Reading body language; Is cologne or perfume a non-verbal skill?

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Reading body language:

You may find that when learning how to read a persons non verbal skills there is much more than just what the body is doing or what the mouth is saying.


Take for example what type of accessories that they are wearing


Or if they are close in proximity to another person, or maybe even too close.


What about those small things that could be making the difference that you may never even have thought of?


Do you think that Cologne or Perfume could be a part of your nonverbal communication or a way to read people?


What happens if you are that girl and trying to get the attention of a guy but at the same time trying to figure out the body language of the guy?


You meet him and all of the sudden you find that he is wearing too much cologne?


Now all of the sudden you are questioning his self control and even worse you may not be so attracted to the man any more.



You could even go the other way and you are a man looking for a women and you find what you are looking for but while meeting the girl you smell some wild flowery perfume that you cant stand. Now you want nothing to do with the girl you may have been interested in.


You can even put this in the form of a business conversation and question if you were going to meet a new client. It would not matter how good your persuasive selling skills are, all of your work would be destroyed by wearing too much scent.


Ok, so you may not think that how you smell is part of nonverbal skills, you may think that everything you do when you communicate only comes from words.


What happens when you have a negative reaction to you just because of the way you smell and maybe it isn’t cologne or perfume, it could be the soap that you use, it could be you forgot to put on some deodorant.


In any sense if people react to you from your words, your actions or even your smell you are indeed communicating.


Smell does cover a part of communication any time that there is a reaction negative or positive.




Body language and non verbal skills become powerful tools when you know how to use them or even read what a person is saying without hearing one word from them. The clairvoyant read may just be from seeing a facial expression.


As a general rule when it comes to cologne or perfume and you being judged by your non-verbal actions less is more or a little dab will do you.


To change up the smell or communication of smell a slight bit lets move past cologne or perfume for a second.


Some real estate agents will tell homeowners to bake some cookies a few hours before showing a home for the positive feelings that they can cause. Many people have great feelings about cookies and the smell would piggyback that feeling.


The way that salespeople could use smell or cologne would not make sense until you take a look at how the smell would help your communication skills.


Take for instance that some older salespeople will wear cologne so that they can remind younger people the smell of their grandfathers or people of similar age feelings of the past. As you read on there may be a downside to using smell as a non verbal selling skill.


If you shop at some of the high end stores where colognes and perfumes can cost over $300 per bottle it is common for the saleswomen to wear men’s cologne in the areas that sell perfumes and for the salesmen to wear perfume when selling cologne.


Think for a second how this would help the person buying the scents.


Most times that a person is buying a scent it is for someone special and many times that person is the opposite sex. The scent becomes familiar to the buyer and is softer or more masculine either way depending on who is buying


Also be aware that people associate smells like they do songs with feelings and if you are wearing a smell that has been a part of a bad experience all of the sudden you are within the realms of that past bad experience. Now it really would not matter how much self-control you are capable of when it comes to your body language you would lose the:

  • ·         Girl
  • ·         Guy
  • ·         Job
  • ·         Possible friend or new associate


There is a saying that “you never get a second chance for a first impression” and that could not be truer for verbal and non-verbal communication skills.


As always I would like to thank you for your comments and or questions.


Now go implement!


Scott Sylvan Bell

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14 thoughts on “Reading body language; Is cologne or perfume a non-verbal skill?”

  1. I never thought of wearing too much perfume or cologne as nonverbal communication, but it makes total sense. I don’t wear fragrances myself and am VERY sensitive to those who wear too much, both men and women. It definitely communicates something, and it’s not a positive communication. Great post, Scott.

    Cherie Miranda

    Holistic Health Expert

  2. Never thought much about perfume or cologne but as I read your blog and you pointed out the guy who could blow you out of the room with his cologne totally came to me.
    Immediate turn off and you don’t even have time to think that you would want to stick around long enough to get to know him.

    Great point, we need to be aware of all of our senses when it comes to body language and communication.

    Jennifer Battaglino
    Vets With Tinnitus

  3. How did you come to find this out? Was someone in the elevator at a hotel and the smell just blew you out of the water?

    Thanks for the great post, Scott.

    Looking forward to more

    Mark Hogan

  4. Scott, very much enjoyed this article. I’ve always thought that scent is the one thing that almost overrides every other thing you do. For example, if someone has massive body odor or is wearing too much cologne, nothing they say or do can overcome that fact, which is so negative. In fact, scent is one of the few things that someone can have and just ‘sit there’ doing nothing but emanating a scent and it can affect so many others. Was trapped in a train once…ahh, won’t bother you with the story. Thanks for the great piece.


  5. This is a great message Scott. I think way too many think that if a little is good, then a lot more must be better when the opposite is true.

    Better to use too little cologne/perfume than too much. An added benefit of using just a little…it encourages the person you hope to attract to move in just a bit closer and that’s not all bad.

    Be Rich Now

  6. I never thougth perfume was part of non verbal communication, but it makes a lot of sense to know that it is. I know that I don’t mind a little bit of perfume on people or on me but I dislike when there is someone with too much…

  7. Hi Scott,

    I wish only more men and women would consider the full ramifications of the scent, cologne, or perfume they wear. Wearing scent can be a great confidence communicator. But in most cases if YOU can smell your fragrance on yourself, it is likely TOO MUCH for everyone else around you. It can be a huge turn off both in dating as well as in professional business selling situations.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Your Internet Dating Profile Is Not Like a LA Lakers Game

  8. I remember when I was young going out on a Saturday Night and pouring on Polo or Chaps or Obsession and stinking up the car. I was probably one of those people who was over powering with cologne. Now I can’t remember the last time I wore any.

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