Urbie

Perfume Etiquette?

Any advice on how to deal with a really strong perfume smell?

 

I was at a play last night, and we were seated like sardines.  The woman sitting on the other side of my fiance was wearing the STRONGEST musk scent, which started giving me a migraine after about 15 minutes.  It was a 3 hour long play.

 

I didn't say anything, I just took 3 ibuprofen and sucked it up...is that really all that can be done in a situation like that?  The theater was sold out so we couldn't change seats. 

 

missfawnie

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Maybe she's a tad European in nature? 

 

I used to go to grade school with this kid whose family was old-school European. Instead of routine showers and using deodorant, he would constantly cover himself in layers of cologne.

dolceloure

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Perfume is tricky, because every scent is different, and every person's skin chemistry is different.

 

For me, I do a few sprays for most of my perfumes, as I have a 30 minute commute to work and whatever I'm wearing will always soften up in that space of time. I also carry my perfume with me b/c no matter the scent, they never seem to last more than couple of hours on my skin!

 

I do wish people would be more careful about how much they wear, and consider *where* they are. Ex: guys wearing crazy amounts of cologne, to the gym of all places! Their body heat makes the scent even stronger, and mixed with the smell of sweat, it's just.... :smileysurprised: gross.

daeidre

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Ick, I hate the gym-smell. The guys that drown themselves in half a bottle of deodorant/body spray/cologne then wonder why everyone is giving them the side-eye when they're projecting a cloud of fragrance through the entire gym. No, we're not eyeing you because you're sexy, we're eyeing you because you're disgusting.

jenjendoitagain

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

My Dad has a problem with fragrances as well.  My mom has never been able to wear perfume since she began dating my dad when she was 16!

 

When I was younger, in high school, I had to always carry my perfume in my purse and/or bookbag and apply it when I got out of the house!

 

Still, when I go visit my parents, I have to remind myself not to wear perfume over there. Sometimes I forget, and I am quickly reminded. He can seriously sniff out even the lightest hints of smell and will say as soon as you walk in the door, "Well thanks for giving me a soon-to-be-headache today!", and will quickly take an aspirin. Well, gee...I didn't mean to. LOL

katie1724

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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That's so funny -- my dad is the same way (and I'm really sensitive to fragrance, too, but just not in the same way he is). He HATES the smell of nail polish and claims it makes the whole house smell -- it doesn't bother me, but I have to remember to paint my nails somewhere with the door closed. :smileyhappy:

hessychris

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

Oh gosh Urbie, I think we may have sat next to the same woman! I was at the rock and roll hall of fame concert a few years back and the woman next to me literally bathed in perfume before she came to the concert. I paid a ridiculous amount of $ for my tickets and was not willing to move. However, I don't get migraines- I get asthma attacks and sneeze like I'm trying to get in the Guinness book of world records. I did ask her to move down a seat or two (there were open seats on her side) and she reacted like she didn't speak English (which I know she did). Ok fine! So after sneezing like a normal, respectful person into my sleeve for the first few hundred times and no longer being able to see the stage because my eyes are tearing, I started just sneezing towards her direction more and more until she finally moved!!! Yeah, I know I'm a horrible person but I did ask nicely. Anyone could've seen I was close to death. This is why the ADA (American disability act) says it's discrimination if your employer doesn't try to make reasonable accommodations at work if you are sensitive to smells. Unfortunately, it's not enforceable in theaters so I take matters into my own hands. 

 

Girl, I say work on your best fake sneezes!!!! Nothing clears a room faster! :smileyhappy:

Urbie

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Too funny, hessychris!  Yeah, nothing like a fear of the plague to get someone to move away from you.  

punctuationgeek

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

 

I hate when people where perfume to doctor's appointments. You have no idea what sort of health problems people have, and your perfume could be triggering something for them. I went to a migraine specialist a few years ago, and a woman in the waiting room was wearing the strongest perfume. She was on the other side of the room, and I could still smell her. Strong scents are known to trigger migraines--I couldn't fathom why she thought wearing a perfume to a migraine specialist where everyone in the room had migraines would be a good idea. I'm sorry, but I thought it was really rude.

leopardstars

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

I get migraines too, and it drives me insane that so many people wear strong perfumes to school, on the bus, to the theater, and any number of other places where you're clearly going to be in close proximity to people.

Urbie

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Scent really does quickly cause your body to freak out in weird ways! I am that way with lilies, and I had to leave a friend's wedding early once because the centerpieces were lilies!  We didn't mention why we were leaving, and stuck it out as long as we could (til about 11pm).

