Monday Question – Do You Wear Perfume When You Work Out?

Do you wear perfume in the gym?

Are you combining sports and scent?

Is your work out routine perfume-free or are you never without a good fragrance?

What is you favorite work-out scent?

question-markMy Answer:

The real problem is: I don’t work out enough (i.e.: at all). That aside, I do wear perfume when I finally get my behind in gear, but I make sure it is no heavy-hitter.

Hermès (I know, I’m boring you all to tears with that particular obsession, but you and I will have to live with it… ;) ) makes my favorite sport fragrances.
Vetiver Tonka gives me energy and a little hint of the good things to come afterwards (namely: something sweet) and Jardin sur le Nil provides a burst of citrus and green happiness, even if the activity of the moment is bringing me down.

As a rule I am with Winston Churchill on the whole issue, but as I get older it seems to be more and more a question of either changing my diet drastically or starting to move. And as I’m not about to forgo my daily dose of chocolate, I see no real choice here.

Perfume at least helps lift my spirits if not the weights.

How about you?

About Olfactoria

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81 Responses to Monday Question – Do You Wear Perfume When You Work Out?

  1. Ha ha ha ha HA!!! Work out!!
    Ha ha ha!
    Before I gave up going to the gym I would go with remnants of whatever had been on during the day or night previous, have my shower and then apply.
    Portia xx

  2. Undina says:

    Birgit, I’m with you on most points (sigh). I need to start excercising again! But while I still was, I never wore a perfume purposefully but I enjoyed the remainings of whatever perfume I wore before going to gym.

  3. janeykate says:

    Much as I hate going to the gym, sometimes it’s a necessary evil, whilst I would much rather go out for a run, or take a long walk in the hills, the weather often puts a stop to that! I wear perfume whatever I’m doing, I don’t feel dressed without it. For the gym i wear something like CK One, it’s cheap and light and fresh. What’s not to like!
    Jane x

  4. Azar says:

    I NEVER go to a gym! My daily workout consist of long steep walks and bar exercises at home. Obviously I can wear whatever perfume I want to but usually don’t use a lot of fragrance until I’m done “working out”. I like to smell the trees, flowers, rain, whatever is happening outside without adding another scent to the mix. If I just have to wear fragrance while “working out” I try to choose something seasonal that I might smell outdoors.

  5. cookie queen says:

    I work out 4 times a week. It is my refuge. It keeps me sane. Nearly 8 years now. I usually go in the early evening, so there are remnants of course. I often use it as a testing time. A dab on the hand. No one else would smell it. I always think it puts the perfume development on high speed. Ha ha. Top notes to dry down in three minutes flat. Haha. Personally I cannot stand people who cover themselves in “düft” in the gym. It makes me feel sick, regardless of what it is. And it is an unwritten rule ….. not to do it. So off I go now. Gotta whip up about 25 kilos of dough and then I am off to the gym. Work that body!!! Bussis.

  6. Sashabla says:

    I do work out quite a bit and wearing the appropriate fragrance is a dilemma because many folks have allergies and the gym I go to asks that you not wear fragrance while working out. However, that isn’t an option for me! I, too, am an Hermes fan and Jardin Sur le Nil is a frequent choice. I have recently started wearing Éclat by Lanvin and have received many compliments. Does anyone have other suggestions?

  7. Vanessa says:

    Severely lapsed gym bunny here! Like Undina, I tend to wear just the remnants of whatever I was wearing that day or nothing if I happen to exercise first thing. All forms of exercise being rare events. That said I am off to floppy yoga again tonight, all being well…;-)

  8. andreawilko says:

    I always wear perfume to the gym and I love trying out new perfumes there as the heat really brings out the intensity for me. I also find that what ever I am testing stays fairly close to my skin and does not affect the ‘general gym smell’ I also find it particularly handy on the odd occasion when I get a particularly sweaty being training next to me as I can huff away at my own perfume rather than be subjected to their not so pleasant scent.
    I find it quite funny that the weights area always smells quite strongly of lynx (or axe if you’re stateside)

