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Author Topic: Perfume
Sari

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Post Perfume
on: April 25, 2013, 9:20 PM

So I was reading the ongoing story and someone wrote that Dina put on perfume before her date. Does everyone wear perfume on dates? I used to wear perfume but then someone mentioned that it might be a Halachik problem??? Anyone know anything about this?

dancer90

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 25, 2013, 9:33 PM

Yeh I learned in sem ur not allowed but I don't know how stringent it is....most girls wear perfume

feigy123

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 12:35 AM

I'm not sure why it would be more of a halachic problem than going on the date at all...

bygirl

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 12:43 AM

Quote from feigy123 on April 26, 2013, 12:35 AM
I'm not sure why it would be more of a halachic problem than going on the date at all...

why not? dating is to see if two ppl are compatible for marriage. perfume has the potential of causing the guy to have inappropriate thoughts...
*not that i'm beshita against perfume, but there are torah sources that prohibit it, whereas with dating there are torah sources that actually permit it

inshidduch-
im613

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 12:49 AM

Quote from feigy123 on April 26, 2013, 12:35 AM
I'm not sure why it would be more of a halachic problem than going on the date at all...

So that means all aspects of tznius go out the window just cuz u r on a date?
She's right-there is a problem with perfume

feigy123

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 1:33 AM

Quote from bygirl on April 26, 2013, 12:43 AM

Quote from feigy123 on April 26, 2013, 12:35 AM
I'm not sure why it would be more of a halachic problem than going on the date at all...

why not? dating is to see if two ppl are compatible for marriage. perfume has the potential of causing the guy to have inappropriate thoughts...
*not that i'm beshita against perfume, but there are torah sources that prohibit it, whereas with dating there are torah sources that actually permit it

I mean, everything about a date is otherwise assur. The whole point is to be building a relationship, and the whole point of half the tznius halachos and minhagim is to prevent you from building a relationship.

You ask where to draw the line: It is also assur for him to look at you. It is also assur for him to talk to you. I guess I really don't know.

So maybe I don't have any point here.

inshidduch-
im613

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 1:38 AM

feigy: the whole point of tznius is not to prevent you from building a relationship...thats so not the purpose of tznius!
and as bygirl said, you are dating to see if u are compatible for marriage and can build a home with him...

bygirl

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 1:52 AM

Quote from feigy123 on April 26, 2013, 1:33 AM

I mean, everything about a date is otherwise assur. The whole point is to be building a relationship, and the whole point of half the tznius halachos and minhagim is to prevent you from building a relationship.

You ask where to draw the line: It is also assur for him to look at you. It is also assur for him to talk to you. I guess I really don't know.

hu? the whole point of the tznius rules is to allow you to build an appropriate, real relationship - not one that's based on externals and momentary attraction.
and where do you get these halachos that it's assur for him to talk/look at you??

bygirl

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 1:52 AM

i may be wrong but i feel like i'm sensing some bitterness here

in the gap

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 7:33 AM

I think one should be allowed to wear perfume, I have even had a Rav tell me that I have to. If only a drop is put on, then it won't make the boy think inappropriate thoughts, and it will make him more attracted which is a hard thing for yeshivish boys who have never been exposed to girls before.

feigy123

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 8:30 AM

Quote from bygirl on April 26, 2013, 1:52 AM

Quote from feigy123 on April 26, 2013, 1:33 AM

I mean, everything about a date is otherwise assur. The whole point is to be building a relationship, and the whole point of half the tznius halachos and minhagim is to prevent you from building a relationship.

You ask where to draw the line: It is also assur for him to look at you. It is also assur for him to talk to you. I guess I really don't know.

hu? the whole point of the tznius rules is to allow you to build an appropriate, real relationship - not one that's based on externals and momentary attraction.
and where do you get these halachos that it's assur for him to talk/look at you??

hmmm. I think I have a different conception of the rules of tznius than you do, but that's ok. And no bitterness; I'm not even sure what you mean by that.

The halacha is that a man is not allowed to derive any pleasure from a woman he is not married to--whether it be by looking, talking, or otherwise. Then there are certain halachos and minhagim that women follow in order not to be lifnei iver on the men, like dressing tznius and acting tznius. But from the men's perspective, it isn't as if they are allowed to look at your face but aren't allowed to listen to you sing--if the purpose is to get pleasure, then they aren't allowed to look at your face either. I don't know what the original source is but I read this in Mesilas yeshorim chapter 11.

