perfume departments

Well I've had asthma since I was 2 years old and as I've grown up the one thing that has really bugged me, and affected my asthma is perfume department in shops like Boots and other large stores.

We went to Yo shushi in Leeds at the weekend (its in a large department store) and by the time we'd walked through past all the purfume counters I ended up reaching for my inhalor.

Does anyone else have this problem and is there anything that can be done to help. It's often not as if the purfumes are being sprayed or used a lot - I suppose its the intensity of the 'smells' that affects me. Would this fall under health and safety as you are entering a 'work place'?

I would be interested to know how other asthmatics get on in these enviroments. Mind for that matter if someone is wearing a strong perfume that can affect me as well.

17 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Firefly

    I get the same problem as you - I was in Superdrug or somewhere the other day buying shampoo, and their hair products were near their perfumery, and this was enough to set me off. I live in London too, so someone on the Tube wearing perfume or aftershave does the same. You are not alone!

    Emz

  • im the same, winter is easier as i always wear a scalf over my nose and mouth to filter the cold air so it reduces the intensity of the smells, the smell of other peoples perfumes or aftershaves gets me too dont think there is a lot you can do about it tho really im the same. only suggestion ihave is in winter i wear a scalf over my mouth and nose, this filters the cold air so that it doesnt grab my chst but it sometimes helps with strong smells too. hope this helps.

    kitkat Xxx

  • I'm affected too by perfume in close proximity, particularly in shops. I find that even breathing through my cupped hand (when no scarf available) can help to filter the air and alleviate the symptoms. I also seem to go into some kind of shallow breathing mode.

  • For months I had not realised why I was constantly coughing when with a certain colleague at school (I teach), then I realised that it was the strong (to me!) scent she wears.

    Once I realised this and mentioned it to her, she's much more conscious of wearing it at school and doesn't get fazed if I back away coughing and run for the Ventolin as she now knows it's simply a reaction to her scent.

    It hadn't occurred to me that scents can have this efect - once I did some reading around online, however, I was reassured to discover it's a known issue for some asthmatics.

    I, too, opt for the 'shallow-breathing-through-the-nose' method if I find myself in a heavily-scented place and dive for fresh air as soon as is politely possible.

  • I always have the problem - I cant enter the highstreet shop Lush I almost pasted out the first time I went in even just walking past can casue me problems...

    I think its a burden we just have to live with unless its something at work, if its at work just discuss with a supervisor and something should get done about it if its just someones perfume simpily imply they might not need that much :)

    anyway good luck to us all Christmas shopping and all.

    Jacomus

  • I have this problem and avoid shopping in the larger Boots on bad days but unfortunately the small one (where i get my prescriptions) doesn't stock everything I use. I went to get a lip gloss on Saturday and started to have an attack but I was fine as soon as I got outside.

    I try to hold my breath - if it's a good day and I walk straight through I'm fine. If it's a very good day, I can buy perfume (I can only use Elizabeth Arden Green Tea).

  • Lush must be the worste shop in the world for those with this kind of sensitivity. Not only do I have problems walking past it but it affects my chest from about 60 yards away so I have to be really careful when I go to a shopping centre with one of these. Not so bad if you know where it is and can work your way around to minimise the effect but smelling it in a shopping centre that Im visiting for the first time is a real problem because I can smell it way before I can see it and cant work out easily how to avoid it.

  • I am really sensitive to smells at the moment, asthma has been quite bad lately, I reacted to the air fresher someone had sprayed in the toilets at work the other day, i came out of there & ran straight to my bag for the inhaler. Everyone can here me coming, cos i keep coughing.

    Just been given seritide inhaler, hope it works soon.

    Lmc

  • I managed to get lost in Boots in belfast today on the ground floor where they keep the perfume.... never a good idea. I do think they shouldn't have them right by the door, but down the back with lots of ventilation or something.

  • It seems quite interesting when you get to know the reality that ""one man's meat is another man's poison"".

    I have this aunt whose asthma is not affected thus she's able to use all sorts of perfumes. But when you fry onions, it sets her off to the emergency unit!

    I'm not affected by that but any sort of perfume from the mild to those in detergents and further sends me there too!

    Just keep your inhalers close by as you do your christmas shopping.

    Wishing you all well.

    Pearl.

  • It seems quite interesting when you get to know the reality that ""one man's meat is another man's poison"".

    I have this aunt whose asthma is not affected thus she's able to use all sorts of perfumes. But when you fry onions, it sets her off to the emergency unit!

    I'm not affected by that but any sort of perfume from the mild to those in detergents and further sends me there too!

    Just keep your inhalers close by as you do your christmas shopping.

    Wishing you all well.

    Pearl.

  • It seems quite interesting when you get to know the reality that ""one man's meat is another man's poison"".

    I have this aunt whose asthma is not affected thus she's able to use all sorts of perfumes. But when you fry onions, it sets her off to the emergency unit!

    I'm not affected by that but any sort of perfume from the mild to those in detergents and further sends me there too!

    Just keep your inhalers close by as you do your christmas shopping.

    Wishing you all well.

    Pearl.

  • I too am affected by strong perfums.

    On a lighter note, Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson) portrayed it perfectly in one of his episodes. Gasping and crawling on the floor through the perfume dept of ?? Boots!

    Fortunately my Boots seem to have more than one entrance, though I do have to brave the smelly bit sometimes to get to the Anti-Wrinkle No. 7 creams! LOL!

    LUSH, is another story. I can smell it down the high street! The people who work there must be coughing up bubbles!

    Kate

  • Not just perfume counters! Walking past any of those 'scenty' high street shops is a problem. Even spicey garlicy cooking smells in places like Tesco or Asda cafeteria have me reaching for an inhaler.

    Lizzie

  • An ex bought me some athershave and got really annoyed when I didnt wear it, when I told her why she calmed down lol

  • I used to a geat and still do suffer to a lesser degree in heavily perfumed ares such as Boots etc. Even passing the door of boots sends a small tingle down my spine that i may start gasping for breath. Great thing now is i have kids and i need to buy nappies. Great combination

  • Hiya,

    I know exactly where you're coming from. Whenever I go out now (and for as long as I can remember, actually!) I've always wrapped myself up in a couple of scalves, to protect my nose and mouth from inhaling the fumes. Unfortunately, the only solution I've found is just to quite literally order anything I need from home over the internet (admittedly this is a pain in the posterior when it comes to ordering lipstick and so on as I can never really get a true indication of the colour - obviously this isn't exactly the end of the world, but try telling me that when the ""soft rose"" shade of lipstick I ordered turns up looking more like lobster red!)

    Anyhoo, my way of thinking in life is that if an obsticle can't be moved, then you have to move around the obsticle instead. So if the obsticle in our cases are the things that irritate our asthma (like the perfume counters, for example), then then only way to avoid being affected by them is to just avoid them full stop. Whenever I go out I'm always dodging away from one shop and diving into another for ""protection"" purposed - and most of the time the only shops I can actually go into are the ones I've got no interest in! Oh and then not to mention that when I get back home again I always have to shower and wash my hair a thousand times just to get the stench off me, and my ""going-out clothes"" usually end up going straight in the washing machine.

    But hey, that's the deck life's dealt us, unfortunately, so it's down to us to just work with what we've got as best we can, basically - adapt to it not fight it. And, anyway, who wants to be stuck in a queue for half the day wedged between a family with screaming kids in front and a fifty-year old peroxide blonde behind yapping on about the cruise she's just been on with her latest toyboy?! No ta, i'd rather stay at home and talk to yous lot on here!

    Danielle xx

You may also like...