Wednesday, May 26, 2010


One of my many allergies is to perfume. I can't control that.

People wear perfumes, either due to direct application, or through use of scented products. They can control that, but aren't aware of problems that they may be causing others, and so don't. I don't blame them for that.

I take public transit, because it is cheaper (sort of) and more environmentally responsible. Plus, it allows me to spend my time on other things than focusing on driving. However, that often puts me in contact with people who are wearing scents (or are smokers, or smell of stale beer and urine, but I'll leave those for a different discussion). If I'm sitting on the window side of the seat, I can't control who sits next to me, and getting up and moving is difficult an obvious. Asking someone to move often results in their feelings being hurt. (They get offended that I'm allergic to something that they did, in their opinion, to make themselves nice.) Plus, that just results in a seat beside me being open, which might end up occupied by someone else wearing perfume. So, instead, I open the window a crack, and that usually provides enough airflow to direct the perfume elsewhere.

That's what I did today. After a while, the gentleman in front of me closed the window. He was sitting in front of the opening, and I needed it open, so I opened it back up. He said the window was rattling in his ear, and I responded that I needed it open because of my allergies, and the person sitting next to me was wearing perfume. He then jokingly asked if I had a water bottle, and said I should splash them. (I said I wouldn't do that!) The person next to me then said "I'm right here". I told her that I'm allergic to perfume, and needed the window open.

A while later, a seat across the isle became completely free, and she moved over there.

Honestly, I didn't mean to offend her! Sheesh. Now I'm upset that she got huffy.

If you had allergies, what would you do? If you don't have allergies and wear perfume, what do you think about people who are allergic? (Although, if you're one of those people who don't believe allergies exist... frankly, I'd rather not hear from you. I know I won't convince you otherwise, and the whole exchange will just get me more frustrated.)


jess said...

:( hope things get better.

noricum said...

I'm in the process of writing the post... for some reason, blogger decided to publish after I typed the title. :P

Whit said...

I don't see why that person was offended, unless it was because you and the gentleman in front of you were talking about her like she wasn't there. That I can't really blame her for being a little upset. I think that allergies should be respected. I honestly didn't know or think about the smells that I wear and how it may affect the people around me. Thank you for bring that to my attention. Maybe this will open up some peoples eyes. Good luck. Hopefully next time the person wont have such an issue. :)

noricum said...

Well, I was talking to the man, because he was the one who wanted the window closed. His joke was a little rude, but that's not *my* fault.

Lucy said...

I like the part where the lady says..."I'm right here" LOL

Prairie Chicken... said...

I move all the time on the bus. And I don't make any apologies for it either.
One time I told a woman that she smelled like a cheap hooker. She got all pissy when I opened the window in -30.
I said "you are wearing so much perfume that I feel like I'm sitting in a brothel next to a cheap hooker" after she angrily asked me to close the window because she was "freezing".

My response got a few chuckles from other passengers.

noricum said...

I must admit that I do open windows at all temperatures. ;)

I didn't want to move myself, because I had the spot that's perfect for napping in, right in front of the back doors. ;)