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Nice Cologne -- Must You Marinate In It?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Okay, someone here at work is wearing entirely too much perfume. It's this clinging, cloying scent, and it's making my stomach hurt -- like I want to throw up -- and I suddenly feel like a bobble-head. Grrr.

I'm really sensitive to strong smells, and it seems like my sensitivity is just getting worse with time: this morning I went to spritz on my own perfume (which is fairly light) and it was too strong for me. I have allergies and I suffer from migraines; strong perfumes and colognes are both triggers for these problems.

I don't know what to do about this. I'm just a temp here, so my opinions and preferences aren't generally taken into consideration, and this isn't a perfume-free workplace so I don't have any power to ask the woman to stop wearing her favourite fragrance (or at least to stop wearing so darned much!). Besides that, she's new and I don't know her at all -- I don't really want my first meeting with her to be "Ummm, could you stop wearing that perfume? You're making me sick." I'm really afraid that unless someone with more seniority complains about this, that nobody will do anything about it because I'm just not important enough to worry about (I've never had a job where I was treated like such a non-entity -- I'd quit if I didn't need the money so badly).
post #2 of 16
But you're going to hate the job even more and under perform if you're feeling sick each day from this woman's perfume.

Maybe mention it to someone else at work who you're comfortable with and see what they say?
post #3 of 16
Boy I know what you mean, why do people think if something smells nice you should use more and it will smell better. Maybe you could go who ever is responsible for signing your time card and explain the situtation. I know it is uncomfortable but you can't be sick all the time. I have the same problem so I feel your pain. Good luck!!
post #4 of 16
I wonder if there's anyway you could be moved to a place not so close to her? Maybe speak to the boss confidentially, you don't want to make a bid deal of it, etc etc, but it's really giving you migraines, and you'd like to be moved to the other side of the room/office/building/hemisphere?!

I am a perfume wearer, not a basker in it, but when I have a headache or migraine, perfumes make the pain much worse! Good luck....
post #5 of 16
Now there is a couple perfumes out there that are just strong even if you use a little.

When I was hospitalized last week a nurse popped in to check on me....I didn't see her but could smell her perfume, she came back in and talked to me for a second....and I knew it was the same nurse.

I knew (pandora is trying to prevent me from typping here) what perfume she was wearing, Obsession, that stuff even a drop of it and you smell like you bathed in it....cause I have it too.
post #6 of 16
I tend to wear one perfume until the bottle is gone, and after the first few days I really can't smell it anymore. So, to make sure I'm not wearing too much, I only use one spritz. How many spritzes do you guys use?
post #7 of 16
The building where I work has a strict no scent rule. However it never applies to people coming in for meetings. I was introduced to a lady from headoffice and almost gagged. And it wasn't jut the strenth of the scent but the actual smell was horrid.
The local bus line has been known to throw people off of the bus for having too odurous perfume or colone. It is listed in their rules for travel.
I only wear fruity perfumes. My favorite is called Satsuma, it is from the body shop and smells like oranges. I don't wear much but its nice and light.
post #8 of 16
I feel for you one women in my old office who had the cubicle across from me drenched herseld in perfume -esp when she came back from lunch!!! Good thing she was out of the office alot. I would politely bring this up to the person who supervises you at your job-you can't be the only one with this problem.
post #9 of 16
I HATE people, who think they have to drown themselves in cheap perfume.
post #10 of 16
Maybe you could get her a little light-fragranced body spray that smells yummy...(test it out in the store and make sure it won't give you a headache first. Then add a bow to it and a nice little note that says "hope you're enjoying your new job! Feel free to ask if you need anything"-so & so...
That way- she will hopefully wear the light new fragrance that won't hurt your nose or your head - and she'll see you as being generous and kind
post #11 of 16
Well yeah professionally you should have a light floral type fraquence for a perfume and save the strong catch you attention type stuff for dating (or to entice your DH if it is your fav). I believe that is what the stronger ones are designed to do.

