Hey everyone, happy post-eclipse! We were at around 80% coverage and my entire office trooped outside to watch the highlights. I was surprised and heartened to see so many random folks outside watching it. Was anyone in the “total eclipse” swath? What did you think? I’m kind of kicking myself for not flying/driving somewhere I could see the total eclipse.
So, a question. I have a coworker who loves wearing patchouli. I’m going to hazard a guess that it’s some essential oil; it seems pretty straightforward, and it’s the only fragrance she wears. My coworkers are generally unscented, aside from maybe their hand lotion. The only thing I pick up on regularly at the office, besides Miss Patchouli, is various inoffensive men’s colognes. I myself try to dial it down at work and not wear anything too ridiculous, since I share an open office with someone who sits right behind me. I’ll admit that I’ve worn vintage killers a couple of times (Poison, Paris) when I knew I was going to be alone for the day in my stretch of the office, which happens if everyone else is at a conference.
But back to Miss Patchouli. I hate that smell. I like patchouli well enough at the base of any number of powerhouse scents, but the smell of it alone is like nails on a blackboard. It’s so pervasive.
A couple of times I’ve been tempted to say something to her; what stops me is knowing what a hypocrite I am. I’m not allergic to her dumb hippie love-oil. It doesn’t trigger watery eyes or a migraine, just a constantly fluctuating level of resentment. If I walk into, say, the company kitchen I know she’s been there recently because I can still smell her. I studiously avoid sitting near her at meetings. None of this is impacting my job. I don’t work with her directly. I just …. hate it. I hate it and I’m kind of embarrassed about how much I hate it.
One other (minor) scent experience – I went out to lunch with friends recently, and after a few minutes I asked for a booth in another room because the scent of eucalyptus was so intense, although I looked around and couldn’t see it anywhere. From the smell, you’d think they’d tied a bunch of dried stems to the back of my chair. Nobody I was with even knew what I was talking about, of course; they just cheerfully picked up and moved.
Would you say anything to Miss Patchouli? Would you imply that you were sensitive/allergic? Would you try to engage her and see if you could get her to start wearing something you liked? Would you grin and bear it? Something else?
And have you ever run up against some perfume-ambiance in a restaurant that vexed you? I’ve been overwhelmed by the offgassing from other diners, and occasionally by the servers, but I can’t recall another time the restaurant itself seemed to be the source of the smell. Would you have said anything to the host on your way out?