Does Everything Have to Have a Scent?

The world is not always a friendly place to those of us who suffer from a sensitivity to scents. 

The world is not always a friendly place to those of us who suffer from a sensitivity to scents. The sign on the door of my allergy doctor’s office asks that people not wear perfume and other strong scents into the office because it might cause an allergic reaction in a lot of patients. How true this is! With all of the scented products available for purchase, a person could become a walking smorgasbord of perfume. This is deadly for those of us who are sensitive.

I understand why perfumes may have been needed back in the Middle Ages. People then didn’t take baths or wash clothes as often as you can now. It is not the Middle Ages any more. Most people have daily access to bathtubs and showers and washing machines. There is no longer a need to cover up odors with perfumes. Why can’t we just be happy with clean smells?

Downy sells a product called Unstopables, which is a laundry scent booster. Gain also advertises its sweet smelling products. And let’s not forget Frebreze. I would like to see the science backing up its claim that it eliminates odors and not just covers them up. I believe that Febreze just covers them up. We currently have Febreze treated kitchen garbage bags (my husband bought these because they didn’t have fragrance free garbage bags). These give me a headache. Every time I handle one of these garbage bags, I have to wash my hands. I need to go to the store and find some plain garbage bags. There are also lots of advertisements for perfume.

When I was teaching, I had to tell my students that I could not handle any perfumes. I had students coming to school with their clothes reeking of Downy Fabric Softener. I also had a student one time come to school covered with perfume. He said his mother thought it would be funny to spray him with her perfume. I had to send that student to the office to have the mom bring the child some more clothes. After warning the students at the beginning of the year about scents and perfumes, I felt this was disrespectful of me.

I use products without added scents. I also have to be careful about what products I use on my hair and face. A skin care line I have used for years, changed formulas and now has a scent in its products. I can handle the scent if it is subtle and the scent goes away when it dries. The smell of this skin care line stayed around all day. I knew of others who had to quit using this skin care because of the smell.

Please be kind to those of us who suffer from “scents”-itivity.

Author: brendagmarler


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