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Why does some perfume smell funny on me?
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Why does some perfume smell funny on me?

Why does so me perfume smell like Off bug repellant and another smell like gasoline?
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Welcome to the gastroenterology community!  Are you the only person that smells this?  Do your friends and family smell this too?
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There are several reasons.  The first one is that not all fragrances will smell the same on every individual who wears that fragrance.  The reason is that each individual person has an individual chemical make up.  It isn't going to be exactly the same way as it smells in the bottle.  You absolutely have to TRY the smelly stuff before you buy it and walk around other places, preferably outside in the fresh air so that you won't have all those other smells mixing with the fragrance that can alter what you're smelling.  Do not try more than one fragrance in a day.

These fragrances are made with so many chemicals.  One website I read mentioned that the one fragrance that had the LEAST number of chemicals still had 400 different chemicals in it.  Many fragrances have THOUSANDS of different chemicals in them.  That is THOUSANDS, not hundreds.  And, remember, when one chemical is mixed with another that mix creates many more different chemicals.  Therefore, as an example only, if the manufacturer added 20 chemicals that we know of, hundreds or thousands of chemicals stem from the vast array of chemical reactions reacting upon other chemical reactions.  It's a huge chain of chemical reactions.  This is how there comes to be so many different chemicals in the fragrances, and this is how so many different fragrances are created.  

It is this vast array of chemicals that are in the fragrances plus your own individual chemical make up combining together that ultimately determines how those fragrances will finally smell on you.  The simple explanation, of course, is that if that fragrance ends up smelling odd or strange or foul on you--then it smells bad when combined with your individual chemical make up and it isn't right for you.

Do NOT spray on a heavy amount.  Remember, fragrances are intended to be an INTIMATE experience.  If you wear a heavy amount of fragrance, if it doesn't work with your body's chemistry, the bad smell will be a lot worse than when wearing a careful light amount.  No one should be able to smell your fragrance before you get there or twenty minutes to an hour after you have left.  Also, remember that some people get very ill around these fragrances, so do please choose carefully where you wear the stuff even when worn correctly at the light intimate level.  Many people become very, very sick from these fragrances.  This is why so many work places have decided to ban the wearing of fragrances on the job.  And, too, even people who don't get ill from fragrances ordinarily tell me that they will feel ill around the heavily worn stuff or that they simply don't like heavily worn fragrances.  It also makes economical sense to use fragrances sparingly if you want to wear them.  You will have your bottle of fragrance a lot longer if you do.

You may wonder about my choice of the word "fragrance".  This is because people will tell me "It's not 'perfume' it's 'body spray'"  Okay, well, just where does the fragrance for the "body spray" come from anyway?  Why mince words and be so technical about what each of these various fragrance products is called?  To the person who gets ill, it doesn't matter what it's called.  People are more inclined to actually grasp the point if one uses the word "fragrance" than all the various words (perfume, cologne, body spray, scents, scented hair spray, scented deodorants and anti-perspirants, etcetera) that mean that a fragrance is applied to the body.  It's a cultural mind-set.  People are still quite unaccustomed or unacquainted with the thought that people can get sick from these things or that many people refer to ALL of these fragrance items as "perfume".  To say the word "fragrance" helps to shift peoples' awareness so that they can grasp this "new" concept at least a little bit better.

So, the short answer here is that all of these vast number of chemicals mix with your own unique body chemistry and create still another chemical compound.  It doesn't really surprise me that you say that so many of these fragrances end up smelling like bug spray or gasoline.  People in my family have this problem, too.  And, since several of us also have severe allergies to chemicals such as fragrances, most simply don't wear fragrances.  You may not like that this is the ultimate solution to the problem of fragrances not mixing well with your body's unique chemistry, but I don't know of a different answer to give you.  Someone in my family has even sold Avon products for many years without wearing the fragrances because of this issue of the fragrances not smelling good on her.  They only smell good in the bottle but not on her.  There just isn't any other way of dealing with the problem.

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If someone tells you that your fragrance makes them ill, be kind and don't be quick to offense.  The person isn't being rude or unkind when he or she says something.  I know any time I have said anything to someone, I did my best to speak kindly and considerately.  I learned from others like myself who get ill that it isn't because we aren't making an effort to speak in a kind, polite, courteous and considerate manner.  

The problem is a cultural mind-set.  People usually assume this has something to do with just not liking their personal choice in fragrance.  But, is this what those of us who try very hard to speak considerately about how we're affected are really saying?  No, not at all.  In fact, most of us actually like the way those fragrances smell, but we CAN'T be around those fragrances because we REALLY DO GET SICK.  The other part of this is that most of us who have become chemically sensitive used to wear fragrances, too.  Then, we got sick.

Please be kind in return when someone is speaking considerately to you about not being able to be around fragrances.  This isn't about trying to do anything and everything we can to offend people or their choice of fragrance.  It has nothing to do with your choice in fragrance.  Please be kind and don't be quick to take offense.
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