Does your workplace have a policy on wearing fragrance?

Does your workplace have a policy on wearing fragrance? What is it?
Since I work from home and I guess you’d have to say I’m the boss, then no policy. I can’t remember any previous employers having a policy, but it’s entirely possible and I didn’t bother to really remember it (because at the time, I didn’t wear any perfume).

Thanks to Sally for today’s question! Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

i suffer from chronic migraines and perfume scents are one of my triggers. i’m grateful that my workplace prohibits perfumes or scents of any kind. this way i’m able to work (relatively) pain-free 🙂

Yes! I work in a hospital and there is a no scent policy because of the patients. It’s okay, cause the smell of the hospital is rancid enough. Lol

The policy in my hospital is minimal makeup and no excessive strong perfumes/scents. Pretty much everyone ignores this tho and some people come in smelling like theyve bathed in perfume!

As a patient that was my experience and it drove me crazy. Especially in the Labor and Delivery department. A few times I came very close to wanting to yell at them to just stop coming in my room because it made me so ill. 🙁

well unfortunately i am an unemployed student at the moment so no there is no policy at the moment lol… but in any of my previous jobs there has never been a policy on fragrances. Lucky for me because i have worked in some pretty smelly places lol

No they don’t, but don’t let that on to them because I am sure they will add one! I work for an accounting office and they have some pretty backwards rules, including you MUST have your roots done if you choose to go blonde…..They obviously didn’t get the memo of the ombre trend in 2012! Haha!

I work as a shift supervisor at Starbucks, and the company does have a no-fragrance policy because it interferes with the smell of freshly-ground coffee that’s supposed to permeate the café. It even goes so far as to say we’re not supposed to use “strongly-scented deodorants,” though I definitely don’t encourage my baristas to follow THAT part of the dress code!

None of mine ever have, beyond the assumption that you don’t want to knock anyone out with it. I remember some coworkers wearing deodorant/perfume strong enough that I could slightly smell it, which was preferable to some co-workers and customers whose BO was very apparent.

I wish there were! A lot of fragrances make me nauseated, and because you’re at work, it’s not like you can just leave the area (like you could in a bar or at the grocery store).

I work at Sephora so I can wear whatever fragrance I like. I don’t know how I would feel if I worked in an environment that was more strict though. Just seems excessive lol. I can imagine a policy like this in the healthcare field though

I’ve never had an employer with a fragrance policy, but I’ve worked in both very small, intimate studio settings and larger offices with cubicles, meeting rooms and elevators. I definitely try to keep the fragrance low key. In a studio I worked in a few years back, the girl who sat across a table from me would comment about how I smelled when I changed deodorants, no joke. I know I don’t love working in close proximity to people with strong perfumes, so I generally try to keep it to one spritz of a perfume in the morning (if that) and use unscented hand lotions in the office. The fun stuff is for evenings and weekends.

Believe it or not, I can often smell changes in deoderant, body and hand lotion.
We live in a two story house and can smell my husband peeling an orange downstars in the kitchen when I’m in the bedroom!.
I read that special forces used completely unscented products in the field to avoid detection.
I also prefer my husbands natural clean smell but like scent on other men.

No, but someone has recently put up a hand lettered (and amateurishly messy) sign stating “No strong fragrances on the 3rd floor”. I think this is actually as a result of the young boys who douse themselves in AXE at regular intervals in the day. There are some on staff who are sensitive to fragrances but I’ve never known it to be an issue (mind you, in a high school, good luck trying to control the wearing – or “over-wearing” – of fragrance products!)

YIKES….I couldn’t imagine working there – the double whammy of people not wearing deodorant and ME not being able to wear makeup… it sounds silly but I know that there are people who work at places where they can bring their pets to work and THAT is a huge benefit to working there; my youngest son was working for an IT firm that provided hot, home cooked style lunches free to staff and it really cut down on people walking next door to another IT firm. People value different things about their workplace (taking pets, hot meals) and just reading this, Kaseycannuck, I realize how much being free to wear makeup is a value for me and being prohibited would make me not want to work there…

Was there a specific reason? i.e. some kind of sterile environment? Though I don’t see why you couldn’t wear deodorant.

I believe it was a contamination issue, because I even asked about unscented deodorants thinking it was a scent issue, and the answer was no, none at all. I remember it was a plastics manufacturing place but I don’t know exactly what they made there.

Yes it does 🙁
We are not allowed to wear perfume, lotions that have a strong smell nor body spray. Also, our deodorant supposed to be odorless.
At the beginning I didn’t like this policy and it was very hard for me to stop using perfume since it was part of my daily routine but after 7 years of working at this place, I can tell you that my sense of smelling has become very strong and I enjoy using my perfumes on the weekends 🙂

I’ve never worked at a company that had that policy, but they should consider it. There is one woman that use to work near me (thankfully not too close) who drowns herself in the most horrid scent. It got so bad that I had to hold a cloth up to my mouth and nose when she walked by. You can tell what hallway she was in as the scent would permeate.

