Thursday, March 21, 2013

Perfume At Work: The Dreaded Email



Last week, I wander down to the 17th floor of my office building to check in with a couple of co-workers and to move my body.  I had been sitting so long through multiple meetings that my ass was asleep.

All of our administrative assistants are located along the inside walls of the building, facing the offices around the perimeter.  They sit in large cubicles that keep them hidden from view.  As I move through the walkway and pass each cubicle, I smell a different perfume boldly claiming its air space.  This delights me, of course, and makes me grateful to work in a 'perfume allowed' environment. 

But then, the dreaded email arrives.  Something about a 'near miss,' and the encouragement to avoid 'strong perfumes.'  I have no idea what either of those things mean.

Well, okay, I get Paloma Picasso and Aromatics and Azuree as strong perfumes, but the near miss?  WTF?  Does someone have severe asthma?  Seizures?  The vapors?  Near miss could mean almost anything and it pisses me off that it's attached to perfume.

What about smoking brakes on the freeway or a dead skunk in the road or the UPS delivery guy in the elevator with mind numbing BO?  They all constitute a 'near miss' for me.  Ban them first, and then we'll talk about perfume.


Image from stylelite.com

11 comments:

  1. I believe this constitutes workplace harrassement and violates the EPA (Employee Perfume Acceptance)! Like you, I am confronted with smells everyday that make me wish I was a little more aroma-challenged. Worn in moderation, perfume is one of the more pleasant aspects of cubicle world.

    However, I often find myself wishing for a strong whiff of ANY perfume in our women's bathroom to counteract the disgusting odors of those who have not yet discovered the "courtesy flush" or...bathing.

    The war on perfume is misguided and surely unconstitutional...we all have a right to life, liberty and the perfect smellie! LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mermaid - awesome comment! Employee Perfume Acceptance - everybody say, 'hell yeah.' I'm thinking bathing is a basic requirement for...I don't know...human interaction. But that's just me. I want to know what you think and feel, what inspires and motivates you. But I don't want to smell you after four days without a shower. Just sayin.' Can't we ban that?

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  2. I strongly suspect "wearing perfume" is a "crime" being used to intimidate people in the workplace. If the worker is doing good work, is generally unimpeachable, but you want to cause them trouble anyway because you're a jerk, "You're perfume is making me sick," is a great way to ruin your their day. It's so sad, because then, those few who really do have health issues with (genuinely) strong odors or chemicals (like new carpeting or pesticides), can't be heard above the din....Humans....Be strong, girl!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops, that's "their day", not "your their day"- I was too emotionally overcome when I wrote that response!

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    2. Marla, thanks for your comment - it is an emotional topic! My husband and I go to regular wine tastings where the same woman wears a heavy amount of Clinique's Aromatics. Do I love it? No. But I enjoy her company and respect her right to smell how she wants. In a way, I would be disappointed if she stopped. Wine snobs are the worst...and they can bite me - I will always wear perfume to those events...and every other, actually. Today, I went to the dentist and couldn't resist a touch of Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee. Every situation warrants some perfume, don't you think?

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  3. I received an anonymous email from someone - I still don't know whom - several years ago. Something to the effect of "Your perfume is very strong." It made me very paranoid, and resentful. A little sad too, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brian, it's so good to hear from you again. Anonymous emails are chickenshit and passive aggressive no matter what they're about. I'm wondering what I might do if anyone had the actual balls to tell me my perfume was too strong (I wore Luten's Borneo for months during the period my mother was dying - it just spoke something for me that I couldn't say myself). Whenever I smell a man at work that is wearing perfume, it's very sexy. And confident. And somehow finished. I always want to say, 'thank you for having the courage to smell like something but apathy.' As for your anonymous commenter? Fuck them.

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  4. Great post Josephine! I am so curious about the near miss. I wonder if you'll ever find out! I've worked in a no perfume office & it was not much fun at all. Like you, I love smelling perfume on others & chattin' scents. The more the merrier as far as I'm concerned.

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    Replies
    1. Hi DOAPA and welcome! Yeah, I'm not sure I'll ever find out about the near miss...I'm just hoping we don't have an all out ban on perfume. You're right - the more the merrier. Thanks for your comment!

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