Top 10 Safe For Work Perfumes 2015

Hey My Perfume Samples Crew,

It’s Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies, Perfume Posse and Olfactoria’s Travels and thrilled to be writing for one of my favourite Perfume Sample Sites. Over the next few months I hope to bring you some great information, maybe some ideas that you can use in your daily life, a selection of my favourite fragrances from the site and great ways and times to wear them.

If you like the look of something click the My Perfume Samples below the picture and it will take you directly to that perfume’s page for more information & pricing.


Top 10 Safe For Work Perfumes


For my first post I thought we could chat about some fragrances that are on the softer side but still have excellent longevity. With many workplaces allowing little to no scent we need to have a bunch of daily wear stuff that whispers to you only.

B. Balenciaga by Balenciaga FragranticaPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

B. Balenciaga by Balenciaga

A lovely fresh green that is happily sweet but not a sugar fest, maybe warm green rather than sweet green. Not a hardcore, dank green but a light and frothy one that works through a clean and soft powdery iris to a musky wood finish. Soft enough to wear in very confined spaces but with excellent longevity for secret, selfish huffing.

Bottega Veneta Eau Legere by Bottega VenetaPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

Bottega Veneta Eau Legere by Bottega Veneta

The original Bottega Veneta is one of my all time favourite fragrances but it can dominate a room. Here the clever perfumer Michel Almairac washes the scent through with water and creates a beautiful, light, dewy fresh version of the first Bottega Venetta. The patchouli and leather are gone, replaced with musk and gardenia. This is lush, easy work wear at its best.

DKNY Pure by DKNYPhoto MyPerfumeSamples


DKNY Pure is one of the bottles I had in my collection until agirlfriend loved it so much I really felt she should have it. I miss most of the notes listed to be honest and find DKNY Pure to be like a lazy afternoon at the beach when its not too hot and the water is perfect for dipping. It’s refreshing and elegant but quiet enough that it can be perfect work wear.

Eau de Magnolia by Frederic MallePhoto MyPerfumeSamples

Eau de Magnolia by Frederic Malle

Imagine sparkling lights drifting through a late winter/early spring Magnolia tree. You are lying in dappled shade curled up in whoever it is you loves armpit, reading a book after you’ve had a picnic, drinking orange juice & champagne. You can smell the earth returning to its warm spring scent, the magnolias are blooming and the leaves are budding. There’s fresh mown grass, a picnic rug and love. This is how Eau de Magnolia makes me feel, what a fragrance.

Five O'Clock Au Gingembre by Serge LutensPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

Five O’Clock Au Gingembre by Serge Lutens

Five O’Clock Gingembre was one of the first full bottles of niche fragrance I bought. The bright Earl Grey opening is cut through with delicious spices and herbs, the base is softly ambered and the honey gives it all a bit of an animalic growl. Sweet, green and spicy. Quite fragrant for the first 30 minutes and after that it hangs around in a very soft cloud of warmth that could be you, but it’s so much better.


Jeanne Couture by LanvinPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

Jeanne Couture by Lanvin

OK, imagine dewy wet strawberries picked at dawn, they are sweet and cold and delicious. That is how I smell Jeanne Couture’s opening. It then goes gorgeously soft and powdery with a woodsy ending but the sweet wet strawberries stay all the way through for me, softly weaving through the rest of the fragrance. Gorgeous and fun.

La Tulipe ByredoPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

La Tulipe by Byredo

My BFF has a bottle of this, La Tulipe is one of her signatures. It smells like a bunch of freshly cut tulips in a florist shop. Softly green and fully Air Conditioned. La Tulipe is cool, cooling and the coolest, whenever I’m around my BFF when she wears it it’s like getting a gorgeous icy blast from the fridge.


Mure et Musc LartisanPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

Mure et Musc by L’Artisan Parfumeur

Mure & Musc, who would ever think this gorgeous fruity musk stick had been created in 1978? Still it smells absolutely bang up to date with its opening of herbs and citrus, a heart filled with berries both black and red and with a whispered base of musk and oak moss. An incredibly classy version of the modern sugar bomb that will quietly lure them in to smell your gorgeous self. Take this with you for a respritz every 3-4 hours.


