Perfume haters of the world unite!

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.



If you want to wear a scent, apply it correctly. Most perfumes and colognes are usually very concentrated — just a drop on the wrist will do the job. No need to dab behind the ears and spray it all over the body. If there’s a doubt about how much is too much, ask someone. If you have over-applied your scent, get some rubbing alcohol. This is a quick fix if you’ve doused your skin, but it won’t help if perfume or cologne is sprayed or dotted on your clothes.

You may have a very good friend who loves to wear a fragrance. You may notice that every time you meet and hug, the scent hangs on your clothes for a long time afterwards. This brings up an age-old question: How do you tell someone that he or she is wearing way too much scent? All suggestions are welcome. Speak up, perfume haters! Now is the time. Let’s get the word out. Enough is enough.

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