I’m just being honest

20 Sep

Cologne, perfume, aftershave,  deodorant,body sprays, scented oils, lotions, hair products or makeup don’t have to smell bad to make someone feel sick. The point is that they have a strong smell and therefore can trigger nausea, headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, respiratory distress or host of other problems for people who are hypersensitive to smell. I am unfortunately one of those people. People like me, who get migraines from Chanel No. 5,  Aqua Velva, Axe Body Spray and, as much as it pains me, Old Spice, are the reason that most work places today have a ‘no scent’ policy. Hairsprays trigger my asthma. No shit.

Yet, despite the progress that has been made in making people aware of this problem, people continue to be extremely insensitive. I have a colleague who insists on burning incense in her office with the door wide open and her windows closed so that the smell travels throughout the hallway and into other offices. I’d like to burn sense into her. I have another colleague who bathes in Terre d’Hermes. I want to ‘terre’ his ass out. I have students who use Axe in lieu of bathing. I want to “axe” them to bathe. The lady in the lunch room uses so much hairspray that she’s not allowed in the kitchen for fear her head will catch on fire. I’ve been seriously tempted to take a lighter with me the next time I enter the cafeteria. And the list goes on.

I am not saying that any of them stink … besides the students. You probably think it’s unfair that people like me want to deny you the pleasure of enjoying the scents you love. I myself have enjoyed sitting beside a handsome young man wearing 212. It was intoxicating. Still, I am sure there is someone else out there that would have vomited if they had been in my position. Most people when they dab on these products can only smell it for a few minutes, after which they don’t notice it anymore.  One really strong scent can cause me to lose an entire day of work. So why must I pay such a high price for someone to enjoy a scent for mere minutes?

So the next time you decide to dab on cologne, perfume or aftershave, be really really frugal. Don’t over do it. Don’t spread it all over your body. Don’t empty the bottle. Don’t use it to cover up your poor hygiene. Use some restraint. Also, the next time you’re thinking about buying perfume for someone as a gift, find out if they have scent allergies. If you were going to bake peanut butter cookies for someone, you’d want to know if they had peanut allergies, right? It’s the same thing, except people are less aware of scent allergies than they are about peanut allergies. I have an entire drawer of perfumes that I have received as gifts from friends and family. I love my friends and family, so I don’t throw them away and some of them come in really pretty bottles. I even kept the bottle of Paris Hilton’s fragrance that my cousin gave me just so I can ridicule her about it. Still, it feels like the gifts were wasted on me since I cannot use or appreciate them.

Strangely enough, body odor doesn’t make me ill. So when it comes down to it, I’d be better off stuck in an elevator with a homeless person than with the Old Spice Guy. This makes me very sad. 😦


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