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  1. #1

    Default Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    The secretary at my work is actually allergic to most scents (including deodorants, shampoos, etc) and can get hospitalized if its bad enough. She can smell a perfume or cologne a mile away. Luckily I'm not often in the office, but when I am I have to be very mindful. How would you guys try to avoid getting cologne on your clothes? Currently it seems the cologne gets mostly on my undershirt and not my dress shirt. Was wondering if anyone had any other tricks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Spray behind your ears, or directly under your chin. This will avoid all contact with clothing.

  3. #3
    PerfumeCollector's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Change job
    Perfume lovers of the world UNITE!!!!!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumeCollector View Post
    Change job
    Pretty radical, but great idea

  5. #5

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    1. Call ahead and have her leave the area when you are there.
    2. Ask her to please take an antihistamine the days you are scheduled to be there (have her see an allergist). It is not fair for her to control everyone else's personal choices (that's why we have non-smoking laws).
    3. Make sure she has an epi-pen on hand in case her reaction is severe. Tell her you will always be wearing cologne when you are there. Work with her to find a solution where she can protect herself and you can *be* yourself.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by dogodojo View Post
    1. Call ahead and have her leave the area when you are there.
    2. Ask her to please take an antihistamine the days you are scheduled to be there (have her see an allergist). It is not fair for her to control everyone else's personal choices (that's why we have non-smoking laws).
    3. Make sure she has an epi-pen on hand in case her reaction is severe. Tell her you will always be wearing cologne when you are there. Work with her to find a solution where she can protect herself and you can *be* yourself.

    Are you serious?
    My wardrobe is up to date as of 4/18/16.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by dogodojo View Post
    1. Call ahead and have her leave the area when you are there.
    2. Ask her to please take an antihistamine the days you are scheduled to be there (have her see an allergist). It is not fair for her to control everyone else's personal choices (that's why we have non-smoking laws).
    3. Make sure she has an epi-pen on hand in case her reaction is severe. Tell her you will always be wearing cologne when you are there. Work with her to find a solution where she can protect herself and you can *be* yourself.
    I'm sorry, but I can't tell if this post is intended to be sarcastic (sometimes sarcasm is lost in these forums). If it is, the sarcasm is a bit too subtle for me.

    If it isn't, then I have to disagree with this completely. This is not a situation where two personal choices are colliding; the o.p. indicated she has an objective medical condition that caused severe reactions to scents. Considering that he's only in the office rarely, it seems to me that it's a matter of decency not to wear cologne the days he knows he and she will be there. It's really a small matter for me not to wear cologne for a day or two, and if a coworker had this condition I think it's, at the very least, a question of courtesy.

    I don't want my personal choice causing someone physical problems. And, personally, I don't need cologne to "*be* myself." I'm the same person whether wearing Green Irish Tweed or not.

    One other thought: if she is actually that allergic, she is likely protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which is more expansive than most people realize (assuming this occurred in the United States). If the o.p. has a management position, and refuses to accommodate her request, he'd better consult his company's attorney because he is setting them up for a possible lawsuit.

    But again, if it was me, I just would avoid cologne on the few days I will be near her. No big deal for me.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Yes - serious, not sarcastic. Just responding to what seemed to be real sadness and frustration on the part of the poster. And since, as he said, he is not there that much, it seems a small matter to ask her to go to a different room when he's there. Of course, he could choose not to wear the fragrance, as you said. But it seemed he did not want to do that. If she moved out of the area when he was there, it would be consideration on both parts, don't you think?

    If the job required no fragrance in the workplace (as some do) then he would have to comply. But, if not ... I don't know that this would be considered a disability. In my workplace, I actually saved the life of a co-worker once, who was having a huge allergy attack because of something that was never discovered. I got her a Benedryl immediately and when the paramedics arrived they said had she not taken it when she did, she might have died.

    But, she came right back to work and this workplace did nothing to accommodate her. Her attack could have been from flowers, or chemicals, or something just in the air. Perhaps it was even to a perfume some customer was wearing! No accommodations have been made for her and it is her responsibility to medicate herself in the way her doctor recommends, or to find another job.

