Avoiding Fragrances In The Workplace Part 1
Last updated: March 2021
If you were like me, you were raised around the wonderful smell of perfumes and colognes. I couldn’t wait to try on my mom’s, as well as friend’s mom’s colognes at sleepovers, etc. Soon, I was buying my own and getting for gifts. My favorite was an Ambush cream. My dad wore Old Spice and every Christmas I would buy him more. Whenever I smell that, it always reminds me of my dad. I enjoyed shopping in the shampoo aisles and opening the lids to see what had the prettiest smells. My husband wore a cologne that was so nice, which he gave up for me.
The more I smoked, the more scents I used
My car had little disks that hooked into the air vents, they were only vanilla. When I got my car washed and detailed, I usually got a new car smell. Once in a while, I would try out the new fragrances. Home candles were usually vanilla. Cinnamon was a great fragrance too. I always wore this when I went out, to go to work, dinner or a night on the town. This was as important as eyeliner and mascara, which was never bold. The scents were also to cover up my cigarette smoke in my clothes, on my body, and in my house. It seems the more I smoked, the more scented I became.
Why am I telling you this? I’m telling you this because I want you to know that I understand the possible importance it was for me to “smell good” and to “cover up” smells/odors on my person and in my space.
I started to have reactions to scents
Did I quit the perfumes and scented products because someone told me? No, I quit them because I was too overpowering, even to myself. I tried to lessen the scents, but they didn’t matter. Soon, it seemed I was having allergic reactions to some. Some just didn’t smell right. I found that I removed scented products from my vehicles and home. Even my least smelling vanilla. Yet, my house stunk, furniture stunk, my clothes stunk, even my breath stunk. At work, I was removing the plug-in air fresheners out of the bathrooms and in the general area. I know I was upsetting people. By this time, I had seen an allergist and found out that I was very possibly allergic to some of the chemicals in these items. Others were likely triggering my asthma.
Hospitalized for an exacerbation
I was put in the hospital for 5 days because of an exacerbation for asthma. At this time, I wasn’t diagnosed with COPD yet. The doctor scraped my lungs. I took a lot of rest and walking times. Medications and vitals were constant. No rest in the hospital. I would cough and struggle at times because nurses and staff would come in wearing scented products. This gave me an opportunity to stress the reactions of scented products in the hospital and medical organizations when we are already struggling.
Some said that they hadn’t even thought of that and were glad for the awareness. Others seemed put off. I did talk to the doctor and only those cleaned of scented products were permitted. I was making two Christmas stockings for grandkids, so I had people coming in the room from throughout the hospital. And they were scent-free good.
The scents from the clinic and hospital here in my town decreased their smells as well. There was a strong scent in the elevator, and it smelled like that which is sprinkled on the carpet and can get overwhelming. As it turns out, it was the hand sanitizers. Lately, they have been posting about how some sanitizers can be unhealthy for a person too.
Next Month, Read Part 2: Avoiding Fragrances, In the Workplace and Out
Does your COPD make running errands more difficult?
Join the conversation