There are no minimum age recommendations for using perfume. Most people experience fragrances in the pre-teen years at the age of 11-12. Most teens start wearing perfume to special occasions and not necessarily to school.
I was debating the minimum age to wear cologne with a friend when I realized the information on this topic is very limited. After asking a few of my friends about their first perfume, I got various answers. Women told me they started applying perfume from the age of 10, with 12 being a common later age for the first perfume. Men told me they started applying perfume from the age of 12.
But most of them also told me their parents didn’t allow them to wear perfume at school. Sure, wearing perfume on special occasions, especially when the body starts to change and hormones announce their presence is not a bad thing. Most also agree kids under 10 shouldn’t wear perfume.
Consider your cultural background
As with all things kids-related, culture plays a primordial role. What is considered a norm in Europe might be different in the USA.
This being said, I can see girls growing up in Paris trying out perfume at a younger age. When all you see is Paris fragrance shops, you might be tempted to give them a try a bit sooner.
Other cultures prefer to allow teenagers to dress up for certain events such as going to church. In these conditions, it can’t be so unusual for teenagers to try out one of their parents’ perfumes.
Social norms and lifestyle also dictate what kids associate perfumes with later on in life. It’s a church that many start to recognize the smell of frankincense. It’s with walks in the park that teenagers get to learn how flowers such as jasmine smell like.
So how young is too young for your first perfume? I’m planning to buy my nephew his first cologne when he reaches puberty. It’s going to be a new experience and I don’t want to buy one for him before adolescence. While I’ve seen dozes of perfumes for kids, I don’t think there’s any rush for them.
What science could tell us about the right age to start wearing perfume
I’ve also looked at a few studies and most don’t cover a minimum age for applying perfume. But there’s certainly research that tells us the age of the participants.
The University of Vienna conducted a study on the perception of individual odor. The study conducted chose men with a minimum age of 23 and women with a minimum age of 18. The study has also proven that both men and women start to appreciate perfume vs personal body odor at this age.
There certainly is no maximum age for wearing perfume. But the minimum age for applying scents might be a matter of personal preference. As with anything child-related, you shouldn’t force your kid to wear perfume.
At the same time, if you fear your child might have sensitive skin, it might not be a bad idea to discuss fragrances with a doctor. Otherwise, you might also find that most of your friends also applied perfume for the first time in the early teenage years.