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Choosing a fragrance for work takes a bit of thought. On the one hand, you want something that tells your colleagues who you are – confident, professional and interesting. On the other hand, it is generally advisable to fit in with your surroundings in a workplace setting and not to go too far to any extreme in a bid to express individuality. Unless you are a pro at choosing perfume, it is best to stay on the safe side, at least while you are finding your fragrance feet.

Know your environment

First thing’s first – take careful note of where you work. What kind of people are you surrounded by, and which industry are you based in? The kind of scent that would work for a quirky, creative advertising agency will go down like an aromatic lead balloon in a more corporate traditional office, where three-piece suits and old school ties are more the norm. Likewise, think about the conditions in which you work. A quiet office will require a different scent to a busy school or shop, for example, while a job involving a lot of work outdoors will need yet another approach.

Part of the team

Don’t forget that your choice of scent will affect those in your immediate vicinity so make sure you give off the right signals. Too heavy or overpowering a fragrance can not only make you seem aloof and unapproachable, but might cause actual, physical distress to anyone with respiratory problems, such as asthma or COPD. Go light to be on the safe side – a fresh floral or citrusy note will not be too potent and will add a hint of freshness and creativity to any room you enter. If you find yourself admiring someone else’s fragrance in the office, do ask the wearer about it, as you may well have discovered your new signature scent.

Long-lasting appeal

If you are keen to explore wearing fragrance at work, one of your top priorities will probably be choosing something that lasts all day. Pick out a few perfume testers when you are next out and about and try wearing a different one each day to see which one lasts the longest. Don’t be tempted to simply spray on more and more perfume as the day progresses – while some scents can benefit from layering, not all of them can by any means and you don’t want to ruin the effect or be suspected of trying to cover up a less desirable bodily smell.

Personal touch

While the office isn’t the place to unleash your unedited, wild and whacky personality, there is scope for choosing a scent that tells people something about your personality. Are you a sporty type who prefers fresher, sharper scents such as citruses or woody notes? Perhaps you are keen to exude wealth and success via the more opulent spices, ouds and musks. Or express your reliable and sensible nature with reassuring leather or sage. Whatever you decide, remember that choosing perfumes should be fun and some experimentation is permitted. You could even involve your team mates in the search and ask them to find the fragrance that they feel suits you the best. You might be pleasantly surprised by what they come up with!