The best office-friendly fragrances for sensitive noses

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We all have that one colleague who’s a bit of a headache.

But if you’re causing your co-workers literal migraines with the aroma of your obnoxiously-overpowering perfume, you need to get that under control. Unless you’re keen to have a ‘you need to sort out that stench’ chat with HR. Awkward to say the least. 

If someone can walk into the staff kitchen, take a whiff, and know you were in there half an hour ago – you’re wearing too much. You won’t have to give up perfume entirely, you’ll just need to seek out subtle scents that smell nice without leaving an odour trail through the entire office.

Also, no perfume is subtle if you do 15 spritzes. Leave it at three, that’s all you need. Trust us. 

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Swipe through to see our six picks for inoffensive office perfumes. 


Lush Cardamom Coffee

Most workplaces are run from the fuel of constant caffeine intake, so Lush Cardamom Coffee will fit right in with the office-atmosphere. Rich, woody and spicy, this perfume is warm and fragrant without being OTT. 

Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey EDT

Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey EDT (myer.com.au, $130 – $189) is a fresh and floral fragrance. With a blend of fresh water florals, it smells sweet without smelling like something your 14-year-old cousin would be rocking. 

Dior J’adore Eau De Parfum

Dior J’adore Eau De Parfum (sephora.com.au, $240) is an exotic and floral scent that blends well with your natural aroma, so it smells almost custom made. As the scent sinks in, it becomes faint and subtle, perfect if you work with anyone who is especially offended by strong smells. 

KKW Fragrance Crystal Gardenia Oud EDP

KKW Fragrance Crystal Gardenia Oud EDP (myer.com.au, $90) is light and floral, smelling more like a bright spring day than a traditional perfume. Gardenia, jasmine and iris have it smelling like a garden, which will be a welcome change from the smell of dusty carpet and stale air-conditioning you’re used to. 

Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume Eau De Parfum

Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume Eau De Parfum (adorebeauty.com.au, $209) is a clean-smelling perfume, made especially for those who hate strong scents. Made to work with your skin chemistry, it smells different on each wearer and can be layered with other fragrances if you like to change things up.

BYREDO Gypsy Water

BYREDO Gypsy Water (mecca.com.au, $315) is a fresh and slightly quirky scent, with a mix of vanilla, amber and sandlewood. It’s a great everyday fragrance that’s far from overwhelming but still makes a statement. 

Le Labo Santal 33

Le Labo Santal 33 (mecca.com.au, $421, mecca.com.au) is an icon in the fragrance world. At over $400 it’s definitely a luxe buy, but it makes for a delightful signature scent that’s perfect for work and play.

What’s your favourite perfume for work?

Share your thoughts

Comments 44

  1. I don't wear a lot of perfume am just using a body shop vanilla body mist at the moment. Some perfumes give me hayfever and headaches so I'm conscious of what I use. Some people have a habit of spraying perfume or using scented hand cream at their desk which doesn't bother me unless the scent is really strong.

  2. Surprised to see Gypsy Water on this list as I found it very strong and headachey.
    There are some perfumes out there that can make me and lots of others feel ill.
    I love a fresh light scent and even prefer a lot of the mens colognes to women's for that reason.

  3. It's funny what suits you may not suit everyone. Some perfumes make me cough almost instantly when someone baths in strong floral scents. It also depends on if I am allergic or not too.

    One squirt is suffice for me 🙂

  4. It was D&G The One. Perfect office perfume for elegant, classy, confident and strong woman. I was allergic on 99.9% of all perfumes out there, but this one and 2 more. Then for years used nothing and natural based perfumes. Now I can wear more. Unsure if it because perfume companies are forced just recently to pull out a few ingredients from their formulations?

  5. I’ve had a bottle of Dior J'adore, and I loved it. Maybe I should get another one. I want to sample Juliette Has A Gun Not A Perfume, but I keep forgetting. David Jones has it.

  6. There are some very expensive fragrances here and I would not wear something expensive to work. A lot of members like J'adore but that is one that does not suit me. I haven't heard of any of the others, mainly because I prefer my traditional Channel No 5, Opium, Tresore, and Beautiful to name a few. These may be powerful but only a drop or two is needed and comments have always been very favourable for me.

  7. I find most perfumes ok so long as they haven’t been sprayed just that minute. So the bus is worse than the office. But the absolute pits is someone who puts out a cigarette as they get onto a bus – I’ll take the strongest perfume over that any day.

  8. I wish I could wear perfume to work but it’s not ideal as I am often wary that people may have allergies; but I always have loved Santal 33, byredo Pulp and I gift Issey Miyake so much! They are all great scents.

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