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  1. #1
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    Default Aargh, possible allergy!

    Something dreadful has happened - I think I've developed an allergy to a fragrance ingredient of some sort.

    A couple of weeks ago, I started getting some itchy blotches on my chest, in the area where I usually spray fragrances. I stopped spraying on my skin for a while, and stuck to just a spray on my shirt each day, and the skin irritation went away.

    Then yesterday I applied one spray of Rive Gauche PH on my chest, and 12 hours later I had an itchy red area exactly where I'd sprayed - RG is one of my favourites, and I've recently bought a backup while the aluminum cans are still available cheaply

    Today I've sprayed Bleu de Chanel on a different area of my chest, and I'll see how that goes - I guess I need to narrow it down and try to identify the offending ingredient.
    Alan

  2. #2

    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Sorry to hear that. There are so many ingredients in a frag that it's hard to pin down anything specific. Plus, most of the possible natural culprits have already been restricted, so it's possible that it is some synthetic chemical as well. Luckily, as you point out, spraying shirts works as a substitute.

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    To find out if you are allergic, and to what, you need to go to a doctor; he can help you find out. You can then avoid those fragrances that contain the allergen (assuming it is one of the 26). If you are happy to spray on your clothes, then carry on doing that.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Best to seek out an allergist to hep you identify the offending substance.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Thanks folks, and yep, I'll go see the doc when I'm back in the UK (I'm away for a while right now) - it would be good to know what I'm allergic to, as there may well be other household products I need to avoid too.

    As for wearing on clothes, I think it's nowhere near as good as on skin - but it's still a whole lot better than having to lose some of my favourites.

    And the report on Bleu de Chanel - no skin reaction at all. I only have a handful of frags here, so I'll have to go through my collection one by one when I'm back in the UK.
    Alan

  6. #6

    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Look to see what allergens are listed on each fragrance bottle. If there is something not in Bleu but listed in the fragrance you react to, that could be the answer. However remember that a fragrance can contain thousands of individual chemicals and you could be allergic to several of them. You can also be allergic to materials that are not part of the 26. Also true you could be allergic to something else. It's horribly complex.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Hi, Oscroft - I feel your pain! This happened to me with several of my favourite scents, so I did as advised, and saw an allergist. I was tested for many different allergens, including common fragrance ingredients, but all came back negative. The doctor told me I don't have any actual allergies, but in a way it's worse, because I do have contact dermatitis. The reason it's worse is because there are more than 4,000 possible irritants and it's impossible to test for them all.

    So now, what I do is spray my scents on a piece of cotton wool which I tuck into my bra. As a guy, of course, you won't be able to do that! But spraying on fabric is a good alternative, even though, as you say, the effect is not the same as spraying on skin. I find that I actually like the scent-on-fabric effect better than on skin, because it stays around longer and the notes develop more slowly, giving me time to appreciate each phase of the perfume.

    Sorry you're landed with this, but like me, you might find a silver lining. Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Look to see what allergens are listed on each fragrance bottle. If there is something not in Bleu but listed in the fragrance you react to, that could be the answer. However remember that a fragrance can contain thousands of individual chemicals and you could be allergic to several of them. You can also be allergic to materials that are not part of the 26. Also true you could be allergic to something else. It's horribly complex.
    Yes, I'm going to test a few different ones and then compare ingredient lists - but then, yes, it could be one of the ingredients that is in the mix but in too low a concentration to be required to be listed separately.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by redrose View Post
    Hi, Oscroft - I feel your pain! This happened to me with several of my favourite scents, so I did as advised, and saw an allergist. I was tested for many different allergens, including common fragrance ingredients, but all came back negative. The doctor told me I don't have any actual allergies, but in a way it's worse, because I do have contact dermatitis. The reason it's worse is because there are more than 4,000 possible irritants and it's impossible to test for them all.
    Hmm, yes, that would complicate matters. I'm also suspecting that my skin irritation might not actually be an allergy - last night I sprayed RG on two patches on my arm as a test, and eight hours on there's no adverse reaction at all. Maybe, for some reason, the area on my chest is particularly sensitive?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrose View Post
    So now, what I do is spray my scents on a piece of cotton wool which I tuck into my bra. As a guy, of course, you won't be able to do that!
    Actually, the way my body is bulging and sagging these days, I might just be able to carry that off! I wonder if there's a market for "The older gentleman's fragrance bra"?

    Quote Originally Posted by redrose View Post
    But spraying on fabric is a good alternative, even though, as you say, the effect is not the same as spraying on skin. I find that I actually like the scent-on-fabric effect better than on skin, because it stays around longer and the notes develop more slowly, giving me time to appreciate each phase of the perfume.

    Sorry you're landed with this, but like me, you might find a silver lining. Good luck!
    One thing I have noticed is that the RG opening lasts a lot longer when it's sprayed on fabric than on skin - and that's no bad thing. So yes, I think it will just be a different experience with ones that cause me irritation - and not necessarily bad.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just an update...

    I've tested a few more now (I'm away from home and don't have a lot to try), and Eau Sauvage Parfum, L'Instant de Guerlain, Bleu to Chanel, no problem at all.

    And Rive Gauche gives me no problem sprayed on my arms - but one small spray on my chest, and I break out in itchy redness!

    I guess I'll test some more when I get back home.
    Last edited by Oscroft; 30th December 2012 at 12:17 AM.
    Alan

  9. #9

    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Oscroft, may I ask a very personal question - do you have hair on your chest, where you spray your scents? I'm not being rude, at least I hope not, but it occurs to me that you may have some problem with inflammation of the hair follicles in that area. Might be worth checking out with a doctor. Also, any areas you may have shaved will be hyper-sensitive and shouldn't be exposed to frags.

    Hope you have a happy - and scented - New Year!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Aargh, possible allergy!

    Quote Originally Posted by redrose View Post
    Oscroft, may I ask a very personal question - do you have hair on your chest, where you spray your scents? I'm not being rude, at least I hope not, but it occurs to me that you may have some problem with inflammation of the hair follicles in that area. Might be worth checking out with a doctor. Also, any areas you may have shaved will be hyper-sensitive and shouldn't be exposed to frags.
    Interesting possibility, and I hadn't thought of it. I have some fairly light hairs on my chest, but the area that seems sensitive is higher up and is devoid of hairs. But having said that, I used to have more hair there when I was younger, so it might still be a follicle thing - thanks for the suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by redrose View Post
    Hope you have a happy - and scented - New Year!
    And to you too!
    Alan

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