Monday Question – Do You Wear Perfume When Working Out?

Do you always wear perfume when you are physically very active?

What is your favorite work out fragrance?

Are you afraid to bother others?

Or do you prefer to go au naturel for certain activities?


My Answer:

When I go to a Pilates class I do wear perfume, but very little and I select very light and airy ones. I don’t want to get overwhelmed myself and I certainly don’t want to bother others (less out of concern for their wellbeing, to be perfectly honest here, but because I don’t want to be the source of eyerolling and controversy. 😉 )

When I do yoga at home I actually like to have the additional sensory pleasure of a perfume I love, and since I am alone I’m free to indulge in whatever strikes my fancy at the time.

How about you?

Do sports and scents mix?


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53 Responses to Monday Question – Do You Wear Perfume When Working Out?

  1. Ha Ha Ha ha! WORKING OUT! Ha ha hahahaha.
    We started yoga recently and I like to wear perfume oil. Chenonceau by King’s Palace Perfumery or one of the Smell Bent’s either Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered or Hippy Holidaze. The oils are rich but soft and wear close to my skin, selfish enjoyment.
    Portia xx

    • Olfactoria says:


      A drop of oil sounds like a very good idea, Portia.

    • SallyM says:

      Guffaws along with Portia… My first thought on reading the question was “Working out? Oh dear I wont be able to respond to this one” so I’m really glad to read your reply! Like you though, I also do yoga and will wear an essential oil in a carrier base which aids in the meditative aspect of the process. Notes vary – lavender, cedar, sandalwood.

  2. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Well, I go to Pilates directly from the office, so I still have the rest from my parfum of the day. When I go from home to training I don’t use parfum.
    I used to go to yoga (ages ago…) and I liked to have a very light spritz of Dzonghka on my wrist.

  3. Ines says:

    Well, as most of my workouts are after work, what is left of my perfume is what I have on me (I don’t apply any more).
    If it’s a workout in the weekend, first thing in the morning, then I don’t apply anything (as I’ll be taking a shower afterwards).
    Although, one place where I do apply perfume when going for a “workout” is skiing. 🙂

  4. Sabine says:

    All of my Pilates classes are around lunch time so I will already wear something, but I chose accordingly. A light cologne or a skin scent. Today I go for a kettlebell class which is run by a woman who says she is allergic to perfume. I like her a lot and don’t want to impose my hobby on her, so Monday mornings are perfume free.

  5. Sandra says:

    I started up with the stationary bike again and since I bike at 0515 I do not wear any perfume. Who knows how I will feel when the flat heats up to 30 though – I might have to spritz a light cologne just to muster up the energy to bike. 🙂

  6. Alexandra says:

    I try to do Bikram Yoga at least twice a week and perfume and Bikram absolutely don’t mix. As it’s the end of the day I hope my perfume has mostly worn off, but I do get distracted by anyone else wearing a scent, in the heat it can just become overwhelming – so for group exercise I vote NO!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I can imagine that perfume just won’t work in that setting. I’m a bit (okay, very) afraid of Bikram yoga. I think I would collapse all the time… 😦

      • Alexandra says:

        I found it incredibly intimidating at first, but now the heat is part of the experience and I find myself craving it!

        • Olfactoria says:

          One of these days, I’ll try it (with your assurance that I will manage somehow!) 🙂

          • Alexandra says:

            I paid for 10 classes up front as part of a deal and that is the ONLY reason I went back after the appalling first class, second wasn’t much better, 3rd & 4th meh, but then… oh so addictive!

  7. poodle says:

    I wear perfume to work out but I don’t overdo it just to be safe. I do wear enough for me to smell it because I’d rather smell my perfume than the sweat of the guy on the next treadmill over from me at the gym. If I’m working out at home or doing yard work anything is possible. Yesterday I shoveled mulch wearing jubilation 25.

  8. Connie says:

    My main source of exercise is ballroom practice, and I do generally wear perfume for it, or wear whatever remains from what I was wearing during the day. I find that fragrances help get me in the mood or into the attitude of whichever dance I’m working on- that said, I don’t have specific scents that I wear for ballroom. Though Bois des Iles has gotten a lot of wear on competition days.

  9. Farouche says:

    Just a tiny amount of Eau de Merveilles on my chest during yoga class to be enjoyed during downward facing dog :).

