My father is this way. He gets a wicked headache from scented detergents, cologne, candles, incense, car air freshners etc, and will actually break out in a rash if his clothes are washed in scented laundry detergent. Consequently, growing up, I was only ever exposed to unscented detergents (mostly arm&hammer brand). When I went away to college, I remember thinking that the laundry room in the dorm smelled absolutely awful with all those "powder-fresh" smell detergents and laundry softeners. I still prefer unscented laundry detergent. Clean clothes don't have to have some cloying, artificial smell for me to know they're clean!
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When they first came out, I recall a few fires from the plug ins, and I loathe the smell of most of them, and most air fresheners are pukey too. And I always check out the scent of candles before I buy them-some are totally revolting and bear no resemblance to the flavor they're supposed to be. After I had a house fire I washed everything (bedding, clothes, linens) in Tide with Febreze, and not too long after that I had to rewash everything to get rid of that smell too. I hate Febreze. I also can only use Bounce hypoallergenic/unscented dryer sheets (I got sick of playing hunt the sock every time I did laundry).
I've also known people and animals to react very badly to the automatic spritz ones, since they can trigger allergic reactions or breathing problems in susceptible individuals.
Yuck on the plug-ins! I swear that oil gets stuck in my sinuses for days on end. Basically anything scented is intolerable - candles, lotions, potpourri. I hold my breath walking by Bath & Bodyworks stores. Instant headache!
They give me migraines and make my face break out in a rash. Of course even at the old office when I unplugged the stupid thing (and hid it) it would always end up plugged in again and set to high. GAH! New office, not so bad. Though, some ding bat did walk thru and sprayed WAY TOO much Lysol in to the air a week ago. Nevermind Lysol is a contact disinfectant and myself and the rest of the office gagged all afternoon. A few of us did have the pleasure of leaving with migraines.
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
I also have to mention the people who wear TOO MUCH perfume/cologne. Ask me why I just thought of this.
I don't know if it's always true, but I seem to run across more men with this problem. I hardly ever like the smell of men's cologne, though there are a few nice ones, but when you can smell it a mile away, it's not a good thing.
I thought I was the only one who reacted that strongly to the sickening sweet smell of all those phony fragrances. I also get a near-migraine attack from the candle store in the mall. I've worn the same perfume since I was 21 because I don't dare try anything new at this point.
I even tell the dog groomer not to put any fragrance on my dog when she gets a bath. Unscented deodorant, hairspray, lotions, etc.
I had to change vets because when I went to the office to pick up my dog or cat they had these things going. I started wheezing and one of the other people there was a nurse. She was like "Get out of here!". Outside wasn't much better, lots of tropical dense foliage with high aroma.
The attendant was disturbed that I was sitting in my truck waiting for my pet and I told her I was sensitive to the aromas. She exclaimed that if they didn't have them the place would smell like a kennel!
Um, it is a kennel.
Just last week I went to get a root canal and they had them EVERYWHERE! I was coughing and gagging just from the smell.
I cannot believe people don't think they can have a problem with people who are sensitive to that stuff in that sort of environment.
I can use beeswax candles with a light scent. Most natural scents that are not floral do not bother me. Although mint scents are the easiest to deal with.
I have so many allergies almost anything scented from cat litter to detergent can drop me. Easily.