Narciso Rodriguez L'eau For Her by Narciso RodriguezPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

Narciso Rodriguez L’eau For Her by Narciso Rodriguez

Narciso Rodriguez is a designer who really wants the world to look and smell killer. In Narciso Rodriguez L’eau we have a less intense version of the original blockbuster. Rose and lily of the valley play the starring roles while a lovely dewy peony slightly warmed by amber and the cleanest patchouli play background, then smother the whole lot in white musks to dry down. Beautiful, together and poised.

Opus 1870 by Penhaligon'sPhoto MyPerfumeSamples

Opus 1870 by Penhaligon’s

Yes, Opus 1870 is directed at the men but I think every person needs a fragrance in her collection that smells like they jumped out of bed at their lovers place and found some guys fragrance in the bathroom cupboard and thought “What the freaking hell! I’m going to wear it”. Green and spicy fruits to open, cool incense and rose through the heart and musky woods to finish. Quite strong at application but 15 minutes in Opus 1870 becomes a very comfortable and cuddly puppy dog. Go on, DARE YOU!

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This is a blog so I hope you get involved and take the time to comment, ask questions and generally become a part of the action.
Waft on my lovelies,
Portia xx


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60 Responses to Top 10 Safe For Work Perfumes 2015

  1. Welcome Everyone,
    Please leave me a comment. I am so excited to be working for the My Perfume Samples gang.
    Tell me your favourite Safe For Work Scent.
    Portia xx

    • JenB in SF says:

      Great list Portia! I wear and love L’Artisan’s La Chasse Au Papillions at work. There are a few new ones mentioned here that I need to put on my list asap!

      • Hi there JenB,
        I have recently been reintroduced to L’Artisan’s La Chasse Au Papillions, it is coming out in a 10ml roller ball, perfect for your work bag. Clever!!
        I’m glad you’ll be trying some new stuff too. Let me know how it goes,
        Portia xx

    • Shelley says:

      So happy to see you here, Portia! I’ll be following from now on!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank You! I love SL Five O’clock Gingembre. I Love FFF!😍

    • Jennifer Wallace says:

      I’d only heard of a couple of these, so I must sample the rest. They sound delish, especially the l’eau is an mute et musc! Great article!

    • Moira says:

      Sadly, I have not smelled any of these, but your description of Lutens 5 O’Clock sounds gorgeous!

  2. saffyishere says:

    I love the description of Eau Magnolia….in fact I’ve never ever heard of it. A sample just might be in order. I shall be looking forward to more posts..

  3. Bianca says:

    Great article and suggestions Portia! I’m not currently working, but if I was somewhere that scent was banned I’d be quitting faster than you can say would you like fries with that?! Couldn’t imagine a day without fragrance.

    • Bianca, I hear you on that. I too can’t imagine a day without fragrance. That’s why I wanted to give a good range for those in jobs that must remain unscented or low scent. Most people have to put up and shut up so they can stay employed, I get it.
      Portia xx

    • Lynne says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more! I HAVE to wear fragrance every-single-day! Even if all I’m going to do is clean, do laundry or run to the store. First thing out of the shower, some fragrance is spritzed in my hair and smushed around so I smell delicious no matter where I go or what I’m doing! It’s a must do!! It’s right up there with brushing your teeth!! It HAS to be done!!


  4. California Dreamer says:

    Hi Portia, good list. Since an office workplace is where I mostly wear fragrances, I’m always after perfumes that are low-sillage and long-lasting. Looks like a few of your choices there would be good options. Opus 1870 obviously, but also the SL and maybe the FM. I’d be keen to get your views on some workplace options for the guys as well.

    • Hey there California Dreamer,
      Nice to have a man in the house.
      Some good masculine choices might be JPG Kokorico, Hermes Eau des Merveilles, Gris Clair by Serge Lutens, CK Free Blue and Gypsy Water by Byredo.
      I hope that helps, come back and tell me how you went.
      Portia xxx

  5. Musette says:

    I have my own business and it’s a bunch of guys working heavy machinery, so what I wear is mostly irrelevant…though on occasion El O will say ‘wow. you smell awful……..strong’ (because just leaving it at ‘awful’ is a guaranteed beatdown. Were I in that situation, though I would probably wear Amouage Gold body cream which is super-luxe but stays pretty close to the skin. Lyric and Jub25 project a whole lot more. And you can smell Epic on the moon, so that one is OUT! for work.


