Don’t Ruin My Wine Smelling Experience

July 26, 2010

My mother is allergic to perfume, causing her to not be able to breathe, and she starts coughing a lot to try and breathe. So many cousins’ graduations missed because people wore perfume and she couldn’t breathe. I was taught young not to wear perfume.

Good thing, too. When I was in college, my roommate worked for Starbucks, who forbid their employees from wearing perfume because it would change the flavor of their customers’ coffee. I’ve also heard that chocolatiers also can’t wear perfume, as chocolate will absorb smells out of the air, effecting the taste. I believe it because one year, Mom bought a box of peppermint patties and chocolate peanut butter cups, and the peppermint smell was absorbed by the chocolate peanut butter cups, and they tasted awful.

Shortly after spending money to take a “Le Nez du Vin”: The Nose of Wine class, the Oregon Wine Press ran an article by Janet Eastman in their May 2010 issue  titled “On-the-Nose Advice” about avoiding breath mints, perfume, and even smoking when tasting wine. With the mints and smoking, it would be difficult to taste the wine as these two items would have covered up the taste buds with another flavor, making it difficult. With wearing perfume, aftershave, lotion, etc, it is hard to tell if the wine smells like roses, or if that is just you. In all cases, the smell also waifs off, affecting other people smelling and tasting. Some wineries, Eastman wrote, will have polite pleas, “We request that you be considerate of others at this event and refrain from wearing scents that conflict with the enjoyment of the bouquet of the wine. Thank you for your respect.”

In Tasting Club: Gathering Together to Share and Savor Your Favorite Taste, Dina Cheney does say that when sending out an invitation to people for a tasting to include, “A request not to wear perfume of cologne (which would interfere with everyone’s olfactory abilities).” The Wine Club by Maureen Christian Petrosky seconds that.

At my cider making class a few weeks ago, there was a man who wore heavy scents, and I avoided him, especially when it came to drinking cider, as I wanted to smell and taste my cider, not his cologne.

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One Response to “Don’t Ruin My Wine Smelling Experience”


  1. […] there also trying to sell candles and scented mists. When I first saw them, I thought it would ruin my experience tasting the wine, but the scents didn’t seem to permeate the room. Actually, one could have taken the wine and […]


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