Originally Posted by pawful
People who have decided that because they don't like fragrance, it's killing them (I'm allergic! etc.) are more to blame. All those litigious americans spooked the industry imo.
While it's probably a combination of many factors, I tend to agree with this explanation. In an age of increasing social anxiety it seems to be a matter of pride for people to discover that they are "sensitive" to one thing or another, and there's nothing like a big prominent lawsuit to help legitimize people's various fears and worries.
The nail that sticks furthest up is the one that tends to get pounded down, and the fact that others can actually perceive the smell of perfume as an unbidden presence within their sacred personal space.....that in itself is enough to excite the suspicions of certain members among the hyper-vigilent.
I think the Frag Industry is shaking in their boots that sooner or later there will be some big expose that sets perfume squarely among the list of other previously-seen-to-be-harmless toxins, both real or imagined, that are apparently playing havoc with our lives and health.
After all, we sometimes put perfume on clothing so it will last longer, because when we put it on our body.....some of it disappears into our skins. And also enters the bodies of unsuspecting others through their noses.
So I think that's one of the main reasons makers are watering down their perfumes. The whole "skin scent" / lack of projection trend is probably a reflection of their worries : the less that people are able to smell their product, the less likely it is that second-party non-wearers are going to start blaming it for their ever-increasing list of ills.
I don't think that perfume companies are particularly interested in protecting the wearer ( after all, it was their choice to purchase and wear it ), I think they are more concerned about the reactions of vigilant non-wearers who are forced to endure what they may come to view as an obvious toxic intrusion into their personal space. Whether they have allergies or not.
If that's the way things evolve, it may not be long before we see punitive "sin taxes" being applied to perfume, much in the way they are now applied to other permitted-but-toxic products like cigarettes and cigars.
So really, I think the trend toward weaker perfumes is a part of a larger "image management" campaign.
Producers dearly want to preserve the public's perception that "Perfume is your friend".
In this age of the anxious and hyper-vigilent, coming up with fragrances which contain only "safe" ingredients, and better yet, which no one further than a couple of inches away can smell, would seem to be the safest way to protect that image.