Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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< Q11.1.11 TOC Q11.2.1 >

Question 11.1.11:
Dress: Are Orthodox men and women allowed to wear perfume?


There are some Orthodox Jews who consider perfumes/cologne on men to violate "a man should not wear a woman's dress". But there is no problem for women, and few men follow the stringent ruling. Socially based, men from more traditional Orthodox movements simply wouldn't wear cologne—it never entered the "black hat" community's internal sense of fashion.

There is a prohibition on wearing cologne or fragrance on particular holidays, in particular Yom Kippur or Tisha' B'Av, but there is not a general prohibition.

That said, it is worth noting that many congregations gently request that strong perfumes not be worn during services, not due to any religious prohibitions, but due to chemical sensitivities of other congregants.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

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