By Michelyn Camen


Save the Poison, the Dirt and who’s canoodling Between The Sheets for water cooler Gossip, not for wearing in the workplace. Climbing the corporate ladder takes hard work, political finesse and being the best at what you do. Never mind the overbearing boss (unless of course you are the boss), or the mountains of paperwork. What’s that smell? The overly strong perfume from the cubicle next to yours, or the coworker that constantly slathers on cheap aftershave…these everyday annoyances can be very distracting, not to mention unpleasant.


Laurie Carey, Director of Human Resources for Group Clarins, and Janet Henderson, Vice President of Human Resources, L’Oreal Luxury Products Division teamed up with our experts at Beauty News. Follow our advice… Don’t sabotage your career by becoming an olfactory offender:


Par Amours Toujours and Chrome Legend by Azzaro

Be Scentsible: When it comes to that all important job interview, according to Laurie Carey, Director of Human Resources for Group Clarins. “When choosing a fragrance to wear to work, or, more importantly, an interview, the rule is less is best. A strong or crisp fragrance will overpower an HR introduction. The pungent scent will turn the focus from the business situation, shedding a negative light on the wearer. Carey recommends Par Amour Toujours Eau de Toilette to women looking for an “interview” fragrance. It has a light rose scent, accented with grapefruit. For the men, Chrome Legend by Azzaro Eau de Toilette Natural Spray is a fresh scent accented with green apple, tea and musk.


trésor Sheer

Janet Henderson , Vice President of Human Resources, L’Oreal Luxury Products Division, believes that wearing fragrance on a job interview is appropriate as long as it’s applied subtly. “At a job interview, fragrance makes an impression as much as clothing, accessories and a good handshake,” says Henderson. “It should be used very sparingly; fresh light florals like trésor Sheer are suitable.”


Jo Malone Grapefruit Body Crème and Clarins Eau Dynamasisante


Beauty News Tip: Forego the perfume and stick to lightly scented body lotion or cream we love Annick Goutal’s Eau d`Hadrien Body Oil and Jo Malone’s Grapefruit Body Crème. We like Clarins Eau Dynamisante, with its unique fragrance based on Lemon, Patchouli, White Thyme and Rosemary. This scent was designed to revive and refresh, so if your interview is at 8:00 am, you feel at your best…even if you aren’t a morning person…


Be Scentsitive: In the office, L’Oreal’s Henderson encourages restraint. “People can be sensitive to fragrance so you need to be sensitive to them, especially if you work in an open office space with cubicles,” says Henderson. “If you love wearing fragrance every day, by all means, wear it but do so in a way that only you or someone standing very close to you will be aware of it.” Adds Clarins’ Carey, “Be respectful of those around you. Many do not want to smell a strong scent when they are trying to concentrate; many have sensitivities to smells such as certain foods and very strong fragrances. And, at times, scents are so strong they linger in rooms, elevators and other close spaces, making staff and colleagues uncomfortable”.


L’Eau de Jatamansi Eau de Toilette, Couer D’ete and Perfect Veil

Beauty News Tip: There are lots of light, subtle scents that are ideal for situations with close quarters. We recommend fragrances designed to be very non obtrusive. Try L’Artisan Parfumeur’s L’Eau de Jatamansi Eau de Toilette, their first 100% Ecocert-certified, organic fragrance, Miller Harris Coeur D’Ete EDP/3.4oz, (created by Lyn Harris during the early stages of her first pregnancy when she was highly reactive to many odors) or Creative Scentualization’s Perfect Veil, a celeb favorite that’s “your skin but better” (and a great way to tone down other scents).


Belle en Rykiel Body Lotion, Belle en Rykiel EDP

Be a Scentsation: For the Office Party: According to Clarins’ Carey, “One spritz is plenty for day, maybe 2 for night functions. You want to make a good impression; your fragrance is just a positive enhancement. L’Oreal’s Henderson concurs and adds,” At an evening office party, you can be a little more expressive with your fragrance and go with more complex floral and oriental fragrances.”

Beauty News Tip: We suggest that you ‘layer up’. You don’t want to overpower anyone’s senses during the day. For pre-office party hours apply Sonia Rykiel ‘Belle en Rykiel’ Body Lotion. At the evening office party or client dinner, use just a spritz or two of Sonia Rykiel ‘Belle en Rykiel’ Eau de Parfum, which is a feminine oriental with notes of mandarin, lavender flower, heliotrope, and coffee blossom.


Milles & Une Roses from Lancôme’s La Collection

Scent a Message: When you are the Boss or about to close a business deal, L’Oreal’s Henderson has found that a “signature scent” that few women wear, can be a way to make yourself memorable to people with whom you meet regularly.” Lancôme’s La Collection series of haute perfumerie classics are perfect for such occasions. Mille & Une Roses or Climat ,( which was originally introduced in the 1960’s), are great fragrances for women who want to leave an indelible yet elusive impression.


Max Mara Le Parfum, Iris Nobile, Ilang,Ilang

Beauty News Tip: You want to project that you are in charge without smelling arrogant. Among our “power scents” for women are Max Mara Le Parfum EDP, Aqua de Parma’s Iris Nobile Eau De Toilette and Tsi La’s Ilang Ilang , a 100% natural floral fragrance, with notes of sugared citrus fruits and lush vanilla orchids at


Encre Noire

For men, the ultimate ‘mogul’ fragrance is Lalique’s Encre Noire, a classical composition with a blend of inky blackberry, rich vetiver and woods. Moreover, the black flacon rules!

Originally published March 2008



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