  9. #9
    Dependent L'Homme Blanc Individuel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by dogodojo View Post
    1. Call ahead and have her leave the area when you are there.
    2. Ask her to please take an antihistamine the days you are scheduled to be there (have her see an allergist). It is not fair for her to control everyone else's personal choices (that's why we have non-smoking laws).
    3. Make sure she has an epi-pen on hand in case her reaction is severe. Tell her you will always be wearing cologne when you are there. Work with her to find a solution where she can protect herself and you can *be* yourself.
    I really hope this is a joke. [edit: Yikes! It's not.]

    I love fragrances as much as everyone else here, but there comes a point where you need to take a step back and ask yourself "Do I have a problem? Am I literally ADDICTED?" I dated a woman who was allergic. I stopped wearing fragrances while we were together. Anybody who would choose frags over a woman, or in this case, a job... that person has a problem.

    There's nothing wrong with not wearing fragrance. In fact, by giving your nose a break, you actually increase your ability to enjoy scents when you wear them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    I don't want my personal choice causing someone physical problems. And, personally, I don't need cologne to "*be* myself." I'm the same person whether wearing Green Irish Tweed or not.
    Exactly.
    Last edited by L'Homme Blanc Individuel; 8th November 2012 at 09:21 PM.
    "Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam

  10. #10

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    But again, if it was me, I just would avoid cologne on the few days I will be near her. No big deal for me.
    This.

    Regardless of whether she's telling the truth or bs'ing, I wouldn't wear fragrance around her. Just don't want to deal with the drama. At best, she dislikes fragrances and would cause a fuss if she smelt it. At worst, she'd end up being hospitalized. Either way, it's reason enough for me to just not wear fragrances around her.

    Honestly, when I first saw the thread title, I thought it was something worse. Like a burglar stole the OP's entire fragrance collection or a fire destroyed it. Thank god it's not that bad.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by PerfumeCollector View Post
    Change job
    Get her fired.

    Just spray on your neck, upper arm/wrist, etc. Anywhere that doesn't typically come in contact with clothes

  12. #12

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    I'm sorry for her but also for you that you need to be really careful.

    Spray it on while you're still naked, let it dry and only then get dressed.

  13. #13
    Dependent fragranceman88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by bonsai View Post
    Spray it on while you're still naked, let it dry and only then get dressed.
    My thoughts also...either that or change careers

  14. #14

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by bonsai View Post
    I'm sorry for her but also for you that you need to be really careful.

    Spray it on while you're still naked, let it dry and only then get dressed.
    That's basically what I do, for no apparent reason other than to let it dry.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Perhaps you could find an all natural fragrance that doesn't bother her.
    Canadians: I would like to trade for a decant of The 3rd Man by Caron. PM me.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveHippo View Post
    Perhaps you could find an all natural fragrance that doesn't bother her.
    Worth a try.

  17. #17
    Basenotes Junkie FullCollapse's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Since youre not there that often I would agree that you should just refrain from wearing any fragrance that day, nobody want a lawsuit right? However it sounds like she is exaggerating the effects that other peoples fragrance can have on her. Im working on a masters degree in molecular toxicology and have taken several classes in immunology and similar topics and with all the IFRA regulations on what goes into a scent I highly doubt she could be hospitalized from someone else wearing a perfume. Almost always an allergic reaction requires direct contact with the allergen via skin contact, injection, or ingestion, and the amount of fragrance that diffuses off your body while you are in the office would be to minuscule to trigger anything. Maybe if you went and sprayed her in the face with a frag she could have a reaction, but it just doesnt make any sense that she could be hospitalized from you wearing one yourself. And does that also mean you cant wear deodorant or use soap in the shower before you come to work? Does she have documentation of this severe allergy problem from a doctor? Im not calling her a liar, and in biology there are always special cases which circumvent general knowledge, but this just sounds a little extreme to me.

