I don't want to smell like a My Little Pony plz thx
March 16, 2009 7:26 PM   Subscribe

"make sure you smell like freshly baked cookies" - Hee! Ok, how?

I'm looking to re-enter the world outside my apartment, have been interviewing and working with a recruiter, and actively soliciting advice and letters of reference from previous employers and co-workers - but the above piece of interviewing advice tickled me (^_^)

Are there any perfumes recommended by the hive mind that smell like freshly baked cookies and are not wildly inappropriate for a woman in her early thirties?
posted by grippycat to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (40 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
body shop's vanilla perfume. not overly sweet, very snuggalicious smell.
posted by lizbunny at 7:27 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Secret makes a vanilla-scented deodorant. (I'm not really the perfume type.) When I wear it, people comment that I smell like cookies.
posted by adiabat at 7:31 PM on March 16, 2009

Bath and Body Works came out with a line of dessert scented stuff. I remember them smelling really awesome. They no longer carry it in stores but you can find tons of it on Ebay.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:33 PM on March 16, 2009

Just cut the gordian knot: bake some cookies, and take them with!
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 7:36 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

A light vanilla scent can be quite alluring. Light--don't over-do it. But, yeah.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:37 PM on March 16, 2009

If I were trying to smell like cookies, I'd probably use a dab of almond extract and maybe put some cinnamon sticks in my bathwater (or try to find some cinnamon scent somewhere).

Actually, I found a scent recently that's all grapefruit and something sweet - it's not as cloying as this description sounds. I get hungry whenever I smell it.

Yeah, you could use vanilla, but it's everywhere and frankly, I don't like it nearly as much as the almond extract.
posted by amtho at 7:44 PM on March 16, 2009

Demeter makes a Chocolate Chip Cookie scent. They also have a whole collection of scents that smell like various treats.

I haven't actually smelled any of them, but I think Demeter is known for somewhat understated scents.
posted by pluckemin at 7:53 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

Armani Code is a swanky perfume that's very vanilla-y and totally appropriate for any "grown-up" woman.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:53 PM on March 16, 2009

Best answer: I don't want to sound like Mr Sour Grapes here, but when you are interviewing for a job (or even networking), don't wear any kind of perfume.

There are a lot of people out there (like me) who are turned off by perfume and personal scents, or who may be allergic to it.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:55 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

In response to KokurRyu's recommendation that you don't perfume yourself up for interviews, yeah I don't think a selling point in an interview would be you smelling great. There's a guy I work with who has a hissy fit whenever someone wears perfumes in his vicinity and has signs all over saying it's a perfume-free zone in his work area.

In that case, go for smelling clean:P And I have just the soap for you: A yummy smelling soap is Honey I Washed The Kids by Lush Cosmetics, imparts a naturally sweet vanilla-honey smell.
posted by lizbunny at 8:12 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

While I mostly agree with KokuRyu, Bath and Body Works does make Warm Vanilla Sugar in lotion, spray, bodywash, etc. and so forth. You could wear the lotion, which would be more subtle. They also have a "darker" vanilla scent which I wear occasionally-- Vanilla Noir. Brown Sugar and Fig might also be an option.
posted by oflinkey at 8:15 PM on March 16, 2009

Or go with lizbunny. That soap is delish.
posted by oflinkey at 8:16 PM on March 16, 2009

Came in here to recommend Demeter, so seconding the line.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:17 PM on March 16, 2009

I don't think most vanilla-y perfumes smell like fresh-baked cookies, but I do find them pretty gross and distracting. I'd rethink this. Even if you could perfectly capture the scent of fresh cookies, you're not [I assume] interviewing for a job as someone's replacement grandmother.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:21 PM on March 16, 2009

Doesn't smelling like baked goods suggest you're currently working at Mrs Fields in the mall? Not to hate on mall food service jobs. But smelling like food on a job interview could raise some eyebrows, methinks.
posted by lily_bart at 8:30 PM on March 16, 2009

I love my perfumes, but I'm strongly on the side of no perfume for interviews. The smell of warm cookies might be fantastic for selling a house, but doesn't really say much about your management (or whatever) skills. And in my own personal opinion, which I'll share to illustrate that different people respond to the same scents very differently, anything from Bath and Body Works is guaranteed to make you smell like Teen Whore.
posted by amelioration at 8:31 PM on March 16, 2009

Carol's Daughter Almond Cookie Collection.

