May 2018
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artificial and/or alcohol-carried smells /my coworker went out of their way to accommodate me


People who wear a truckload of perfume or body spray, or use hyper-scented soaps & personal cleansers upset me SO MUCH. I would rather someone spray themselves with urine instead of perfume -- that is how gross it is to me. It really overwhelms me and feels like as much of an invasion as if they stuck their fingers up my nose. I'd rather be hanging out with an effluvia-trailing farter than a floral-chemical-doused person.

I really do hate that I am so sensitive now that that absolutely is a deciding factor in whether or not I can be friends with someone, but it definitely is. I just can't want to be in the same room with someone who wears loud smells. I got a fancy reusable breathing filter mask which looks very futuristic-thief, and I'm keeping it in my backpack now for when clueless or terrible people decide that their right to dowse themselves in scent trumps my right to breathe.

Speaking of which, I feel super terrible for judging my coworker for not keeping their word about not wearing perfume. It turned out that they did indeed stop wearing it and the real problem was their deodorant. I found out because our office got re-organized and now our desks are close together, and after a few days I couldn't stand it anymore and I sent them a message asking them again to stop wearing perfume.

They told me that they haven't worn perfume in months, and I expressed confusion and asked if they wore a spray deodorant. They said no, that they wore roll-on, and I asked for the brand so I could look up ingredients. As I suspected, it contained alcohol (usually just present in sprays) which when combined with a scent almost always gives me trouble as it helps the scent float in the air. They offered to stop wearing it to see if that helped and I said yes please. Then they stopped wearing it and I had no more issue! SUCH RELIEF. I honestly want to hug them and give them presents every time I think about it.

I feel so guilty and mean for thinking they were lying to me, when they have given me no cause to think they would lie. It's just that when they said they would stop wearing perfume, the smell didn't go away but it did improve, and it didn't occur to me that it could be that they stopped wearing one allergen but were wearing a second different one, especially since they smelled very similar (I'm guessing they were always competing smells that seemed to me like one smell). I'm also so so relieved that it isn't a hair product or other thing that they can't do without. It is such a relief to come into the office and be able to breathe freely.

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Comments
slinkslowdown ══╣╠══
It's great that your co-worker was so accommodating.

But then, I wish we lived in a world where it wouldn't surprise me so much that someone did that? I'm just too used to stories about people being dicks, refusing to do that, etc. :(

Do you have a picture of the mask? It sounds cool.
fionnabhar ══╣╠══
I'm scent-sensitive, too, but weirdly, I've found that if I use those wax scents in my classroom judiciously, it doesn't bother me--but only if it's a food scent. Makes no sense, but there it is.

Glad your co-worker was so accommodating, though. Sometimes people get so pissy about it.
spiffikins ══╣╠══
When I was in college, I accumulated a plethora of scents that I would wear occasionally - not all the time, but I enjoyed it.

And then I got a job for 4 months in an office - really my first ever "office" job. And during the interview, I was told that the office was "scent-free" - which I had never heard about, but was willing to adhere to?

After I had been working there for a week or so, the receptionist told me that even though our office was on the 9th floor, most of the time, she had to walk up and down the stairs, because she would step into the elevator, and either someone else was in the elevator wearing scent, or someone *previously* in the elevator *had* worn scent, and she could not remain in the elevator, or she would end up going home and spending the rest of the day with a severe migraine.

In the 25 years since then, I can count the number of times I've worn scent on one hand - and each time I've thought about what I will be doing and where I will be going - either I'm staying home, or I'm going straight to our office (where nobody has scent sensitivity) and staying there all day.

But mostly I just don't need to smell pretty, if it's going to cause pain or suffering to another person - even if I don't know them.

violet
moonlit_ink ══╣violet╠══
So glad the co-worker wasn't lying to you, and makes an effort to avoid wearing anything heavily scented to create a comfortable work place environment. I'm very sensitive to smells/scents as well, as it flares up my asthma, but also has other effects on my mood and well-being, so really don't like strong unnatural scents at all.
diabological ══╣╠══
Reading this entry reminds me of my partner. he is just so sensative to smells and can not stand artificial scents. People thing having hightened senses would be like a superpower but I believe it would be a curse. Glad your coworker stopped wearing the deoderant!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.