The hospital that I gave birth to obviously didn’t because during my 5 hour labor process I was being punished by heavily fragranced nurses which was too overwhelming and annoying. After labor I thought I would be ok but the onslaught continued. By the time the switch of nursing staff occurred at 6pm I was so annoyed with it all I asked my doctor to allow myself and baby to go home the same day. I had to settle for the next morning to be released. In my hospital survey I did report it. No offense to those in the medical field but I think the only thing that should be worn is scented deodorant. It is just too overwhelming in such a setting.

Ugh, sore point with me. My employer has never cared about fragrance until this new lady started here (she’s gone now) and bitched to our boss about her supposed allergy to fragrances. So our boss sent out a notice prohibiting us from all wearing any kind of scent. Meanwhile, SHE (the whiner) had NINE cats at home. So if anyone was bringing in allergens to the office, it was her with all the cat dander on her coat and clothes.

Your comment was upsetting but informative for me to read. I actually did once have an asthma attack at work due to an overwhelming scent–my coworkers didn’t know I had asthma and I never thought to tell them bc that was the first time ever a scent has triggered an attack.

I suppose you’d actually have to see someone struggling to breathe before changing your outlook. Now no one complains when I throw open windows or turn on a fan to drive away a strong scent–even during the winter (my coworkers don’t wear perfume but we work in a restaurant).

It doesn’t happen 100% of the time and seems to be mostly chemical scents that trigger it (like car exhaust or perfumes. For example, a citrus perfume can bother me but someone cutting up an orange won’t set it off). Also, for me, it’s only strong scents. If I can only smell it when I’m hugging or standing shoulder-to-shoulder to you, then I’m fine (thank goodness–bc otherwise, elevators wouldn’t be an option for me).

Thank you, Christine, for this post. I will be sure in the future to always find out during job interviews.

Like Maggie above me I was upset reading your comment. In fact, I was so upset that I had to wait a while before commenting because my initial reaction and what I wanted to say in that moment definitely would not be approved.

I truly hope your reaction to your colleague’s complaint was caused by ignorance and not pure selfishness. “Supposed allergy”, does that mean you believe she was complaining because she didn’t like they way you guys smelled? It seems to me that you don’t believe she had an actual allergy (also indicated by you calling her a “whiner”). You do realize that some people have such severe allergies that they can end up in hospital because of this, right? It’s not just a matter of tolerating a bit of discomfort (slight headache etc) from a heavy, cloying scent. I personally suffer from scent-induced migraines which also will make me vomit violently within a couple of hours after being exposed to certain scents. Luckily I’m not truly allergic in a sense that I’ll have an asthma attack followed by hospitalization.

I also want you to know (I suppose you already do) that people are allergic to different things. For some people it’s fragrance, for some it’s cats or other animals and for others it’s foods like dairy or nuts. Just because you are allergic to fragrance doesn’t mean you’re allergic to cats. That’s why a lot of workplaces have a policy against fragrance at work and bringing animals to work. What people choose to do or wear in their own homes is not something that can be controlled.

There was no official policy governing scent, but out of consideration for the two of us in the office who suffered from chronic migraines, most co-workers kept scent to a minimum. Whenever someone new would be assigned to our annex, I was delegated as the one who would politely ask them to keep scent subtle because of migraine issues. People were invariably vey kind and understanding.

I used to work in the healthcare industry; the policy was no perfume whatsoever, and we even had to be careful of wearing clothing that had been washed with scented fabric softener, or heavily-scented hair and skin products. It was for the patients’ benefit, so I had no problem with it. I do like my fragrances, but I’d rather not wear any (and have my coworkers do the same) than deal with someone who sits nearby and bathes in their scent de jour (a former coworker used to wear the most god-awful fragrances; it was stifling when she’d walk by).

I work part-time as a swim instructor at a pool, so it’s not worth wearing any scents. Besides, the smell of chlorine is strong enough that nobody wants to put anything else on.

My two sisters, meanwhile, both work part-time at a dentist/orthodontist’s office. Sometimes, they have patients that smell so badly that the staff has to spray perfume in their surgical masks so as to not pass out during a procedure.

One of the partners at the law firm where I work is scent sensitive so I limit myself to Philosophy Lotion. However, it would be nice of some of the other employees would at least bath more frequently – eeewww.

I work in a university, and there’s no policy in my building (the business school), though there are areas on campus that are fragrance free (college of Health and Human Services, some of the foreign language building).

