Should You Wear Perfume & Cologne At Work?

Office politics can be something of a minefield and especially when you're new to the job and doing your best to fit in. To get along well you're going to need to figure out who your allies are, you need to work out all of the unwritten rules of the office and you'll need to carefully choose what to wear.

But that's just the start of it. Even once you've done your best to blend in with your clothes and your attitude, you then need to think about the small details – like your scent. Believe it or not, this can have a big impact on your experience at work and can make all the difference between you fitting in or having a difficult time. Read on and we'll look at why the right scent is so important and how to make sure you get it right.

Tips for Choosing Your Smell

The right scent can go a long way to improving your first impressions and giving you more of a professional air. Carefully crafting the way you smell demonstrates attention to detail and this right away makes you look like someone who is on-the-ball and who has their act together.

It is often said that the more expensive your haircut, the more money you will end up responsible for in your place of work. The same applies to your scent – if you smell like someone who is professional and high value, you will be treated as such.

When you pick the cologne or perfume you're going to wear to work, there are a few other things you should consider though. The first is that you don't want to pick anything too strong or apply it too heavily. This is a big mistake in an office setting as it can actually be quite unpleasant for your colleagues if they are sitting near to you and it can make you come across as 'trying too hard' or of just not being very self-aware.

Of course it's hard to judge your own smell, so if you aren't sure: ask a friend whether you need to tone it down.

Finally, remember that even the best product can't cover up a generally bad smell. Make sure that you wash carefully and wear fresh clothes. And if you struggle with body odor look into remedies that can help you do something about it.

What to do About Smelly Colleagues

That's how you look after your own smell… so the remaining question is what you should do if someone else smells in your office. This could be the result of poor personal hygiene or of an over-indulgence in aftershave/perfume. Either way, it can be very unpleasant and awkward if you sit near them, so what do you do?

The key point is to remember that this isn't your responsibility. If you speak to the person directly, unless they're a close friend, it will likely only result in them becoming upset and thus creating a difficult working environment going forward.

 Instead then, explain your situation to your manager and they will either be able to move you or to speak with the colleague in question. This is their job – so let them take care of it!