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Q & A

Another “how do you tell someone” question.
How do you tell a friend that they wear too much fragrance? Sometimes it can completely overpower me or make me feel nauseous!




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Best Answer

I have this same problem at work, so I know what you mean. There’s a woman who sits a cubicle space away from me who “spritzes” constantly. It drives me bananas. I put on a splash of fragrance in the morning and can still smell a hint of it by afternoon. But hers is very sickeningly sweet and the word I would use to describe it is ‘cloying.’ I resent her hitting the pump 5 or 6 times when 2 or 3 would do nicely. You would think she’d get the hint when others around her start coughing, choking and gasping for air!  

My supervisor said you can’t say anything, and my boss said talk to each other. I wouldn’t have a problem with talking to her if she was in the same department. She’s a smoker so she does this mainly to mask that, but as a smoker myself I would rather smell the smoke than the perfume. Worst case scenario: there are over 200 women where I work and could you imagine if they all “spritzed” as often as this one does? We’d need HazMat in there! I feel like saying what I say to people who play their radios on the bus: “How dare you impose your taste of music (perfume) on me?” One person’s scent is another person’s stench. If I was allergic, I would have said something right off hand. I put in employee suggestion box that if they must do that, don’t do it while sitting at your cubicle (ours are the short ones I call them cow pens LOL). That’s when my boss said “talk to each other.” It’s a sticky I mean stinky topic to discuss.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Vikki Hall wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • I read somewhere so long ago.... that by wearing too much perfume it means you lack self confidence. I also read that perfume should be so subtle the only one who should smell it is the one you are intimate with... or yourself if that’s the case.

      But in all honesty I would have a direct conversation about how it can be overwhelming and distracting....




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • Ask “what brand of perfume you are wearing?”  She will reply “xyz” and hopefully, she will follow up with questions like “what do you think of it?”  Then you said “I think it is nice when it is light, too strong kills it.”




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • Or... how do you tell someone they need to wear some kind of perfume or spritz cause they kinda have a BO?  Ok I’m going off track, sorry.. It might be that the person might not be able to smell how much they sprayed on them. There scence of smell might not be as good as It used to be.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • The perfume question is an interesting one because the people I know who wear too much perfume are all very very defensive if you even so much as hint that they are wearing too much.  

      We had one co-worker once who we flat out said, “Did you take a bath in that S***?”

      I’ve had to tell waitresses I work with that they had to back up ten paces when talkig to me because their perfume was giving me an allergy attack. The poor customers must have been totally overwhelmed!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trudy S wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • I too have found that people can be really defensive about their perfume...scent and/or strength.

      I’m not sure I’d get a very positive reaction if I just came out and said that it was overwhelming and distracting and it might be a bit obvious if I said too strong kills it.

      Maybe I just need to suck it up???  I don’t want to hurt their feelings or imply that they made a poor judgement in their choice to wear 1/2 a gallon on the stuff!!

      tongue out




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kyah wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • I have this same problem at work, so I know what you mean. There’s a woman who sits a cubicle space away from me who “spritzes” constantly. It drives me bananas. I put on a splash of fragrance in the morning and can still smell a hint of it by afternoon. But hers is very sickeningly sweet and the word I would use to describe it is ‘cloying.’ I resent her hitting the pump 5 or 6 times when 2 or 3 would do nicely. You would think she’d get the hint when others around her start coughing, choking and gasping for air!  

      My supervisor said you can’t say anything, and my boss said talk to each other. I wouldn’t have a problem with talking to her if she was in the same department. She’s a smoker so she does this mainly to mask that, but as a smoker myself I would rather smell the smoke than the perfume. Worst case scenario: there are over 200 women where I work and could you imagine if they all “spritzed” as often as this one does? We’d need HazMat in there! I feel like saying what I say to people who play their radios on the bus: “How dare you impose your taste of music (perfume) on me?” One person’s scent is another person’s stench. If I was allergic, I would have said something right off hand. I put in employee suggestion box that if they must do that, don’t do it while sitting at your cubicle (ours are the short ones I call them cow pens LOL). That’s when my boss said “talk to each other.” It’s a sticky I mean stinky topic to discuss.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      KRIS JULIN wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • Very hard one... I have a friend who wears a really horrible smelling one, my husband and I cannot bare to be around her unfortunately.  So we do not see her so often.  I have no idea what to do about it




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Trudy S wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • Could one declare your office or home ‘scent free‘...not just for one but for all?




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dawnkaren wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • I’d keep a large bottle of Febreeze by my desk, and every time she spritzes her perfume I’d open all the windows and squirt Febreeze everywhere to neutralise the awful smell !  hopefully she’ll get the message lol !




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kyah wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • LOL We save the Febreeze for when someone nukes fish for lunch and stinks up the entire place. I have people cracking up because I’d say in a loud voice, “I don’t know what kind of fish they‘re cooking but it smells like it was making one last dash to the sea!” Management wanted to make some sort of ban on cooking fish, but the one person who cooks up that stuff is allergic to a lot of things and fish is the only thing she can eat. I’d ban a few other things, stuff with onions, curry, oranges (I’m allergic to citrus) anything that lingers longer than it takes to consume it.

      I have been just getting up and walking away when she spritzes, #1 because I don’t want to breathe it in and #2 because I don’t want to smell like her. My fan draws it in my direction which is one reason I hate when she does that.  

      Trudy, many hospitals are scent free because it tends to make sick people sicker when care staff reek. I would just rather if they are going to spray it, don’t do it in a cubicle environment. To spritz like that shows she has no consideration for others around her.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tuliplady wrote Jun 4, 2010
    • And what about when women wear old perfume and it has turned rancid, but their noses are so fried from wearing gallons of it that they can’t even tell it’s gone bad.  Ugh!!!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cristina Corral wrote Jun 11, 2010
    • I think if you know this person well, then you should definitely be candid and let her know it’s too powerful which can be off putting.

      Other than that...maybe scratch your nose and sneeze a couple of time and say that you have really bad alergies to strong smelling odors.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote Jun 16, 2010
    • if a friend i pinch my nose and say peeee yew
      LOL
      hey I am not known to be discreet




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Msj wrote Jun 16, 2010
    • if they are really close like bf I say that deodorant is naSSSSty open a window or something
      LOL
      we laugh alot around my homeestatic




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 6, 2010
    • I’m coming in late on this question, and I don’t have an allergy to perfumes, I have strong toxic reactions that make me sick from the chemicals in perfumes.  

      My friends know this about me so it’s not a problem with them. People I don’t know, I hold
      my breath and get away from them fast! Obviously in our over scented world, I can’t work.  

      Cathie




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Jul 6, 2010
    • Just tell them!!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Linni wrote Jul 6, 2010
    • you just have to tell them.. when you do, do it in a loving and kind way

      heart




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cathie Beck wrote Jul 8, 2010
    • Just had to share with you all.

      Seeing another comment on this, a “please spritz on some perfume so you don’t smell bad” post. That can often smell worse. Bathing is a preference........ but if you‘re in a hurry so you aren’t late to get somewhere, patting on some dry baking soda neutralizes odors.  

      I read it, I tried it and it does work. ;oD  

      Cathie




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