Triggers that Stink

When I was in 5th grade, my teacher sometimes left the door in our classroom open to the workspace she shared with other teachers. Whenever she did, I got a bad headache — from the rose air freshener in the workroom.

In middle and high school, many of my classmates ate fireballs in class. You know, the candy with the artificial cinnamon smell? The one that that’s like a jawbreaker so it lasts forever? You’ve guessed it; I got bad headaches every time someone within smelling distance ate a fireball.

Now I try to buy every product, from deodorant to laundry detergent, unscented or scented with an essential oil I know I can handle. If I can’t get what I want with those requirements, I’ll stand in the store, sniffing all the bottles on the shelf to find one that won’t trigger a headache.

So you can imagine how annoyed I get when a new magazine arrives full of perfume samples. I open the magazine very carefully to avoid getting any scent on my hands, rip out the offending pages and throw them away, preferably outside. If the scent has migrated to other pages of the magazine, I leave it outside for a while to air out.

But there’s an even easier way to get rid of the offending smells. If you subscribe to a magazine, you can call the company and tell them that you want an unscented magazine. Publishers actually bind small amounts of their magazines without the perfume samples. What a brilliant, easy solution!