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  1. #1

    Default perfume reactions

    do you guys really "almost vomit", "run home and scrub for 30 minutes", "faint", "get migraines", "wretch/cough" and other violent reactions to perfumes you dont like? or are these exagurations used in reviews just to get the point across.

    serious question.

    I don't think I've ever had a reaction like this to any substance really, let alone a perfume.
    Last edited by smellyliquid; 7th November 2008 at 11:28 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Fragrances can make me sneeze, cough, or feel nauseated. That's the main reason it took me this long to get into the wonderful world of fragrances--there were a lot of 80s fragrances I was sensitive too, and it put me off frags for awhile.

    Luckily, I've never had to scrub for more than 5 minutes to get something mostly off, though.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    I had to post because I have always wondered about this too.
    I can't say ANY fragrance has ever made me run,vomit,scrub,get a headache etc.
    This includes those on my skin and on others.

    There are some I dislike and others I like and others I love but none so bad that I need to run away. :-)

    There are other smells that can make me ill or start to wretch but not perfume.
    I work in hospitals so take that into consideration and also consider that my current fascination is pure oud oil. Those two things alone might make some people react badly.

    Something designed to make someone smell good should never elicit those horrific responses and thankfully, I can honestly say it has never happened to me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Those are certainly not exaggerations, at least not for me. Unfortunately, I have certainly been in the presence of certain individuals whose perfume has given me a splitting headache and two whose egregious olfactory offenses caused me to physically retch. There are also plenty of perfumes that make me queasy - violet, Calone 51, and aldehydes are the three worst offenders.

    Because I get pretty strong reactions, I never apply anything on my skin without first smelling a test strip...at least not intentionally. Colognejunkie will tell you about one incident where an overzealous SA in KC struck quickly and doused me with Creed's Spring Flower before I could protest. That was pretty rank.

    Certain people are just more sensitive to scent than others.



  5. #5

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Quote Originally Posted by linnea View Post
    Those are certainly not exaggerations, at least not for me. Unfortunately, I have certainly been in the presence of certain individuals whose perfume has given me a splitting headache and two whose egregious olfactory offenses caused me to physically retch. There are also plenty of perfumes that make me queasy - violet, Calone 51, and aldehydes are the three worst offenders.

    Because I get pretty strong reactions, I never apply anything on my skin without first smelling a test strip...at least not intentionally. Colognejunkie will tell you about one incident where an overzealous SA in KC struck quickly and doused me with Creed's Spring Flower before I could protest. That was pretty rank.

    Certain people are just more sensitive to scent than others.
    linnea the little happy bread kat mouths moving in your avatar are in sync with the song im listening to. sorry I know im derailing my own thread but its so cool

  6. #6

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    I really do have any one (or a combination of) the following reactions when a scent does not agree with me: nausea, headache, dizziness, unpleasant taste in mouth, itchy nose, watery eyes. As linnea notes, "certain people are just more sensitive to scent than others." I am no Anna Karenina, but I definitely fall into that camp nonetheless.

  7. #7

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Other than running home or fainting, I've experienced all those reactions.
    "almost vomit": One tiny sniff of Mugler Human Existence nearly made me lose my lunch.
    "scrub for 30 minutes" Again from Mugler, Alien proved to be as tenacious as it was foul-smelling on my skin. I scrubbed and scrubbed and tried every trick in the book to get it off.
    "get migraines" I am subject to getting sick headahes and sometimes they are triggered by a very strong, floral fragrance.
    "run home": I never ran home but I have sought relief from sampling fragrances that don't suit me in stores by asking to use a tester of a cleanser or using the ladies' room at a store.
    "wretch/cough" Sometimes a fragrance will make my throat feel like it's starting to close or it will feel scratchy.
    Last edited by socalwoman; 8th November 2008 at 12:38 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    I've had two migraines that were, I'm pretty sure, triggered by perfumes. I've learned to edge very carefully into perfumes with leather notes, and to make sure that I have a caffeine source handy in case I start to feel symptoms, and I haven't had a repetition a few dozen samples later.

    It's also not unusual for a perfume to give me a mild non-migraine headache.

    Neither of these are about dislike of the fragrance, though the association can then cause dislike. I assume that it's just a reaction to certain chemicals in the perfume.

    Crayfish

  9. #9

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    When I smell a particular aromachemical that my nose interprets as ammonia, it burns my nose and throat. I scrub repeatedly, but usually can't get it all off.

