"Wearing Perfume"

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    what about shampoo, some of them have very strong scents as well, or deodorant, or….where do we draw the line?


    ” nail polish seems to be a favorite joke topic of bpt.”

    Oh, if only the Mods had let that one crack of mine slip past. That was destined to be a BPT classic.

    Too bad its out of bounds. (and perhaps righfully so)


    ” my dad wears polo “

    TAB – is your father in his mid-late 40s?

    ” and personally its my fave “

    Its been 20+ years since I wore cologne. Are you telling me that Polo is still worn?


    BPT. Dont know about still worn, but I do know you can still buy it. It was right next to the bottle of Drakkar I recently bought.


    I wear cologne because I like its scent. We make a b’racha when smelling spices because we derive pleasure from the aroma; not from the twigs and no one has ever made a pass at me because of my wonderful cologne scent.

    Some yeshiva bocher favorites of the 60’s were Conoe, Hai Karate and Jade East; are they still around?

    Singles should be wearing cologne and perfume; it may be the answer to the shidduch crisis.


    What shidduch crisis? No less people are getting married today that 40 years ago. The only difference is the frum get married younger today.


    What shidduch crisis? No less people are getting married today that 40 years ago. The only difference is the frum get married younger today.

    Tomche, Hee hee is all I can say. ; ). B”H for you that it hasnt affected your family. There’s almost no frum block, where Litvish families live, where there isnt at least one single girl over 30. Gimme a break.


    BPT: yup, thats my dad’s age. he got a new bottle some time in the last year. so i guess its still popular


    Ok. First of all, when I dated I wore cologne, I still do these days on Shabbos and Yom Tov. There is no Issur that i’m aware of for a guy to wear cologne. Actually it’s referred to in Halacha that men did wear some sort of cologne for Shabbos and it is obviously acceptable.

    First point i’d like to make is for men and woman. Cologne is not something you douse yourself with. Wearing perfume correctly is an art. Especially since most people haven’t mastered it.

    If as a woman you feel you cannot manage to wear it without sharing with the whole shul or Daled Amos, then if you will be around other men you should avoid wearing perfume.

    If however you can apply “some” perfume properly, get some (a little amount)on your finger tips and applying it lightly to pulse areas, like wrists, base of ones neck, behind earlobes etc.. then, you can wash your hands removing any lingering scent.

    Only “You” would notice it or anyone who leaned in close enough for a kiss like your mother. That wouldn’t be Assur.

    For a girl on a date though, i would suggest

    1) Applying the perfume at least a half hour before,

    (not as you leave)

    2) Not to apply perfume to open areas like neck or behind ears.

    but to places that would be covered by clothing like creases of ones elbows etc.. That is enough to allow those who enjoy wearing it to continue to do so and smell nice while not attracting the guys attention.

    I made a distinction for girls dating, since the girl usually enters the guys car and it’s a small enclosed area, so even applying very little perfume to any open areas will be notice. Even more so if there is any a/c or heat running.

    If you are not on a date but the same principles would apply, say for instance your going to get a ride with your friends husband to a Chassuna even if friend is with you.

    Makes scents, no?


    Popa-bar-Abba, on a date one is allowed to look at a girl to see if he likes her as opposed to staring for pleasure. There is no purpose or heter to smell her perfume (pashtus).


    There is a difference between being aware of a fragrance and “smelling” a fragrance. When you walk down the street and there are McDonalds burgers grilling nearby are you “smelling” the aroma of the burgers, or are you aware of the aroma? You dont see a difference between being aware that of an aroma and smelling the same aroma for enjoyment? why is a girl allowed to dress in her shabbos clothes for a date, she should dress in rags according to your logic. no makeup either. in fact, a frumpy sweatshirt should be the requirement.


    “There is no purpose or heter to smell her perfume (pashtus).”

    Why do you assume that people wear perfume or cologne for the express purpose that other people should smell them for enjoyment? People wear cologne so that they smell plesant. Pleasant does not equal attracting. However, since you are of the opinion that there is no heter (which I will extrapolate to mean that you believe it is assur), can you cite a posek who concurs with you?


    apy: You make a distinction that the Shulchan Aruch does not. S”A says that a man cannot smell a woman’s perfume. Even if he doesn’t “enjoy” it. You cannot be “aware” of it without smelling it (which is assur per S”A).


    Shlishi: I would think that that distinction is obvious. It is the same distinction between looking and seeing.