  9. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I’m trying hard to manage two sessions of Pilates per week with my Trainer – what is often problematic due to my frequent travelling. In usual I get there in the evening and I often still detect traces of the parfum I put on in the morning. BTW, for yoga I loved Dzonghka …

    • Olfactoria says:

      Yoga and Pilates (as well as ballet) are the only thing I find really interesting when it comes to sports. But still not enough apparently… :(

      I should take a page out of your book and try hard!

  10. Sabine says:

    I do go to Pilates classes three times a week, usually in the morning. It’s often really busy and space is limited. If I wear anything at all it’s 4711 or Hermes Eau d”orange verte. But the mats sometimes smell a bit unpleasant and we give them a clean beofre we start, so I wonder if spritizng some 4711 on them wouldn’t be a good idea.

  11. poodle says:

    I used to be a gym rat and I felt great. Then things got busy and I put taking time for myself last as always. I need to get back to the gym but getting back in the flow is so hard. I shudder to think how out of shape I am. Anyway, I do wear fragrance to the gym but usually something light. I really can’t stand the smell of some stranger sweating next to me. Also, if they’re really breathing hard there’s bad breath to smell as well. I normally don’t like light scents but I don’t want to skunk people out at the gym. I try for the happy medium of I can smell me but you probably can’t smell me and I hopefully can’t smell you.

  12. Dubaiscents says:

    No gym for me but, I do enjoy putting on a scent before something that will make me sweat like housework or washing the car, going out for a walk in our Dubai heat, etc. It is always fun to see how the scent is different in more extreme conditions. I wore Bronze Goddess to wash the car the other day – made the task a little easier :-)

  13. hildegunn says:

    I never go to the gym….I feel like a complete idiot surrounded by skinny (sometimes too skinny) young women and hunky guys lifting manuals…BUT I do have a dog, so every day, no matter the weather, I go for long walks. Nature smells more than lovely enough, but I’m one of those crazy people who like to match my scent to the weather, and also to smell how the perfume changes from indoors to outdoors- warm. cozy living room VS pouring rain…today it’s Intrigant Patchouli by Parfumerie Generale. It performed well :)

  14. Alice says:

    Like you, yoga or pilates are the only things I enjoy – I do a 7am class 2 or 3 times a week. For those, I love FM Angeliques sous la Plui, or anything light and soft. On teh rare occasions I attempt a ‘workout’ (eg cross trainer or other ghastly machine) I like to test some weird/wonderful sample, ideally something totally new – gives me something to take my mind off the pain and suffering!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Good idea, Alice. Weird and wonderful helps occupy the tortured mind. :)

      I admire you for going to 7am classes (although that would be perfect for me too, 8am at least when the kids are safely stashed at school, but there are no such classes anywhere near me, booo)!

  15. Annina says:

    I wear Demeter Clean Skin or Linden Blossom, Kumbaa Made Oriental Musk, or Memoire Luquide Nudite to the gym – all clean (but not quite laundry!) and wear close to the skin. For hot yoga, a spray my Weleda Rose deodorant all over – not just on the intended area. Sometimes I wear Pacifica Neroli Orange Blossom, but it fades literally minutes after applying.

  16. Annina says:

    This winter I will take training to be a prenatal yoga instructor, so I suspect that I’ll have to be fragrance-free for that – all if those sensitive noses!

  17. Bhama says:

    Gym, exercise…… not part of my lifestyle! But then again, I have recently discovered a beautiful trail near my home where I take long walks. It’s beautiful and I love testing out perfumes to see how they perform when I am all sweaty. I have been using bruno acampora’s musc recently and love it!! It melds perfectly with the beautiful fall weather we are having.

