Sunday, January 06, 2008

Perfume for the Occasion: For the Office

Similar to our last Perfume for the Occasion regarding airline travel, perfume for the office requires restraint and couth. If you have ever developed a migraine from a pungent, strident fruity-floral scent lovingly applied from head to toe by a non-perfumista, you know exactly what we are trying to avoid. A basic rule of thumb could be, "Wear whatever you want, but make sure you apply sparingly!" What may be barely noticed by your nose could cause waves of grimaces from unsuspecting colleagues at your office. And if your office is anything like mine, you definitely do not want to be that person who blows everyone away with your strong scent that enters the room before you do and lingers for hours after your departure. It could ruin your reputation and your career. Similar to an annoyingly loud cell phone conversation that rudely intrudes upon the personal space of countless people (and unfortunately I see this every day), too much perfume at the office immediately catapults the wearer into a club to which you would never want to belong: invasive, oppressive and suffocating. Human resource departments are becoming more diligent with scenarios such as this. Therefore, unobtrusive for close quarters could be our motto as I am certain Divina of Fragrance Bouquet agrees. Make sure to check out her entry!

With that in mind, there are a few scents that will prevent various science experiments in your home designed to prevent the above scenario. (I am speaking of the days where you dash from room to room and then retrace your steps to see if you can smell yourself. Or, you ask your spouse or partner if they can smell you from the next room.) No need to work so hard with these inconspicuous and modest scents, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Cartier Eau de Cartier - Clean, crisp and minimalist that starts out leafy green and ends with a freshly showered scent.

  • Donna Karan Cashmere Mist - an innocent, soft and light scent that reminds the wearer of everything from a hug to fresh linen.

  • Emporio Armani She - although this one will not win any awards, it is a great office scent with its vanilla, musky, soft, skin-like appeal.

  • Hermes Calèche Eau Délicate - Not to be confused with the original Calèche. This fragrance is quite different. Rather than the antiseptic, although beautifully composed chypre aspect of the original, Eau Délicate is a soft, woodsy floral that is at once clean and light.

  • J. Lo Glow - Oh, believe me I know I will get blasted for this suggestion. Nevertheless J. Lo's scents are very underrated and Glow comes across as soapy, soft and clean with plenty of white musk at the base. One spritz is all you need.

  • Keiko Mecheri Fleurs d'Osmanthus - a peachy, musky take on osmanthus that is very smooth and creamy. Think Serge Lutens Datura Noir but for daytime.

  • Origins Ginger Essence - Not the most sophisticated scent but universally appealing and uplifting to the wearer, perfect for an afternoon slump.

  • Prada Infusion d'Iris - A lovely, gentle iris scent that stays very close to skin and appeared on many "Favorites of 2007" lists.
If everyone in the world would stick to these or similar scents during work days, I believe we would have a much more productive and pleasant environment! I would love to hear what you like to wear to work. Better yet, list what not to wear as a friendly public service announcement.

14 comments:

toastyfrenchy said...

As I am an amateur when it comes to perfume, it may embarrass you even more for me to say so, but I love J. Lo Glow! It makes me very happy to see it mentioned in your blog. =) For "unobtrusive," the original Marc Jacobs is a favorite of mine. My mother - who works in a hospital - swears by two of Clinique's fragrances: Aromatics Elixir and Simply.

Divina said...

Oooh, I am so tickled! We both picked Cashmere Mist, and I swear I removed JLow Glow from my list right last minute! I hate the rest of her scents, but Glow is a very very pretty scent (I mean come on, it's a pearl-china musk..many similar can be found - don't see why people would bash it!). I personally think it is very well done and the longevity is amazing! :) I loved reading your piece, T! Your wording was perfect!
Muah!
D.

TMH256 said...

Toasty,

As always, it's so nice to see you. :-) Nice to hear that you appreciate J. Lo Glow as well. I just decanted some Marc Jacobs from my mother's bottle and I agree with you. It most certainly falls in the "unobtrusive" category. I'm sure lightly applied Aromatics Elixir is perfect for a hospital. And Simply is quite underrated! Have a wonderful day!

xo,
T

TMH256 said...

Dearest Divina,

Oh, I love it when we pick the same scent. Your thoughts on J. Lo Glow are perfect and I'm glad I had the guts to post it. I always receive compliments when I wear it. Live is another one I like quite a bit. ::the shame::

I'm off to read your piece, Divina. Welcome back!

xo,
T

greeneyes said...

KM Osmanthus and Prada Infusion d'Iris are both great choices. On Divina's blog I mentioned Dzing! and AG Le Chevrefeuille, but it occurs to me two other pretty choices are SJP Lovely (or, really Narciso Rodriguez for Her EDT) and be becker.eshaya. Okay...I guess that's really three. ;)

Great feature, ladies!

TMH256 said...

Greeneyes,

Great suggestions! NR for Her was actually on my list and I forgot to mention it, so thank you. :-) Have a great day!

tmp00 said...

I like to think that practically anything can be worn to the office if it's applied very sparingly. I think the problem is usually that people over-apply; I have a friend who does that. Ten spritzes are par for her and sometimes I have to stand across the room from her...

TMH256 said...

I completely agree with you Tom. Often times, it's very difficult to discern what "sparingly" means, so for a little extra helping hand, the light, clean florals and fresher scents suffice! Ten spritzes?! Yikes!

Anonymous said...

I love both Origins Ginger Essence and Prada Infusion d'Iris! And also NR for Her, mentioned above. Love this post, since really, I spend more hours at the office than anywhere else.

TMH256 said...

I'm so glad this was helpful to you, anonymous! :-)

Anonymous said...

Marc Jacobs - Daisy. It's as soft and unobtrustive as they come!

TMH256 said...

I just can't get into Daisy. It is not imaginative enough but I'm sure it's unobtrusive. Perfect for a teenager, in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Try Gucci by Gucci, the pinkish orange one...

Silvia said...

I love the way you describe the scents! Great tips for me to keep in mind for the office. I am always so overwhelmed when it comes to perfume choice. This will be a great reference!