Is Someone at Work Wearing Too Much Perfume or Aftershave?

Do you have a hard time with people who wear too much perfume or aftershave?  You know, the people who you swear just opened the bottle and poured it over their head, rather than having taken a shower in the morning – the ones that walk by you and leave a trail of overwhelming SMELL behind them?  Whether this happens in  your work environment or when you are in the grocery store or out having dinner at your favorite restaurant – this can certainly be annoying.   

perfume sensitivityWhile I love perfume, perfume oils, fresh flowers, etc.  I also am VERY sensitive to those same smells – and I’ll be the first to tell you that having a fragrance sensitivity can be downright painful!  For me it starts with a burning sensation in my nose, then travels down into the back of my throat – this then makes me feel like I can “taste” that overwhelming fragrance and the next thing, BOOM I have a horrible headache – that can easily last for two or more hours!

My father, late in life developed asthma, and a strong sensitivity to smells (flowers, perfumes, cleaning products, even gasoline); if he came into contact with any of these – he immediately needed his asthma inhalers.

Personally, I don’t think that most people are aware how much their favorite perfume or aftershave can bother someone else.  But I think that we all need to be aware of this.

I read a very interesting article in an HR Matter E-Tips, called “Fragrance Sensitivity and the ADA Q & A” and it discusses how a business owner can handle this issue in the workplace.

Some people might feel that this is just another way in which the government is attempting to tell us how to run our businesses – and personally I don’t feel that the government or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should even have to get involved.

Per the article:

Employees with fragrance sensitivities, often referred to as “multiple chemical sensitivities” when they are severe, are not just bothered or annoyed by fragrances.  Rather, they have a physical reaction to certain chemical compounds in fragrances that may be contained in a myriad of products, including lotions, shampoos, perfumes, aftershave, deodorants, cleaning products, pesticides, air fresheners, and even floorings and wall coverings. Symptoms can include headaches, nausea, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes, and in more serious cases, breathing difficulties, poor memory and concentration, muscle and joint pain, and sleeping problems.

So the next time you get ready to splash on the perfume or aftershave – stop to consider the person that you don’t know, but may encounter in your daily routine who suffers from fragrance sensitivity.

What’s your opinion on too much perfume or aftershave?