  18. Jackie b says:

    What a great question…I have had yoga class ruined by other people’s giant sillage as we take our deep breaths, so do not spray with abandon. But a dab of Hokkabaz in the cleavage gives me inspiration as I down dog!

  19. Michael says:

    I doubt I would specifically wear a perfume to the gym, mainly because sweat would get rid of it sooner than not, I should think, but as I work out most often in the evenings, I tend to go to the gym with the residual after effects of whatever perfume I wore that day. I can’t think of a perfume that goes particularly well with exercise, I really can’t, but as one or two others may have mentioned, perhaps a musk that heightens the smell of natural skin?

  20. Connie says:

    I’m not a big ‘going to the gym’ person. The sports I tend toward, like horseback riding, ballroom dancing, volleyball (and of course walking!), are sports that offer a lot of freedom in scenting oneself that i take full advantage of! So I don’t really have a ‘workout’ fragrance, I just wear whatever I’m in the mood for. But maybe I need a workout scent? ;)

  21. Tara says:

    I will never be one of those of people who goes to the gym. It just seems soul destroying to me but I know some enjoy it.

    Dancing is the perfect work-out for me because it feel like fun, not work. I have re-applied perfume before going to salsa over the summer. Jo Loves Mango and Thai Lime courtesy of Lady Jane Grey and Osmanthus Interdite. Nothing too heavy, although perfume at a dance is a lot less intrusive than at a gym, I think

    • Olfactoria says:

      I totally agree, dancing is the perfect sport. I used to do ballroom dancing and I loved it so much. The problem is you need a partner… my old dancing partner moved away and I haven’t found another one since. :(

  22. arline says:

    I love working out, and with yoga, I work inside and out!!! Yes, I always wear something. I have recently started running (which was not my favorite activity in the past), because I am being drawn to do so. It is usually at 530 am, By the time I hit the pavement, I have been up for a little bit, and have anointed myself with several essential oils. (another weird thing for me, is my new friendship with jasmine sambac, I have been using the heck out of it, for the same reasons as I am running).

    Im gonna wear fragrance no matter what, period. Hopefully I offend no one, and spread positive energy and leave a joyful olfactory trail as I move through my run, my yoga practice and my life.

  23. Figuier says:

    No gym for me – I hate the way they smell! – but for exercise I do yoga in a nice wood-polish-scented community hall and outdoor cycling/jogging. If remnants of the morning’s scent are still wafting it doesn’t bother me, but I’d never apply perfume just before. Everything just smells way too strong once my pulse gets going.

  24. Lavanya says:

    I just can’t bring myself to go to the gym regularly either. Yoga was the only exercise I could (sort of) sustain but I haven’t gone in a year..*gasp*..I do like wearing a dab of something not too overwhelming though, when I do go. I remember enjoying heure exquise last year during yoga. Usually if I’m going straight from work, it is a sample of whatever I happen to have in my bag.

    P.S – oh and the previous comment was me from the wrong acct- please delete..:)

  25. Amy Bella says:

    I have been doing P90X workouts at home after work and I really enjoy the way many SOTD’s come back from the dead and bloom all over again when I get hot and sweaty. I don’t usually perfume up if I am going to a yoga or dance class, though. I like the idea of having a workout fragrance, though… something that motivates me (like music!) through a tough workout!

  26. Philipp says:

    Absolutely not. I never wear perfume when I go cycling or hiking. To me these are moments that do not warrant me being perfumed, especially since I will take a shower shortly afterwards anyway.

  27. lila says:

    I work out six days of the week and I almost always wear perfume when I do. Fortunately, I have a gym set up in my basement and I go for runs outside so I don’t have to worry about offending anyone but myself. I usually like to try a new perfume while I’m working out. All of that moving around and sweating really gives me a good idea if it’s a keeper or not and I shower afterwards so I don’t have to worry about committing to the scent all day. I love to have a beautiful aura of scent surrounding me while I’m huffing and puffing away and it gives me something to think about instead of “how much longer on this stupid treadmill?”. Since I use my work outs to test new scents I’ve never found a particular one that suits exercise, but it is an interesting notion. Maybe Tubereuse Criminelle? That menthol opening would be a good kick in the pants to get one moving.

