In my new post for Mango Health, I share what it's like to be scent-sensitive in as fragranced world and the what you can do to cope:
"Today is cleaning day for my neighbor across the hall. As floor cleaner fumes snake their way under my front door, I have an early morning asthma reaction. Coughing, I turn on the fan to breathe easier before I head out for the day.
Ah, fresh air is wonderful! That is, until I pass the laundry room vent and get hit with a blast of floral-scented steam from the dryers. At least I know my doctor’s office is safely scent-free. But when I go into the bathroom, I discover that it’s been sprayed with air freshener. The staff doesn’t seem to understand why this is a problem. I decide I don’t need the bathroom, after all.
After my appointment, I head to the mall for a few quick purchases. The drugstore has no fragrance-free hair products, so I move on. This requires taking the elevator, which is located next to a bath and body products store known for its delicious scents. I can already smell it, 30 yards away. While I wait for the elevator, I get dizzy and wheezy. The scents settle in my hair, so I’ll have to wash it again when I get home.
And now for another elevator, this one taking me up to my apartment and safety. But first, I have to spend 30 seconds in the small enclosed space with a woman who seems to have bathed in perfume. I’m coughing, my eyes are running, and she’s taking it personally."
Read more about being sensitive to scent and how to cope on Mango Health.