There are few jobs more rewarding than working as a healthcare professional. However, wearing perfume at work may not always be an option for every healthcare worker. Some fragrances can be overpowering and the chemicals within them could set off allergies in your patients. This could result in breathing difficulties and other problems.
In some healthcare settings, perfume is not allowed. But there are some hospitals that allow their employees to wear light, inoffensive perfume. Then that begs the question: what is the best perfume for nurses and doctors? I’d like to introduce you to a few of my favorite subtle and inoffensive perfumes.
Watch this video about perfumes to wear if you work in healthcare:
1. Un Jardin Sur Le Nil Hermès
Designed for use by men and women, Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is a brilliant choice for nurses, doctors, and hospital staff. It is a fresh and fruity fragrance that boasts a light sillage and is anything but offensive.
But just because Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is light, that doesn’t mean it’s not unique. This is one of the most distinctive compositions I have ever seen. Notes of mango, tomato, and carrot come before lotus, bulrush, musk, peony, and cinnamon.
While Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is not strong, it will last a long time so if you’ve got a drawn-out overnight shift, you won’t need to worry about taking the bottle with you.
2. Glossier You
You by Glossier has fast become one of the most popular modern perfumes. For younger doctors and nurses, this unisex fragrance is ideal. You is a floral, musky scent that feels incredibly clean and doesn’t offend the nose.
In fact, from personal experience, I can tell you that you have to get very close to someone wearing You to catch a proper whiff. If you’re looking for a fragrance that will make you feel good without irritating your patients, this is perfect.
3. Chance Eau Fraiche Chanel
Chanel is known for its rich, elegant, and intense fragrances. While Chance Eau Fraiche is certainly elegant, it won’t blow anyone away when you’re checking their vitals. Chance Eau Fraiche is a light chypre fragrance for women that is incredibly classy.
Perhaps you’re a successful consultant that wants to show off your sophistication without upsetting anyone. Chance Eau Fraiche, with its gentle bursts of jasmine, iris, and musk will see you through the day with its long-lasting scent.
But don’t worry, it’ll only be obvious to anyone you get very up close and personal with.
4. Pure Musc by Narciso Rodriguez
There is a slightly stronger version of Pure Musc called Pure Musc Absolu but that’s not suitable for healthcare workers. However, if you like that scent and want something a little less in your face then Pure Musc is perfect.
This is a floral woody perfume with a very simple composition so it’s not likely to upset anyone. Musk, floral notes, and cashmere blend together to make a very feminine and gentle fragrance. It projects just enough so that those nearby will have a light whiff and also remains on the skin very well.
I would point out that I personally feel this is a more mature scent. For medical students fresh out of university, this might feel a little dated.
5. L’Air Du Temps Nini Ricci
I mean, before we even talk about how great L’Air Du Temps is for nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers, let’s take a moment to appreciate the bottle. If you can’t have a loud perfume, you might as well have loud packaging, and this one screams glam.
The scent inside is a light floral fragrance that has been popular for more than half a century since its release in 1948. Since this is a floral aldehydic perfume, it’s going to be more suited to a mature lady. While L’Air Du Temps is a delicate scent, it outlasts some of the more in-your-face perfumes I’ve tried. A quick spritz before starting work will see you through the day, even if there’s an emergency and you end up having to stay behind.
6. Estee Lauder Modern Muse
A lot of the Estee Lauder perfumes are much gentler on the nose which is why I immediately thought of Modern Muse when deciding which perfume is best for nurses. Modern Muse is a floral composition with heady notes of jasmine.
Jasmine is a universally loved scent so it’s unlikely to cause offense when you’re working. What’s more, the perfume has a moderate projection that I think is ideal for healthcare workers who aren’t in regular direct close contact with patients.
7. Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Camellia
Green Tea Camellia is part of the larger Green Tea range from Elizabeth Arden. All of the perfumes are light and fresh but I particularly like the exotic floral theme of this one and how it dries down to something rich and spicy.
That might make you think that Green Tea Camellia is too overpowering but that isn’t the case. It’s actually beautifully light and almost has an airy quality to it. When you’re working around sick people that don’t want to be choked out by fragrance, this easy-to-wear, inoffensive EDT is a perfect choice.
I should point out though, that the longevity isn’t fantastic. You may need to pack a bottle in your bag and top up part way through your shift.
8. Guerlain Vetiver
Refined older male doctors will do well to wear Vetiver by Guerlain; this is a really elegant and sophisticated fragrance that just suits an established gentleman. Being one of the world’s most classic scents, I think it’s a perfect cologne for doctors.