  28. Tatiana says:

    Unless you count the fragrance left over from the day before, no I do not wear perfume to workout. I usually run, lift weights or ride my horses before I do anything else for the day.

  29. Hi Birgit,

    I saw this: “I don’t work out enough (i.e.: at all)” and laughed hysterically because I identify with that statement completely!. Besides, I’m not a big fan of the gym because ironically, it’s an unhealthy way to get healthy. I’d much prefer being out of the air-conditioning and in the sun, even if walking means I lose less calories than running in the gym. But at least I get to smell the fresh air, and whatever smells pass my way!

  30. Tora says:

    I am a 60 year old devoted gym rat. I also ‘test’ all of my perfumes there. I started working out with weights after viewing Helmut Newton’s photographic essay of Lisa Lyons, when I was in my late 20’s. I modeled my body after hers. And I attained that heightened state of masculine/feminine body muscularity. What I also attained was the recognition that hard physical work made me feel outstanding. The 90 minutes I spend pushing my physical limits underneath weights and climbing stairways has allowed me to continue feeling like I am still 29. I perform deep bodywork and structural and neuromuscular massage all afternoon 5 days a week. I seriously doubt that I could rock this without my workout. And perfume is my fuel. I don’t eat before my work out. But I do apply whatever I am testing. As my skin heats up, I become enraptured with the development of the days perfume. Sometimes, I do have to hit the crappy generic liquid soap in the ladies room to scrub a loser. This is probably an overly long answer to the question, but perfume and working out are a very big part of my life, so I just had to weigh in.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for weighing in Tora, I really appreciate it. Excercise should be a part of my life too and I really want to get there, that moment when I can say I want to do this, not I have to

  31. masha7 says:

    My DH and I are currently 3 weeks into Shaun T’s Insanity program, and it is exactly that, insane, and we are insane to do it. Before I crash to the ground like a dead squirrel at the end of a workout, I catch of whiff of SJP’s Covet. It’s a cheap-and-cheerful chocolate-herbal-floral thing, and for some reason I feel more energetic when I wear it, which is weird, because it has a lot of lavender. Ah, well!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Noooo!!! My husband proudly proclaimed that he would do this (totally insane) programm too last summer, but after one time, I have to see him get in gear for the second time yet… ;)
      You are amazing, Marla! I am in awe of you!!!

  32. citypark says:

    I went to the gym before I fell into the rabbit hole, so I didn’t wear any perfume. But I then wore perfume when walking the dog/s. Maybe I should do that again (wearing perfume, not walking the dog, that’s a daily routine).

  33. Ines says:

    Not really. I might have some on after workday but I don’t apply any before working out.

  34. Jackie b says:

    Ha, perfume to make you run…that would be worth marketing!

  35. Great question Birgit. I have actually used that time to test out fragrances as I knew it would speed the process up. Nevertheless, even if I’m not testing anying, I do apply fragrance before working out.

  36. laniersmith says:

    I used to work out like a fiend in my youth. I never wore a fragrance then to the gym. Now I work out at the computer and I always have a perfume on. For me that is the best workout these days.

  37. I’m actually one of those oddballs who loves working out. I do wear scent when I exercise, either at the gym or at home and generally either reach for Il Profumo Musc Bleu or Tom Ford Neroli Portofino. For exercise, I prefer perfumes that are fresh and clean. I don’t want anyone tripping me on the treadmill for assaulting them in the gym with a strong, challenging scent first thing in the morning!

  38. Dovey says:

    I was just thinking Hermés Un Jardin Sur le Nil as well (that is, if I did work out). It seems like a perfect light scent that would fit the occasion, and a number of other occasions really… :)

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