I love this woman's products (though I lean more toward the beachy scents.)
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 8:35 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think perfumes are generally inappropriate for a work environment, and especially for a job interview. Go with a soap if you must smell sticky and sweet, but even then, I would stay away from it. Personally, I hate all things vanilla-scented (especially the Body Shop's perfume) and I would not risk running into a scent-averse person smelling of fake baked goods if you're trying to snag a job in this market. Save it for the social outings.
posted by flying kumquat at 8:35 PM on March 16, 2009

Response by poster: Hi all - KokuRyu, that's a perspective I'd never considered; I've always worked in offices where distinctive scents (from soap to aftershave to yes, perfumes) were acceptable when worn subtly, and never considered that it'd be terrible for someone with allergies or a personal distaste. I simply thought smelling like a cookie would be neat if reasonable, wasn't sure if it was a matter of a) evoking the smell with a great vanilla soap from x store, or b) uh, smelling like a cookie is like smelling like play-doh - don't do it.
posted by grippycat at 8:37 PM on March 16, 2009

Smellfilter: If you really want to smell like something, go with essential oils and organics over cheaper perfumes. As someone who feels like I've been tear gassed just by walking within 30 feet of the perfume counter at Macy's, essential oils and organic scents seem to minimize my body's allergic reaction. Just remember, you are about to potentially be in a very small room with someone for anywhere from 15 minutes (if it goes poorly) to 8 hours (if you are interviewing at google).

I think the original advice stems from the thought that it is better to slightly stand out in a way where people relate to you as warm and inviting than indiscernable from the uniformly professionally perfumed masses. Everyone who generally gets to the interview step is reasonably competent.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:55 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

As the super genius Niel Cicierega says:

The key to happiness,
Is merely only this:
Put a drop of vanilla behind each ear,
And you'll smell like a cookie all day.
Yes, You'll smell like a cookie all day!

*space warp*
*rocks out*

Seriously, get some really good vanilla extract. Try it for a day.
posted by Mizu at 8:56 PM on March 16, 2009

Wait, seriously? You want to smell like cookies on a _job interview_? Are you a hooker and I am not being facetious. That is creepy and gross.

No, not gross. Just fine. Vanilla, which is probably what you're calling "cookies", has excellent psychostimulant properties that can help people be more accepting of you and more receptive to whatever you happen to be talking about. (Also, a hooker who smells like vanilla makes no sense at all. Vanilla is safe, not sexy.)

You're in Toronto? Lush on Queen Street West is your friend.
posted by rokusan at 9:04 PM on March 16, 2009

The thing that makes me wary about scents and perfumes made to smell like pastry, or even ones that are simply vanilla bean scented, is that they don't really seem to have all that much of a longevity and you don't really smell it after 30 minutes (at least for my ph, but my scent preference is not in the cookie-like range anyway). They always smell frighteningly delicious right when I rub on a lotion or spritz myself and I'm thinking "wow, this really does smell like angel food cake", but once the high to mid notes that are lighter and help the fragrance smell nice and fresh or add to whatever pastry it's trying to smell like pass, the remaining vanilla-y low note is really cloying and artificial or smells like playdoh as you say.

But having said that, the perfumes from Payard are reminescent of pastry BUT still smells like a perfume and not like the novelty "Chocolatez Cupcake Yummo" bath soap, lotion and body scrub you find at Sephora or something (Dylan's Candy Shop line I'm looking at you. I was fooled by the chocolate cupcake lotion but 30 minutes later sniffed my hand and regretted trying it out because it transported me to eating playdoh in kindergarten and getting sick). The pistachio ganache in particularly is pistachio cookie-ish.
posted by kkokkodalk at 9:41 PM on March 16, 2009

Not exactly "cookie" but Bond No. 9's "New Haarlem" is a reasonably understated unisex fragrance that has notes of "Coffee, vanilla & patchouli" -- I always smell some chocolate in it too; it smells like a cookie in a good coffee shop to me.

Everything smells different and lasts different lengths on everyone, so your mileage may vary. I'm not sure how well it works for job hunting, but it's as close to a actual body scent that smells like cookies that I'm familiar with...

Good luck!
posted by nonliteral at 10:00 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

I worked in an office where I'd occasionally smell this really horrible sweet smell. I thought at first it was some sort of pesticide the plant people were spraying on the plants. I finally realized it was my coworker's vanilla cologne. Because of that, I'd recommend against anything too strongly scented.
posted by vespabelle at 10:08 PM on March 16, 2009

I use Burt's Bees Milk and Honey lotion on my hands every night and I've noticed that although it smells coconutty when I first put it on, by morning my hands smell like cookies. Definitely many times my husband has groggily mistaken it for the aroma of baked goods.

Ymmv though, it might be reacting with my body chemistry in an atypical way. You could wind up smelling like tanning lotion if it doesn't work out.
posted by crinklebat at 10:19 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My preferred sweet-foody scent is marshmallow, which tends to be more subtle and less syrupy than most foody fragrances. (And I've tried a lot.) Calgon used to make a marshmallow body spray, though I think it's discontinued, and Demeter has a marshmallow fragrance.

That said, I side with KokoRyu. Every source of interviewing advice I've ever encountered specifically advises not to wear fragrances to an interview - your interviewer may be sensitive to scents, or may just find the scent distracting, or you may accidentally overdo it. Baked-goods scents are especially easy to overdo, and they're commonly viewed as unprofessional - consider both the preponderance of cookie/vanilla/cake scents at assorted bath and candle stores in every mall and some of the more "eww" reactions here.

