Saturday, 14 January 2012

Scent Free

Hello, my name is Stephanie, and I have scent allergies.

This is a relatively new issue in the world today.  Some people with scent allergies affect their skin (hives, rash), others it affects their lungs (closes up, can't breathe), for me, scents give me migraines. 

Now anyone who has had a migraine understands the pain that goes along with this.  They can be dibilitating.  For those of you who have never had a migraine, you probably think it's no worse than a headache, and "suck it up princess".

My scent allergies have been getting progressively worse over the past 6 years, ever since I quit smoking.  It is to the point now where I have to leave house parties, baby showers, weddings, work functions, because the minute I smell a reactive perfume/cologne/body spray, my throat will close up for a minute and then I start to feel the ache behind my eyes and a stabbing pain in the back of my skull. 

I have coworkers who don't believe there is such a thing as a scent allergy and therefore REFUSE to stop wearing whatever product it may be that has a scent.  I work in a scent sensitive environment.  It is not a scent free environment because the public is constantly coming in and it is really hard to regulate the general population.  Also, you can't tell someone they cant come to their court proceeding because they've worn perfume or cologne.  BUT, the people that WORK in the building, should have enough respect for people with allergies to not wear scented products!!!  

If there was a person who worked with you, that you knew had a severe peanut allergy, it would be mandated that no peanuts were to be brought to work, and everyone would follow that ruling for fear of killing their coworker!  But because scent allergies are so new, people think it's a joke, or just don't care.

I love yoga. It has literally changed my life, who I am, how I react to my environment and people in it.  My yoga studio is SCENT FREE.  This means, there should be no scents worn to the studio.  Not scent sensitive, scent free! 

I can understand if it's the end of the day, and you've just completed work, and you come to the studio straight from work, that there may be trace odor of your perfume/cologne/body spray left behind from the day.  But you don't have to then spray yourself again, prior to coming into the scent free studio.  What I don't understand is the mindset of someone who wakes up on a weekend for an early morning class and PUTS ON a perfume to come to a scent free studio?!? 

There have been numerous occasions where I had to leave a class because of a scent permeating the studio.  One of my biggest triggers, in particular, is patuli oil.  This is a common ingredient in a lot of perfumes/colognes/body sprays.  If you don't know what this smells like, imagine cat pee mixed with weed...and you've got patuli oil.   Some people will put patuli into their moisturizer to help with psoriasis.  Some people just like the smell...

If I could do something to get rid of my scent allergies (like take a pill) I would do it in a heartbeat.  Unfortunately there is no treatment for scent allergies known as yet.  So I suffer at the hands of those at my work who don't believe they should have to change their ways because of my condition.  And I miss out on my bliss at yoga....

I understand that scent allergies is a new condition and not a very understood one, but on behalf of allergy sufferers everywhere, PLEASE, follow the rules!  Whether it's an office building, a hospital or a yoga studio, consider that you may come in contact with someone like me and leave the scented products at home!
maybe the above link will help you understand a little bit more...maybe not...