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Jul 23, 201410:57 AMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

Perfume haters of the world unite!

(page 1 of 2)

I know I’ve blogged about perfume and cologne abuse before, but it’s a subject that needs to be put out there again — and often. I’m on my soapbox because, once again, I’ve been the victim of perfume abuse. My husband, Dave, and I went to a movie on “date night” and had to look for different seats when a scent abuser entered a close-by row.

We had a similar experience at a local restaurant, and believe me, food doesn’t taste the same when there’s a heavy scent in the air. The same thing happened recently at a meeting I attended. I had to move to a different side of the room so I could breathe and enjoy the presentation. What’s with this? Don’t perfume menaces know they’re not actually enhancing their personal appeal? What kind of wakeup call is needed to get them in the loop?

A few years ago, a Detroit city employee filed a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act claiming that excessive use of perfumes in the workplace had caused her serious health problems. She won a $100,000 settlement in the case.

Everyone has been forced to share space with someone who had doused himself or herself with the latest, greatest fragrance without really knowing that a little scent goes a long way. By the second or third time they do this, their “smellers” are used to it and they don’t realize how intense the effect is for others. Sometimes they even reapply the scent after a couple of hours because they can’t smell it at all by then.

If people are keeping a distance from you when you attend meetings, go to church, or shop at the supermarket, you may be a perfume overdoser. Please, on behalf of all the people who suffer from scent overdose — who might get intense migraines, are struggling to breathe, suffer from burning eyes and noses, develop nausea, and/or are just offended by the overpowering discomfort they must endure until they can get out into fresh air — please, please act with consideration. Don’t make us all victims. Please learn moderation. Less is more.


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Jul 25, 2014 10:32 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Amen! Let's also raise the issue of the "plug-in" odor bombs that folks think putting in their work place creates a welcoming environment....NOT! The only location they are appropriate is in your office with hermetically sealing doors that you open once to enter when arriving and once to leave when departing for the day (lunches eaten at desks only). You must also have your own office ventilation system that exhausts all air directly to the roof above the 23rd floor.

Jul 31, 2014 03:02 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I didn't realize that this was a forum to post personal likes and dislikes. Is this really a business issue? Let's start banning women from footwear I don't like. And let's do 100% away with jeans. And if we're talking outside of business, nobody with high hairdo's are allowed in anything but the back row of a movie theater. Shoppers who leave their carts in the middle of the Woodman's isle should be banned to Brennen's where I can't afford to shop. People who say "him and I" should be required to attend Toastmasters. I could write my own article. But I'll post it elsewhere because it's not necessarily business related.

Jul 31, 2014 03:14 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

This morning when I arrived at work there was a non-profit board borrowing a conference room in our office (fairly common thing). I remarked as I walked by that it smells just like I remember my Catholic Church smelled like when I was a kid(don't get there much these days). Turns out it was a Catholic affiliated group. Hmm, I don't remember getting any special "Pontiff Perfume" with any of the sacrements growing up. I guess it's probably just the comingling of recently applied perfumes & colognes, but it smelled just like church to me!

Aug 1, 2014 11:03 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

This is absolutely a business issue. How many times have you choked and coughed when a "salesperson" has entered your office, polluting your air for the day? Men are just as big, and sometimes bigger, offenders as women. Cologne is not something that should linger in the elevator hours after you've gone, unless you are promoting stair use in a twisted way.

According to Scientific American, "The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label,” reports EWG (Environmental Working Group), which analyzed the Campaign’s data. “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.” EWG adds that some of the undisclosed ingredients are chemicals “with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues.” Examples include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, which concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk."

I say do your homework and don't endanger my life or my workplace because you can no longer smell your cologne.

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