    Abe Cohen

    That distinction only applies to an onus. He is absolved from seeing something he inadvertently looked at if he immediately turns away from seeing it again. Same principle here. If he moves away so not to notice a smell he isn’t permitted to that he inadvertently smelled, he is okay.

    But that still does’nt absolve her from lifnei iver.


    There is perfume and there is PERFUME. A light scent is pleasant for kovod habrios. If you can smell it for two hours after the woman or man leaves the room, it is too strong.

    Not all smells are meant to entice.

    Some of them are just plain nice.


    Shlishi. Please quote all the words of the SA for us (alternatively, please tell us where it is so that we can read the words for ourselves).


    bein- great post. I once went to a wedding wearing perfume and all but when I got home something told me that they were at the wedding too and they thought I looked way too “good” for a single girl in shidduchim…meaning attractive. I was not ready to say Ill wear less makeup or something like that but I did say that I wont wear perfume to friend’s weddings as a single girl. I dont need the one to be machshil guys


    Thanks adorable, now that I got you, I would like to personally wish you a Mazel Tov! May you both be Zoche to build a wonderful Bayis Ne’man B’Yisroel, filled with Shefa, Bracha, and Hatzlocha!


    Thank you so much! I really enjoy your post btw thanks for always keeping things calm here.

    Shticky Guy

    Those of you questioning whether men may or should wear perfume are obviously unaware of the ??? ???? on ??? ??? ? ???? ? who says:

    ???? :??? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ?? ???? ????? ????? ????? ?????

    Ken Zayn

    SG Wow what bekias! Is the Even Ezra to be taken literally that men and women should wear perfume? If so, when? And does ‘gedolei yisrael’ mean over bar/bas mitzva or leaders of the generation?


    Gemara in Brachos 43b states that a Talmud Chacham should not venture out to the street while anointed with perfume. The Gemara reads:

    ??? ???? ??? ????? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??? ??? ??????? ???????? ??? ???? ?? ??? ???? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ??? ???? ??????? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ????? ????? ??? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ??? ??? ????? ????? ??????? ?? ???? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??? ????? ??? ????? ???? ????? ??? ??? ?? ??? ????? ????? ??? ????? ?? ????? ???.

    ?? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?????? ??????? ??? ???? ???? ?????, ??? ?? ??? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ?????? ????

    Kesef Mishnah:


    Tomche; firstly talking about a Talmid Chochom, -60% of klal yisroel

    (i’m not talking about Rebbe’s who are essential spiritual leaders) Not every Rebbele is a Talmid Chochom

    Secondly were talking about a Shook! in a sort of market place the likes of which we don’t have in jewish neighborhoods BP, FB, Monsey, oot in the U.S.

    We usually shop at jewish supermarkets.

    Which don’t fall even close to the term Shook.

    The Shook is a certain type of marketplace place outdoors, many different vendors, offer anything and everything(shady stuff too)

    (worse than shady)

    A shook is not a store, grocery, supermarket or Dept. store.

    Also this is only

    ????? ??????? ?? ???? ????

    A similar shook to what is being reffered to can be found

    mostly in Europe, Israel R”L etc.. I’d rather not be too specific.



    The Rambam does not restrict the prohibition to a place where people are suspected of mishkav zachar.


    I hear, will IY”H look it up.


    bein- did you look this up? wondering what you came out with. Is it ok for girls to wear perfume or not?

    btw- is it really something that attracts that much attention?


    it’s okay to wear when at home for the husband, but not okay to wear for strange men on the street.


    what about a wedding or something when you are not nec gonna be near men…or at work


    First of all, when some of the posters said that they only wear it around the house, what does that mean? Do you stay home untill it wears off? Secondly if I wanted to atract women, wouldnt I ask my wife, sister, or a diffrent woman to pick out the one they thought smelled good instead of picking out one myself that any female would think smells terrible? I wear cologne every day and I wear it for my self. There are some people who wear strong body spray or cologne/perfume to mask their body odors


    I occasionally use body spray on hot summer days. I also have homemade mint extract in my shul locker for use after the mikveh although the scent of the mint doesn’t remain on my skin or in my beard for long.

    I wore cologne in the US; I don’t here in Ukraine because of ridiculous prices and problems with counterfeiting.


    Ofcourse -“There’s almost no frum block, where Litvish families live, where there isnt at least one single girl over 30.”

    And why won’t they consider a guy in their 40’s or 50’s?


    these issues are all about sensitivities. if you have them ma toiv u ma noim. if you dont-fine. you cant teach someone a sensitivity.


