There is SOME truth to it, but it's more complicated than that.
Some people who are new to fragrance are not aware of what is called "olfactory fatigue", which basically means you stop smelling something. The people may keep applying fragrance to themselves because they can't smell it, but the entire office can. So one has to be very careful about this.
Also, if you apply too close to your head / nose, then olfactory fatigue is greater, and you may not smell a fragrance on yourself during the entire day. But put it on your wrists, your belly, your legs, or your ankles, and you will likely get whiffs all day, because your nose won't get fatigued, and the occasional wisps of fragrance will activate your olfactory receptors and perception, which are not fatigued.
There are also many fragrances that are good, but fatiguing, and they lead to this idea. But there are also very good fragrances that are not very fatiguing, so I think it's mostly a myth, IMO.