busted in the scent-free workplace


I got busted for smelling good in our scent-free workplace. Quite mortifying to be told you smell…….good. Not allowed anymore.

It’s a shame.  With the holiday season upon us the perfume and aftershave ads are enticing us with beauty (no cellulite) and a lifestyle that can be ours if we only smell a certain way.  Enticing it is.

The picture is of my vintage Tiffany perfume bottle.  The perfume long ago used up but the bottle kept for the memories. That’s what perfume does for us; evokes memories and moments.

When I was in high school the “neat guys” were swathed in the smell of English Leather or Brut.  It was a cacophony of competing scent as they headed down the locker-lined school hallways.  About that time too, the fancy ladies at the perfume counters lunged as you walked by and squirted you with the cologne of the day as you walked by.  Now they spray it on a little piece of paper and swish it back and forth in the air before they grace you with a sniff.

I’ve been trapped in the workplace elevator with the woman so drenched in perfume that my eyes watered as well as walked through a cubicle world with smells like a perfume sampler box.

But still, green tea hand lotion? Really?  We have become so scent oriented that we burn scented candles, and have warmers to keep our home smelling like applies, peaches, pumpkin pie ( that’s from a song for those of you of my high school vintage years). We launder our clothes with products to produce artificial smell for weeks.

But we can’t smell at work.

So on Saturday as I pull on my well-worn yoga pants and my stretched-out sweatshirt, I place perfume on my pulse points and smell good all day.


3 thoughts on “busted in the scent-free workplace

  1. We have a scent reduction policy where I work. If someone is wearing a strong perfume or cologne, I get a headache. It affects my ability to do my job. Yesterday, a student came in (for the third time) wearing an overpowering cologne. I had to leave for 20 minutes.

    I definitely agree that certain smells evoke memories. When I was in my early 20s I wore Drakkar Noir. I can still remember the smell, and the early days of my relationship with my future wife.

    I wrote a funny story (550 words) called “The Man Who Repelled Women with Cologne.” If you would like to read it, I am open to any feedback: https://christopherjohnlindsay.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/cologne/


    • Chris, I loved your story!!It made me laugh (with) not at Roger Tuckerman….. I agree with the need for scent free and scent reduction workplaces but like we do as humans, sometimes we go overboard in our enthusiasm to enforce the “rules”. On a flight recently I was intimately wedged in the dreaded centre seat in peasant class between two large business men who each had at least a foot on me in height and width to proportion. There was no sharing the arm rests… they were lost and I was left like a willow in the wind in the aura of competing aftershave so strong I could taste it in my throat. So, I had a glass of wine, shut my eyes and feigned sleep so I wouldn’t have to actually meet the Roger Tuckermans. Having said this, though…… I don’t discount the attraction of a nice smelling man….maybe have been known to stand a little closer in that security line just to sniff……just sayin’.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Susan! Your airplane experience would make a great Roger Tuckerman story. BTW; feel free to post that comment on my story as I think it would speak to my readers. Best, Chris


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