Lists, Perfume

NSFW, or Not Spritz-able For Work: A Running List of Perfumes Too Fragrant for My Scent-Sensitive Coworker

[via 22 Words]
Since wearing perfumes constantly and blogging about them infrequently doesn’t exactly pay the bills, I spend my working hours like so many modern career girls do: in a cubicle! Mine’s plus-sized, though, and I share it with a coworker with whom I get along splendidly, even if our noses are a veritable odd couple. Mine has an insatiable hunger for perfumes, and hers is hypersensitive to the stuff. I know, I know. Insert your saddest trombone here.

It shouldn’t work, but it does, mostly because I’ve learned to follow a strict “three-spritz” rule (one on each wrist, plus one on the throat) to keep my scents close-to-self and my sillage office-friendly. Every once and a while a fragrance surprises us, though. A polite comment is made, a window is opened, and another perfume is put on the NSFW List — Not Spritz-able For Work.

So while I’d like to believe most fragrances can be wrangled into work-appropriate wearability, I’ve decided to start keeping a list of the worst offenders so that my coworker’s saintly patience has not been tested in vain. None of these fragrances smell bad, per se, but even after an hour-long morning commute, they’re unrepentant sillage monsters so savage you should be warned they’re guaranteed to fill a room whether you like it or not. And if that’s your thing? Well then, consider this your new wish list:

  • Like This, Etat Libre d’Orange: For one fleeting moment, I imagined my signature scent for the Fall would be Etat Libre d’Orange and Tilda Swinton’s perfume opus to autumnal pleasures. Then I arrived at work. The first cut, as they say, is the deepest.
  • Fleur Musc for Her, Narciso Rodriguez: If I still drank, I’d pour out a forty for this peculiarly pleasing blend of flowers, Narciso Rodriquez’s signature musk, and a dash of patchouli to keep things interesting. It’s weird and wearable and I could damn near love it for its pink bottle alone, but alas, on Wednesdays I shan’t be wearing this one.
  • Black Opium Floral Shock, Yves Saint Laurent: I had previously worn the original–albeit reformulated–Opium to work without comment or concern, so I would’ve assumed this far more contemporary flanker would prove failsafe, but (floral) shocker! It didn’t. I was also told it made me smell like a high school girl, which was stone cold but oh so apt, so chalk this one’s (floral) shockingly strong sillage up to the grace of God.
  • Aromatics Elixir, Clinique: I was asked what the Richter scale was on this one, which I believe says all that needs to be said.
  • Narcisse Noir, Caron: One of my favorite rumors claims that Gloria Swanson so loved Caron’s Narcisse Noir that she had them pump it onto the set of Sunset Boulevard to help her get into character. If that’s what it takes, then I fear I shall never be ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.
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