I frowned when the messanger told me, less from offense and more from curiousity. Years ago, I worked side-by-side with someone who had a severe allergy to scents. You could see her eyes swell if someone walked by wearing a “coat of many odours”, and it wasn’t hard to feel sympathy for her. She told me about her sensitivities when she started working with me, and I immediately quit wearing perfume to respect and accommodate her. I understand the seriousness of people who deal with the very real and negative physical responses to scents, and I am certainly not one to place my own preferences above another person’s ability to breathe.
My perfume happens to be interestingly sentimental to me. I picked the scent when I was a new young pregnant mom, almost 20 years ago. Carrying my baby, I was full of ideas of how to build life into my children. When I was a child, my mother wore Chanel No. 5 (before it was “Chanel.”) To this day, when I smell that scent, I am reminded of my childhood; lovely evenings when mom was dressed up to go out, and could take the luxury of wearing a dab of perfume on the inside of her wrists.
So in 1992, I decided to provide the same for my babies. I took months to peruse and consider dozens of different perfumes, before deciding on Estee Lauder’s “Knowing.” Since then, I have worn this one scent, and my children and husband have told me often they love it. They’ve even found comfort in it. At difficult times in their lives, some of my wee children have asked to sleep with my t-shirts, to feel me close. It has been a lovely legacy that I’m so happy to have given them.
But alas, I will need to change my habits. It was suggested that perhaps I only apply one squirt of perfume, rather than two or three. I responded that I actually only apply one squirt, from a distance, so only about half of the mist hits me. I’ll simply have to remove it from my routine. My hubby understands the challenges of working with people who seemingly dip themselves in strong scents and waft their presence in the workplace. You can read more about his opinion at his blog, www.smallsharpobjects.com .
What makes this even more ironic is that the last few days I’ve been observing the viral ad campaigns of Old Spice, featuring actor Isaiah Mustafa as the Old Spice Man, in which he posts personalized videos to individuals texting him on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. My dad wore Old Spice. THAT is a strong scent! One you’re inclined to love or despise.
Oh well. I’ll adjust my habits, but I’m still not sure what motivates me to do it. Kindness? Empathy? Courtesy? Cowardice? Regardless, I’m hoping that the person who complained will appreciate it.
And the next time hubby and I go out, you can be sure I’ll be wearing it!