Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1

    Default Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    Hi all, I'm new to this fragrance world and will probably stay that way as I seem to have a bad reaction to it.

    I thought I would try wearing some cologne as I've been smartening up my clothing generally and thought scent would add another dimension to my wardrobe, make me more sophistimacated and all that. I got some Eau Sauvage as it seemed a fairly classic/conservative choice. I applied it in the lowest quantity I could so as not to overdo it - one spray into the air, then walked through the mist.

    At first it was okay. As the day progressed I started feeling ill. After a few hours I had a light headache and felt like my eyes were being pressed shut. By 2pm I had a serious headache and was feeling nauseous, and grew increasingly nauseous until I got home, took aspirin, showered and spent the rest of the day in bed.

    It felt like it was some element in the cologne that was toxic but to test if it was just a coincidence a few days later on a Sunday I tried wearing it again and the same symptoms started to develop until I showered it off.

    Is this a known reaction that some people have and is there a particular element that causes it? If so are there classes of cologne that some people find tolerable while not being able to use others or will I have to stay away from the stuff altogether?

  2. #2
    Hob Dobson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    1,107
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    Quote Originally Posted by snaff View Post
    It felt like it was some element in the cologne that was toxic but to test if it was just a coincidence a few days later on a Sunday I tried wearing it again and the same symptoms started to develop until I showered it off.
    It does sound like you have a sensitivity or an allergy to one of the many components of the fragrance. Which one is hard to tell, but it would be good to find out what's in it, so that over time, your growing "bad idea list" might help you pinpoint which components you'll want to avoid.



    Quote Originally Posted by snaff View Post
    Is this a known reaction that some people have and is there a particular element that causes it? If so are there classes of cologne that some people find tolerable while not being able to use others or will I have to stay away from the stuff altogether?
    Exactly what triggers a reaction depends on each person, and even then the amount and route of exposure needed to cause a problem differs. There is no single ingredient used in every fragrance, and not many used in entire classes, so there should always be something that doesn't cause a reaction.

    The best thing to do is to sample before buying, not only to avoid repeats of the misery, but also because some scents smell great on paper and *bleh* after an hour or two on skin.

  3. #3
    Dependent

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    8,224
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    ...
    Last edited by MFJ; 19th November 2009 at 05:41 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    Perfume/scent is a highly personal matter. Some people--flat out--cannot tolerate any kind of scent...period. Sometimes, it's a downright allergy and an immune reaction.

    On the other hand, some people need to find the right scent, as posted, that has tolerable ingredients.

    On some days, if I have the rare headache, I know that I cannot tolerate certain scents.

    I tend to abhor the smell of any kind of laundry detergent. (I believe that scented laundry detergent is made for people who don't use perfume.)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    I can't be of much help other than to say that I feel your pain! For most of my life, I've avoided perfume because many of them give me terrible migraines or hives. Turns out most of my problem was using drugstore brands - there seems to be some ingredient in lower price-point perfumes that really disagrees with me. Since discovering more quality scents, I've had a lot better luck, but still have some adverse reactions. Most Vera Wangs make my face swell!
    Lena
    "Curiosity is insubordination in its purest form." - Alexander Skarsgård
    Looking to try Les Senteurs Gourmandes Musc Blanc, Parfums de Nicolai Vanille Intense, Chanel Beige and...everything else!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    Thanks for all your thoughts. I will have to test my way carefully around other products.

    I have noticed myself be irritated by the scents other people wear sometimes though I've never been sure in such situations if it's just the person who is annoying and I'm attaching the feeling to the smell. I've usually assumed they're just overdoing it with something cheap, but now I think I might be picking up on whatever chemical it is that affects me.

  7. #7
    Asha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    5,166
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    I get migraines from Iso E Super, a commonly used aromachemical that has a woody-musky quality. I also have alot of problems with "cheap" scents--drugstore, Avon, Yves Rocher, for example. More expensive scents are problematic too--Andy Tauer's complete line is unwearable for me, and I also have trouble with many Estee Lauder scents (EL includes quite a few distinct brands).

    I have learned that I must spray it on paper and try sniffing it before I put it on my body--otherwise, I can't get away from the scent so easily (even scrubbing does not always help). I also look for early signs such as an itchy nose or swelling sinuses--a headache often follows.
    Last edited by Asha; 1st June 2009 at 04:33 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    For what its worth, I know several people who swear by Gendarme. The story I have gotten is that it was developed as a fragrance for those that tend to be somewhat sensitive to fragrance. Several people have told me it is the only scent they or their significant other can tolerate. It may not appeal to you or you still might have issues, but I would give it a try. I think you might stand a better chance with it than some of the more exotic fragrances out there. Just my $.02

  9. #9
    adonis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Southern Cali
    Posts
    3,515
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    Topper Schroeder, creator of Gendarme once told me that he created the fragrance because he was "allergic to everything". It's good stuff.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,816
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    I have very bad allergies to fragrances that are more on the synthetic spectrum than the natural spectrum. For example, Lolita Lempicka for men and A-men by Thierry Mugler give me a headache and make me feel ill, similar to what you describe Snaff. I suggest you try some natural fragrances, as they may suit your allergies a little better (although it is not guaranteed). It is only expected that people on these boards do not speak of allergies much, as they would not be able to wear so much perfume if they had allergies. I'm somewhere in the middle of the allergy continuum.

    A brand that is 100% natural, organic, light and airy, all the while never feeling chemical is Honore des Pres. Some houses also have a natural feel (while not being totally natural) like Annick Goutal, Maitre Parfumier Gantier, Divine, Lorenzo Villoresi, The Different Company and some of the older Creed fragrances. Some specific examples of fragrances that are less toxic/chemically feeling are: Jatamansi by L'artisan Parfumeur, Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal and Musc Botanique by Strange Invisible Perfumes.

    Here are a few links to natural perfumery threads in case you are interested:

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=228900

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=226035

    You can order samples of these (harder to find but worth it) fragrances on www.luckyscent.com or www.theperfumedcourt.com. I Hope you find a fragrance that works for you. If you have specific questions, feel free to PM me, as I pay attention to which fragrances tend to be "hypo-allergic."
    Last edited by L'Aventurier; 1st June 2009 at 10:16 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Allergy/sensitivity to cologne

    The bother with any type of allergy or sensitivity is always finding out what exactly causes it. It's perfectly possible that there's an ingredient in your ES that's the culprit (especially since it happened on two distinct occasions) but also consider shampoos, deodorants, body lotions, detergent, air-borne particles or simply coincidence. (Please don't think I'm trying to convince you it's "all in your head" - I'm speaking as someone who's endured endless patch and blood testing to find out what the damn allergen was - just trying to point out it may be extremely hard to pinpoint the exact substance you react to) Should you truly want to find out, you'd need to eliminate every potential allergen from your life, and then reintroduce them one by one. And even then, if it's a perfume, you won't know which ingredient does it.
    Careful trial & error seems to be the way to go, sadly.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

Similar Threads

  1. Strong Workplace Cologne
    By Dawkins in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 15th November 2013, 10:06 PM
  2. HAUTE TRADITION FIGUIER COLOGNE by Faberlic
    By Russlan in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 20th January 2006, 04:36 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •