Career Woman Diaries: The Red Door

What's your message? In the highly-recommended book I raved about, called Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire, I distinctly remember my favorite author, Mireille Guiliano, discuss how one's choice of scent affects how people perceive one in the workplace.

In business, the scent of a strong perfume can mean disaster at a job interview or a dinner party with fine wine and food. All you really need is a light fresh scent for the warm months and a spicy or musky one for the cold months. My mother's perfume is my perfume, Chanel No. 5, the celebrated jasmine and rose infused fragrance chosen by Coco Chanel in 1921.

 "Two drops of Chanel No. 5 is what I wear to sleep," says the sexiest kitten of all time, Marilyn Monroe.

That of course, is another kind of message a scent conveys. Most days, I convey to the world that I am a free-spirited girl. On casual days, my scent of choice is The Body Shop's White Musk, a casual, just-stepped-out-of-the-shower scent that I like, and alternately, Versace's Bright Crystal. On days that I need a citrusy, youthful vibe to communicate a rather young endeavor, I wear my signature scent, Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC. A rather more youthful scent I like using, especially when I'm wearing summer colors, is Acqua Colonia in Royal Riesling.

For a day where I would have to swallow my pride, face people of higher positions, people of executive wisdom and days I would not like to be seen juvenile, I choose Elizabeth Arden's Red Door.

Here's the thing: There was that day that I have completely forgotten to spritz on perfume. On my way out of the car, I checked the backseats and found the box of Elizabeth Arden's Red Door lying.  I spritzed it on, threw it in my bag and just within the first hour of walking around the office for inter-department functions, a female senior colleague stopped to sniff {yes, she really stood close and smelled me} and asked what it was that I was wearing. I answered Red Door and more women came to smell me and we further launched into a full-on discussion about life, hankering for alone time {as for me, I have enough, thankyouverymuch}, and decision-making. While I've loved that I was always been everyone's daughter/little sister, I want to be seen as an equal when it comes to the workplace.

What better scent of course, than a scent that is used by women who mean business, women who are seduced by their passions of creating, of communicating to the world, of driving sales and numbers up, or at least of the same composition.

Red Door is pretty much in a nutshell, your musky and woody scent, with the following for its composition:

Top notes
– Lily of the Valley, Freesia, Wild Violets
Mid notes
– Red Rose, Moroccan Orange Flower, Jasmine, Ylang
Base notes
– Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Honey

The women I look up to in business have always had that signature scent. I cannot always identify which perfume they are wearing but it always smelled as if everything they say are no nonsense, wise, strong, ambitious, steering, driven, calculated and brilliant. Most of all, brilliant.

Admittedly, the Red Door smells far from a woman who's in her twenties --- but in the workplace, in the boardroom, or in business, there would certainly be days when a woman who smells like baby cologne is that last thing you want to be. Have I mentioned that the dry down is just divine?

Your perfume is your message. After all, one has to exit spectacular.

*Red Door is available at Rustan's. What's your business-y perfume?