Connect with us


BN Beauty: Ever Heard of ‘Perfume Etiquette’? Here’s All You Need to Know | Watch



Ever walked into a room full of people and your nose twitched? Yes, the room smells nice and exotic perfume smells render the air as fragrant as a field of flowers but there is that one exotic scent that is off-putting.


You are sitting at your desk at work and a colleague walks past and you are hit *literally* by their scent? That has happened to me so I know how it feels. In my case though, I instantly felt nauseous and had to walk out so I didn’t puke right there.

There is something called Perfume Etiquette but a lot of us don’t know and those who do are too consumed by an impulsive need to have people smell the expensive perfume they have on, ask where they got it and how much to care. Be calm Barbara, lol.

Fragrances bellanaija july 2016

Simply put, Perfume Etiquette is the customary code of polite behaviour or list of unspoken rules that govern the usage of scents in public and I’ve created just the list for this.

But first, let’s know our scents

  1. Eau de cologne: Lasts for about an hour. They are usually extracts from plants and have a fresh & breezy air to them. Surprisingly, they are very ‘adult’ and are said to refresh the body on hot days. Some of the favs I’ve come across are the Byredo Gypsy Water & Helmut Lang
  2. Eau de toilette: These last about 2 hours. Unlike Eau de colognes that are mainly fresh, Eau de toilettes can be any fragrance – from strong orange scent to jasmine to spices. The best way to use these though is to spray them directly on the skin right after a bath. I love DKNY Be Delicious  and literally cover my whole body with a light mist of it after bathing. Gucci Flora is simply divine and YSL Paris grows on you
  3. Eau de parfum: These are still going strong for up to 4 hours. The most popular scent type, they are a heavier version of toilettes. Remember how it’s advised to lightly spray hair for that lingering scent? yep, it’s eau de parfums that are perfect for that. When sprayed directly on clothes, they can sometimes last all day. My preferred? Prada Candy, La vie est belle, Tresor Nuit and 5th Avenue
  4. Perfume extracts: Better off for men since they tend to have stronger natural smells, these last up to 8 hours. These have up to 40% essential oils in them and are the likes of Terre de Hermes Pure Perfume and Clive Christian no1 for Men

Now we know our scents, let’s go into our rules for perfume customary code:

  • Rule 1 – Don’t use overpowering scents in small or enclosed public spaces
  • Rule 2 – Try your scents one at a time don’t pile them on all at once especially if they are all in the same scent family (I’m guilty of this even though my reason is that I don’t want people to know what I have on. Besides, it’s usually a mix of deodorant and perfume *grin*)
  • Rule 3 – Purchasing a perfume and determined to try them all at once? Take a whiff of coffee beans in-between. All reputable perfume stores have them in-store
  • Rule 4 – Always spray perfume on your pulse points and not on your clothes. Perfume tends to destroy fabric overtime and spraying on the pulse points enhances the scent
  • Rule 5 – Find and wear only ‘Your’ scent. Because one fragrance is great on someone else doesn’t mean it will be great for you

Below is a short video I’ve filmed explaining the 5 rules of Perfume Etiquette (I’d advise you kip to 1:08 and escape all my rambling)

Image & Video Credit: thespaassociation.comBarbara & 1923

| The Restless One | Lover of GOD & Change | Content Creator | Barbara Onianwah spends her days working in Marketing Communications and her nights as a Social Media & Beauty aficionado who straddles between using the internet to build her personal brand – Barbara & 1923; and helping various Clients build their online presence. To find her, visit her blog - OR follow her on Twitter – @piriye | Instagram – barbara1923 |Facebook & Youtube – Barbara & 1923.


  1. Nammy

    July 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    I am sharing this link with my colleagues who I find guilty

  2. TA

    July 9, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    This is an enlightening article. Thanks Barbara.

    • Barbara1923

      July 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

      You are very welcome 🙂

  3. Sugar

    July 9, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Thank you very much for this insight

  4. Ajala & Foodie

    July 9, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    I have been a victim of the enclosed space one. I was on an airplane (thankfully it was a short one about ~2hrs ), this lady drenched herself in Parfumerie. I got off the plane and was physically ill as in puked and all. I thought one could only pass out from BO… I found out perfumes too can be just as dangerous

  5. Mustsmelllikebyforce

    July 10, 2016 at 2:00 am

    Thank you o…Please don’t spray perfume on your clothes. Also that a scent smells nice on someone doesn’t mean it smells the same on you cos body chemistry differs. Imagine the mixture of perfume and smell of garlic from someone that eats garlic everyday. No no no.
    And please if you sweat a lot or have body odour,please take care of that. Perfumes are not to mask odour, they make it worse

  6. Titi

    July 10, 2016 at 8:09 am

    La vie est belle by lancome.. Haha perfume aiye!

  7. BijouxthiisBijouxthat

    July 10, 2016 at 9:33 am

    La vie est Belle by lancome is the TRUTH! Flower bomb by Viktor and Rolf too
    As for perfume etiquette, my nose is just allergic to ‘tunale’ perfumes!
    Just wear only deodorant and not cheap perfume at all ????

    • Dshine

      July 10, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      I have flower bomb by Viktor, no regrets

    • Barbara1923

      July 11, 2016 at 9:25 am

      La vie est belle and Flower bomb are so similar it’s like one took inspiration from the other. I have both but still prefer La vie est belle. It lingers longer IMO

    • Terese

      July 12, 2016 at 10:33 am

      I have the la vie est belle “intense”. It’s creamier and smoother than the original and lingers forever. The fragrance gives me life.

  8. Prince

    July 11, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    i am guilty o. Though I know that perfume is meant to be sprayed on your skin and not clothes but i still spray them on clothes.
    Thank you for the article especially number 5.
    Great article

    • Barbara1923

      July 15, 2016 at 3:10 pm

      My absolute pleasure. You are very welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features