Saturday, April 1, 2023

Fragrance Etiquette 301

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In previous articles, I wrote about chasing compliments over everything else about a fragrance, and about how much fragrance you should be wearing. This week I want to touch on when and where some fragrances are most appropriate.

I’ve already beat on the “don’t wear funky or spicy fragrances in crowded spaces” drum, and I’ma reiterate it here.

Do not wear your musk/animal anal gland bombs to the office or on a train/plane/carpool. You’re just a jerk if you do, full stop. You might have a “developed nose” to appreciate it, but everyone else around you is going to be wondering what died.

As for spice, this is more complicated. Partially because notes like cinnamon and cloves can be allergens to some people. Worse, these are the kind that the more you’re exposed to it, the worse the allergy gets. I always recommend saving these for other occasions and not when your poor seatmate or co-worker might have an allergic reaction.

The best scents for the office/close quarters scenarios are clean, fresh scents that have mass appeal, even if you think they’re “boring.”

In fact, with a little digging, you can probably find one of these scents that don’t seem boring to you at all! There are hundreds to choose from, ranging from under $20 into the $300 marker.

Montblanc Legend Spirit EDT


Nautica Voyage for Men EDT

are both acceptable “daytime” fragrances and are on the lower end of the price spectrum. On the other end, you can find a great scent by Roja Parfums in its Elysium Cologne.

For those who prefer feminine-leaning scents, I’d suggest trying out something like

Coach for Women EDP


Mon Guerlain EDT

So when can you wear the musk and spice bombs?

At night and when you’re out in the open so the air can ventilate for the people around you. Many spicier fragrances are actually quite popular for a night on the town or for a date (though again, just be careful for allergies with some spices). Some people also enjoy wearing them to concerts, but I’d double-check on how well-ventilated the venue is prior to spraying. If it’s in the open, knock yourself out. If it’s indoors in a tiny venue, you might want to pick something more mass appealing.

Weather can be a factor on when to wear certain fragrances as well.

If it’s summer, especially in a very humid climate, you’ll want to stick to the citrus, woodsy, clean scents because the fruity, spicy, gourmands are going to be very cloying and oppressive with the humid heat.

However, if it’s the dead of winter with cold weather and snow, that’s a fantastic time to break out your heavier fragrances as they’ll last longer in the dryer air, and are also often already positively associated with the “Scents of the Season”. Heavier woody scents are also great to use around this time and are especially popular in masculine leaning fragrances.

Fruity fragrances or gourmand fragrances can work in the winter, but they’re particularly popular in the spring and fall. Florals, as you might have already guessed, are very “in” during spring and summer.

There are plenty of opportunities to wear all of your favorite fragrances, you just need to be aware that each category has a place and time when it’s appropriate.

Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!


  • Kori

    Kori is an entertainment writer and Managing Editor at the Fandomentals. In her spare time, she is a fragrance and watch enthusiast, lover of Eurovision, and Yanni devotee. Find her on Instagram at @fmkori

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