Society, Triggers

Rantings on Perfume, Scented Hair Products and Paris

REI employees shouldn’t be allowed to wear perfume. I’d prefer if no one in retail wore perfume, but I’ll complain about REI because I was there this morning. Doesn’t perfume contradict the values of the nature-oriented store?

I was at REI in the first place for quick-dry travel pants. The perfect pants that I scored at Goodwill last week must have been soaked in perfume, which I didn’t smell at the store. Washing and hanging them outside to dry once didn’t do the trick. Washing them after they’d been tightly sealed in a plastic bag with baking soda for five days didn’t work either. How can someone wear so much perfume that two washings can’t make a dent in the scent?

I had to give up on the thrift store pants. My new pants don’t smell. They are much more attractive and handier for travel. They also cost 10 times as much. Like with the cellphone, I’ve been thwarted at my attempt to save money.

My next complaint: Deodorants are scented for good reason (although they’re one of the few products that are available unscented). Even lotion I can understand. Hair products have no excuse. Not only are they perfumed, the scents are STRONG. Why are they scented to begin with? To cover up how the ingredients smell? Yes, I got my hair cut today. Yes, I washed the product out immediately after getting home. Yes, I got a migraine.

I can’t believe how sensitive to smells I’ve become. Cinnamon and rose have triggered my headaches forever, but they are only a small part of my odor triggers now. It has gotten so bad that I might have to strike Paris off my list of places to travel.


My Cellphone, a Portable Headache Trigger

I manage my environmental triggers as well as I can. At restaurants, I double check to see if there are nuts in a dish. I stay clear of toiletries and cleaning products at the grocery store. I switch seats at movies to get away from smelly neighbors.

Then I spill tea on my cellphone. After many attempts at resuscitation, I replaced it with a pretty pink Razr from eBay. The new phone just arrived and seems to work fine. I don’t know for sure because I can’t hold it up to my face to talk on it. It reeks of perfume.

The crazy thing is that I wanted a red phone until I found out that they aren’t manufactured in red, but painted by a third party company. Wanting to avoid the potential for paint fumes, I chose a different color.

Should I have foreseen this danger? Would I have a stink-free phone if I’d gotten it in silver? Like I have enough control over the world to keep from getting a perfumed phone.

The moral of the story: It’s impossible to avoid all potential migraine or headache triggers. No matter how hard you try. Don’t beat yourself up! (Kerrie, that means you.)

Any suggestions for removing odors from plastic? I’ve already wiped it down with hydrogen peroxide. We don’t have rubbing alcohol; maybe vodka?