The only excuse to wear that sort of perfume at work is if you were a secretary trying to work your way to the top.
post #12 of 16
Many moons ago I worked at a company that had a few offices and a courier that delivered between all of them. That guy would bathe in cologne while he was in his car (we saw him do it) and then come into the office to deliver packages. And it's not like the guy was working up a sweat and trying to cover that smell or something.. I mean he was only delivering paperwork in manila folders... Anyway, even after he left the smell would take over the office for a few hours. I was in the very back of the office - the farthest person from the front door - and even I was choking to death. I could only imagine what the receptionist went through.

But a few of us low level toadies brought it up to the VP and she ended up saying something to the guy. He was very nice about it, and even though you could still smell him when he came in, it was a VAST improvement over what it was before.

So, long story short, I vote say something to a higher up.. politely, of course... it just may help.
post #13 of 16
You mentioned she's new, so I imagine it's only a matter of time before someone addresses it. I'd speak up if I were you. Tell whoever you report to that your sinus/allergies can't take being in close proximity to her. Unless your supervisor is nosedead, they are already aware of the problem.

We occasionally have that problem with clients coming in the office, but more so with cigarette smoke. They can't smoke inside our building so they stand right outside the door puffing up a storm so they don't waste it, then with a cloud still around their head, hurry in for their appointment. And sadly, any positive impression they might have made gets lost in the discussion afterward about how bad they smelled.

It's a fine line between just right and too much perfume. If we were in the car and DH thought it was too strong, he'd open the windows on me. And since I've never heard anyone comment that they wish someone else wore MORE perfume because they like that scent to much... I don't wear much anymore.
post #14 of 16
I noticed that when I am financially stressed, I tend to lose my sense of smell and I wear a lot more perfume. I wear less perfume when I am happy because I have a better sense of smell.
post #15 of 16
If you can smell the perfume without kissing or hugging someone, they're wearing too much.

If people reek like a cheap fragrance I usually assume they're trying to cover up the smell of pot (like your delivery guy MuttigreeMom) or some other drug.

Today at work I walked past this guy and actually threw up a little in my mouth. It's disgusting.

I agree, you should talk to your boss and maybe he could make a general announcement to the office about amount of fragrance. Personally I don't think any perfume is necessary in an office, but I know some people just like to smell nice, and a teensy little spritz is quite sufficient for that!
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by Cinder View Post
We occasionally have that problem with clients coming in the office, but more so with cigarette smoke. They can't smoke inside our building so they stand right outside the door puffing up a storm so they don't waste it, then with a cloud still around their head, hurry in for their appointment. And sadly, any positive impression they might have made gets lost in the discussion afterward about how bad they smelled.

Oh honey, i feel ya on the smoke thing! I am severly allergic to cigarette smoke- and it makes me nauscious and usually results in me having an astmah attack on the spot. This happens at my college on a daily basis. It ticks me off! I can't even walk up to a building without getting drowned by the entry doors by smoke. It makes me very ill. It wouldn't be as bad if i weren't allergic to it- but it's like people have no consideration. They all crowd right outside the entry doors to smoke before going to class- and people- non-smokers included have to walk right through it to get to's at every door entry so it's not like i can walk around.. I have had 3 astmah attacks this week as a result of walking through the smoke- it's horrible. It makes me soo sick and there's nothing i can do about it. I don't mind people smoking outside- but it should be away from entry doors that everyone has to come in and out of- you know, high traffic areas....when people have astmah and allergies- it really comprimises their health and exposes them to 2nd hand smoke. I wish they had a little designated smoking area away from entry doors for them to go to instead- that would be ideal- that way smokers could do as they please there and people who don't want to be exposed to it wouldn't have to walk through a smoke cloud to get to a class. (sorry for the rant- i just wish people would organize areas like that better so that smokers and non-smokers would both be happy).
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