I don't think you were ranting. In fact, I now know which kind of reaction I have to JAR fragrances.
You're right but people will call a tissue a Kleenex and a copy a Xerox.
I must disagree with part of your statement that "A headache caused by a perfume is not an allergy, it may be an intolerance but it isn't dangerous." I agree it isn't an allergy but I most heartily disagree that it's not dangerous. It depends on the type and severity of the headache.
Most people aren't allergic to smoke either but you will hear people say that they are. Smoke, regardless of it's source, like perfume is technically an irritant. (Unless you have one of the reactions you described.) It, in and of itself, does not cause the headache but it triggers the "changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway. Imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin — which helps regulate pain in your nervous system"* thereby causing a migraine.
Aromatherapy, the use of natural essential oils has been used successfully to treat migraines. I've done so myself. So why do some perfumes seem to cause headaches, even migraines. Let me share this, I think it says it pretty succinctly: "Perfumes and colognes currently being manufactured contain synthetic versions of the aromatic chemicals found in nature. The source may be different, but the song remains the same. The olfactory system is a busy highway when it comes to things affecting the brain and nervous system, whether by trigeminal stimulation, or absorption into the blood stream via the lungs.
Migraine headaches are typically caused by changes in blood flow to the vessels in the head. Some of the materials that are commonly found in fragrances possess the ability to alter blood flow in the brain. Several studies strongly support the idea that fragrances can have a direct effect on cerebral circulation as well as have neurological effects. In addition, the anecdotal evidence suggests a significant effect of fragrances on the central nervous system."** And this is from a list of migraine triggers from the Mayo Clinic: "Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Unusual smells — including pleasant scents, such as perfume, and unpleasant odors, such as paint thinner and secondhand smoke — can also trigger migraines."*
As someone who LOVES perfume and suffers from migraine with a child who also suffers from migraine, I must know the triggers and how I can control them. It's easy to do with what I wear or what is in my home. However, I can't control what someone wears to work. In a previous job of mine, I couldn't escape the co-worker who insisted on wearing her headache triggering fragrance even after I asked her to please not apply so heavily (she reapplied it in front of me) or to wear it at all. Ultimately, I left the job.
To your point, I agree that people incorrectly use the phrase "I'm allergic to that fragrance." When in fact, it is more correct for them to say "That fragrance gives me a headache." Sometimes you can move away from the problem, sometimes you can't.
and ** http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mig...SECTION=causes
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