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  1. #1

    Question Everything changes!

    Until about five years ago, I could wear perfume without any problems. Suddenly, I started developing spots on my neck and chest if I applied it anywhere around there, and all fragrances turned sour on me within an hour of putting them on. I've tried many different fragrances since, but they all seem to end up as the same sour smell, which I assume must be due to my body chemistry.

    So, how do I find a scent that doesn't smell revolting on me - and is it even possible?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    I am having the same problem. Though they do not smell sour, they either smell different than they are supposed to (generally very very nondescript) or they turn in an odd way that is not pleasant. The lady at Nordstrom's yesterday said I was probably someone who's skin 'turns' perfumes... whatever that means.

  3. #3
    dpak's Avatar
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    Default Re: Everything changes!

    I have no idea what the problem is, but I do have a question. Do other people notice the sour smell? There is some variability in the way individuals perceive smell - it's feasible (though unlikely) that you smell fine to other people.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Two thoughts:
    --Because you mentioned spots on your neck and chest, I would caution you not to apply fragrance to areas in prolonged contact with the sun. One can get discolorations that can last for months.
    --It may be a change in your own sense of smell. Are you taking any new medications? It is worth mentioning to your doctor.

    Best of luck.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Thanks for the replies!

    In answer:

    - When I ask for an opinion on a fragrance I'm wearing, the usual response is that it doesn't suit me, so I don't think that it is only my sense of smell. I don't take any kind of medication.

    - I normally apply scent to my wrists now, and have not yet noticed any discolouration - but I have fair skin, so I try to avoid being in the sun for any length of time anyway. (There may also be a US/UK terminology issue here: by spots, I mean pimples/zits.)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    What about applying scents on clothes and hair instead of skin?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Quote Originally Posted by dpak View Post
    I have no idea what the problem is, but I do have a question. Do other people notice the sour smell? There is some variability in the way individuals perceive smell - it's feasible (though unlikely) that you smell fine to other people.
    On me? Yes. Hanae Mori Magical Moon was one of them. The first time I tried it was ok. The second time I was sitting there wondering what the awful smell was... my husband sniffed me and told me it was me!

  8. #8

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    It can be many things ....

    - An allergy to one of the components of the perfume, the problem is to find out which. Have you ever tried to use diluted (3 to 5%) natural materials instead of perfume, as sandalwood, patchouli, jasmine, ylang ylang, etc. ?
    - An allergy to a combination of perfume and something else, the sun for example. It happened to me while I was living in Africa. You don't get rid of it easily.
    - A real skin problem (asthma, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin) which is getting worst in contact of perfume.
    - A nose problem (and here, you need the help of others to clarify the situation).
    - A question of skin color (people with red hair and a fairly white skin sometimes have problems with perfumes, they turn bad on them or just fade out).
    - An hormonal problem (pregnancy, menopause, etc.).

    Or a mix of several of these points even.

    Be patient and go on searching.

    In between, you can put your head down and spray your perfume on your hair, at the back (you change when you wash your hair). Hair roots catch perfume molecules because they are greasy and create a wonderful sillage. Be very careful with fragrances containing oakmoss and jasmine.

    There is just one thing I don't understand, it's why you don't get any allergy when spraying your wrists ...
    Last edited by Night; 29th July 2008 at 06:15 PM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Hi Brionyrose,

    Working in the industry, I was told that fragrances can turn in the exact same manner you mention if, for example, you have taken a new medication, or come off an old one. This can noticeably effect the way a scent will smell on your body.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    If not medication, could it be a change in diet?

  11. #11

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Residue (including the fragrance) from you soap/body wash and any body lotion? Have you tried switching? The particular PH may make a difference.
    And yes; diet, medication, and hormones.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Therese View Post
    Two thoughts:
    --Because you mentioned spots on your neck and chest, I would caution you not to apply fragrance to areas in prolonged contact with the sun.
    This is especially important with fragrances that use natural citrus notes, as these can make skin very sensitive to sunlight.

    Have you tried wearing solid perfumes; by that I mean perfumes in wax that are worn in a pendant close to the skin. As the wax warms the perfume is released. This way you can enjoy fragrances and not have to worry about problems with skin chemistry, because it never really comes into contact with your skin.
    Last edited by surreality; 29th July 2008 at 11:06 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Therese View Post
    Two thoughts:
    --Because you mentioned spots on your neck and chest, I would caution you not to apply fragrance to areas in prolonged contact with the sun. One can get discolorations that can last for months.
    --It may be a change in your own sense of smell. Are you taking any new medications? It is worth mentioning to your doctor.