    Some frags with a lot of Iso E Super make my throat close and give me a pounding headache.

    Some frags with badly done patchouli give me a runny nose and sore throat.

    The nausea reactions are mostly psychological, I think, and everybody will be different on this one.

  10. #10

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    My "scrub for 30 minutes" (or longer actually) was Dior's Midnight Poison.

    I have tried and tried to wear Perfumer's Workshop Tea Rose, but it *always* gives me a headache. I recently gave away one of my mini bottles. Hopefully it will find a home with someone who can actually enjoy it.

    One person's bane is another person's ambrosia.

  11. #11

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Yep. There are some fragrances that make me feel as if I cannot breathe. Not sure what the note is that makes me react, but I will suddenly feel like I am suffocating and have to go and scrub it off.

  12. #12

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Quote Originally Posted by mamamia View Post
    Yep. There are some fragrances that make me feel as if I cannot breathe. Not sure what the note is that makes me react, but I will suddenly feel like I am suffocating and have to go and scrub it off.
    I hope Tea Rose is not one of them. . . .

  13. #13

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiona View Post
    I hope Tea Rose is not one of them. . . .

    Nope, not so far, though I admit I have only used one small dot on my wrist. Dang, that stuff is strong!

  14. #14

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    I gifted my mother with a bottle of Alien that was graciously given to my by a member of this board and I don't know what she was thinking - she must have thought it a light perfume - but she put on something like 8 sprays the first time and said she vomited twice.

    Amazingly, she still likes it and wears it! I've had scents give me a headache and make me feel woozy before - and some scents when applied heavily can cause a tiny muscle twitch near my eye.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    This is an enlightening thread.
    Thanks for starting it, smellyliquid.
    I hope the fragrances I wear never cause anyone to feel sick!

  16. #16

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Quote Originally Posted by mamamia View Post
    Nope, not so far, though I admit I have only used one small dot on my wrist. Dang, that stuff is strong!
    LOL!

  17. #17

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    I lived in NYC for many years - I have a pretty strong stomach. Actually, I expect fragrances to come blasting out when I spritz, so I always apply gingerly the first time until I know what I'm in for. If I applied 8 sprays of Alien I might get sick, too (and I love Alien)! I don't have negative reactions to most fragrances. If I don't like them, I scrub them off. If I feel sick already (migraine and/or nausea), then perfume is the last thing in the world I want.

  18. #18
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Paloma Picasso almost always gives me painful stomach cramps when I apply it. But I love it so much I'm willing to put up with it for the 20 minutes or so that it lasts. I used to get the same reaction sometimes when walking into a smoke filled, hole-in-the-wall bar. The first time something like this happened, I was about 12 years old on vacation with my family in Key West. We went into a gift store that sold a lot of fragrance and skin products. The place smelled overwhelmingly like melon-- like Midori liqueur, which I find foul. My mom saw how literally green I had suddenly become and sent me outside with my Dad while she finished looking around.
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  19. #19

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    The only one that I ever had a truly bad reaction to was Poison. My aunt sprayed some on me when I was 14 and I broke out in a horrible rash and had trouble breathing.

  20. #20

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Like BlackCat, the reactions I have to some fragrances (and to most fragrances applied in warlike amounts) put me off fragrance in general for years. They have caused me trouble breathing, swollen throats, coughing, headaches, migraines, nausea, irritated nose and allergic reactions (sneezing/swelling of mucosa - no topical reactions so far). I find that slowly, I get more and more used to the more "out there" scents, but to be confronted with them without training, as it were, does trigger certain unpleasant reactions. Sometimes I do feel that those who are accustomed to wearing "loud" fragrance don't realize what they're doing to their environment. Not everyone appreciates a noxious cloud of scent!

  21. #21

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    The worst reaction I've ever had was mild nausea and scrubbing. I do get actual migraines and, when I have one, fragrance is one of the very last things I want, but as far as I know, a frag has never actually triggered one. My sister used to have very severe allergies to almost everything, and she would get a puffy face/running sinuses/red eyes etc. sometimes when we just walked by a perfume-y store (the Lush store in Victoria BC would *always* set her off, even from outside) but this reaction was general to all scented things, not to one specific perfume.

