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Just What DO You Do When Someone Chokes From Smelling Your Cologne?

Updated on March 4, 2009


I’m not a spray six thousand times before I leave the house nor am I one of those people who are constantly rubbing in cologne at wrist and neck points. I’m a spray each wrist, get dressed and then a spritz over the whole shebang and I’m out the door. This has worked well, usually only the people who go in for a hug or get close to me can smell me so I think I do a pretty good job when it comes to the cologne but recently the woman who helps me at Starbucks, stood up from doing something under the counter and went, “Whew <insert several sneezes here> wow, you smell nice but I don’t know something about it is making me sneeze. <more sneezing>” “Is it too much?” I asked. “No, no, just something about it <grimace>…” Just what DO you do when someone chokes from smelling your cologne? – Don’t Get Me Started!

If you’re anything like me, what this first thing in the morning encounter did was to make me completely paranoid. I kept trying to smell myself all day but knowing full well that you can’t really smell yourself unless you’re really stinky or something…I couldn’t smell anything. I would watch very closely everyone’s reaction to me as they got close. Could I see a nostril start to flare a bit at what was undoubtedly the black plague of colognes? It didn’t seem as though anyone was reacting to what I began to feel was a green cloud hovering about me like one of those bad breath commercials that you used to play on television. Or like the movie Ten Commandments when the plague to kill the first male born goes around the streets passing up any door that had lamb’s blood on it (where did the Jews ever come up with that one?) should I warn people to put some lamb’s blood above their lip like a milk mustache to deter the scent?

Let me say that I have always been hypersensitive to the “roar of the greasepaint” and most definitely the “smell of the crowd.” I remember that there was a woman we worked with at the theatre and her mother was one of those who were doused in what seemed like a combination of rose water and whatever is the sweetest and smelliest flower in the world. When she would hug you, you smelled like her for days. So you had to find creative ways around it. I remember once I sneezed, apologized and told her I thought I was getting sick – success, no hug. Then a couple of times I had to resort to the whole Oprah-I-don’t-want-to-hug-you-method where you clasp your fingers into theirs and maintain that proper dance position almost but more importantly you can keep them far enough away that it doesn’t get on you.

Lest you think women are the only ones, men are sometimes worse. I had a pal who, I don’t know but I can only imagine he not only bathed in Polo but drank it so that it would ensure it would come out of every pore on his body. It would be days later and I would be putting on my shoes or something and I’d be like, “Ugh, how did he get into my damn shoes???”

I don’t want to be one of those people. I don’t want to be the person who has the parade of cologne coming around the corner before I get there. I need no “coming attraction” no “scent sentries” going before me to lead the way. And what I really don’t need is for people to be choking on my damn cologne! More than embarrassing, it just seems ungayly and we all know that’s a deal breaker in my world. Just what DO you do when someone chokes from smelling your cologne? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • relache profile image

      Raye 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      The one time I have a hard time dealing is when trapped with a drenched person on an airplane. You know what I'm talking about: the man or woman wearing so much scent they leave a trail of burning mucous membranes every time they walk to the lavatory and back...

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 8 years ago from Las Vegas

      relache, while that sounds good in theory and I'm all for the cleanliness is not next to smelliness defense, for some people they need a little more than soap and water will provide them. Meanwhile, I get it, believe me, there has been more than one occasion where I had to change my seat in the movies to get away from an over cologned person!

    • relache profile image

      Raye 8 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Scott, when I lived in SF in the mid 1990s, I had a housemate who was extremely scent-sensitive and could not use ANYTHING scented during the several years we shared a house. Now I live with my sister and she is sensitive to any synthetic fragrances, so people who wear perfumes and colognes give her an instant headache to a migraine depending on how much they are wearing. What's interesting is that by giving up the use of perfumed products, my own sense of smell is much stronger now. In my circle of friends and chosen communities, it's considered inappropriate to wear extraneous scent/perfume due to people who are sensitive and virtually no one I know wears anything beyond what their natural soap and deoderant contain.