    Best of luck.
    this is very true. the spots could very well be rashes in initial stage. please avoid applying scent to that area. matter of fact, stop applying fragrances to skin for least a month or so. spraying on fabric should do the trick. it'd also help to meet a doc to see if there are any type of anti allegerns which might help subside the skin irritation....
    Last edited by jenson; 30th July 2008 at 10:01 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Wow, thanks for all the helpful suggestions! I've only worn scent maybe three times in the past two years, so am really looking forward to trying some of these ideas out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    - An allergy to one of the components of the perfume, the problem is to find out which. Have you ever tried to use diluted (3 to 5%) natural materials instead of perfume, as sandalwood, patchouli, jasmine, ylang ylang, etc. ?
    No, I haven't - where could I find that sort of thing? Do you mean like diluting the essential oil in water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    In between, you can put your head down and spray your perfume on your hair, at the back (you change when you wash your hair). Hair roots catch perfume molecules because they are greasy and create a wonderful sillage. Be very careful with fragrances containing oakmoss and jasmine.
    I'll definitely try this. I'm not keen on spraying fragrance on my clothes, because of discolouration, but I'm happy to attack my hair with it! Sounds like a lovely idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    There is just one thing I don't understand, it's why you don't get any allergy when spraying your wrists ...
    I'm not sure - but the skin on my wrist is not the same as the skin on my neck. I can get pimples on my neck in the same way as on my face, but I wouldn't see those on my wrists.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renaissance_Man View Post
    Residue (including the fragrance) from you soap/body wash and any body lotion? Have you tried switching? The particular PH may make a difference.
    And yes; diet, medication, and hormones.
    I rarely use the same shower gel twice in a row, so I'm pretty sure it isn't that. Hormones are always a possibility

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    This is especially important with fragrances that use natural citrus notes, as these can make skin very sensitive to sunlight.
    That's useful to know for other skin products as well, I imagine - thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by surreality View Post
    Have you tried wearing solid perfumes; by that I mean perfumes in wax that are worn in a pendant close to the skin. As the wax warms the perfume is released. This way you can enjoy fragrances and not have to worry about problems with skin chemistry, because it never really comes into contact with your skin.
    I've never even heard of that - it sounds intriguing. Again, where could I find that sort of thing, or is it something I can make myself?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Quote Originally Posted by brionyrose View Post
    I've never even heard of that - it sounds intriguing. Again, where could I find that sort of thing, or is it something I can make myself?
    I am only familiar with one house that sells solid perfume, ayala moriel. However, if you google "solid perfume" there are other perfumers that sell them.

    Also there are many recipes out there in cyberspace for making your own. The base is usually a mix of beeswax and jojoba that is carefully melted and essential oils, parfum or extraits are added.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    How about applying to a handkerchief and putting it in a pocket? You can even use gloves to do this, so that the fragrance never comes into contact with your skin.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    How about applying to a handkerchief and putting it in a pocket? You can even use gloves to do this, so that the fragrance never comes into contact with your skin.
    You could do that as well. However, I find that fragrances on fabric tend to be one-dimensional and linear.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    I've had an odd problem that may be related -- I used to wear only one scent for years at a time. Then, I would get a bottle that didn't smell right -- I really knew the scent, the old bottle was still great, but the new one was off. Other people couldn't smell it, but that would ruin the scent for me and I would switch, till, years later, it would happen again.
    Last edited by Chestnut; 12th October 2008 at 02:42 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Everything changes!

    Nothing new to add here, but I'll chime in anyway. You might systematically try to isolate offending or tolerable elements. Basenotes reviews usually list fragrance notes. You might see a pattern emerge and steer towards or away from certain things.
    Is it a case that there are certain scents you adore yet they produce this reaction? I have some fragrance elements that don't give me a rash but they sure give me a headache... and quickly! I've learned to avoid them, or at least sample scents with them in very small quantities and applied on scrubbable areas (e.g., top of hand rather than wrist. I know, I know it isn't a pulse point but I don't wanna scrub my wrist raw!).
    Changes in lifestyle and experience will produce different physical and also aesthetic reactions. Age, diet, various items of recreational consumption all interact. So does skin type, skin acid/base balance.
    Finally, I can recommend Ayala Moriel's fragrances. Many people find they tolerate scents with a high component of natural ingredients. And Ayala really does a good job of that, both in liquid and solid form. Check out her website.
    Best wishes, I hope you find nice things that will suit you. Let us know how it turns out!
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

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