your grandmother also grew up A LONG TIME AGO.....when women were slaves to their husbands and children.
    That does not have anything to do with fragrance, and it is more judgemental than helpful.

    Guns were made to be fired, whips where made o be whipped and a flatulence is a natural process of the human body. However, there are ways to handle those things and situations. In my opinion, one of the things that need to be learned about perfume is how to wear it with finesse and elegance. There are times to have an awesome silage around you and there are times to be discrete. The only way to learn how to manage your perfumes is by asking those around you.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    The point was if using strong fragrances is right, in a practical sense, avoiding scents that independently of the brand or the manufacturer could be considered vulgar because of their strength. But I see it depends of the person, those around him / her and the situation. Even though I agree, I can't stop thinking of potential connotations around certain notes and brands.

    I perfectly understand what mrclmind says regarding physical reactions to some essential oils. I once bought a bottle of Eternity to my wife, she couldn't smell it, it made her nauseous.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    I completely agree with you, mrclmind. Perfect post!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    Re. Obsession for Men (my favourite); I once worked beside a young woman who said that previously a guy in the office used lots of Obsession for Men, which bothered her sensitive nose (she may have exaggerated of course, but the way the tale was relayed, it was as if the guy bathed in it!) She in fact complained to management about it and the guy was told to stop wearing fragrance to work....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    I don't like to waft personally. I think if you can smell me from three feet away I've put on too much, and the stronger something is the less I should wear of it. I'll be a bit more free with something like Eau d'Hadrien but if I am wearing MKK for instance you practically have to be boinking me to smell it.

  11. #11
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    Cool Re: Perfume etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmp00 View Post
    I don't like to waft personally. I think if you can smell me from three feet away I've put on too much, and the stronger something is the less I should wear of it. I'll be a bit more free with something like Eau d'Hadrien but if I am wearing MKK for instance you practically have to be boinking me to smell it.
    This leaves us a comment on fragrance selection depending on the occasion: political correctness calls for citric / "low profile" fragrances.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    Sometimes I read questions like: "What should I wear during christmas dinner?"

    Then, answers will be given such as: "A*Men! It's chocolatey and caramel-ey"

    Nonsense!!

    If I'm eating caramel pancakes and the guy next to me is wearing A*Men, I won't go like: wow, I'll take a bite off you after I eat my pancake. Have you ever had the urge to DRINK or EAT a cologne? Of course not!

    Be polite, especially during dinners.
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Thé Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    I used to want to eat the apple-scented shampoo my parents bought when I was a kid.

    As for perfume, I am also on the side of being polite, with balance. And what I mean by balance is, every now and again you come across a person who swears they're going to up and die every time some seemingly random stimulus invades their senses (scent, sound etc.) - if this person displays no physical signs, and if I'm *sure* I'm not reeking, I'd probably ignore them. But I don't wear perfume with a heavy hand anyway, just because personally I like to keep it close to me, unable to be sniffed by people who aren't right next to me.
    "It's now very common to hear people say "I'm rather offended by that." As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well so fucking what." - Stephen Fry

  14. #14

    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by LedByMyNose View Post
    I used to want to eat the apple-scented shampoo my parents bought when I was a kid.
    Glad I wasn't the only one. I actually tasted soap when I was knee-high. It wasn't ALL THAT yummy. yuck!

    Back to the topic. In terms of wearing perfumes, as with other things, moderation is the key. I firmly believe that one should be considerate and not make other people feel uncomfortable. Old fashioned, I know.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Perfume etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by scensation View Post
    Glad I wasn't the only one. I actually tasted soap when I was knee-high. It wasn't ALL THAT yummy. yuck!

    Back to the topic. In terms of wearing perfumes, as with other things, moderation is the key. I firmly believe that one should be considerate and not make other people feel uncomfortable. Old fashioned, I know.
    That is the point. But it seems designers ignore this principle. Some brands have to be used so carefully that finishing 100 ml / 3,3 oz bottles is almost imposible, unless you get tired and finish giving it away.

    Moreover, among people I know some of these brands are considered tacky: expensive designer brands worn by a multitude of undiscerning users. The sort of scent it will assure you get all the attention, be it good or bad.

    Guess I am "late" (like a clock that is late), rather than old fashioned!

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