Perhaps a good compromise: Lush's Porridge soap smells wonderfully like oatmeal cookies, and it sticks to the skin a tiny bit, but since it's a soap it's hard to overdo, and it has little to no sillage (the fancy perfume term for the cloud of fragrance you leave in your wake).
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:54 PM on March 16, 2009

Best answer: I have interviewed a fair number of job applicants in my time. I implore you, if you _must_ wear a scent, make it subtle. If the interviewer finds your perfume/cologne to be over-powering, unpleasant or offensive, that's going to affect your job hunt. And if the interviewer is allergic...

At most, aim for that perfect compromise between "too subtle to notice" and "pleasant in an unnoticed way". If in doubt, use less. If still in doubt, use none at all.
posted by browse at 11:08 PM on March 16, 2009

Why not just take just-dried clothes and hang them near the oven as you bake cookies?
posted by Netzapper at 12:14 AM on March 17, 2009

You can get vanilla essential oil (perfume oil), which isn't fake or easy to overdo. Mix with lavender or jasmine for comfy-calm or comfy-cheerful possible impressions.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:45 AM on March 17, 2009

If you don't mind spending a bunch of money, buy this. Ignore anything in the description that makes it sound flowery. It is NOT. When I wear it, people close enough to notice will always say "do you smell cookies?" I wear the absolu, not the spray cologne. There's an option to order a small sample to try it out - the only place where I've seen this perfume in person in the US is at Takashimaya in NYC.
posted by ersatzkat at 4:38 AM on March 17, 2009

"Foods like onions and garlic can make you smelly, but it is less commonly known that other foods can actually improve your body's natural aroma. In this article, we will discuss how to eat foods that make you smell good."
posted by iviken at 5:22 AM on March 17, 2009

By any chance is your recruiter a former realtor? You're interviewing for a job, not showing your house. I wouldn't wear a vanilla cologne or oil. No matter how subtle you think it is, it will most likely be too strong. I think your recruiter just meant smell clean and fresh, which to me means the absence of any particular scent.

At the very most, I would use a scented soap - Honey I Washed the Kids from Lush has a terrific, clean scent that actually stays with you. A vanilla soap from Lush would probably be acceptable too, but that's as far as I would go scent-wise.
posted by boomchicka at 7:14 AM on March 17, 2009

Keep it really, really subtle, unless you are applying for a job at the makeup counter at Macy's.
posted by theora55 at 7:30 AM on March 17, 2009

My mom is highly allergic to scents and she often has to run from a room gagging and coughing. She gets an immediate headache and usually has to use an inhaler. Never wear perfume or cologne to a job interview. A subtle soap is usually ok, but even some of the scented lotions are rather strong, so be careful. Oh, and be careful with fabric softener too. If interviewers are thinking you smelled good, instead of how you'll do on the job, then you probably overdid it.
posted by CoralAmber at 10:34 AM on March 17, 2009

What strange advice. Grippycat, would you be comfortable telling us what types of jobs you're applying for? Smelling like cookies might be good for, say, a daycare kiddie-minder, but not so much for a civil engineer.

I'm another interviewer who's definitely put off by perfume. An occasional whiff of "clean" (soap, shampoo) is OK, but if I have to sit in a cloud of your fragrance, you're going right to the bottom of my list because I don't want to be subjected to olfactory torture 8 hours a day by hiring you. So keep it light and subtle if you use perfume at all, but it may be better to skip perfume altogether. If you really have to smell like something other than a clean human, use a nice soap and shampoo as suggested. Somehow those don't reach out and invade people's noses the way perfumes do.
posted by Quietgal at 10:38 AM on March 17, 2009

Response by poster: Ok, bearing in mind that I have not been looking to engulf people in scent nor smell like a hooker or an open house(really?), I think I'll take away that smelling like an anything is bad for people with chemical sensitivities, and I'd rather not contribute to their air pollution. I'll stick with an unfragranced me, and chalk this up to "something that some people do see as wildly inappropriate". Thanks for the reality check!
posted by grippycat at 11:25 AM on March 17, 2009

I see you've already gotten your answers, but I just want to add that I have worked in several places with no-scent policies. That meant no perfume, no strongly scented body lotions, nothing like that! You never know if you're going to be interviewing in a place like that, especially since I think it they are becoming more common due to the chemical sensitivities that other people have mentioned.
posted by apricot at 11:54 AM on March 17, 2009

an open house(really?)

Yes, really. Some people put a dab of vanilla inside of the oven and turn it on low for open houses.

Surely if you avoid any scent the your interviewer will not be thinking "grippycat has good qualifications, but doesn't she know that applicants are supposed to smell like cookies?"
posted by yohko at 11:57 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

I also read somewhere that most of us were originally attracted to our mates because of smell.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:03 AM on March 19, 2009

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