  10. Hernando says:

    My HC is in my building and is rarely crowded so never feel I will bother others ( I might think twice about group classes though). I work out in the morning which gives me a chance to try samples out (no heavy or date night frags). It is a good way to smell how a scent develops on the skin as the body changes temperature. Also nice to see which ones get compliments when I sign in! A testing ground of sorts.

  11. Tora says:

    I love to wear perfume to the gym. If I am testing a new fragrance, it is a great place to experience the whole spectrum of notes as it heats up and dries down. There are certain scents that just are not appropriate, though. Heavy orientals, odd musks, weird leathers etc. I like to wear incense, vanillas, light floral and citrus perfumes. In the winter a lighter amber like 114 would be good. I sure would rather smell my perfume wafting while on the stairmaster, instead of some of the other smells at the gym…..

    • Olfactoria says:

      A very good point. A new perfume gets a thorough testing under those circumstances.
      I also agree with you about the smells in gyms (hate these places…)

  12. nemo says:

    I don’t reapply, but I go to the gym after work. Usually at that point I can’t smell anything until I really start exerting myself, and then sometimes my perfume from earlier in the day will reappear in a wonderfully sneaky and surprising way. I’ve had people tell me before that I always smell so GOOD when I am sweaty (which I thought was funny). This is slightly more important than usual, perhaps, because I also get into relatively close contact while doing martial arts (and I know that I appreciate when my partner smells good!).

    • Olfactoria says:

      You must be a great partner to work with! 🙂

    • Bee says:

      I agree, sports in the evening have a boosting effect on any scent applied in the morning, that makes the gym more fun. I cannot say that I prefer any scent specifically, but the last time it happened was with L’amandière, I that was nice! my sample is really dwindling now, so maybe I do need a full bottle

  13. Suzanne says:

    If I’m going for a run, I will sometimes wear perfume and especially like to use a perfume that I’m planning to write about, because I like to see how it stands up to the heat, so to speak. 😀 I also like to wear certain perfumes that make me feel energetic, like Calyx, for running. But if I’m going into the Y to work out on the treadmill, I don’t wear perfume, to spare the person working out next to me. 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying pilates, Birgit!

  14. cookie queen says:

    Only what´s left over from the morning. And as has been said, it often reappears, but only to our übersensitive noses I think! On saying that I do sometimes put a dab of something new on my hand. Just to see. Too much fragrance in the gym or wherever is extremely unpleasant, at least to my nose. I reckon the most important thing is a damn good deodorant, and luckily I get mine, unfragranced, from the US or GB as there is nothing here!!!!!! xxx

  15. I do. I find a good choice of fragrance stimulates me and helps me do a better class.
    Trayee and Classic Myrrh are my favorites for yoga. Graine de Joie and Cristalle take spinning class with me. When I need extra motivation, I spritz on Ubar or Lyric.



  16. Annina says:

    I usually don’t wear fragrance while working, I don’t think it’s appropriate to scent another woman’s birthing space! I do sometimes wear something really light , just on my neck. It’s very difficult to go ‘commando!’

    I have worn a half spritz of L’eau D’Hiver, Sienna Musk, any Pacifica scent (esp orange blossom), or a dab of Kuumba Made’s Oriental Musk. If I wear anything, it’s light and clean.

    It is hard, however, when I’ve been at a long birth. I start to need good smells, and my body tends to….well….need to ‘freshen up.’. I keep an emergency stash of decants in my bag.

    I do wear a tiny bit of the same aforementioned scents to yoga.

  17. Tatiana says:

    Unless you consider the remnants of scent from the previous day’s application, no. Makes no sense to me to apply perfume and then just come home an hour or two later to wash it all off. Not sure I could stand the intensity of the smell after getting all hot and sweaty.

  18. Eva S says:

    Often I go straight from work (where I’m unscented) to my Pilates class or whatever. If I do use perfume I try to do it sparingly, and no big scents so not to bother those around me. Although my Pilates teacher actually likes perfume and have complimented my scents more than once!

  19. isabeau1977 says:

    When I go for a run after working hours..then I wear what ever I am up to, but in the weekends when I go for a run with my husband and friends, or also when running a half marathon I always wear Molecule 01 or 02.

  20. Vanessa says:

    On those rare occasions when I take exercise – invariably in the form of walking, like the 20 miles I did with two friends the other weekend – I just wear the perfume I happen to be wearing that day – or not. The great outdoors being different from a gym in terms of personal space of course.

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