Is Your Perfume Too Strong?

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If you wear perfume, you walk the fine line all the time -- between overdoing it and underdoing it. The goal is to wear enough fragrance to feel good and make the right impression. But how do you prevent yourself from smelling like you just shopped the fragrance floor at Bloomingdale's? Experts tell us it's a combination of using common sense, knowing your body chemistry and adhering to the rules in fragrance-free zones. Here's what they say.

The cardinal rule is don't use too much. It may seem obvious, but sometimes we absent-mindedly spritz our pulse points, our garments, our hair, our necks, without thinking. That's overkill. "French perfumer Annick Goutal always said a great fragrance is the secret between one's self and one's self," says Tom Crutchfield, business manager for Etro Fragrances at Bergdorf Goodman and a 20-year perfume-world veteran. Think of it this way, he says: You want your fragrance to please you most of all, or those who get closest to you. "Once it goes beyond your two-foot to three-foot personal space, perhaps you put on a bit more than you want to."

Also keep in mind that you may not be able to smell your Chanel No. 5 anymore, he says, because it's been your favorite brand for years. "We get used to our fragrance, and people think, Oh, my gosh, I've got to wear more of it. But less is more." Crutchfield generally recommends applying one spritz per pulse point: at the nape of your neck (great when you swing your hair), behind your knee (if wearing a dress or skirt), on your cleavage, behind your wrist, in the crook of your elbow and behind your ears. How many pulse points is up to you -- but don't use so little fragrance that it's not detectable. "A lot of people spray the air and walk through it, but that doesn't really work," Crutchfield adds. "They're just walking through air."

Choose the right fragrance. During the day, lighten your scent, suggests Rochelle Bloom, president of the Fragrance Foundation. Often, more glamorous fragrances that are appropriate for evenings are just too heavy for cubicle quarters and subway rides. Look for light floral, green or citrus notes for the office. Casting agent Karen Dubin, who sponsors fragrance-buying trips in New York City that she calls Sniffapalooza, has an extensive fragrance "wardrobe," which includes favorite "office-neutral and board-meeting scents," as well as richer scents for evening. Her favorite way to keep fragrance unobtrusive at the office? She buys small, inexpensive roll-on bottles to fill with scents to take to work. "It's far less intrusive than spraying, because you're just touching the ball to your skin," she says.

Be conscious of fragrance-free zones. Some situations call for complete fragrance restraint, in consideration of others. Wine-tasting events and yoga classes are no-no's. While Curves International, the fitness franchise, does not have a policy concerning fragrance, some of the independently owned outlets post signs requesting that women refrain from wearing scents when they work out, since some members have allergies and the workout stations are close to one another.

Have fun! Now that you know not to overdo it, don't worry too much about how to do it. A favorite fragrance is unique to each person. So it's essential to follow your heart when selecting one. What do you wear for your wedding, or on a first date, or for a special anniversary? Bergdorf's Crutchfield says simply, "Wear something you love."

 
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Great advice! I once worked with a girl who wore Poison. I swear she bathed in it.

 

Liz

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i usually use 1 spray directly onto my body, like my stomach/chest area under my clothes. or like a spray into the air and i walk into it so it dusts onto me.

 
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I seem to have the opposite problem: my EdT wear off really quick. it´s not just that I don´t smell it any more, other people can´t smell it either. that´s why I´d rather buy EdP cause the smell lasts longer

 
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Oh I hate perfume so much. The cheap stuff and men's aftershave is the worst for me. It is almost painful when I smell it. Essential oils, scented lotions and things like that aren't so bad, but perfume just makes me ill sometimes.

 
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I hate when people over do it with their perfume. I only spray on about three times in the morning and then in the afternoon (after lunch) I spray once more.

 
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thanks for posting, marisol.
i wish everyone knew that perfume (even EDP) wasnt meant to last all day. touch ups are required, so a person cant apply "a days worth" at the beginning of the day so it will last.

i have a few coworkers who have discovered dior pure poison. blah. i have to sniff check the apron i put on when i get to work to make sure i dont have one that will nauseate me all day!

 
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I always worry about coming on too strong. I favor intense, spicy scents (Obsession, Opium, Red) and it's hard to be subtle with those. I'm not a floral or citrusy person. So I try to apply my scent very lightly and hope for the best!

 
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That is great advice!! I work with someone who leaves a room and you can still smell her for half the day!


 
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thanks for the advice!=D

i'll remember it when i buy more perfume, don't have any currently. mostly use body sprays.

I like fruit scents and light floral scents.

about that spraying the air thing, haha...proved one of my teachers wrong.=P

i wanna try that spraying the nape of your neck.^^

i mostly smell strong cologne from a lot of guys (for ex. in school), it's made stronger...but what I smell it's like they spray it on every inch of their body.
that's not very pleasant.

 
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Good adviceee. I remember when Axe (EW. 'Nuff said.) first came out, and all the guys started spraying it. It was ok at first, and then they start spraying enough so that when I opened my mouth I actually TASTED it. Yuck

 
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Originally Posted by wafflebox Good adviceee. I remember when Axe (EW. 'Nuff said.) first came out, and all the guys started spraying it. It was ok at first, and then they start spraying enough so that when I opened my mouth I actually TASTED it. Yuck There was a boy in my science class one year that would carry the Axe around with him and douse himself HOURLY...talk about stinky! I am not too big on Axe, since almost every boy wears it, but some of them do smell kinda nice. My guy friend asked me what I thought he should look at when he went to go get a cologne...I told him to do himself a favor and get Acqua di Gio or Gaultier, pricey, but soo worth it if it works with your body chemistry.
 
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People always tell me I smell like cookies or cupcakes.


I wear those foodie type scents. (vanilla, chocolate, etc.) but I don't marinate in it. I spray the air and walk into the mist like someone else said.

 
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Great tips!

I also usually just spray it into the air and walk into it. I can't stand with the strong smell of some perfume, sometimes it makes me want to puke. I don't wear perfume all the time, only for special occasions.

Mostly, I just wear the hair mist spray or scented body lotion.

 
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Oh I hate AXE!!! I had worked in a department store around xmas one year and I worked in the Heath and beauty dept. I remember at least once a day I would be gagging from the boys coming in and spraying axe all over them! Now years later my husband got given an axe body wash which isnt as bad as the spray but I can still "taste the smell"!! I wont let him shower with it anymore I hide it on him!!


 
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I would be really guilty of this if I ever spent the money for the EdP
I will drown myself in anything that is citrus based.

 
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I wish more people would read this article, I'm allergic to some scents (especially floral ones) and there's been more than one occasion that I'm sitting in church or something and the next person's perfume ends up giving me a headache after about 20 minutes!
(Sinus headaches are normally my only allergy symptom.)

Once I tried a lavender lotion and it gave ME a headache for the rest of the day -- I go easy on the scented bath and body products now too!

 
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I adore perfume and would not leave home without it, but I avoid using fragrance when I am flying. Perfume on board is a killer for me and I feel like jumping out of the plane if I smell it on somebody else on board


 

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