Back to school: Celebration or end-of-summer bummer?

back to schoolWell, folks, it’s that time of year again. All the kids are back to public school here as of last week and the private schools this week. And it’s looming within the next couple of weeks for you folks in other areas, I imagine. For some of us this is cause for celebrating. For others, a time for tears, with little ones starting kindergarten and big kids going off to college; or perhaps just feeling a little bummed that the carefree summer is over. If you’re at either end of this spectrum, or somewhere in between, do share with us.

Anyhoo, my son started high school last week and several days before, we went in for Meet the Teacher Day. The ninth-graders went first at 8:15 a.m., followed a bit later by the sophomores and juniors (the seniors came in at lunchtime). So by mid-morning you can imagine that the halls were jam-packed with bodies: students, parents, little brothers and sisters, and of course, teachers and administrators.

Well, after a little while of fighting our way through wave after wave of humanity in the halls and walking for what seemed like miles, can I just tell you that I was ever so thankful to be sniffing Chanel Eau de Cologne on my wrists and have Cristalle wafting up from my neck and chest?

Which got me thinking: Are any schools considered fragrance-free zones these days? If you’re a teacher, counselor, principal, etc., do you wear perfume at work? Do you use it as a student? If so, would love to hear what you wear while you’re on the school time clock. Although I imagine that it might be a no-no for cafeteria employees.

As for us, I haven’t seen any kind of edict or regulation from our school, so I think it’s still OK.

  • Heidi says:

    I’m a college professor, and I often wear perfume to class. In fact, this summer I was teaching creative writing to a class full of testosterone-laden young men, and I found myself wearing Big White Flower scents a lot to stake out some feminine territory in the classroom.

  • Rini says:

    I haven’t heard anything official on our school being fragrance free. i am very careful at work though because we have several small windowless conference rooms that tend to make the tamest fragrances seem loud.

  • tiffanie says:

    I work at an elementary school and typically stick to gentle essential oils and the leftover scent from whatever I wore the night before when I am at school. Sometimes when I am feeling a bit over the top I do spritz on a bit of Songes in the car on the way to school. It makes me happier and always dies down by morning recess so as to not offend anyone in the teachers’ lounge.

    I noticed a new teacher last September was wearing Osmanthe Yunnan and was doing a great job of being subtle about it. One of her close co-workers is vocally anti-fragrance, so she stopped wearing any. Boo.

    There is not a perfume policy at school, but there are a few strong opinions among the teachers. A few are adamantly no-fume (fragrance induces headaches). A few deploy Glade Plug-ins in their classrooms to combat the sweaty kids aroma, especially when temperatures outside are above 85F. Thankfully all our buildings are air-conditioned so we have lots of “fresh” air circulating all day.

    This past spring a teacher brought in a few vases of gorgeous sweet peas for the front office staff. I sniffed them and thought I’d gone to heaven, but one of the school secretaries begged me to take her vase away. It was making her sneeze. Every nose is different.

  • jenna says:

    A friend of my son’s told me his teacher wore the same perfume I was wearing. And it was MItsouko!!

  • Dina C. says:

    My DS is starting college in two weeks. He’s a fan of the Old Spice line of scented products – deoderant, shampoo, and body wash. My DD will be a HS sophomore. She likes fruitichouli scents like the Taylor Swift Wonderstruck and Enchanted. She doesn’t go back until Sep. 8. When I volunteer in the schools, they don’t have any scent policy yet. Thank goodness!

  • Michele42 says:

    My baby is heading back to college shortly. Sophomore year….I just can’t believe it. She normally wears a fog of Anna Sui La Vie De Boheme, but I suspect that’s probably a no no for her science classes. I don’t work in a school setting, but a corporate cube farm, and surprisingly they don’t have any issues with perfume (yet).

  • Diana says:

    I don’t have children but when I see the “back to school” stuff in the stores, I get really bummed out because it means winter isn’t far behind. I absolutely cannot stand the cold, snow and gray skies, so the past few years living here in Chicagoland have been horribly depressing. On the upside, this is the last winter I’m tied here because of work so there’s an end in sight. 🙂 Regarding perfume in public settings, I hate to see it banned but sometimes I do wish certain people were more judicious in the amount they use. Someone at work wears a horrible screechy scent that triggers my allergies when we have to sit in a room together, and she uses alot of it. Ugh.

    • I feel the same way. I was in a movie theater recently, and someone in the theater was wearing something sweet with huge sillage that just wouldn’t stop. It almost seemed like this person was reapplying every few minutes because I kept smelling it and never went nose-blind to it. It was obnoxious. I was wearing Providence Perfume Co. Hindu Honeysuckle, so I was occasionally getting little whiffs of vetiver from that as well, and it wasn’t a good combo.

  • CbSutcliffe says:

    I just dropped my freshman son and a young lady neighbor who is also a freshman off. In the car on the way, they were discussing fragrance. She had correctly identified he was wearing something Old Spice (deodorant) and they talked about other things they liked and didn’t.

  • Becky says:

    I teach elementary school, and my oldest starts kindergarten this fall. We start back with meetings next week. I am NOT ready to be back into the swing of things (or for my baby to be getting SO BIG OMG UNPOSSIBLE WAAAAAAAAAAH). I am trying to focus on the positive – she will be right down the hall for me, and fall is just the best time of year, so there’s that.

    My school isn’t fragrance free (yet), so I do wear perfume to work, but I proceed with caution. I use a light hand, and I save my hardcore, NSFW darlings for when I get home. Tocca Collette is my go-to work scent.

  • Neva says:

    Back in the eighties our teachers wore perfume to school. There was a nice whiff in the air every time my English teacher passed my table so I was guessing with my girlfriend what it could be, but we were clueless for several weeks. In the end I mustered my courage and asked her what perfume she wore. She was a very fancy lady…and she confessed with a smile: Vu by Ted Lapidus! Ok, that was my next purchase, of course 😀

  • Portia says:

    Heya Ann,
    I have zero to do with current schools but I remember after sports or Physical Education there would be showers and Norsca. It was the ubiquitous pine scented under arm deodorant of my youth. There were a couple of old school Old Spice wearers and I preferred Blue Stratos until my beautiful mother gave me an Aramis gift pack. I smelled better than anyone and it was happily noticed.
    Portia x

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I haven’t set foot in any kind of classroom setting in about 10 years, so I wouldn’t know. What I know about my high school, a couple years after I graduated, they banned students from carrying their book bags to class. Imagine going from carrying your books on your back and only stopping at your locker twice a day to after every period. But there have been a few massive drug busts that involved kids carrying illegal drugs in book bags instead of leaving it in the lockers. But I do doubt that they have banned perfume wearing. In high school, everyone after gym class was spraying themselves with either Obsession, Happy or Cucumber Melon with Cucumber Melon being the biggest one.

    My end of summer scent is L’Air du Desert Morocain. It signals those clambakes and backyard bonfire. But L’Air suits the bonfire the best though.

  • Kate C says:

    That’s a vey good question!

    • Ann says:

      Which question are you thinking of, Kate? The end of summer or fragrance in schools? 🙂