Tag Archives: migraines

Smell INC Salutes: Fragrance Free Places

Smell INC. applauds those businesses, workplaces, and cities  that promote a healthy environment for all by limiting the use of fragrances.

These places promote a form of fragrance free environments. Let’s support them and  please encourage more to join the revolution.

  • City of Detroit workplace
  • New York City Health Department
  • Tuttle, Oklahoma City Hall
  • Portland Oregon City workers
  • Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Washington
  • Jefferson City Missouri’s Parks and Recreation Department
  • Windom Area Hospital in Windom, Minnesota

Those of us with allergies, migraines, asthma, and multiple chemical sensitivity thank you!

If you know of another place that should make our list, please let us know.


The “who’s gonna reek?” game

Airplanes are the worst for my condition. I like flying Southwest because you can choose your seats. My husband and I try to size up who’s most likely to reek of fragrances. We are getting better at this game. The easily identifiable ones are men who wear jewelry, ladies with hair that defies gravity, older women with lots of bling, men who look like they visit the tanning booth weekly, teenage girls wearing Victoria Secret Pink sweatpants, airline attendants, and Paris Hilton wanna be’s. I tend to look for the outdoorsy types, I find they seem less likely to reek. If we don’t succeed, I may have my jacket covering my nose a good bit of a trip and I am definitely popping pain pills.

A few trips ago, a young woman walked past me in an airside store and I immediately started to have a reaction. I quickly made my purchase and fled the store. That woman later boarded our plane. I intently watch her every eye movement and hope she doesn’t notice the empty seat in our row. As she approaches her eyes light up and she proceeds to sit next to my husband. The smell is attacking me again. In a gut reaction, I forcefully exclaim “you can’t sit next to me.” Her appropriately confused response “huh?”  My husband explains,”My wife gets headaches from perfumes and yours is affecting her.” “Uh, okay” and she politely moved a few aisles down. I  couldn’t beleive I just did that and yet I was so relieved that I did. I can only imagine the stories she told her friends when she got off that plane.

The worst plane experience was on another airline, one that doesn’t let you pick your seats. I was already in a mild migraine state due to the perfumes around me. I had taken an Excedrin and it had not really kicked in. About an hour into the flight, a passenger sprayed some air freshener on the plane to block some unpleasant smell. Why would someone think it is acceptable to spray fragrance in a confined area? My headache went from manageable to unbearable and that day of our trip was ruined. I plead with everyone, please do not spray fragrances in public spaces.