Wearing 'Puke-Inducing Perfume?' Stay Out of My Personal Space!

This North Strabane guest columnist gives her take on people's perfume habits.

By Sherry Sacco, of North Strabane Township

I have one question: Why is it that smokers are banned from nearly every establishment on the face of the earth, but retailers are allowed to spew their essence of perfumes throughout the malls?

Every time that I go to the mall and walk by certain stores (and they know who they are) I have to cover my nose and mouth so that I do not have to inhale their putrid scents. 

And still, I almost choke, I get an instant headache, I have a hard time taking my next breath, and I literally want to throw up. I find myself reaching for my inhaler so that I can breathe freely again. In the larger department stores, I absolutely avoid any of the perfume and candle departments for the same reasons. 

I actually began my own personal quest of not being subjected to these foul and offensive odors which we call perfume and cologne.  

I have asked people to leave my office if they are, let’s just call it, scented.  

I have asked my vendors to not be scented when they come to visit me. If you want to ride in my car, don’t be scented. If you want to sit next to me and are scented, don’t! 

I have moved on several occasions to get away from the stench of people who are scented or those who refuse to wear deodorant (and that is a whole other subject). And, if you want to lather your hands up with some ridiculous fruit or flowered hand cream which, by the way, now clashes with or masks your already puke-inducing perfume, then stay out of my personal space! 

I was always taught that the rule of applying perfume is: If you put a dab of perfume on yourself and you cannot smell it but others can, it means that scent is perfect for you—it doesn’t mean to keep coating yourself until you and the whole city block can smell you. 

And then I love the people who buy the same perfumed soap, lotion, bath powder, and perfume. It is the smell that keeps on giving, FOREVER! 

As a smoker, I know it is a little weird to complain about something as silly as perfumes and colognes. And I honestly do not mind if places are smoke free.   It is nice to know that I am not bothering someone else who may have a problem with cigarettes.  

But at department stores there is no escape.  

Every other store has some scent hovering around its  space, whether it be perfume, teas, candles, food, etc. Most of these stores' fumes are centralized and do not venture too far past their doors—but there are two stores that are allowed to spray their perfumes outside of their spaces and it permeates throughout the entire mall. 

I was at the mall yesterday, and when I walked out of one of the major department stores, I could instantly smell it. You have to realize that this particular vendor is almost all the way at the other end of the mall.

I was thankful that I was on my lunch hour and had to leave the mall quickly.  

I know that I cannot be the only one who feels this way.

Editor's Note: What do you think? Do you agree? Don't mind "the scented?" Let us know in the comments!


Debi Patragas November 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM
My scent won't cause you cancer Your second hand smoke will.....cut me some slack
Xavier Holden November 15, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Shop online. Then we won't have to hear you complain. You are definitely in the minority of this topic. Everyone should change THEIR world for you. I call that narcissistic.
Sherry Sacco November 16, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I wanted to get this right -Acccording to the dictionary, “Narcissism is the pattern of traits and behaviors which involve infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition.” I am neither infatuated or obsessed with myself and nor am I egotistical, ruthless, dominant or selfish. As for 2nd hand smoke, I always considered myself a very considerate smoker. If someone was bothered by it, even though I am in a smoking section or in my own home, I would either put it out or go outside. The vendor who came into my office was very understanding regarding my request and respectful enough to me that when he returned for our next meeting he was scentless. Perhaps it was the fact that the longer he sat in my room, the harder time I had breathing and talking. My friends also respect me enough to know that if they are riding in my car, that they usually don’t wear any perfume/cologne. Perhaps I came off a little harsh, but, I was just making a point. I am not trying to change people. The perfume industry is a multimillion dollar business, and people do have the right to “fume” it up if they want. It is their right to do so. My problem is why patrons of malls subjected to perfume being sprayed outside of their stores? I don’t think it is fair that people have to be subjected to it who cannot tolerate perfumes.
Camille L. Stewart November 16, 2012 at 07:57 PM
There are those out there who are scent senstive. Although I am not one of them I have on occasion been in the company of a person who bathed in their chosen scent. Rule of thumb is: If you can smell yourself you have too much on. I have a relative that has scent sensitivities. I try to be cognizant of her problem and when in her company I am always scent free. Since all my lotions, soaps & hair products have a scent I purchased scent free products to use when I'm going to be with her. I'm not changing my world just for her, I'm being considerate of her problem. When we go shopping at the mall we steer clear of scent heavy stores or I go in alone. But it is hard to get away from scents when they are pumped into the halls of a public mall. Yes, shopping online is one solution but it shouldn't be necessary. I'm and ex smoker. Nothing I hate worse than the smell of cigarettes since I quit 15 years ago. But with today's smoking laws no one, including me is forced to inhale anyones second hand smoke in any public building, restuarant or most bars. Most everywhere has a smokers area. If you are inhaling second had smoke then you must be in the smoking area. Leave immediatley. Folks with scent sensitivities suffer headaches and breathing problems. How about a little consideration here. When asked politely most folks would be happy to comply
Amanda Gillooly November 17, 2012 at 04:53 AM
I think I am guilty of being one of "the scented!" :)


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