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 9:30 AM

First of all, whoever said that this is a matter of halacha is right. Which means, my opinion and anyone else's (unless that someone happens to have daas Torah) is irrelevant. That said, when deciding whether or not to wear perfume on a date, one should definitely consult their Rav. (BTW-This is coming from someone who loves perfume and all things feminine and pretty, so it's not like it isn't hard for me not to wear any sometimes.)

Regarding the dating/tznius discussion: It is obviously allowed and necessary for a guy to look at and interact with a girl when dating with marriage in mind. Just because he probably will derive pleasure from this interaction (and yes, despite a girl's best efforts to dress tznius, this can still happen) does not make it wrong. This doesn't mean that when dating, all tznius rules fly out the window. When a girl dresses for a date, she has to worry about doing what's right. It's his job to keep himself in check-that part is not your problem.

patcha

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 10:36 AM

Never heard of this. I wear perfume on dates. Not too strong.

The interesting question in this thread is: The one time in our life we are going out, and externalities do matter - how far can we go? We don't want to make it unfair for the guy but we don't want to make him not interested either.

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 10:48 AM

Quote from patcha on April 26, 2013, 10:36 AM
The interesting question in this thread is: The one time in our life we are going out, and externalities do matter - how far can we go? We don't want to make it unfair for the guy but we don't want to make him not interested either.

Once again, the halachos are there to answer that question. As long as you follow them you don't have to worry about being unfair to the guy.

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im613

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 10:57 AM

i agree with ithink. patcha-yes, there is a purpose in going on a date, but we are NOT trying to physically pull in the guy. yes, he has to be physically attracted to you, but our goal in getting ready for a date isn't to try to see "how far we can go" in order to attract him physically. that's the beauty of frum dating: we are focusing on the more ruchniyus-side of the relationship

patcha

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 11:39 AM

iThink and inshidduchim613: It is totally possible to dress exactly 100% according to halacha, depending on who you follow and which opinions they hold by, and be completely not tznius. And it is possible to technically not be following 1 or more rules, but look very refined.

So it's not all halacha, and perfume is a good example. Because it is something that most of us don't wear every day, and we definitely wouldn't wear it if we were going to be around the opposite gender. But we might put on a little bit for dates. Is that tznius or not? Maybe it is just an acknowledgement of what we are doing. Or maybe like bygirl and dancer90 said, it is inappropriate since we should be focusing on internal things.

My personal feeling is that a little perfume is okay. But like feigy said, the entire dating process is probably questionable.

bitochon25

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 2:44 PM

-

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 3:03 PM

I'm the first to admit that anyone trying to manipulate the spirit of halacha doesn't have to work to hard to get the wrong look without breaking any technical rules. And yes, there is no halacha that states that perfume may not be worn. However, it is ossur for a man to intentionally smell a woman's perfume (The S.A. writes ואפילו להריח הבשמים שעליה אסור - E.H. 21:1) If someone is normally sensitive not to wear it around men, why would they make an exception for dates, and how would they rationalize it?

patcha

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 3:17 PM

iThink: If there is no halacha you can't wear it, and it is equally forbidden for a man to get pleasure from looking at you in any way, so then how is it different from rationalizing dressing up for a date?

My sister wanted to go on beshows for this reason. She thinks the whole dating system is terribly untznius. And you know what, she is right, and I wish I was on her level. We're between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, you really shouldn't wear nice clothes until you are pretty sure you are going to marry this guy. On the other hand, if you don't you're not doing your hishtadlus.

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 3:28 PM

For the record, if anyone is concerned that dating in itself is halachically questionable tznius-wise, please check out the following quote from the S.A. (E.H. 21:3): "For the sake of marriage, a man may view an unmarried girl or lady to see whether he likes her appearance and characteristics. It is not only permitted; it is advisable and correct to do so."

Tznius and dating can work together. There is no inherent contradiction between the two.

