Article by Tina
Ever since I first became more actively interested in the wonderful and never-ending world of fragrances, I couldn’t help but immediately notice a very intriguing phenomenon. There seems to be a vast difference in approach to applying one’s perfume between USA and Europe (these two being the countries I am most familiar with, speaking of fragrance habits). As far as I can understand, in The States there is a very strict etiquette concerning how much perfume one should wear when in public, meaning working environment and other places that are usually crowded with people. I believe that it is considered somehow rude and intrusive if a person standing next can actually smell one’s perfume, except on special or quite intimate occasions. Now, I won’t say I don’t understand this. When using such a powerful and potentially overbearing “instrument” as perfume can be, it is perfectly reasonable to take into consideration other people’s preferences, sensations, emotions, and last but not least, noses. On the other hand, in Europe, we are much less strict about that. In fact, we can say that quite the opposite is true. Lets imagine a French woman (I’m saying this because ‘French woman’ springs to mind when speaking of the epitome of good taste and classic, elegant attitude towards beauty) in her late thirties or forties, after all age does not play a significant role. She’s always chic, immaculate, nonchalant in her elegance, groomed to perfection, without a hair out of place. And bien sûr, she is surrounded by a translucent cloud of a mysterious perfume which is applied with more than just a few shy, discreet drops on her wrists. She makes an entrance, a statement and she is not afraid of it. She might do all the multitasking that life demands from her - take her child to the kinder garden, have a job interview or enjoying a dinner with her fiancé; she knows that a perfume is a must-have at any time of the day as it is her loyal partner which never lets her down.
I think that knowing the limits when applying perfume is somehow similar and as risqué as tightrope walking. I’m sure nobody wants to leave people in the mall, standing behind them, helplessly gasping for air. On the other hand, what is the point of wearing a beautiful, exquisite, expensive thing that perfumes undoubtedly are, if nobody (including oneself) can enjoy them, unless of course pressing their nose tightly to the wrist and inhaling really deeply?
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with people coincidentally catching a whiff of one’s perfume. Fragrance is an intimate thing for sure, but also a secret code of subconscious correspondence with others. After all we live such fast lives that an unexpected trace of one’s perfume might be the only part of one’s soul revealed to people passing by.
*The image is Candy by Tracy Dennison