Monday Question – What Is The Best Perfume To Make A Good First Impression?

Which perfume would you wear for a job interview?

Which one for a first date?

What perfumes are projecting an ideal version of you?

How would you like to be seen by others and which perfume smells like that?

My Answer:

My “I’m an intelligent and competent person, please hire me!” perfume is Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon or – a mainstream scent with the same feel – Bottega Veneta.

On a first date, I would go a slightly different route, in addition to being perceived as intelligent, I’d like to add touch of “She’s pretty!” and for that I use Parfums MDCI Rose de Siwa or Guerlain’s Rose Barbare. For the third date (or thereabouts) I’d ditch the pretty and go for sensual, something like Frapin 1697 or Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan worn in moderation, would work just fine.

When I think about idealized versions of myself, when I try to conjure my inner Grace Kelly for instance, I wear Armani Privé La Femme Bleue, my inner Femme Fatale is released by the inimitable Rubj by Vero Profumo.

There is also a perfume that helps when I don’t feel confident, when I’m vulnerable but need to be anything but: this is where my suit of armor comes in – Onda. There is nothing quite like Onda to inspire confidence.

What are the perfumes that bring out your best side? What makes you shine?


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56 Responses to Monday Question – What Is The Best Perfume To Make A Good First Impression?

  1. Tatiana says:

    I agree with 31 Rue Cambon and Bottega Veneta as good interview scents. They happen to be my “go to” scents of late. It’s been 24 years since I’ve had a first date, so I’m stumped there. For a “What not to wear”, my daughter went on a blind date last year and she wore Lonestar Memories. I thought it was a bit much for a first date. She never saw him again.

  2. Lady Jane Grey says:

    My smart job-interview choice would be L’Artisan’s Vetiver C. Sacre, or Lutens’ Gris Claire (moderately used). To the first date I’d boldly go with Dove’s Danger !

  3. Sandra says:

    Fun question which got me thinking. For a job interview (depends on the job I suppose) I would go for Parfums MDCI Enlèvement au Sérail which gives me confidence. For a first date I would have to go with Dior Mitzah as it is easily likable and wearable or some Louve by Kilian just to calm my nerves.

  4. lucasai says:

    To me Prada make great first impressions. Amber Pour Homme, Amber Pour Homme Intense or Infusion d’Homme are suitable both for a job interview and for a date.

  5. Safran says:

    Great questions! I like the idea to compare a job interview situation with a first date! For a job interview on a warm or hot day I would pick Bigarade Concentree, during the rest of the year I would take 10 Corso Como. For a first date, definitely Carnal Flower, very moderately used.
    For an idealized version of myself I would probably choose Homage from Amouage, which is a kind of bigger-than-life scent to me.


  6. annemariec says:

    Hmm … I do have a job interview coming up in about 10 days but it is likely to be a phone interview so I could wear Fracas if I liked! For a face to face interview I definitely agree with 31 RC or Bottega Venenta. Also Chanel No 5 EP. To relax myself I might go for Goutal’s Heure Exquise or SSS’s Nostalgie. If it was an afternoon interview I might risk Estee Lauder’s Private Collection (which should have settled by then) or maybe even Chanel No 19 EDP. And this may sound crazy but I adore Rochas Femme in the winter, and if you mix it with unscented lotion you can keep the sillage nice and intimate. I certainly would not expect to be hugged by anyone on the interview panel!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I had to laugh out loud about you wearing potentially Fracas for your phone interview. 🙂
      I hope it goes well!

      • annemariec says:

        Thanks Birgit, I’m realising what an unusual situation this is. I can wear literally any perfume I like, regardless of style or sillage. So I’m thinking of going with something drop-dead gorgeous like vintage Dioressence, or Dior’s Ambre Nuit. And just on Amber Nuit – in your (second) review you mention its beautiful sillage and I agree, but I find that AN shrink quite closely to the skin after about half an hour – is that your experience too?

        • Olfactoria says:

          No, Ambre Nuit stays quite noticeable on me for hours. It is not too “in your face”, but I would certainly not say it ever wears closely…

          Wearing something you feel invincible in, is surely an excellent idea. Dioressence – hmmm, perfect!