I’m starting a new job at the end of the month at a market research company, which allows fragrance as long as it’s not excessive or intrusive. I dislike heavy scents (particularly oriental scents), and my go-to fragrance is very light, so I think I’ll be okay.

No! The boss has a few bottles of cologne in his office he puts on sometimes, his wife wears Angel liberally, I don’t know what this other guy wears but it’s really nice, me and one of my co-workers are BPAL fans, and another of our co-workers always wants to smell what we’re wearing each day. Our whole office is pretty heavily scented, most of the time.

That said, we’re a printer. While we can smell everyone’s perfumes and colognes, and put out plug-ins and stuff that we enjoy, I’m pretty sure none of our customers smell much of anything but ink and paper. That scent is totally invisible to us (we can only smell it when they clean the press and get out the solvents) but customers complain about it often. I’ve never heard a customer complain (or even comment, other than one or two rare compliments) about anyone’s perfume, even when my co-worker is bathed in Snake Oil and I’ve slathered Madame Moriarty!

Yes! Since I started school for medical assisting, we’ve had to be fragrance free. School was a little more lax, just no perfumes and scented lotions. At my work, we have chemically sensitive patients who cannot tolerate fragrances or strong scents, so we cannot wear fragrances. All I can say is my sense of smell to those who smoke and those who wear fragrance is extremely heightened. So a fragrances and scents cause headaches while others smell delightful.

We don’t, although I wish there was a unisex rule that people can’t use so much you can smell it from across the office. Guys wearing so much Axe body spray or that Abercrombie and Fitch cologne are just as bad, if not worse than women wearing half a bottle of perfume. I don’t care if it’s a spritz or two and you have to get reasonably close to smell it, but wearing so much that plants wilt around you is unpleasant.

My work has a no fragrance policy. It caused a bit of a stir when it was memo’ed because the wording was vague enough that people wondered if they would get in trouble for the fragrance in their laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets…. Overall, everybody stopped wearing perfume/cologne but I do get the occassional whiff of scented hand lotion or flavoured lip balm.

As an RN, when working in hospitals and clinics, wexwere asked to wear no fragrancd or very light fragrance. I never noticed co workers wereing strong fragrances and I have a sensutive nose. I’m sure the rule was reinforced but I never heard about it.
On I worked in the business side, I never heard it mentioned but was again lucky not to be exposed to strong scents.

Two scents that make me ill are heavy stale tobacco and/or alcohol. ICK! I also despise strong cologne and more than one light spritz of any perfume.

I work in a medical center/hospital where we are discouraged from wearing
Fragrances and/or scented lotions due to patient sensitivity and others that may
Be allergic to strong scents or may trigger migraines. Some doctors will remind us
To remind patients not to wear perfume!! I’ve acclimated so well to this
Practice that I myself can no longer wear perfume because it will cause
A headache, but surely this doesn’t apply to all, since some people
Feel the need to shower in vats of perfume to come into the hospital
With no regard for others. Soap and water, people, soap and water…

Not as far as I’m aware in my current workplace (a veterinary clinic) but when I was in hospitality they didn’t allow fragrance. I think it’s fair enough, as it can taint the food and drink.

i once had a coworker ask me to either stop wearing my perfume — coco mademoiselle edp — or switch to something else b/c it bothered him. i’d never heard any complaints before (or since, actually) and i told him “no” in no uncertain terms and that was that lol. if he were someone i worked closely with daily, or if the complaints were widespread, maybe i’d have answered differently… but this is the closest i’ve ever come to a workplace policy against scents (thank god)!

Still in uni/ jobless so no perfume policies but I would be happier under one. Some people just don’t understand that bathing in perfume is not okay and even the best perfumes can have the appeal of an overrun dumpster if applied like that.

Last semester there was a TA whom a group of random people in class wanted help from. I really like her but physically standing next to her is a chore because of the strength of her perfumes. I thought I was just being sensitive but once she came near our table all five guys sitting with me recoiled. I should have made a video tbh.

No company that I have worked for had had a scent free zone policy but the last company I worked for had a policy forbidding ALL employees from mentioning to anyone if someone had a bad body odor or if they were caught making a mess in the bathroom and not cleaning it up.

No, but I rarely wear perfume to work anyway. I do however frequently come to work smelling of detergent/fabric softener. I am a pharmacy technician, and I dont want to make anyone sick ( plus I know that one of the managers is allergic to some scents).

My office had a policy against strong scents but didn’t enforce it. I had a shared office (two people), and sometimes my coworker would be so doused in scent that I wanted to pass out. I wish people would not put so much on, because it’s pretty noxious to those that are sensitive.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!