Crimsonsketch

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

I can't think of what you could have done, other than cover your nose with a tissue (which I've had to do sometimes).  I find a lot of people don't know how to wear scent.  Personally, I think it should be subtle and intimate, and  unless I'm giving someone a hug, they should have no idea what scent I'm wearing.  Or perhaps the vaguest hint of something nice if you pass too closely to someone, and even then I think it should be subtle enough that they aren't sure if it's a perfume or just how you smell.

 

I have never told anyone that they're perfume is too strong for me, but I do casually discuss perfume in conversations if it comes up, and share my opinion about how subtle it *should* be.  This way you're not directly telling people to tone it down, but you're planting the idea.  Mind you, this will only work with people you come into contact with regularly, and doesn't help with too much perfume in public places.

leopardstars

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

Absolutely agreed! I actually had the perfume conversation with my mother recently, not because she wears too much perfume, but because my sister bought her Chloe for Christmas and it smells way too strong on her. (We were in Sephora and I was trying to hint that she should try something else; luckily, she actually brought it up first.) Someone out there needs to say once and for all that fragrance is supposed to be an intimate thing, so that everyone will follow the rule. It's sexy when you hug someone or lean in close and they smell nice; it's tacky when someone passes within 3 yards of you and it makes your eyes water. It doesn't help that all the Youtubers who film "get ready with me videos" spray like 5 spritzes of perfume. I personally spray once on my wrists and touch them together, and then once on my neck/chest area, and I spray from about a foot or two away. I get migraines from strong smells, so I couldn't wear too much anyway.

Urbie

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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That is exactly how I feel about perfume.  If I can smell it when I hug you, that's great, but if i can smell it sitting next to you, it is too much!  Luckily none of my girlfriends wear heavy perfume, but if I'm in that situation, I will definitely try that conversational hinting!

HelloCoffee

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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 that's the problem I have with perfume…it's hard to tell how many sprays!  Some formulas are lighter, others are stronger and last longer.  If I spent the money, I want people to be able to smell it, but not to offend/choke them.  I mean, it's a nice feeling when someone says "oh you smell so nice! What are you wearing?".  No one has called me out on anything negative about my perfumes yet…..I hope no one is lying to me and that I am spraying it properly every time, lol.

chupi

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

If you wear one fragrance for years (as many older women do), your nose becomes desensitized to it. So you end up applying more than you should. I'm really paranoid of this happening and like to switch it up. Plus I get bored easily.

sangova

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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I have a friend who wears too much perfume, and she likes sweet vanilla smells that I hate. And I also feel shy to tell her about it, I feel it would be rude from me.

Haybay523

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Are you my friend?! I don't wear a lot but I enjoy vanilla smells, and my best friend actually found a vanilla one by victoria secret... I think?, that she likes and gifted me that for my birthday one year, years later I found out it was because she thought my other vanillas were too sweet! (since then I've moved on to more "adult" perfumes but still) try and find one you like maybe?

Urbie

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Oohhhh, that's a tough situation!  I wouldn't be able to say anything either!

Heatoyos1

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

I think that I would have asked if my fiance and I could be seated somewhere else. I would explain to the management that I am sensitive to strong odors, and that her perfume was giving me a headache. 

 

There is probably not much that the woman could do now that she had already left the house and cannot take a shower. Even using the sink in the restroom wouldn't wash the odor away if she sprayed her clothing or body. Plus, it would be mortifying for her if you asked to have her move seats. 

 

Maybe she gets very sweaty/funky, and is self-conscious about it, so she uses perfume to cover it. Maybe she assumes people would rather smell perfume than body odor?

Urbie

Re: Perfume Etiquette?

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Yeah, I didn't say anything because well, what can you do?  It was a sold out Broadway show.  I think she and her husband were the oblivious type (she was  trophy wife type) because they were also eating peanut M&Ms throughout the show (there might be people with peanut allergies and you are in extremely close quarters!)  

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    • katie1724
    • chupi
    • dolceloure
    • Crimsonsketch
    • sangova
    • Urbie
    • Katty2323
    • LadyInWhite
    • HelloCoffee
    • leopardstars
    • michmo
    • hessychris
    • Heatoyos1
    • missfawnie
    • daeidre
    • SallieSunshine
    • jenjendoitagain
    • Haybay523
    • punctuationgeek