    “First of all, when some of the posters said that they only wear it around the house, what does that mean? Do you stay home untill it wears off?”

    I only put on perfume when I don’t expect to be leaving the house for the next while (like at night once I’m getting ready for bed, Erev Shabbos or Y”T…)



    a Jewish woman is 100% allowed to wear perfume for herself,

    her own enjoyment that is, just as long as…

    1) Her real intention of wearing it is NOT to attract men in any form, or even have herself be noticed by men through wearing it.

    (unless it is her husband, under permissible terms.)

    2) Despite her noble intentions, she has to apply it in a way that

    the scent doesn’t travel out of her immediate personal zone.

    (as close as you’d let only close family like a husband.)

    I’d say IMHO around two feet. not more.

    3) When you are going to be primarily around men, like in an office with mostly men working there, it is honest to assume that wearing it, is not entirely for noble reasons and good shampoo soap and deodorant, or body spray should suffice. Not perfume!

    At best, apply “very little” only to areas that will be covered

    under clothing, like one’s torso. it doesn’t travel if you put a little, and it can only be noticed if someone is standing literally on top of you.

    4) As i stated earlier, if you are going to be in a confined area with a man or men, even slight application of perfume will be noticed as you’re sharing a small amount of air, and your scent will carry, so better to avoid wearing it in such a case.

    If you will disregard that, then at least apply “just a dab” from fingertips to only areas on body covered by clothing,

    at least 30min before you will be confined, so as to let the potency of the scent wear off.

    I am talking about an Ehliche woman who doesn’t want to act oblivious to the fact that she may be causing Michsholim to other

    Jewish men.

    Note: This concept should be paid due attention, just as dressing tzanua, (If not more) since one can tell a man, “don’t look!”

    but you can’t tell him “don’t breath!” (smell)

    I wish you hatzlacha, adorable, and all other women who wish to take this seriously.


    thank you for taking time to write that all out in a clear fashion. I read your post numerous times and I think its clear and makes lots of sense. you are 100% correct about how and when to apply it. A women knows her intentions and thats not something you can argue with. thank you again!


    Do these guidelines apply to men as well? b/s some men wear so much cologne (read Axe body spray) they can suffocate a room of ppl.

    and what about hair gels/sprays that are scented and a wave of perfume is released when they move their hair. are those scents in the same category as traditional perfumes?


    Adore; ur very welcome!

    taking a break; they do not apply to men the same way.

    Men do not have the issur women have, and women tend not to

    be swayed by just a scent [unless its chocolate] 😉

    (despite what axe wants you to think)

    (Sorry guys!)

    Although Hilchos Derech Eretz, as well as Hatzneh Leches,

    as well as common socially aware people, Men should NOT douse

    themselves in cologne as if they immersed themselves in a Mikva

    of “Eau de She’uvim” (as it is not a kosher mikvah)

    or practice 😉

    Aside from being socially awkward, it is not a humble practice to have everyone in your Daled Amos aware of the fact that you are clueless in the practice of wearing cologne, or worse, arrogant

    enough to decide what people in your presence are forced to breath or smell. Please guys, keep it toned down.

    I’m not including people who work in certain “ripe” environments.

    Tab, about shower gel, body spray, etc.. I can’t make a blanket statement cover all other scented toiletries, for I don’t have every bodyspray/wash before me to tell how potent some stuff are.

    but I will tell you the little i know, no general scented toiletry for use on ones body, is potent as perfume, and the greatest concern should lie there.

    Body washes shampoos, gels, don’t come close to that. The only thing is that body sprays, especially the newer ones coming out in the last decade can also be kind of potent depending on the amount applied, though still not in the same category as perfume, only oils can be more potent.

    Especially deodorants that are scented with a cologne or perfumed scent such as hugo boss etc..

    I cant say no, and i can’t say yes, it depends on all that was discussed in my previous post. If you spray a “LITTLE”, on areas covered by clothes, no problem! If not and it carries then same problem as perfume.

    The same way a chef should have a light hand when it come to strong spices, a person should have a light hand when wearing perfume.

    The proper way a lady should wear perfume is to spray it into the air and walk through the mist. (eyes closed of course)

    I Don’t want to get sued!

    As far as shampoo, gels, body wash, etc.. they tend to be very faint and evaporate, also the scent stays close to body.

    So no problem.


    If the Vaad is out of line, the Moetzes will intervene.

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