Vetiver is an aromatic fragrance relaunched in 2000 that’s remained hugely popular. While the rich notes of tobacco, vetiver, pepper, leather, and myrrh are very prominent, they’re not overpowering. The fragrance projects just enough so that a patient might catch a slight whiff from across your desk. Moreover, I think Vetiver is a really comforting scent that could work well when you’re dealing with anxious or nervous patients.
9. Armani Acqua Di Gio
Acqua Di Gio is one of the most popular men’s scents and is a great cologne for doctors or nurses in a hospital setting. This is an aromatic aquatic fragrance with a hugely complex blend of notes. If you don’t want to keep it simple in terms of composition then this will allow you to show off your personality at work.
But Acqua Di Gio won’t be over the top. You can be characterful without invading the nostrils of colleagues and patients. This cologne is light, uplifting, and fresh smelling. Many say this is quite a natural scent and I have to agree. But Acqua Di Gio is also versatile enough that you could also use it for other occasions such as lunch out, vacations, or day-to-day wear.
10. Victoria’s Secret Love Spell
If you’re a young nurse, fresh out of college, and want a youthful perfume for nurses that aren’t going to land you in trouble at work, I would massively recommend Love Spell. This is a fun fragrance bursting with fruity notes that goes on delicately and should last long enough to cover a whole shift.
Love Spell might not be overly prominent once you’ve finished work, but that’s a good thing if you’re looking for something that isn’t going to cause a stir. It’ll start off gently, gradually fading to something only you can smell. And with peach, red apple, and cherry blossom, you’ll get all that deliciousness to yourself.
11. Creed Green Irish Tweed
Green Irish Tweed is a super luxurious and hugely classy fragrance for men. If you’re looking for a cologne for doctors then this fits the bill amazingly. When I think of an older gentleman still working as a doctor with a gentle bedside manner and all the sophistication in the world, I imagine him wearing this.
An uplifting green fragrance with notes of iris, lemon verbena, and sandalwood, Green Irish Tweed is a mature and inoffensive perfume. It’s super delicate but it stays on the skin for a long time so is perfect for doctors that work long hours and want to feel fresh all day.
12. Ralph by Ralph Lauren
I have a lot of nursing friends who swear by this perfume because of how fresh and uplifting it is without taking over the entire ward. If you’re a fan of floral fragrances then Ralph by Ralph Lauren has some notes that will really appeal to you including freesia, magnolia, and iris.
I love this perfume because of how feminine it is. If you’re a healthcare worker, it’s also a scent that is pretty generic so there won’t be many people that will be offended by it. With a truly delicate projection, it’s hardly likely to irritate any allergies. In fact, it’s so light and clean that you’d have to get very up close and personal to get a nose full!
FAQs about Perfume in Healthcare
Can nurses wear perfume?
Not all hospitals allow their nursing staff to wear perfume. If you’re starting a new job as a nurse, it’s important to check the hospital’s policy on fragrance.
Can doctors wear perfume?
Similar to nurses, some doctors will be able to wear perfume depending on the policy of the hospital they work at. Some hospitals have completely banned fragrances while others only allow a delicate scent.
Are scents allowed in the hospital?
There are no laws that state perfume cannot be worn in hospitals. However, there are some workplaces that have banned them owing to the risks for sensitive patients and staff members. Moreover, if you work in a hospital and are sensitive to fragrance, you can speak to human resources to arrange a scent-free workplace.
Does the CDC allow fragrance?
Working at the CDC, you will be asked to go fragrance-free as part of their new policy. This applies to any fragranced product used in an indoor area of the site including fragranced laundry products, personal hygiene products, and of course, perfume.
How to wear perfume subtly without overpowering?
To limit how strong your perfume is, the best thing to do is apply it more sparingly. This can be done by dabbing a small amount on your skin rather than liberally spraying it. You can also use it on your clothes as opposed to your skin for a gentler scent.
For a very light fragrance, try adding a few drops of perfume to your body lotion and massaging this into your skin.
What’s the reason for not wearing perfume before surgery?
It is essential not to wear perfume before having surgery due to the fact that it contains alcohol. Sometimes, surgeons will use equipment, such as cauterization devices which could cause the alcohol in perfume to spark, resulting in a fire.
What does a fragrance-free policy mean?
A fragrance-free policy is implemented by an organization and promotes an environment free from any kind of scent. This includes the removal of any scented products such as air fresheners, perfumes, deodorizers, personal hygiene products, and anything else that has been artificially fragranced.