    PS an all natural fragrance would be more likely to cause a reaction than a synthetic one since someone suggested that above.
    Last edited by FullCollapse; 8th November 2012 at 04:00 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    That is hypersensitive. She should be in a bubble lol. I think its great you are mindful but then again, you have to be yourself. Its okay to groom in a way that satisfies you but on those days, a comprise by toning it down a notch is all anyone could ask for. In a healthcare setting, I'm not supposed to wear anything scented as it may upset sick patients. Do I? Of course; I'm a member of basenotes damn it lol. However, to work I usually wear something low key and inoffensive which in my opinion makes anything in my wardrobe fair game
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    I knew a girl that claimed that she was deathly allergic to all scents including shampoos, soaps etc. So many people would walk on eggshells for her. I asked her if she wore a gas mask to the store or something because that seemed like an extremely dangerous place for her...she said no. She was in my church and she asked the religious leader to ask people to not wear fragrances of any kind or she could be hospitalized. He complied and thus everyone in church was banned from all fragrances. I didn't believe her but I still tried to help out. So, one day I was in the store and she was in the personal hygiene section looking for non scented everything. I asked her if it bothered her to be in that section because of all of the fragrances wafting in the air. She said no and that she just tries to by unscented stuff. Later, I hadn't seen her in church for a while so I banked that she wouldn't be there and so I wore a spritz of frag and went to church. She was there so I half heartedly tried to keep my distance. I also secretly hoped she would come up to me to see if anything happened. She actually saw me, came over and gave me a hug. I then just observed and absolutely nothing happened. From that moment on I would wear frags any time I went to church or knew that she would be around and nothing ever even came close to happening. So, I guess I'm kind o a jerk because I didn't believe her and decided to test my theory, but she just loved getting attention and saying that she was severely allergic to fragrances was her way of getting constant attention.

    I personally have never met anyone that has had a severe reaction from fragrances. I have a coworker where it is just he and I in our office and he is allergic to about 98% of all allergens. I wear fragrances every day and he has never had a reaction. I think that a lot of people that claim to have severe allergies to fragrances either are hypochondriacs, have been told they are allergic to them and thus never tested to see if they really were, really want attention, or are just uneducated. I have worn fragrances since I was 15. I even taught school for 10 years wearing fragrances every day and never did any of my students have a reaction, and still to this day I have never met anyone that has had a severe allergic reaction to frags. I've never even seen anyone have even a slight allergic reaction to frags. Oh, I mean smelling them, not touching the actual juice, that's another story, I have seen reactions to that, still not severe though.

    I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, I'm just saying that I have never seen it in my 20 years of wearing frags in all walks of life...and if you think about it, those people that claim they have severe allergic reactions to fragrances should be wearing a gas mask at all times because it is impossible to distance yourself from all fragrances, you could never leave your house and you could never interact with anyone because they might, after all, have washed their hands with some soap that contained some sort of fragrance.

  20. #20
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kybid View Post
    I knew a girl that claimed that she was deathly allergic to all scents including shampoos, soaps etc. So many people would walk on eggshells for her. I asked her if she wore a gas mask to the store or something because that seemed like an extremely dangerous place for her...she said no. She was in my church and she asked the religious leader to ask people to not wear fragrances of any kind or she could be hospitalized. He complied and thus everyone in church was banned from all fragrances. I didn't believe her but I still tried to help out. So, one day I was in the store and she was in the personal hygiene section looking for non scented everything. I asked her if it bothered her to be in that section because of all of the fragrances wafting in the air. She said no and that she just tries to by unscented stuff. Later, I hadn't seen her in church for a while so I banked that she wouldn't be there and so I wore a spritz of frag and went to church. She was there so I half heartedly tried to keep my distance. I also secretly hoped she would come up to me to see if anything happened. She actually saw me, came over and gave me a hug. I then just observed and absolutely nothing happened. From that moment on I would wear frags any time I went to church or knew that she would be around and nothing ever even came close to happening. So, I guess I'm kind o a jerk because I didn't believe her and decided to test my theory, but she just loved getting attention and saying that she was severely allergic to fragrances was her way of getting constant attention.

    I personally have never met anyone that has had a severe reaction from fragrances. I have a coworker where it is just he and I in our office and he is allergic to about 98% of all allergens. I wear fragrances every day and he has never had a reaction. I think that a lot of people that claim to have severe allergies to fragrances either are hypochondriacs, have been told they are allergic to them and thus never tested to see if they really were, really want attention, or are just uneducated. I have worn fragrances since I was 15. I even taught school for 10 years wearing fragrances every day and never did any of my students have a reaction, and still to this day I have never met anyone that has had a severe allergic reaction to frags. I've never even seen anyone have even a slight allergic reaction to frags. Oh, I mean smelling them, not touching the actual juice, that's another story, I have seen reactions to that, still not severe though.

