Perfume allergy?

Is there really such a thing as a perfume allergy?

I’m not saying there isn’t, and I understand smoke allergies, etc., but does anyone know what ingredients in perfume wafting through the air would set off an allergy? Aldehydes? Smoke allergy makes sense, and I’ve seen people’s allergic, physical reaction to that, but that’s a burning thing that stays in the air for X period of time.

Or is it possible that some people don’t like perfume and just call it an allergy? What are the symtoms of a perfume allergy?

  • Katie says:

    Different people have different triggers. I actually have a terrible reaction to mint, so I generally try to avoid any perfumes with those in it, or at least those featuring it prominently. At best I start to itch, and at worst I can break out in a rash. It’s gross. But certain molecules do trigger sneezy/wheezy reactions in some people, or even where there’s no allergy, folks with asthma (even mild asthma) can be flummoxed and caused problems by those molecules. I think many times, people just react to so many different perfumes without being able to locate the exact oil or molecule causing the reaction, and so they make a blanket statement of “I am allergic to perfume.” I mean, I can’t judge them too harshly, as I would imagine if they find they have this reaction with any frequency they likely are not inclined to go bringing pain on themselves by trying to figure out what the exact problem is. Hell, they may not even realize they’re not allergic to ALL perfumes.

  • Anonymouse says:

    True Story: A woman in the US city of Norwalk, Connecticut filed a lawsuit against the local authorities for exposing her to colleagues’ perfumes and colognes in her job as a municipal clerk. She cited a serious allergy.

  • marbledog says:

    I hate onions, but I found long ago that people didn’t really care that I hate onions and they would go around chopping fresh onions right under my nose ALL THE TIME. So eventually I figured out that if I tell them I’m allergic to onions, they are all of a sudden very respectful and they don’t chop fresh onions under my nose any more.

    So I’m guessing that people aren’t really allergic to perfume or smoke, but they hate it so much it makes them feel like they have to lie in order to get the respect they feel they deserve. (whether they do deserve it is another story)

  • Margi says:

    I think there are people that are severely sensitive to just about anything. . .but that doesn’t single out perfume, either.

    I would be very sad if I were that sensitive because I love scents and can immediately transport myself back to a certain time in my life with one.