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(Inga Ivanova/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Inga Ivanova/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Is it ever okay to wear perfume in the office? Add to ...

The question

I love perfume, but I am self-conscious about wearing it at work, where some people might have sensitivities. What’s the proper office protocol?

The answer

The protocol differs from workplace to workplace, but, on the whole, liberal spritzing might be less welcome in a corporate environment (law offices, banks) than, say, a fashion magazine or other environments that may be more casual.

If you are at all in doubt, speak to your boss or human resources department to find out what is acceptable. Once that is established, be sure you understand what it is you are applying.

Eau de cologne and eau de toilette are light on aromatic essence and heavy in alcohol, meaning their scent will dissipate quickly. Eau de parfum and perfume contain higher concentrations of essence, which means you don’t need to apply as much.

And rather than splash it on all over, you should apply it only in strategic spots – such as behind the ears or inside the wrist – to get the aroma across.

If you are still hesitant to wear perfume at work, I would suggest a scented body lotion or cream. It can deliver a sweet touch of fragrance without offending anyone.

Bahar Niramwalla is a celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert who has appeared on CTV, Global TV and City. Follow her on Twitter: @baharniramwalla. Have a beauty question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com

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