Day 214 — What’s That Smell?

Corporate SenseGenerally, offices smell benign, compared to men.

Exception: A restaurant. Its smell defines its business. You expect to smell fried food in a diner but not in a pizza place.

Men also define themselves by their smell. Unfortunately, few men know how to choose such an important first-impression element.

I once dated a man who wore Old Spice, and he was old. I upgraded him to an Andy Tauer perfume. He liked. I liked, and we landed on a new plane of love. I’ve also dated men with body order, which is as bad as an employee who microwaves leftover fish in the microwave.

When either happens, I make as fast an exit as possible.

Getting your smell right is tricky business. Women tend to become seduced by celebrity-label perfumes, which are often strong and obnoxious. I doubt if the celebrities who hawk them actually wear the perfume that bears their name.

While I don’t like office odors from leftover lunches, poor hygiene and perfume choices by employees, I think offices could do a better job of creating olfactory experiences to create fantasy vacations since everyone is petrified of taking time off. Losing that cubicle space is a big deal during these hard times.

After sight, scent is the most important of our five senses, and our noses are emotional time machines.

Think of the possibilities. If a boss didn’t want to outright fire someone because he’d fear retaliation, he could concoct an essence that smelled really bad, such as the odor of an Egyptian mummy, or an offbeat aroma—a sports changing room—and get the person to resign voluntarily.

Or, instead of a raise, how about delivering a “seaside theme” of coconut spice and other tropical scents through the company’s HVAC system to create an unforgettable employee experience of being on vacation.

Using signature scents to brand a business and keep employees in line could be a breakthrough of sorts for employers. Think of it as the smell of success.


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