Yesterday I was at Staples picking up a printer cartridge. As is my habit I walked through the tablet section to view and evaluate the new offerings in portable computing devices. I wasn’t alone, there was a very well dressed professional, slowly walking down the line inspecting each tablet.
From a distance I wondered if he was an internationally educated professional (IEPs), recently arrived or a native born Canadian. As I passed by him I was hit by a very strong cloud of what was likely cologne. My guess he was internationally educated professional. Most Canadian professioanls do not wear perfumes or colognes.
It is important to note that there is a ban on perfumes, aftershaves and colognes in the Canadian workplace. Why? The ban is similar to that placed on cigarettes, in consideration of others who may have allergies or an aversion to manufactured perfumes. Many people simply cannot abide by the smell of perfumes in public places. In my case I become very ill for the remainder of the day.
There is a precedent in parts of the Middle East, Africa and Eurasia that perfumes equate to cleanliness.
Presently the ban on perfumes in the workplace in Canada is the cultural norm. I imagine that many hiring managers with little experience working with IEPs will assume that the use of perfume may offend coworkers or clients. There are exceptions of cours.
Feel free to ask any Canadian what the public consensus is on the use of colognes in the workplace. Similar to a poorly delivered handshake, the use of colognes ltends to raise flags that will work against you.
This is very interesting blog. It will be beneficial to IEPs who are integrating into Canadian culture. Latin Americans often use perfume for cleanliness.
By the way, perfumes in Japan are okay as long as they are not too strong. However even the imported scented hand creams were hated in my company. It was not because of allergies, it was more due to the disturbance of strong odours.