A funeral is a time to say goodbye and pay respect to the deceased. The proper attire varies from culture to culture and from faith to faith, but in Western culture, funerals require formal clothing with dark colors, preferably black. However, what about wearing perfume?
It’s recommended to avoid wearing perfume to a funeral, especially if there’s a viewing before. Depending on the scents of the perfume used, it can be seen as disrespectful to the deceased, but it can also cause other problems like allergic reactions and migraines to other attendees.
Funerals aren’t something where you can or even should think about pushing the boundaries. It’s about paying the final goodbye to the deceased, not showing off your great sense of fashion. That being said, you can still wear perfume. If you’re interested in what kind of perfume you could wear, this article will help you choose the right one.
In this article..
Things To Consider Before Wearing Perfume to a Funeral
There aren’t any rules set in stone about what you can wear to a funeral. However, there’s etiquette that you should follow, and wearing perfume can sometimes be on the verge of breaking it. Before wearing perfume to a funeral, you should consider several things about it.
First of all, whether there’s a viewing or not and what kind of viewing it is. Most viewings are held in enclosed spaces that aren’t spacious, and perfume is especially felt in places like that. Strong perfume can not only be seen as offensive but also trigger adverse health reactions in other attendees.
Some viewings are held outside and can even be more informal. That’s where you can be more lenient with your perfume and even choose to wear a stronger scent. However, always consider what kind of allergies and sensitivities other attendees have and don’t wear perfume that includes known allergens of other people that are attending.
Then, you have to be mindful of how much perfume you’re applying. We recommend using as little as possible, because most likely there’s going to already be a lot of different scents in the funeral, from flowers to candles and in some cases incense. The combination of so many smells can already be overwhelming, and now imagine adding perfume on top of it.
Finally, test your perfume to see how potent it is. You might be thinking that you’re wearing a light scent that’s close to your body, but everyone’s noses are different, so it’s always wise to test your perfume and ask someone standing a foot or two away from you an opinion on the scent you’re wearing.
But what kind of perfume should you wear in the first place?
What Perfume to Wear to a Funeral
If you’ve decided to wear perfume to a funeral, it’s recommended that you choose a light scent with low sillage and projection. Perfumes like that are the least likely to cause problems. Additionally, be conscious of the scents. We recommend wearing woody for men, and white floral for women.
Avoid wearing something that’s too sweet and includes gourmand notes. However, there are exceptions. For example, if the deceased loved chocolate, you could wear a chocolaty scent and it would be more than appropriate. The same goes the other way, so avoid scents that are related to things that the deceased hated.
Recommended Perfume to Wear to a Funeral
Here’s a fragrance we recommend to women:
This amber floral fragrance is an updated version of Aromatics Elixir, one of the most popular fragrances which is still popular over 5 decades since its release.
Aromatics in Blacks feature base notes of myrrh, tonka bean, and vetiver, that are complemented with middle notes of jasmine, osmanthus, and neroli, and top notes of plum tree, pink grapefruit, and bergamot.
You can get a 50ml (1.7 Fl. Oz) bottle for about $47, or 100ml (3.4 Fl. Oz) for about $66.
For men, we recommend:
Italian luxury brand Bvlgari launched this woody floral musk fragrance in 2019. It was created by master perfumer Alberto Morillas, who combined white floral and woody notes with citrus accords.
Man Wood Neroli features top notes of neroli and bergamot, middle notes of orange blossom, Virginia cedar, and Cypriot oil, and base notes of woody notes, white musk, ambergris, amber, and leather.
You can buy 100ml (3.4 Fl. Oz) for about $55.
Funeral Attire Do’s and Don’ts
It varies from culture to culture, but in the West, black formal clothes are often expected from funeral attendees. You’re there to pay respect to the deceased, and it’s about them, not you. That’s why you shouldn’t wear something that’s going to make you stand out in a crowd.
Here’s a cheat sheet of do’s and don’ts of funeral attire:
|Do Wear||Don’t Wear|
|Dark Colors (Black, Dark Gray, Brown, Blue)||Colorful Clothes|
|Covered Shoulders||Bare Shoulders|
|Light Scent||Heavy Scent|
|Subtle Patterns||Bold Patterns|
|Minimal Jewelry||Loud Jewelry|
|Classic Shoes||Sneakers, Platforms, Sandals|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
(Q): How to Properly Wear Perfume to a Funeral?
(A): Choose a light perfume and apply it on pulse points, places with blood vessels close to the skin. It includes the neck, wrists, inside of the elbow, and areas behind your ears and knees. Wash the area before applying and spray perfume from a distance of 4-6 inches (10-15cm). We recommend applying perfume several hours before leaving home and using as little as possible.
(Q): Are There Perfume Alternatives?
(A): You could always choose natural scents over perfumes to wear to funerals. They’re usually lighter and have lower sillage and projection than perfume. For example, you could apply essential oil as you would perfume. It will make you smell nice without making the scent too obnoxious.
Funerals are all about paying respect to the deceased. That’s why you should think twice about wearing perfume and be careful about the scents you’re choosing. We hope this article helped you decide on wearing perfume to a funeral and explained what scents are appropriate.