An allergic reaction to fragrance is very common and that means not only perfume itself but in other products such as cleansers and face creams. Any one with a sensitive skin, being prone to rashes or with a history of eczema
should avoid perfume and such skin care products and look for ones that are genuinely fragrant-free.
There are more than 5000 different fragrances that are in use today. In any one product the number of fragrances used can be many. Fortunately only a small number of fragrances are actually common sensitisers, causing an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. People can be tested with a fragrant mix.
What is fragrance mix?
"Fragrance mix" is a mixture of 8 individual fragrances that is used to screen for fragrance allergy. The 8 listed are the most common allergy-causing fragrances that are used across many products for their fragrant and flavoring properties.
1. Oak Moss
2. Cinnamic aldehyde
3. Cinnamic alcohol
4. Alpha amyl cinnamic alcohol
7. Isoeugenol and
Two of these common ingredients that frequently cause fragrance allergy are eugenol (found in clove oil) and geraniol (found in more than 250 essential oils, including rose, geranium, and jasmine oils). And yet certain essential oils work so well in providing natural skin care products
for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, rosacea, eczema and more.
For those who are extremely sensitive to scents, just a drop or two can mean serious allergy symptoms. These can range from sneezing and watering eyes to itching skin to welts on the skin, canker sores and canker-like sores in the nostrils to bronchial restriction or headaches
. And of course if someone is sensitive to perfume, then this same sensitivity extends to scented dryer sheets, certain soaps and shampoos and even scented toilet paper.
You can usually explain the problem of sensitivity to friends and family and receive a sympathetic co-operation but co-workers can be a different story. Getting your co-worker to tone down or even eliminate his or her beloved fragrance is not always easy. But if your health is at stake, then it becomes rather important to do so.
Treading a delicate path with co-workers
Always approach the situation calmly and politely. Apologize to your colleague for having to ask him or her to make a change to their morning routine but that you have this problem with an allergy that is making you quite ill, explaining that all perfumes sprayed in large quantities make you nauseated, dizzy, asthmatic - or whatever your physical reaction might be. It is hoped that it won't be taken personally since your problem is with the quantity she uses and not the brand itself. If you don't want to lie about having an allergy, state that you are hypersensitive instead. Go on to emphasize that you would be very appreciative if less perfume could be used or preferably none at all. If your colleague agrees, be very grateful. However, if there is no response or if you are uncomfortable in approaching him or her in the first place, speak to a supervisor or HR official for assistance.
What is MCS?
Extreme hypersensitivity is called MCS or multiple chemical sensitivity
and is a distressing disorder where people develop extreme reactions to chemicals and other irritants in the environment, often affecting their multiple organ systems. The consequences can vary from mild and immediate to delayed and chronic (and everything in between). While there is no cure for this damaging condition, a sufferer’s quality of life can be improved by the reduction of all environmental and other toxins in their everyday life and surroundings. You can imagine how affected these sufferers can be by perfume.
Are you the person who is wearing hefty doses of fragrance?
This article should help you to understand the problem.