I love perfume. So did my mom. It must be genetic.
As a child, my merchant seaman father would come home with gifts of fragrance from around the world and I used to love rummaging through mom’s dressing table testing for treasures of scent. There in that alchemist’s collection of mysterious bottles lived the captured souls of romance with names like “My Sin”, “Tabu” and my favorite, “Shalimar“. To this day whenever I can find it, I enjoy daubing on a little of the classic Avon fragrances. Perfume is the most affordable of luxuries and the essence of womanliness.
Most times, job loss means shedding things to save money, so there is a sad, gradual loss or downgrade of items like hairdresser appointments, salon shampoo, new clothes, new shoes, makeup, and finally perfume. If I am rendering the research correctly, the human sense of smell is the most powerfully evocative of all the senses. One whiff of warm granny apples with cinnamon and suddenly there is a desire to run up the front steps of the “old house” two at a time. Caught downwind from “Old Spice“, tears well up as it conjures warm memories because that was “his” scent.
On an emotional level, I get it. One never knows what dreams or nightmares will be called forth in an interviewer by an applicant’s wearing a certain scent. Know, however, that scent is part of image strategy. Beware. The choice of scent must be contemporary, tasteful, complementary to business wear/hairstyles and light. Wearing some scents that were popular a generation ago actually say, “frumpy and old-timer-ish”;carries peppermints in the bottom of her hand bag. Scent could give your age away in that case.
Then again, interviews held in tiny, ventless inner rooms dictate that neither recruiter nor applicant wear highly scented cosmetic products to avoid triggering allergies or the gag reflex. I have stopped thinking that the often given advice against wearing my incense woods-heavy signature fragrance in interviews as another shameful loss of freedom in the USA and started thinking of it as a courtesy; like graciously not sharing information too intimate for that venue. It might just be best to keep this emotionally loaded potion bottled up on the dresser until the ink on the new-hire papers is dry.
Gleanings on wearing scent in an interview or at work