When Someone Wears Cologne…


I’m one of those rare people who don’t like to smell cologne. I don’t like perfume much either. I guess that makes me a cheap date?

It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that as I am getting older, I am getting more sensitive to the smell and it makes me physically sick.  I start coughing, chocking, and feeling very nauseous.  I also get horrible headaches. The problem is, when someone is wearing a scent, it stays with me, especially if I hug the person hello.  Then, I feel sick all day (or all night long).

This week, it happened twice! And both times after the meet ups, I quickly ran into the bathroom, double and triple washed my hands and face but I could still smell the person’s cologne on me.

My husband and I went out with one couple for dinner. The man was wearing very strong cologne. All night long, I smelled it. After we left the couple, I went home and was violently sick. It was not a pretty sight.

How could you tell someone not to wear cologne?  I guess the only thing you can do is keep track and if you know someone wears cologne or perfume that bothers you, you either don’t get together with him/her or you just don’t kiss or hug him/her?

What would you do?


DISCLOSURE: NO CONNECTION, UNPAID, MY OWN OPINIONS — I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein. However, individual links could be associated with affiliate marketing sites and through the use of affiliate links contained herein, I may collect fees from purchases made.
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  1. Cloris Kylie

    Interesting post, Hilary. I can relate, because I usually have trouble breathing when exposed with strong scents, including cologne and scented candles. And what I do is simply that: tell people what the scent causes in my body and they know not to wear perfume/cologne next time they visit me. It’s tougher with customers…I usually just keep my distance.

  2. Vivian Leber

    I don’t get sick but I do feel very uncomfortable around strong scents. A friend once got into my car wearing a strong scent. I rolled down my window (in winter) and said “that’s too strong for me.” She was insulted. Seems to be very personal. I don’t get the purpose of perfume. The French started it in 1700s to mask B.O. from lack of bathing facilities.

    1. Hilary JM Topper, MPA

      Thanks for sharing! I’m glad I’m not alone on this… 🙂

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