    I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, I'm just saying that I have never seen it in my 20 years of wearing frags in all walks of life...and if you think about it, those people that claim they have severe allergic reactions to fragrances should be wearing a gas mask at all times because it is impossible to distance yourself from all fragrances, you could never leave your house and you could never interact with anyone because they might, after all, have washed their hands with some soap that contained some sort of fragrance.
    Exactly, its all bullshit. If she is that deathly allergic she should walk around in a bubble. If she was allergic then she would be dead by now. Just tell her that you arent wearing anything and she will be fine.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by heperd View Post
    Exactly, its all bullshit. If she is that deathly allergic she should walk around in a bubble. If she was allergic then she would be dead by now. Just tell her that you arent wearing anything and she will be fine.
    This!
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  22. #22

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Wait, maybe I'm missing something, but it sounds like you already don't wear fragrance on days when you're in the office.

    So...just wear freshly washed clothes on days when you're in the office, and continue not wearing fragrance on those days.

    Right? Am I underthinking this?
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  23. #23

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Spend some time and money in the essential oil/aromatherapy world. You may not have as much luck constructing a layered frag to compete with the commercials, but essential oils can be exquisite, they do have therapeutic effects and I have never seen anyone with an allergic reaction to any of them except chamomile (which is damn expensive anyway).

    It's a different experience. I worked as a naturopath for more than 10 years before I moved to Europe, and aromatherapy was part of my studies. I love my frags, but the oils are well worth looking into.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by galain View Post
    Spend some time and money in the essential oil/aromatherapy world. You may not have as much luck constructing a layered frag to compete with the commercials, but essential oils can be exquisite, they do have therapeutic effects and I have never seen anyone with an allergic reaction to any of them except chamomile (which is damn expensive anyway).

    It's a different experience. I worked as a naturopath for more than 10 years before I moved to Europe, and aromatherapy was part of my studies. I love my frags, but the oils are well worth looking into.
    Most of the recognised allergens are chemicals found in Essential Oils. Limonene found in many oils (including orange, Lemon, Lavender etc.), Linalol found in Lavender, Clary Sage, Bergamot. And many many more.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Most of the recognised allergens are chemicals found in Essential Oils. Limonene found in many oils (including orange, Lemon, Lavender etc.), Linalol found in Lavender, Clary Sage, Bergamot. And many many more.
    But I thought those were contact allergies, rather than allergies triggered by breathing the scent? Am I wrong? Edited to add: I'm asking seriously, not debating. I'd very much like to know if natural perfumes _tend_ to be less allergenic to non-wearers who breathe them.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenFreak View Post
    But I thought those were contact allergies, rather than allergies triggered by breathing the scent? Am I wrong? Edited to add: I'm asking seriously, not debating. I'd very much like to know if natural perfumes _tend_ to be less allergenic to non-wearers who breathe them.
    I get a splitting headache and my throat gets irritated whenever I smell Lavender (in pure EO form AND in "scents" that may or may not be natural.) I can tolerate it and even love it in things where the lavender is not apparent (LUSH's "therapy" massage bar) but if the lavender is strong enough to have any sort of presence at all, it will give me a splitting headache and irritate my throat.

    It's not an actual allergy (as that would be a histamine reaction and I don't believe I have that) but it certainly IS irritating. (And I have no issues with other things that contain some of the same "common allergen" compounds, like linalool. It's exclusive to lavender, as far as I can tell, but I'm not sure what it is about the lavender that does it.)

    I've never been tested for a sensitivity by a doctor (gee, I don't need an expert to tell me I have a headache!) but I can say with quite a bit of certainty that it's irritating as hell. Lavender also absolutely reeks to me (people think it smells good? really? lol I know, I know...) which is probably because my brain associates the scent with the reaction.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Shoot. I wrote a post last night but something happened to it!

    Just wanted to say that I am that sensitive also. I have tons of allergies, to the point that I carry around an epi-pen. Allergies to mold, dust, pollens, insects, food, cats .... and I have seven cats. Once I went to an allergist and she took a look at my shirt, saw cat hairs and said, "you need to get rid of your cats." I walked out of the office without another word.

