you stink!

Back when I used to puff on two American Spirits a day—and enjoyed every inhalation—I hated second hand smoke and I didn’t particularly care to hug others who smoked. The stink of tobacco in someone’s hair and clothing was/is off-putting. Others must agree or there wouldn’t be so much legislation banning smoking in bars, restaurants, enclosed public spaces and even some parks.

I pretty much despise perfume & “scents” and I’d like similar legislation in place, or at least common sense. I find fragrances just as noxious as smoking, actually more so, since some odoriferous substance glazes most everyone, most everywhere.

Many of the 500 harmful chemicals in perfume are the same chemicals in cigarette smoke, and yet there is no regulation in the fragrance industry. Recent reports suggest that perfumed products affect our health, causing allergies, asthma, headaches & migraines, joint aches, irritability, hormone disruption and interference with sexual desire. Then there’s ‘contact’ allergies where perfumes and scented products trigger eczema and dermatitis when they touch our skin.

Fragrance is used in most cleaning, laundry, and hygiene products along with cat litter, liners, candles, plug-in air “fresheners.” These chemicals go directly into the bloodstream when applied, we absorb them from our clothing, counter tops, etc. and inhale them directly to the brain.

In July of this year, the EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety asked perfume manufacturers to list potential allergens in their products. No such regulation in the U.S. but the state of New Hampshire has considered banning state workers from wearing scents to work.

Let’s just leave toxicity aside for the moment. What might smell good to you smells like sweetened death to me, especially if I’m eating. I find a scarce few things more obnoxious than being in a restaurant with epicurean food in front of me and having a woman come in with her date.

Yes women, you are way more guilty of muddling the air than men. I can detect a perfumed person 19 feet before ‘she’ gets near my table. Who can taste their dinner enclosed in a cloud of eau de toilette?

And then: I’m doing Body Pump at the gym with the woman next to me reeking of stale baby powder-like perfume. Who’s she dousing herself for? Between hairspray/gel, deodorant, facial/body creams, makeup, lipstick, laundry residue, ad nauseum, do you really need to add perfume on top of it? Jeezus!

Not many things smell better to me than the organic smell of a baby’s head or a cat who’s just come in from outside in the Fall. Conversely, I’ve never liked leaving a bar smelling like an full ashtray and I sure don’t want to breathe your artificial smell in my hair and in my house after you’ve left.

Be as a child. Be as an animal and bring me delicious ions, ozone or geosmin. Smell as you were born and leave it there. Discontinue poisoning yourself and the rest of us on this ailing earth.

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