    • Hey there Musette!
      WOW! Even the Perfume Posse has come over to say HI. Thank you.
      Those Body creams are just a bit too rich for me Musette, I like the Body Lotions from Amouage in the pump packs. I currently have a Dia on the go and it is gorgeous.
      Gorgeous like YOU.
      Portia xx

  6. Trésor says:

    What an amazing list! I absolutely adore so many of those you’ve listed, especially Eau de Magnolia, Narciso and Opus 1870. Bravo! You are brilliant.

    • Trésor says:

      I forgot to answer which my favourite safe for work scent was! Oops!

      I think it would have to be MiN New York’s Shaman or Serge Normant’s Avah.

  7. anita832 says:

    31 Rue Cambon is great for work IMO. 🙂

  8. Tara says:

    Thanks for introducing me to My Perfume Samples, Portia.
    Great list of work scents here with a nice mix. You have inspired me to check out B. Balenciaga and maybe even Opus 1870! I must also re-try Five O’Clock au Gingembre which I remember liking a lot.

    I think many Hermés frags are great for work. My faves are Hiris, Eau de Mandarine Ambree and Osmanthe Yunnan.

  9. Thanks for the post Portia!
    My favorite of the bunch would have to be Eau de Magnolia 🙂


  10. Tom says:

    I think practically anything is work safe, as long as you apply lightly and work in AC.

  11. Fruitful says:

    I never thought I would be excited to try work-appropriate fragrances but I am after reading this! I wonder how Bois de Violette or Bois et Musc would go?

  12. Alice says:

    Elle by Giorgio Armani is my default work fragrance, not only is it safe for work In the aromatic sense but it’s also safe for my handbag being non-glass and non-spillable. Winner!

  13. hajusuuri says:

    Woo hoo, Portia! With a co-worker wearing Tom Ford Black Orchid at nuclear levels all day everyday, and so far no one has complained even though we have a written fragrance-free policy, pretty much anything goes at the workplace.

    My own work-safe perfumes double as my scent-phobe-safe perfumes and they include Guerlain Cuir Beluga, Bvlgari Black and Serge Lutens Chergui. I also thought Guerlain SDV was work-safe until the day I wore it and was in a packed elevator going down 47 floors (from the corporate dining room) and was flabbergasted that some people may have thought that I boozed it up at lunch.

  14. Azar says:

    Hi Portia,

    My work safe scent is Micallef Jewel for her (also known as M. Micallef), the one with the vertical stipe of gunmetal crystals on the bottle. On me it smells of roses, wood and musk, not overpowering but one small spritz will last forever. Emir is another from Micallef that I can use in the same way.

    From your list: The La Tulipe sounds pretty wonderful. Fully Air Conditioned! I may need that this summer. Now its back to work for me.

    Azar xx

  15. Holly says:

    Hiya Portia! It’s great to see you here and thanks for the great suggestions. I like Jacomo’s Silences for work. It’s very soft and beautifully blended. I also think Prada Infusion d’Iris fits the bill nicely.

  16. Thanks for the intro to My Perfume Samples. Great range of work scents. I’d also suggest Frederic Malle’s Cologne Bigarade, Not a perfume by Juliette has a gun and Iris Prima by Penhaligons. They are both subtle enough in different ways so they don’t leave a aroma zone around you but give the wearer pleasure which must be the whole point of wearing perfume!

  17. Lindaloo says:

    Congratulations, Portia on your new gig.

    Not working, so no worries about colleagues’ opinions. For my volunteer work with people with chronic illnesses/conditions I choose not to wear any scent. Then I get to come home and spray without restraint.

    As for the list in this post, I had a chance to sample Eau de Magnolia. It’s glorious and reminds me of the pleasure of wearing Diorella.

  18. Laurels says:

    Hiya, Portia! You are well on your way to conquering the entire fragrant world.

    I’ll second Jen B’s suggestion of La Chasse Au Papillons, which I recently tried for the first time. It gets quiet after about 30 minutes, but is still there, and still gorgeous. B de Boucheron is another quiet one that gives off the occasional waft, and Penhaligon’s Malabah is a light, quiet oriental, suitable for tight spaces and warm days.