    Now, after working with a good allergist, I take two antihistamines per day, do a nasal wash 2x per day, Flonase 1x per day and will be doing the allergy shots also to boost my immune response. The fact is there are a lot of chemicals, smells, junk, etc. in the air these days. Allergies build up over time and exposure. I can react immediately with a massive headache if I smell those awful, metallic, synthetic perfumes - or even tobacco smoke on a person's clothes! But I can't go around expecting the world and everyone in it to adjust to my issues! (And yes, ChickenFreak, all you have to do is smell things to have a reaction. Chemicals, pollen, etc. are inhaled and cause an inflammatory response in the person's system.)

    She needs to get medical help for her problems and deal with them herself. I wouldn't indulge her either. (And don't have much sympathy for people who give up their pets because they have "allergies." If you got your pet, you're responsible for it for the rest of its life! Take allergy meds!) The only caveat to that is if the workplace had the rule that no perfumes were allowed. But clearly they don't. So it is her problem.

    I think jawjaw is being incredibly nice to consider changing his habits to suit her problems.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    but if the lavender is strong enough to have any sort of presence at all, it will give me a splitting headache and irritate my throat.

    It's not an actual allergy (as that would be a histamine reaction and I don't believe I have that) but it certainly IS irritating. (And I have no issues with other things that contain some of the same "common allergen" compounds, like linalool. It's exclusive to lavender, as far as I can tell, but I'm not sure what it is about the lavender that does it.)
    Kaelee: Without being a doctor, I'd say that's an allergy - especially your throat reaction. If your tongue was reacting too, that's the worst kind of allergy that needs attention immediately. You can easily have a reaction to some things and not others. If a bee stings me I have to be rushed to the hospital. But a wasp stung me last year and it just hurt really badly (which it does for anyone who gets stung by a wasp). I'm sure they are similar "compounds" but just different enough to make that difference for me. And possibly if I were stung every year by wasps I would get to the point that I'm at with bees.

    (I hate lavender too. And have always tried to like it because it is "supposed" to be so healing. Yuck! Not healing to me at all!)

  28. #28

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    I get a splitting headache and my throat gets irritated whenever I smell Lavender (in pure EO form AND in "scents" that may or may not be natural.) I can tolerate it and even love it in things where the lavender is not apparent (LUSH's "therapy" massage bar) but if the lavender is strong enough to have any sort of presence at all, it will give me a splitting headache and irritate my throat.

    It's not an actual allergy (as that would be a histamine reaction and I don't believe I have that) but it certainly IS irritating. (And I have no issues with other things that contain some of the same "common allergen" compounds, like linalool. It's exclusive to lavender, as far as I can tell, but I'm not sure what it is about the lavender that does it.)

    I've never been tested for a sensitivity by a doctor (gee, I don't need an expert to tell me I have a headache!) but I can say with quite a bit of certainty that it's irritating as hell. Lavender also absolutely reeks to me (people think it smells good? really? lol I know, I know...) which is probably because my brain associates the scent with the reaction.
    So you only react to Lavender if you can smell it, but if it is present and you can't smell it you don't react? Just re-read what you have written. That is not an allergy, that is in your head.

  29. #29
    Basenotes Junkie Nosebud's Avatar
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    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaelee View Post
    if the lavender is strong enough to have any sort of presence at all, it will give me a splitting headache and irritate my throat.
    It's not an actual allergy (as that would be a histamine reaction and I don't believe I have that) but it certainly IS irritating.
    That sounds exactly like an allergy. You could test it, if you really wanted to find out. Note how much it bothers your throat with something that does it to you, and do it another day but take a Benadryl a half hour before.

    I would not conduct this experiment if it was anything more than irritating, and even then only in a very small amount.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Basenoter Worst Nightmare

    Not easy situation at all. It's after all her problem but imo rawraw does the right thing as he don't want to make any more harm to her than necessary. In my country there is no such law that would protect the one who suffers allergic reactions, at least I'm not aware of. I believe that common sense and co-operation of the colleagues in most cases work.

    I think it would be a good idea and polite not to spray fragrance onto clothes in this case (as rawraw suggests.) How one's skin smells, is IMO everyones own business and can't be limited. It's Ok imo to choose some skin scent type of fragrance.
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