Modern Manners: Perfume

by Randy Murray on September 17, 2012

Manners and social behavioral “norms” are often looked on today as something pretentious and artificial. Frankly, I don’t care much about which fork one should use for shellfish or what the proper procedure is for leaving a calling card.

I do, however, care about moving about in this crowded and noisy world. I believe that the aware and thoughtful person can benefit by adopting a few important manners while making their way through dally life. I try to practice these things myself, and the following posts come from a single general desire: to make public life as pleasant and stress-free as possible.

I’ll start with a basic one: body odor and perfumes.

The simple rule of one’s odor is this: it should be undetectable.

Outside of physical labor, when I expect to be dirty and possibly smelly, I try and make sure that I don’t introduce ANY odors when I’m moving about in public. In particular, the use of perfumes, aftershaves, and scents of all kinds should be used very little, if at all. A scent should only be detected when one is in a close embrace, close enough to kiss.

Perfume can be intoxicating in a close embrace. It’s surprising and delightful. Even up close it should only be a hint, a suggestion of a scent. But in a car, in an elevator, or in public, someone else’s odor can be offensive or displeasing. I tend to get a headache from strong scents, even those worn with the best intentions.

If someone who has not hugged you praises you for your perfume, you’re wearing too much. When in doubt or as a default, choose unscented soaps and shampoos and only use perfumes when you expect to be embraced.

At all other times, spare your fellow travelers. What is perfume to you may stink to others.

More Modern Manners

The Modern Manners: Perfume by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: