Sniffing out someone who’s been a little heavy-handed with their perfume or cologne is usually pretty simple. You can smell them from across the room…maybe even after they’ve left the room! When it comes to perfume, less is always more. Not only can a lovely perfume become an overwhelming smell that repels those around you, but it can also cause allergic reactions and migraines in those with sensitivities to smells. Many of us also become desensitised to the scent we wear every day over time because our sense receptors become immune to the smell, so we tend to overcompensate by over-spraying in order to still catch a whiff of the scent. To avoid causing a stink, follow these expert tips.
To test whether you’re heavy handed with your favourite fragrance, spray it on as you normally would. Wait for five seconds and then dab a tissue on the spot. If the tissue sticks, it’s a sure sign you’ve gone overboard. To counter it, dip a cotton ball into some rubbing alcohol and pat the spot where you sprayed the perfume – this will tone down the scent.
Another simple way to avoid perfume overload is applying it skilfully. If you’re a repeat offender when it comes to over-doing the perfume or cologne, avoid putting the fragrance directly onto your skin. Instead, spritz up into the air in front of you and walk through the mist to evenly disperse the fragrance.
If you still like spritzing directly onto your skin, choose one or two places such as your neck, chest or wrists. Hold the bottle up to 25cm away from your body and spray on the chosen spots.
Apply heavier scents to lower parts of your body such as behind your knees. The fragrance won’t rise as quickly and overwhelm those around you – so everybody wins!
Proximity is the number one indicator of whether you or someone you know has gone overboard in the perfume department. A person should be relatively close to you before they comment on how you smell. If you are constantly smelling the fragrance on yourself or someone around you, it’s a clear sign it’s too much.
Pay attention to the concentration of your perfume when choosing a method to apply it. In general, Eau de parfum is heavier than eau de toilette, so what works for one will not necessarily work for the other.
If you want to be extra sure that you’re not an over-spraying-offender, the easiest thing to do is to chat to a close friend or family member who you know will be honest with you. Ask them if they think you wear too much perfume and you’ll have your answer on the spot.
If people are coughing and sneezing as soon as you walk into the room or head over to their desk to ask a question, you should consider whether they’re allergic to your perfume – the fact they’re having a reaction is an indication you’re wearing far too much. Be courteous by toning it down when you’re around them.
With these simple and practical tips, you can still smell good without giving the people around you watery eyes and the urge to avoid you at all costs.
Michaela is a blogger from South Africa passionate about fashion, beauty and healthy living. She works part-time in the fashion industry and spends the rest of her time freelancing, allowing her to follow her two greatest passions simultaneously.