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terça-feira, 19 de abril de 2016

Best in Show: Women's Fragrances for the Workplace

by: Jodi Battershell, Elena Vosnaki, Ida Meister, Lucia Remigi,Rouu Abd El-Latif


Met with a challenging day at the office, one is daunted by the choice of an appropriate fragrance. Too strong? Too weak? Too assertive or rather overextending the friendly vibes? When you have only one or two fragrances in your rotation the question is rhetorical, but picking a bottle from a larger fragrance collection presents its own dilemmas. It's a delicate balance and it does depend upon one's job status in said office; a younger assistant might want to "prove their mettle" whereas a more mature senior might throw caution to the wind more easily. And then there's the question of office space and internal compartmentalization: where do you sit and at what proximity to others?
Our writers considered these parameters and chose the best office scents. Do you find your favorites among them or do you have other suggestions? Please share them in the comments.


...an introverted powerhouse fragrance

I know most HR experts and corporate recruiters advise against wearing any fragrance to a job interview, but those of us who are accustomed to wearing a fragrance every day know that we don't feel fully dressed without it. When I was job hunting in 2013, I recalled that a friend who dislikes fragrances had complimented me on this scent for its beauty and subtlety, which she could only detect when she gave me a hug. I knew it would be the perfect scent to wear under my suits on job interviews, with a single spirtz providing just enough sillage that I could smell it and feel confident, but not enough that anyone else would notice or be bothered by it.
I'm a fan of the original Chanel N° 19, but I appreciate the modern freshness of N° 19 Poudre. Punch up the iris, give those green notes a soft bed of musk and sweet tonka to rest on and poof! It's still Chanel N° 19, but with gentle lighting and some Vaseline on the camera lens for a soft, ethereal glow. I initially lamented the fragrance's subtle sillage, but over time I've come to think of it as an introverted powerhouse fragrance that gets its point across without calling too much attention to itself. Chanel N° 19 Poudre is perfect for those days when I know I'll be sharing close quarters at meetings or working side-by-side with someone in a cramped office cubicle. It smells clean, pleasant and slightly perfumey but creates no distraction.
...a whiff of fresh paper
The office is a minefield in many ways, not least of all concerning one's image. Unless you're the boss, in which case you can wear whatever you like and—if you're especially mean—be the Darth Vader of perfume gassing everyone out with something like Giorgio Beverly Hills or equivalent in strength and malicious intent, consideration for your fellow workers goes a long way into assuring good rapport.
For this reason, but bearing in mind that a perfume lover would only approve of something that actually does smell better than nothing at all, I chose the original Infusion d'Iris eau de parfum by Prada. Scoring the double score of being equally well worn by a man or a woman (even though it's technically addressed to the ladies) it's a scent that works on two axes: the rooty, dry part comes off as groomed and polished; the woody-cedarwood and subtly resinous-incense part comes off as dependable and focused. It also gives a whiff of fresh paper which isn't amiss in an office setting.
Not really a powdery metallic iris scent, despite the name, Infusion d'Iris enjoys almost universal approval in fragrances least likely to displease. We all want to put our best foot forward in business, right?
...a brainy perfume with steely resolve to match
I've often suggested it to others as the Resting Bitch Face/Poker Face fragrance: calm, cool, aloof, elegant and confident. It takes no prisoners and shows that you mean business! 
Oh, dear.
I hate the sound of my own voice above: it conveys the impression that I detestChanel No. 19, when nothing could be farther from the truth. I ADORE it. It's a blooming masterpiece on every possible level—but that doesn't mean that I'm unaware of the considerable power it wields.
August 19th is Coco Chanel's birthday. In 1970 [she was 87 years old at the time] one year before her death, Henri Robert created this verdant classic which epitomizes, for me, her quintessential style: quirky but sedate and wearable, unique au monde. One can never go wrong. You will always appear soignée, immaculately dressed in the utmost bon goût.
AND NO ONE WILL WANT TO MESS YOU ABOUT. EVER.
