Do I Smell Good or Do I Stink?

People-in-lift-holding-noses-one-woman-smilingHow do you wear your perfume? With literal applications all over your body without a care in the world? Do you douse yourself before work and then happily go out the door? Or, do you carefully apply some to your pulse points so only you can smell it, carry some of your fragrance with you so you can re-apply during the day?

When you wear your perfume liberally, where do you wear it? In the workplace? At home? Amongst people, family or alone?

How you wear your perfume has to do with application. You know how you may be sitting next to someone on the train, or bus or someone walks past you and you get a cloud of perfume around you? That’s how someone wears their perfume, not where. This may be confusing to non-English speaking readers when this blog is translated, so I’ll try my best to explain.

Wearing perfume is personal, yes. And it should be. Does that mean you should always drown yourself in it? Pour and spray as much of the bottle as you’d like on yourself? Hit every point imaginable with a multitude of sprays, after using the body lotion and body spray first? You might enjoy the smell, but that doesn’t mean everyone around your personal space does. And we really do need to respect others.

I’m the first to say people that enjoy perfume have the right to wear it anywhere and everywhere they desire. It should be a freedom we deserve. But take it to the max where your personal odor invades others and that’s wrong. I’ll put it this way.

If someone doesn’t bathe, has a body odor from not washing and that odor extends past their personal space into your personal space, you might find it uncomfortable and unpleasant. It would interrupt your time and focus simply because it is unpleasant to you. Now to some people, perfume is unpleasant. I realize that’s hard to believe for some die-hard perfume lovers. I’m a perfume lover. I’ve loved perfume since childhood. But that doesn’t make me want to impose my scent of the day on anyone else. I may believe that my Shalimar is absolutely stunning and if you don’t think so, you’re beyond belief for not appreciating it. But, I won’t drown myself in it and stand next to you with a mini hand-held fan just to annoy you or somehow make you understand the complexities of this beautiful perfume. Because you have rights, too.

But, don’t tell me I can’t wear perfume, either. Don’t let a few people ruin it for the rest of us. Don’t let those over-sprayers guide you in your decision making. And if you’re wondering why in the world I would ever write such a post, I’ll explain.

Shopping today, a 20-something woman walked past me in a department. I was immediately shrouded by her perfume. Actually, I liked the scent and recognized it. But, and here’s the big BUT. As I was standing at this rack, going through some clothing, I was forced to smell her perfume for a few minutes. She was standing a few feet away talking to someone and the perfume was quite lingering. It was ENORMOUS. Which made me think about over-sprayers. And how to wear your perfume. And how not to wear your perfume.

The only way I could describe not wearing it with abundance and forcing it into someone else’s airspace was comparing it to body odor. I know by listening to other perfume lovers that they really believe perfume can and should be sprayed in places like the workplace, restaurants and public areas. It should be allowed in those areas. I agree. But, when it’s over-sprayed to the point of chemical warfare, then you’ve gone too far. You don’t have that right. The person next to you doesn’t have to enjoy perfume as much as you do.

And we also have to realize that a very tiny amount of the population is actually allergic to perfume. And if they are truly allergic, they have the right to tell you in a nice way.

Another thought to ponder is that when we love our perfumes and spray with abandon we sometimes become anosmic to the perfume we are smelling. For brief periods of time while wearing the perfume, we can no longer smell how much we have sprayed or exactly what we smell like. Our own noses are taking a break because they are having a sensory overload.

Believe me, when I’m home, I spray on enough perfume to douse an army. Between sampling for reviews and just my own pleasure, sometimes I wonder what my neighbors think when they get a whiff of me at the mailbox. But I’m in my own space, my own domain. I’m not invading anyone else’s.

Be thoughtful of others around you. Just as choosing perfume for yourself is a personal decision and wearing perfume is a personal choice, then it follows that smelling that same perfume should be a personal choice, also.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.


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