How your perfume affects your colleagues

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There is little more personal when it comes to grooming than perfume. What one finds pleasant can be very unpleasant for another. This makes choosing the right perfume for work so difficult. Fortunately, research has been done into the impression certain scents make. In this article, I’ll tell you how your perfume influences your colleagues and how you can play with it.

How your perfume affects your colleagues
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Memories and associations

As I mentioned, perfume choice is very personal. This is not surprising, as research has shown that smell plays a major role in memories. When recalling events and happenings we remember 35% of what we smell, while on average we remember 5% of what we see. As a result, 83% of people can recall happy memories through scent alone. This is known as the “Proustian Memory Effect”; the idea that through smell, you can vividly relive old memories.

As a result, one person may have a positive association with a scent, while the other may not. Simply because one person has a positive nostalgic memory.


How your perfume affects your colleagues

Another study found that smell affects how we judge someone.

For this study, 90 women were given three different perfume samples. They had to describe the type of person who would wear each scent. The results showed we often link spicy, woody, and citrus scents with traits such as confidence, assertiveness, and aggressiveness. With floral scents, these traits scored a lot lower. People felt this would be the choice of more inhibited types.

Besides personality traits, scents can also influence people’s behavior. For example, people who smell coffee appear to become more social and lavender brings on a feeling of relaxation.


Useful to know

When you think about it, it all sounds very logical. Floral scents are soft, and we often consume coffee in the company of others. Most of the time, we don’t realize that these scents can have an effect on us. But it is useful to know. If you are preparing for a difficult conversation, a squirt of lavender might not be a bad idea. It not only smells nice, but it also has an immediate calming effect on your conversation partner.


Do you consciously choose certain scents for work that suit the image you want to radiate?





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