Gloriously green and leafy, galbanum and bergamot beckon, accompanied by the glory of Grasse—exquisite jasmine. Chanel's inimitable sources of rose, narcissus, iris! Hyacinth in bloom, green and indolent at once, with a blush of ylang [not too much!] for sweetness, rondeur.
At the woody/mossy base, green mingles with a slightly menacing depth: the mystery of oakmoss [how I love it!!!], vetiver adding its balsamic baritone, sandalwood [very fine quality] and dark, moody musk lurking about with a sueded glove leather.
Chanel at its finest, I think.
Here is an individual who knows his/her mind and will not be easily swayed. More than competent, refined, Chanel N°19 never gives offense; it's too well-mannered for that. In the parfum, it's understatement and elegance which reign. One may be fooled into thinking that here's someone you would do well to employ; they never realize that this person may well one day take over their position.
N°19 is a brainy perfume with steely resolve to match. It's only if one leans in for a prolonged sniff that the intention which lies beneath becomes apparent. On the surface, it's all shining intellect and unassuming—that's why I frequently recommend it as an Interview Fragrance. The subliminal message it projects belies the seriousness of its intention.
Nothing fuzzy or fluffy about it; wear N°19 when you want to be confident.
...for those occasions where I needed to smell “clean and understated”
Probably I am among the few people who would consider wearing regularly a Lolita Lempicka (and a semi-gourmand, moreover!) to office, but since I added Fleur Défendue to my collection a couple of years ago—it was a true bargain, I should add—I often found myself picking it for those occasions where I needed to smell “clean and understated” and/or to feel comfortable and at ease in preparation for some stressful events.
Well, this loveliest flanker of the uber-famous Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum has never disappointed me in terms of discrete and soft sillage—you hardly want to exude any kind of sultry or overly diffusive blend when among coworkers or clients, especially if the workplace is somewhat formal and enclosed, and this fragrance isn’t surely a heavy hitter from any point of view. But, mostly, Fleur Défendue always succeeded in comforting and energizing me with its quite simple but not so obvious composition introduced by the lively and almost sour green/herbal tones of wormwood and strawberry leaf to which is paired a graceful powdery shade given by violet, iris and mimosa in the medium phase—an accord that gives off a refined soapy/milky nuance on my skin, even more enhanced in the drydown where musk, almond and an adorable cherry note create a smooth and relaxed vibe. Too cute and not elegant enough for some very uptight environments? Maybe, but I guess for the “average” workday spent at the office Fleur Défendue would prove itself to be an appropriate choice, if you happen to love it as much as I do of course, and a big plus is that it works just fine in any kind of weather and season.
...a fine creamy jasmine spell followed by a gentle sunshine breeze
Hey, I’m a career-oriented woman, a professional, and I take my job seriously. if you haven’t noticed my conservative gray attire or my office-appropriate hairstyle, maybe you'll notice my fragrance! It's Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile, a fine creamy jasmine spell followed by a gentle sunshine breeze with a soft herbal green-ish aroma, an intriguing splash of mandarin bitterness candied in a silky bouquet of a jasmine chorus. Francois Demachy signed this perfume for the iconic house of Acqua di Parma. Monsieur Demachy is a maestro; Jasmine can be very commonplace, but not here. When I first tried Gelsomino Nobile the first thing I thought was, “this is not a usual jasmine scent”; it's very well made, tamed and spontaneously develops with every single note to work as a unified theme. The longevity is moderate (+5 hrs) with great sillage and projection. It truly stands out without triggering attention; there is nothing provocative nor overwhelming about this formula which makes it a perfect choice for a work environment.
When in the office, proper etiquette and attitude are required. What can be inappropriate depends on the business type and office atmosphere and culture. As for your outfit, your office scent should be sufficiently pleasant, approachable yet formal. I have to say, my choice is a bit on the pricey side as a bottle of Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile (100 ml EDP) has a price tag of around $175 USD.

Do you have a favorite fragrance for the workplace that didn't make our list? What's your fragrance equivalent of a "power suit" or "go-with-everything" black pumps? Share your choices in the comments!


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