Few things feel as self-indulgent as dousing yourself in perfume (or just dabbing a few drops behind your ears), and most people would agree that buying perfume, too, is a pretty self-indulgent activity. But actually I want to make the case that when you spray a fragrance on you’re also doing a social service.
How? Well, one of the odd – if slightly annoying – things about perfume is that it doesn’t take long for you to stop smelling it on yourself. Your nose quickly becomes so accustomed to it that, after the first few minutes, it’s rare for you to notice that you’re wearing perfume at all.
Yet perfume can last for ages on the skin, and even longer if you spray it on your clothes. Which means that hours after you’ve put it on, other people can enjoy a scent you can no longer smell for yourself. And what could be less self-indulgent than that?