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Rant about perfume!

Discussion in 'Hypersensitivity and Intolerance' started by realjoy, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. realjoy


    I have had a sensitivity to certain perfumes since my late teens. It was usually the 'grandma pefume'...like White Shoulders...that would make me sick and give me an instant headache.
    But in the last few months it has become horrendous! Now it seems like its any perfume! Tonight I had to rush to another area of the grocery store to avoid a lady who had already made me sick in an aisle and last week when out to dinner with DH and DD, I got VERY ill when a woman walked past our table wearing heavy perfume. Instant headache and nausea.

    I was just telling my DH tonight that one can usually avoid things if they have a food allergy or something like that...but how on earth do you avoid perfume in public??? I already have super-hero level smelling ability, so it's torture!

    I swear, this illness is different every day!!!

  2. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

    Real joy, i totally agree that perfume is a very inconsiderate thing in this day and age. Once at work I had to wear a TB mask (in a hospital) in order to give chemo to a patient, the smell was so terrible. Interrestingly i get migraine headaches but i become very irritable on top of being nauseous. When I worked, I was very thankful to be in a SCENT FREE working area, my savior. Many work places are like that, and hospital facilities.

    I suspect at the moment our best practice is avoidance, as much as possible, and directly request no perfumes when one has to deal with the same offending person repetitively, though in general these person don't understand that they are offending and some will say they have a RIGHT to wear perfume. :tear::eek::confused:

    Some people really don't understand what a drop of perfume means, and some of them have their scent nerves really screwed up...
    :hug: I understand!
  3. Carrigon

    Carrigon Senior Member

    PA, USA
    I have scent sensitivity, too. I can't take being around men who reek of cologne or even heavy deodorants. Sometimes, it's not even perfumes, people's deodorants are icky smelling.
  4. realjoy


    Deodorants bother me as well. I used to love the smell of my husband's deodorant and aftershave, but even that is starting to really bother me :(
  5. strawberry

    strawberry Guest

    I've always been very sensitive to perfumes as well. They give me nausea, headache and brain fog. It feels like they are really toxic and I just have to get away. I also feel really ill from the 'new car smell'. It makes me feel like being sick and seems extremely toxic.
  6. gracenote

    gracenote All shall be well . . .

    Santa Rosa, CA
    I'm not quite as sensitive as I used to be, but am still very bothered. In addition to headaches, I feel like my whole body gets overwhelmingly tired and achy. I hope someday soon they will have "no scent" areas just like there are now "no smoking" areas.


    strawberry, welcome to the forums. I hope you enjoy being a part of this very awesome place.
  7. strawberry

    strawberry Guest

    Thank you gracenote. It certainly is an awesome place. It is a wealth of knowledge and interesting discussion.
  8. Athene

    Athene ihateticks.me

    Sometimes I feel like turning a foreman's hose on people covered in perfume. Wearing perfume is a hateful thing to do!!!!!! Even a tiny bit makes me get instant headache. It also makes me sneeze like mad and I always make sure the guilty person knows they are causing my suffering.

    I live in Italy where everyone douses themselves in it before leaving the house and then they all attack you with kisses on both cheeks so you are covered in the horrible stuff yourself. My father in law used to turn up at the house reeking, until once I shut myself in the bedroom for the entire duration of his visit. He got the message! Now I just need a way to get through to the other 57 million Italians...
  9. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia

    I sympathise with you & agree it is a very difficult problem in general, for many of us.

    In 2004 when I was very ill & very sensitive to perfumes, I couldn't go through a chemist or the toiletry area of a department store.

    I seemed to improve for a few years until one of the IT technicians at work wore the most repulsive aftershave (?) & I couldn't breath when he was at my desk fixing my computer (literally). I had to stand & hold my breath as best I could, or step away to take a deep breath while he was near me or my desk.

    One of the secretaries at work used to spray perfume just before she left for the day, then step in the lift to go down to the ground floor. Every time I got in the lift after her, I would get dizzy or nauseous, & once, just before I retired from that job, I nearly passed out in the lift.

    Since I stopped work 5 weeks ago, I have been out at different shops, environments & Govt social services offices etc, & been overwhelmed with nausea in the crowded areas again. As I stayed home for the most part outside working hours (pain/fatigue etc)for so many years, I had forgotten how sensitive I was in the past

    I think I have narrowed down the ingredient that affects me in male deodorant (?). I believe I have suddenly become sensitive to cedarwood (even though I used a cedarwood incense in my home 20 years ago).

    I also have a big problem on crowded public transport.

    So it seems, for most of the time, I am back to keeping close to home most days in retirement.

    It is becoming more & more of a problem, this chemical/perfume intolerance in public spaces, so it's not just those of us with MCS who have a problem - some normal, healthy people are starting to react!
  10. HopingSince88

    HopingSince88 Senior Member

    Both my daughter and I have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities). Hers are much worse than mine. I don't have a problem with scents/fragrances, but she does. We once had a lady at a major department store who sprayed a new fragrance as we entered the door. It brought on a massive asthma attack for my child. I was so angry.

    Many years later we saw a doctor that specialized in MCS, and she told us that an allergy or sensitivity to ALCOHOL may be the underlying problem, an not the fragrance itself. This makes total sense with CFS.

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