Imagine you just walk into a room and people make mind notes about you without even looking up to see you or hear you speak. Sounds magic or strange? Well the magic is easy to create – your smell or fragrance can be invisibly speaking a lot about you, sometimes messages you may not even know about yourself being said.

Perfume till date is an underrated and quite often the least attended accessory to persona shaping. Especially for an Indian audience, it is quite an ad hoc possession. When we talk about personality development, for Indian working women, we speak about image consulting comprising makeup, dressing, and accessories like shoes, watches and handbags. But how often do you have an expert guiding you on personality based perfume?

Take a look at your own perfume collection back home and think about how they landed up with you. Many of us admit, a major contribution to our perfume collection comes as gifts from relatives, friends on different occasions. And the rest which we buy ourselves, we choose primarily with the following rationale – suggested by salesman and smelt good at the shop, discounts and offers, something we had used many times before and we do not want to experiment with something else.

Compare this to buying a simple shirt for office or a handbag that goes for formal situations. How much time, attention and research we are involved with before we buy one!

A prime reason behind this differentiation is not that we are not interested; it is primarily sometimes our ignorance.

Let us take a quick look at 5 keys tips to keep in mind while you buy perfume for formal situations:

Do we know there needs to be at least one distinct ‘office perfume’?

This is not a ‘know a perfume’ session. But yes, it is much needed that you know the broad category of perfumes available in the market. And even if it looks quite intimidating, the simple rules are, think of the general workplace ambience and tries to connect a fragrance that goes with the ambience. You cannot imagine connecting an agarbatti type smell in a well decored IT firm where you have a cosmopolitan workforce and plenty of international guests.  That place more neutral and needs to smell clear and fresh. Also there are some instant associations in a human mind with certain smells. Tuberose reminds you of a wedding or a family function event. Thus again this is not an office type smell.

So choose something for your daily wear that goes with the natural feel of the place and should not appear over imposing on others. There can even beoccasion based perfume for different office situations, but at least one neutral fragrance is a must have in your accessory kit.

How many types of perfume are ideal to use for your formal persona?

There is frankly no end to defining your own self. Infact there can bedistinct ways in which you let your perfume define you, just like your dressing does for you. You do not wear the same dress or same type of dress to work every day, but there is a collection that defines you. Similar is the case with perfume. You can have a collection based on daily wear, which can besub divided based on the day of the week, mood (message) you wish to convey, special meeting day or occasions (say a very special presentation day for you). Perfume can be based on seasons ideally.

But the undertone of all these options is that it should go with your character, your personality at the place. If you wish to create a fresh and feminine image, stick to light floral. If you wish to smell bold and confident, maybe oriental ones should dominate.

But whatever be the options, one foundation perfume is a must for any modern day woman; something that truly lends a signature and can be easily associated with.

Is there any rigid rule that certain perfume cannot be worn to office?

Well,the answer to this is both a Yes and a No! There are broadly some perfume classes – woody, floral, oriental, fruity, green and so on. Each segment has a wide range of products which are classified based on several other subtle factors. It is definitely advisable, to wear a perfume that makes you feel good (gets you the desired feel) and at the same time, not be punishing to your colleagues or people around. So naturally, very strong floral or fruity flavours can at times seem choking to people around in a conditioned office environment.

So make a prudent choice, given the situation, your body reaction to chemicals and also the type of audience you will be with.

Do I really need to consider seasons even in office for wearing a perfume?

Perfume lovers are very particular about this aspect of choosing a perfume. The time of year has so many associations and effects on our lives. There are certain smells associated with every season. Summer is with freshness and being fruity, rains call for freshness more. Winter is a bit sombre and woody smells with musky tones.

Ideally a broad sense of seasons would ideally make you appear smarter. But then again, there are perfumes which are quite universal and can form your base smell for the entire year. Choose them wisely if you feel going seasonal is a tough call at the onset.

Do I need to change my perfume brand at times? If so, how often?

Ideally it is advisable that you take time and experiment a bit before you choose a small collection of perfume suited to different occasions at and around work. The notion that perfume needs to be expensive to feel good is a lost story. Choose your neutral fragrance, and occasions specific or season specific ones. It is not recommended to change your perfume every time a bottle runs out. But yes, it would be very smart if sometimes you do experiment for something different and for subtle changes. Just like your dressing sense, you do develop an image over time, but sometimes a change or two can be miraculous in terms of creating an impression and boosting your own self. The best part of a perfume is that it creates associations which stay longer in your brain. So choose your perfume wisely, lest you get marked incorrectly in someone’s mind. The market is flooded with varieties and prices are now quite affordable for many reputed brands. Conduct some research, or talk to an expert which may not necessarily be the shop assistant at the departmental store. Think about your own self and build up a power accessory for yourself with minimal effort.