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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
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    4,980

    Default Perfume at Work

    This must have been discussed in the past, but, I'm experiencing a current issue, so I'll lodge a possibly repetitive complaint.

    WHY do people feel the need to wear tons of perfume at work? The woman in the cube on the other side of me doused herself this morning and it's making my eyes burn and is really very unpleasant. Ugh.

    Perfume does not smell the same to everyone...what one person loves, will smell horrible to another. People can't assume that others in close proximity will like their favorite scent. Then there's the issue of the amount used.

    I've never understood perfume at work anyway, who are they setting out to impress? It's not a date or a nightclub .



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2012
    Posts
    261

    Default

    If it's to the point where it's burning your eyes and physically bothering you rather than just being annoying, you might want to say something to her or to your supervisor?

    I sure wouldn't want to go home with a headache every day!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2007
    Location
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Posts
    5,775

    Default

    Talk to your HR department or your direct superior if you don't have an HR department. Make it a WHAT issue, not a WHO issue. Meaning, don't say "Mary wears too much perfume and it stinks!" but rather, "It gives me a headache/making my eyes water/makes me want to barf when I'm trapped in a room with strong scents." Many workplaces have rules about perfume/cologne.
    I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,980

    Default

    We're in an, IT only, outpost of a massive company. We don't have full-time HR in the building, so a lady comes once or twice a week and sets up shop for HR issues...I guess I'll bring it up with her, as it's been becoming more of an issue lately. One (previous) offender is a close friend who sits right next door...a few weeks ago she got some new hair treatment that stunk to high heavens and she'd glob it on before she came to work. With her, I just told her she stunk...she laughed and said she couldn't smell it, but she'd stop using it in the office and save it for at night. This one, I don't know as well, so I don't really want to complain to her directly and make her feel defensive. I know that, sometimes, women put on a lot of smelly stuff when it is "that time of month", to cover up some imagined smell. If that's the case (could be as she doesn't smell this bad all the time), she'd be double mortified if I complained.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    14,323

    Default

    One of the important types in my office wears so much cologne that you can still tell he was in the elevator long after he left it.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,304

    Default

    I had problems with the cakes they put in the urinals.The smell would travel through the vents and into my office, and I actually had breathing problems. I agree about going to HR/or a supervisor and telling them the impact of the perfume (heachaches, etc.). Thats what I did - didn't wwant to be the wicked witch of the office but rreally wanted to breathe and was dreading going to work. In my case they let me switch offices, but they did it in a way that was not "Lila hates the cleaning crew and she thinks it stinks and thats why you have to give up your office" but a much nicer, professional narrative. Perhaps they (HR, supervisor, whoever) can mention it to the whole staff so it is not YOU in particular and not seemingly directed at her either, but nonetheless would impact her. Don't give up on it though. That sucks and you don't want to develop worse problems!!!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2008
    Posts
    4,279

    Default

    we used to be able to tell where our office manager had been by sniffing our way around the building after her.... the firm came up with a "no strong scents--they're making people sneeze!" policy for employees, and it got better after that. definitely check with HR to see if there's a company-wide policy on this, and if not, politely ask that they implement one.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Gravity works, and the laws of physics are a bitch.

    Member: Rabid Garden Snail Clique



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
    Posts
    5,561

    Default

    Talk to HR about it. A lot of work places have scent free policies. It is possible there is already one one place and not everyone knows about it.

    If yours does not and the scent gives you a headache you should talk to your doctor about a note. Give the note to HR and ask them to consider a scent free policy.
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 1999
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    3,572

    Default

    Our facilities manager at work wears the worst cologne ever, in mass quantities. It's vile and it lingers. If you are looking for him, you can track him down by scent alone. On the flip side, we also have a body odor issue here so I'm not sure which offense is worse - we had one dude that smelled so bad it make an intern cry...my boss had to explain to him that regular bathing was a good idea. I work with gross people.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
    Posts
    5,561

    Default

    The fellow two offices from me has a gas issue. Despite our scent free policy, he is contantly spraying the air in his office with a nasty air freshener.

    Not sure which is worse though, the cheap nasty air freshener or the odour it is meant to mask. I think the original odour would at least stay in his office, the air "freshener" seeps into the other offices....
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    AridZona
    Posts
    2,874

    Default

    Throwing up works. I once had a co-worker who liked to reapply the cologne at lunch. Until the day it set off one of my migraines and I threw up. A mutual friend/co-worker told him why and he was mortified and stopped applying it. (He was a really sweet guy though.)
    Delicious strawberry flavored death!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 9, 2012
    Location
    NYC=center of the universe
    Posts
    2,117

    Default

    Yes, talk to HR. They can remind people of the "dress code" and related policies in a way that's not personal.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    10,938

    Default

    I do wear perfume for work, but only a tiny bit. (One squirt). I've never had anyone complain. It makes me feel 'finished' when I dress on a morning.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2012
    Posts
    6,646

    Default

    I can tell as soon as someone gets on the train that they're wearing something--how do I know? My sinuses close up!

    The worst is a guy who works out at my gym--he's wearing some kind of liniment crap that's about 7x as strong as Absorbine. He smells like a cedar chest mixed with turpentine and it hangs in the air even 40 feet away. I don't want to be the one to tell him, but I've been close . . .



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