  19. Elitsa says:

    I work in an office with someone who 1.loves perfume and 2 is extremely tolerant in every way, so basically most days I can wear just about anything. That said, when I’m going to be in meeting, receptions, seminars, etc. I ten do go for things that wouldn’t annoy even the tenderest of noses and would still not go unnoticed. Among my favorites – Hermessence Rose Ikebana and Vanille galante and TDC Pure eVe.

  20. karystiana says:

    Of the ten you listed, Five O’Clock is my favorite. I work from home, though, so I wear what I please!!

  21. karystiana says:

    Of the ten you listed, Five O’Clock is my favorite. I work from home, though, so I wear what I please!

  22. Andi says:

    I missed my email from you somehow… FFF stopped me and redirected so I wouldn’t miss this great post! I am not a big flower wearer. I LOVE MeM, and caught a sniff of Jeanne Couture, it is quite stunning! I keep my wearings quite subtle Tiempe Passate, Angeliques Sous la Pluie, and MeM of course.

  23. Barbara says:

    I haven’t worked in years, but when I did, I wore Un Air de Samsara Guerlain. I gave away my bottle (doh!!), but I remember it being soft and fresh and light. Your list is intriguing. Although I don’t work anymore, sometimes I have days when I just want to tone it down. Huge statements don’t have to be made everyday.

  24. Peppy OBrien says:

    Happy to see you here. Great article. My favorite of these scents to wear to work is Balenciaga. It is light but distinctive. La Tulipe and Jeanne Couture sound wonderful.

  25. jamyang312 says:

    Hi Portia!
    Good to see you here 🙂
    My favorite work scent is Ormonde Man by Ormonde Jayne.
    The combination of juniper, vetiver and cedar(i think) os what makes it so effortlessly classy and smooth. I love wearing this to office and shall always have this in my collection.

  26. Lizzy says:

    Hi Portia! Popping over from FFF to check out this new adventure of yours–wow! What a range!

    I tend to reach more for my perfume oils–Solstice Scents, Darling Clandestine, Sweet Anthem–when I want some discreet loveliness floating about, although my rollerball bottles of Fresh Citron de Vigne and Lavanila Vanilla Grapefruit work well, too, and I find Sonoma Scent Studio Fig Tree and Jour Ensoleille to be soft/work-friendly scents 😉

    From your list I love Mure et Musc and have been longing to try B. Balenziaga, Five O’Clock Au Gingembre, and La Tulipe for ages!

  27. Elena says:

    So many great ones. I am commenting from FFF, and my favorite is the Serge, but I hadn’t really thought of it as quiet, though you’re right of course, the drydown just purrs along. Can’t wait to try the others! My list would include Cartier Baiser Vole in the EDT. I have been wearing it a ton in late March and April.

  28. Chloe H says:

    I like Jeanne Lanvin Couture. Thanks for the giveaway.

  29. Hi Portia, lovely recommendations!
    Personally speaking, I work at home so I can wear anything I like and I can blast as much as I want! 🙂 I was wearing Opium the other day and when I came back to my office, I could still smell it in the room.
    As for your list, I would go with Eau de Magnolia. I love it. 🙂

  30. Amanda N says:

    Coming in from FFF. I am a fragrance newbie and I haven’t heard of any of these as yet, but based on your fantastic descriptions, I would go with DKNY Pure.

  31. Connie says:

    So excited to see you writing here Portia! I’m coming from FFF, and Gingembre is my favorite of these.

  32. Michelle says:

    Hi Portia! over from FFF. The only one of these fragrances that I have tried is B Balenciaga. In fact, I have my sample at work! If I’d have to guess about the others; Eau de Magnolia by Frederic Malle is most intriguing to me. I’ve heard so many good things!

  33. Michelle says:

    I guess I didn’t answer your question about which is my personal favorite. I am currently wearing Dame Perfumery Cassis, Rose and Sandalwood. I would deem any of the classics line from Dame, safe for work. 🙂

  34. dawne says:

    DKNY Pure.
    Safe. Clean. Subtle.

  35. carlos319 says:

    FFF Balenciaga B

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