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Should Teens Wear Perfume to School?

By Kay Ireland ; Updated June 13, 2017

While your teen might be dying to spritz herself in her new perfume before school, wearing fragrance may not be appropriate in a class setting. Classmates or teachers could be sensitive to the smell, which could make for an embarrassing situation for your teen. By finding out the school rules and teaching your teen the right way to apply perfume, she can indulge in her favorite fragrance without offending anyone.

School Policy

Before you consider whether or not it's appropriate for your teen to wear perfume to school, check her school policy. Policies and rules are sometimes sent home via a booklet, but are often available online as well. Depending on the school rules, perfume could be disallowed completely, in which case your teen will have to save her scent for a special occasion instead of wearing it to class.

Fragrance Sensitivity

Even if the school has no specific rules against the wearing of perfume by students, your teen may want to consider the fact that some classmates and teachers could have a fragrance sensitivity. According to, perfume can be made with any number of chemicals that are sometimes untested on humans. Even if your teen tolerates the scent well, others might experience side effects like sneezing, watery, itchy eyes and headaches, especially when perfume is worn heavily.


If your teen can't wear perfume to school or has been warned that someone has a fragrance sensitivity, she can save the perfume for the weekend. She still might be able to wear some type of scent, however, especially if it's lighter and more natural than a typical perfume. Check into fragrant essential oils like rose oil, jasmine or Moroccan oil, all which have mild, pleasant scents without any synthetics. Or, swap the perfume for a lighter body spray if a heavy-handed application is the culprit of scent offense.

Application Tips

If your teen decides that she wants to wear perfume to school, teach her how to apply it properly. Some teens can apply perfume too liberally, which can trigger sensitivity and come off as too strong in the tight confines of a classroom. Instead, light application is best -- Sophia Grojsman, senior perfumer at International Flavors & Fragrances in New York, tells Allure magazine that you should hold the bottle 5 to 7 inches from the body and should never see moisture on your skin afterward. If you do, you're holding the bottle too close. Or, try this foolproof method for application: Have your teen spray the perfume once in the air and then walk through the mist for the ideal light application.

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