  7. Dubaiscents says:

    I would have to go with Hermes Santal Massoia or maybe Cuir de Lancome for a job interview (both would help calm my nerves and are not too much) and Amouage Honour Woman for a first date because the combo of BWF and sexy leather and amber gives me confidence and makes me extra gorgeous but not so strange you worry about offending someone :-). For a general confidence booster I would have to go with Chinatown or Kerosene’s Copper Skies, you can’t help but smile when wearing these!

  8. Tara says:

    When reading your question about which perfume to wear on a job interview I immediately thought of 31 Rue Cambon too. I also agree with something pretty and rosy for a first date, maybe Brulure de Rose.

    I’m yet to find a perfume that reflects my ideal self but vintage Vol de Nuit comes closest. I really need a confidence building vetiver like Onda but I guess Cuir de Russie might fulfill that category for me at the moment. Femme Fatale, I’d say Portrait of a Lady.

    Great question, B!

  9. Suzanne says:

    Job Interview: Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss parfum
    1st Date: Annick Goutal Heure Exquise or Yosh Ginger Ciao
    3rd Date: Amouage Jubilation 25 or Chanel Coco
    Idealized version of myself: Amouage Opus I, Chanel No. 22, Hermes 24 Faubourg, Puredistance Antonia
    Inner Femme Fatale: MFK Absolue Pour le Soir and Amouage Jubilation 25

  10. Ellia says:

    I would wear on a job interview Prada – Eau l’Ambre, Chanel – 31 Rue Cambon or Trish McEvoy – Trish… For the 1st date I could wear l’Artisan – Safran Troublant, Hermes – Vanille Galante, Lutens – Daim Blond or SoOud – Hajj – depending on a season and my mood 🙂
    Femme fatale – Amouage Lyric Woman… always)))

  11. Gretchen says:

    I love seeing everyone’s suggestions; I wish this were posted a few months ago, when I was in the thick of interviewing (whew, that’s over!). Here are my contributions:

    Interview: Un Matin d’Orage or Debut; First Date: Arpege or Ambre 114; Ideal Version of Me: Alahine, 24 Faubourg or L’Heure Bleue; Femme Fatale: Carnal Flower

  12. Gretchen says:

    Thanks much! I wore different things, depending on how hot it was…the Goutal and DelRae, and I snuck in Bois de Violette and Arpege on some days, when I was meeting with senior leadership or younger staff. Now, I need to pick a First Day at Work scent!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Have a great start at your new job!

    • honeydawn says:

      Oooooooo, Gretchen! “Promise her anything…but give her ARPEGE.” I’ve been looking into buying a bottle for weeks now! It was sooo-soooo grown-up and lady-like when I was a wee one and my mom and the “ladies who lunched” wore it, but it has a very low-key sexy vibe. I am having a mini- love- affair with vintage Lanvin right now. I want to try some “My Sin”, too.

  13. Amy Bella says:

    I interviewed someone years ago who was wearing waaaaay too much perfume. I got a wicked headache from sitting with her in a tiny office for an hour. Spritz lightly, job seekers! That experience colors my choice – I’d go for something woody without a lot of projection. Maybe a smidge of Tam Dao or Kilian Pure Oud. (I just can’t stop wearing Pure Oud!)

  14. SonomaVelvets says:

    Bel Respiro, once settled would be what I would want to wear to an interview, meeting. I think it’s discrete and beautiful, elegant and ladylike but not too stand offish. I find it’s accessible green refreshes and makes me feel beautiful and confident. I think my first date perfume, which I would hope would be somewhat on the casual side would be for me, not my most womanly perfume, but one that feels gracefully feminine. Something cheerful like AA Lys Soleia, again once settled, would be perfect I think. I would save my more ‘I’m a WOMAN’ fragrances for a little further along the dating sequence.

  15. Bee says:

    agree with RC31 and bottega veneta for work (they are among my staples, I’d add Ormonde J Woman too, but that’s good for everything),so too much work, not enough dates..what would I wear? it’s getting cooler, maybe Lumière noire, Dzing!, PG’s Felanilla or Ormonde J Ta’if? (dosage increasing with number of dates?) For myself the stronger ones (tuberose criminelle, absolue pour le soir, black oud)

  16. Anthra says:

    From my own collection I would choose:
    – job interview: Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre
    – first date: Roméa d’Améor Les Souveraines d’Egypte
    – third date: Nez à Nez Bal Musqué
    – idealized version of myself: Carner Barcelona Tardes
    – confidence bringer: still searching for such a fragrance