P.S. This doesn't mean that all the frum dating practices and accepted norms are okay according the halacha. It just means that when done right, there should not be a problem.

patcha

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 3:35 PM

ithink: how do you know S.A. so well? 🙂

That's interesting. Does perfume count as characteristics?

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 3:44 PM

patcha: The fact that a man will most likely take pleasure when "looking for the sake of marriage" does not make it ossur. I've read that this is based on the heter that Chazal call "אי אפשר ולא קמכוין" (It is essential and the pleasure that evolves is unintentional). Check out the sefer "וארשתיך לי בצדק" by Rabbi Pesach E. Falk for quite a few sources in gemara and sefer chofetz chaim on this heter. (BTW the translation for this Chazal is from that sefer as well)

I think it's so so important to remember that maybe the system isn't kosher, but that doesn't mean dating isn't. Your sister makes an excellent point. But if you date al pi halacha, you don't have to give it up entirely. Just make some tweaks to the current system.

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 3:47 PM

patcha: lol, I don't really. But this topic is very important to me, so I've read a lot about it. By now it takes me just a min or two to look up a source on tznius related topics... 🙂

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 3:56 PM

Quote from patcha on April 26, 2013, 3:35 PM
That's interesting. Does perfume count as characteristics?

I once tried a sample by clinique called "happy", so maybe you're on to something 😉

patcha

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 26, 2013, 4:19 PM

iThink: That's so interesting. I really admire your knowledge, I should read the book.

lol

Sari

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 27, 2013, 11:10 PM

Quote from iThink on April 26, 2013, 3:44 PM
Just make some tweaks to the current system.

Hope I don't regret asking this 😉 but what other "tweaks" are you referring to?

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 27, 2013, 11:58 PM

Quote from Sari on April 27, 2013, 11:10 PM

Quote from iThink on April 26, 2013, 3:44 PM
Just make some tweaks to the current system.

Hope I don't regret asking this 😉 but what other "tweaks" are you referring to?

Don't worry, I'm not gonna mention specifics here, that's just gonna start a whole debate on the specific point instead of focusing on the main issue.

All I'm saying is that it would be a good idea to take a good, honest look at the generally accepted dating practices and make sure that none of them clash with your tznius standards. Remember, just because halacha makes certain exceptions (to the normal rules of contact between the genders) for the dating couple doesn't mean that no rules apply anymore.

feigy123

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 28, 2013, 12:08 AM

Quote from iThink on April 26, 2013, 3:03 PM
I'm the first to admit that anyone trying to manipulate the spirit of halacha doesn't have to work to hard to get the wrong look without breaking any technical rules. And yes, there is no halacha that states that perfume may not be worn. However, it is ossur for a man to intentionally smell a woman's perfume (The S.A. writes ואפילו להריח הבשמים שעליה אסור - E.H. 21:1) If someone is normally sensitive not to wear it around men, why would they make an exception for dates, and how would they rationalize it?

Right, but the previous clause there (I just looked it up) is that he may not gaze at her beauty.

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 28, 2013, 12:15 AM

But he absolutely may look at her intentionally for the sake of marriage despite the inevitable pleasure that follows. This is a special exception for dating; what you are talking about is the general rule.

feigy123

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 28, 2013, 1:50 AM

Quote from iThink on April 28, 2013, 12:15 AM
But he absolutely may look at her intentionally for the sake of marriage despite the inevitable pleasure that follows. This is a special exception for dating; what you are talking about is the general rule.

Right. So why do you think that perfume doesn't also fall into the exception?

iThink

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 28, 2013, 2:44 AM

When the S.A. says that a boy may look at a girl for dating purposes, there is no mention of any leniency in regard to the halacha of smelling a womans perfume, nor have I seen such an exception in any halachic discussion on this issue.

If anyone is aware of any halachic source that mentions a leniency on this issue, I'd love to hear.

feigy123

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Post Re: Perfume
on: April 28, 2013, 9:16 AM

Well, I clearly haven't done the exhaustive research you have, so I can't really opine on this intelligently. But from the way the issur is first presented, with looking being the baseline issur and "even smelling" being the extreme end of the issur (with presumably some other issurim being in between?), it isn't unreasonable to imagine that if there is a heter for looking that it includes the lesser issurim as well.

But again, I'm just talking off the top of my head, I haven't done the research you seem to have.

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