One of my employees smells – too good!

Dear Aunty B,

You’ve dealt with the issue of smelly employees, but I’ve got a bit of a different take on the issue.

One of my male employees (he’s a bit of an older bloke) uses a distinctive aftershave that in (very) small doses would be tolerable.

But after using it for many years he’s obviously become a bit desensitised, to the point where he puts on so much that I can only think that he applies it with a bucket.

Obviously it’s not as bad as body odour, but when anyone gets within three metres of him it’s overpowering to the point where I have to move away.

What do I do?




Dear GG,

Well there are a lot of things that smell in Canberra at the moment, so I’m not sure why you are picking on this bloke!

But this is a tough one. Overpowering smells in an office environment – food smells, BO or perfume – are no good, but personal smells need a careful touch to address.

I don’t know how well you know this guy and how sensitive he is, so here are few strategies. If you want to approach it gently, you could buy him a new aftershave as a present or reward for a great bit of work. Hopefully he’ll take it as a subtle hint that it’s time for a change of cologne. Or you could drown yourself in perfume one day before a meeting and then publicly apologise to everyone for overdoing it – hopefully he’ll take the hint that it’s time to reduce the amount he uses.

But as always, the direct approach is best. Just pull him aside quietly and tell him to take the aftershave down a few notches. I’m willing to bet he won’t even know how overpowering the smell is and he’ll be more than happy you’ve told him in a private setting.

Keep it light and humorous and it will be absolutely fine.

And if he takes it badly, at least you’ll still be able to smell him coming.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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