  17. honeydawn says:

    Everyone has chosen such beautiful scents; I feel rather old-school in my choices, lol. With all the allergies and sensitives in the workplace I wouldn’t wear anything on my interview until I learned what the company’s policy was on scent in their workplace. Some folk overload so much that those with breathing issues or allergies really suffer. If it was my second interview and the scent thing was OK, I would wear a classic and very gently, too…something like Chanel #5 perfume, gentle dabs on the pulse points with the stopper…

    As for a first date…depends on the man, my mood, where we are going, what we will be doing (if we’re doing a Yoga class, for example, I wouldn’t wear any, :-)). But if I’m pressed for any answer from y’all right now, rightthhisveryminute, what comes to mind is old-school Zen in the black bottle by Sheisido. It’s quietly dramatic and intimate and personal. He’d have lean a little closer to me to detect it, lol…or not. And wouldn’t that be my choice to begin with? 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are quite right, checking out the company’s scent policy is surely a wise thing to do, especially in the US and Canada, here in Europe things are a lot less rigid (yet) thankfully, so the workplace is not yet a perfume-restricted zone.

  18. honeydawn says:

    PS: As for a scent that makes me Shine: Currently, it’s “Tasnim–the perfume of the Warrior Poet” from Abdes Salaam Attar by Dominique Dubrana. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I wear it when my I want my life-force to be, well, forceful. Alive. Unattached to earthly things and yet totally in the moment here on the planet. Cheers!

  19. Dominic says:

    Hi everybody,
    So job interview – Mania by Armani
    Date – in the summer Womanity, in winter Samsara, and anytime Classique JPG
    Ideal vision of me Dior Addict, it’ll stay with me forever☺
    And I’d always want people to associate me with Guerlinade base, Insolence would be appropriate here.

  20. hajusuuri says:

    I try to project confidence for job interviews, first dates, etc. My go-to perfume is the very versatile Kelly Caleche.

  21. Undina says:

    I’ll answer your questions first and then read everybody else’s responses.

    For the job interview I’d wear No 19 parfum: I think it’s beautiful but not offensive. Usually I wear it to meetings in small conference rooms.

    For the first date (I really hope I’ll never be there again!) I’d wear something beautiful as well – Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if or Amouage Dia.

    There are no better-version-of-me or confident-me perfumes: I just do not need perfumes for those purposes.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hahaha, your last sentence is classic Undina! I have never seen someone so clear and confident like you, Undina, you surely don’t need any help in that department. I admire that very much!

      N°19 is the perfect work choice.

  22. I hope I’m not too late to add my answers, dear B. I generally wear soapy fragrances, citrusy colognes or soft musks when I work. I work very close to people, so I like to reinforce the fact that I am clean. I cannot wear anything invasive, even though I generally favor stronger potions. I haven’t had a first date or third in years (I’m married, you know), but I think Onda -your suit of armour- would work great for a third date. So would of course, the more obvious but no less wonderful Musc Ravageur.
    I guess I don’t care enough about making a good first impression, but I rather wear fragrances to empower or soothe me, depending on the case. That said, I think Dia would be a very versatile that could make favorable impressions in different situations.


    • Olfactoria says:

      Never too late, dear Caro!
      I can see how it is important to wear soft and clean scents since you are working up close with people.
      It’s a good thing you get to wear your heavy-hitters at least privately. 🙂

  23. A thoughtful post! I can’t just choose one for each category!!!
    – job interview: on the day I’d choose from No 5 Eau Premiere, Prada Infusion D’iris, L’Artisan Mure et Musc, O de L’Orangerie or Guerlain Vetiver
    – first date: Neela Vermeire Mohur, Prada Eau Ambree or Candy.
    – third date: No 5 parfum, Nuit de Tubereuse or SSS Rose Musc.
    – idealized version of myself: Kilian Amber Oud, Amouage Gold or Cristalle.
    – confidence bringer: Chanel Beige, No 5 parfum, Shalimar Initial, Seville a L’Aube or Bottega Veneta.

  24. Cybele says:

    Job interview: Vetiver pour Elle,
    Dates: By Kilian Love or Gucci Envy. I would probably decide for one and let the power of repetiton work for me. Cristalle has a lot to do with me and my grounding scent is Homage Amouage.

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