    The psychological factor is interesting. When I first moved here I woke up one morning to a smell so strong it had both me and my sister up at 6am searching the house for the source. The neighbours, too. My sister thought it was skunk, and spent the next 2 hours retching and did eventually vomit. I thought it was a chemical smell - a tire fire or something, and though I found the scent overwhelming, did not feel nauseated. It did turn out to be a skunk and, the next few times it happened (it happened a lot) I found myself feeling sick, too, just because my brain was interpreting something about skunk juice to be grosser than a tire fire. Everytime I smell it I try to convince myself it's a tire-fire so I won't feel like hurling.
    "It's now very common to hear people say "I'm rather offended by that." As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well so fucking what." - Stephen Fry

  22. #22

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    The only fragrances which make me sick, literally, are those cheap perfumes, which many women here wear because they can't afford anything else. Most of them smell like soap, I really can't sand them. A good perfume, even if I don't particularly like it, will never make me feel bad. There are many fragrances that I wouldn't wear, but I don't feel like running away when I smell them on someone else.
    Ah, a funny thing I noticed at a party I went to Thursday night...a very cheap looking woman wearing Verry Irresistible by Givenchy. I don't know why, but I don't feel like wearing it again now...

  23. #23

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    a very "cheap" looking woman! how cute!

    carry on, carry on...

  24. #24

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    No, really, my intention was not to be mean, the girl was an ok person, but she was dressed very inappropriately, she looked like a prostitute. And I don't usually make this kind of comments, or judge people by the way they are dressed, but sometimes I'm really shocked by striking bad taste.

  25. #25

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    haha no its ok I genuinely liked the comment!

    made me laugh (not at you but with )
    Last edited by smellyliquid; 8th November 2008 at 07:30 PM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Oh, my bad. I'm tired, not reading properly. I knew I should have went to bed, but can't really stay away from this board. lol
    And I remember, when I was about 12 years old I used my mother's YSL Opium for the first time, and I sprayed quite a lot on myself. After an hour or something I started feeling sick, I actually felt like vomiting. But that was the only time when such a thing happened to me, and I actually like Opium now.

  27. #27

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    I most definitely have bad reactions and they're not at all psychological. I am quite poor in handling colognes and once had an appallingly bad car journey when my great gran sprayed some 4711 quite innocently on a tissue (don't ask me why) and my mum was shrieking at her to throw it out of the window because it gives me a migraine within minutes.

    I was sat next to her with my head out of the window trying to avoid the smell. Typically, it didn't work and I was throwing up for the rest of the journey. My poor nana was completely baffled and so upset at the idea she'd made me ill. bless.

    When I was in my late teens and 20s I used to wear Fendi, and loved it. Can't go near it now because it also gives me a headache.

    I think if you're prone to migraines etc perfumes, scents, will always be a potential problem, and when you have a full-blown migraine your sense of smell is magnified to an extraordinary level. Very problematic.

  28. #28
    ChantillyLace's Avatar
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    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Dior Addict, I tested it twice and both times it gave me a bad headache. And I really like it.

  29. #29

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Not an exaggeration for me. I do have violent, extreme physical reactions to smells. That includes smells that are supposed to be pleasant and smells that are clearly not. Certain perfumes have a 'sickly' quality to them, and I have to get away from them one way or another. The worst one for that was when I tried Angel. I was in a town 18 miles from home and had no way of getting it off me. I had to wait until I got home, by which time I felt really ill. If a perfume on my skin, and it has that effect, then it has to be scrubbed off. Bad smells, such as body odour, have a similar effect. I have to get away, RIGHT away, from the offending person, or there is every chance I will throw up. It's not good to have such a sensitive nose, but when you really do find a smell you adore, then it's absolute heaven.
    "I don't know the key to success,
    but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
    Bill Cosby

  30. #30

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Hmm. I haven't had any extreme physical reactions to a fragrance, but some do inspire slight nausea and headache. I always thought I just disliked the fragrance.

    Iso E Super appears to be a problem for me.

  31. #31

    Default Re: perfume reactions

    Vomit: Chanel No.19. This scent is a mystery. It gives me the feeling as if someone had sprayed hairspray directly into my nostrils. I had to vomite twice. Other times I just feel the urge but nothing comes up.

    30min scrubber: Dior Addict.

    Get migraines: Un Lys, Fleur de Thé Rose Bulgare, Fracas. I love their smell/presence for a few minutes and then want to be left alone.

    Nausea: The Body Shop White Musk

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