Marketers agree that scent is tied to brand identity and, let’s face it, in the corporate world, you are your brand.
Perhaps you need an aftershave that says “next managing director” or “digital producer in the making”. Maybe you need a perfume that says “don’t screw with me” or “good people person”.
According to Nathan Martin, Mecca Cosmetica Fragrance Concierge, those who want to scale the corporate ladder often gravitate towards an Oriental or green fragrance.
“These can be intriguing, complex and layered, and definitely ones to wear when you want to be taken seriously,” he says. “They are clean and fresh and a great way to get noticed.”
Creative types are more likely to opt for a more interesting and ‘free’ combination such as a fresh aromatic citrus, says Martin.
Meanwhile a successful businessman may choose a stronger and more dominating woody fragrance as they find it a better representation of themselves.
“After all, fragrance is a way we are free to express ourselves in a non-verbal manner.”
A word of caution no matter what your chosen statement: “You want to wear enough fragrance to make a statement, but not too much that the entire office knows when you’ve arrived.”
Here, some judicious choices for career types.

Fashion Designer

For Him: Brioni Eau de Toilette $372 for 75ml
A mix of fresh lemon and citrus leaves with floral notes of magnolia, iris, and violet rounded off with spicy saffron and herbaceous liquorice, this dazzling scent is the epitome of creative energy and trendsetting style. Wear it to Milan or Paris.
For Her: YSL’s Black Opium $160 for 90ml
Juicy pear, bitter-green mandarin peel, fragrant jasmine and orange blossom are underpinned by coffee bean notes teamed with cream white musk and white wood accord. The result: an absolute show-stopper.

Blogger/beauty editor

Si Eau de Toilette $130 for 100ml
Created for the woman who is both daring and determined this Giorgio Armani scent will easily pass muster in the cutthroat world of digital marketing. It features Italian bergamot, mandarin, neroli, freesia and Rose de Mai. Throw in some positively carnal touches of Vanilla Pure Jungle Essence and patchouli, and it’s this hour’s news.


Maison Francis Kurkdjian Masculin Pluriel $189 for 70ml
Formulated with notes of soft leather, Haitian vetiver and Indonesian patchouli, this strong yet clean scent is lent subtle effervescence by a touch of Provençal lavender. It also contains a fern-like parfum present in many classic men’s fragrances.  Upsizing? Floating the company? Or just talking up shares? A dash of this will do it.


Fleur 09 Eau de Parfum by Maria Christofilis $282 for 50ml
Feminine, powerful and driven, its wearer knows what she wants. Fleur 09 radiates with heavenly tuberose, magnetic jasmine and orange blossom. While it captures the true essence of exquisite florals, it is tough enough to survive any competitive market.

Salon Director

Mister Marvelous Eau de Cologne $324 for 250ml
Perfumer and founder of Byredo Ben Gorham felt the world-renowned hair stylist Christiaan Houtenbos embodied this fragrance. The dapper Hountenbos noted that “a marvelous thing must be strange in that it must be like nothing else,” and with mandarin leaves, bamboo, black amber and white cedarwood in its composition, this scent lives up to the challenge.

Activist/Not-For-Profit Director

Byredo Rose of No Man’s Land $160 for 50ml
A fragrance that pays tribute to the nurses who worked on the front line during WW1, this delicate scent is all about sensitivity, charity, global-orientation and an entrepreneurial spirit. Think Angelina Jolie meets Greenpeace. Created to raise awareness and funds for Doctors Without Borders.


Commes des Garcons Floriental $150 for 50ml
An unusual, addictive fragrance, that blurs the line between floral and oriental. Its wearer is on-trend, design-focused and creative.


Acqua di Gio $135 for 100ml
With a woody elegance – sandalwood, Virginia cedar, masculine attraction -Haitian vetiver and tonka bean, and an ambery signature note, this Armani scent also features zest of lemon, ginger, bergamot, violet, basil and white pepper.  It’s not an exaggeration to say it’s a structural masterpiece.

Trophy Wife/Philanthropist

Diptyque Jasmin Essences $194 for 75ml
A fragrance composed from a thousand flowers including a special jasmine grown in the home of Grasse and picked at the end of autumn when it has a fruity, candied scent, this fragrance appeals to most selective noses. It belongs on a woman who appreciates the finer things in life.

Star of the stage

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau de Parfum $251 for 50ml
A luxury citrus scent infused with notes of Sicilian lemon, winter yellow mandarin and orange flowers, and warmed with amber undertones, this perfume is an expression of both luxury and creativity. Think top-tier seating.

Financial controller

Aventus $349 for 75ml
He’s the man with the money, the alpha of virility and the king of the cashflow. With top notes of bergamot and pineapple, middle notes of jasmine, patchouli, birch and juniper berry and base notes that include musk as well as vanilla, he’s not without his softer side, especially when reconfiguring the remuneration packages.

Media buyer

Gucci Bamboo $145 for 75ml
A mixture of strength, confidence and femininity, this scent features woody and warm notes through the heart and base. Sandalwood, heady Tahitian vanilla and grey Amber strike a complementary contrast with the exotic floral notes of Casablanca lily, orange blossom and ylang ylang.
Stockists:,,, department stores and speciality retailers.
This story originally appeared in Life & Leisure in The Australian Financial Review.

Helen Hawkes

Helen Hawkes is a journalist who writes compelling print and digital content across business and finance, health and lifestyle, real estate and interiors. Her content clients have ranged from American Express and the University of NSW to Maserati and 9Honey. She is fluent in cross-platform storytelling, brand tone of voice, content strategy and stakeholder management.