Help. Please. Help me. What can I do to FIX THIS?

Have you ever heard the phrase “Nice scent - must you marinate in it?”

I’ve got a coworker who wears so much perfume that as of yesterday afternoon, I had to leave early because of the migraine setting in because of it. I’m unable to see out of one eye (rubbing my head from migraine and scratched my eye). My Neurologist (whom I saw yesterday for painkillers) is ready to write me a note saying I need to work from home. The person who is causing this, however, is a friend of mine. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, going to HR is not an option because my HR person is an idiot. Do I go to her boss? Do I go to her? What do I say? I can’t work at work anymore. I’m sick to my stomach, I have horrible headaches, and I throw up daily thanks to her “scent”. I just don’t know how to handle this. :frowning:

Please - someone give me a solution to this nightmare? I’ll even throw in a pretty please.

Go to the boss and tell them you wish to remain anonymous. Then when the boss goes tells her, the boss will just say that there have been complaints around the office.

If she is a friend of yours it is easy.

Tell her that you love the smell of her perfume. Truly it is the bestest smelling perfume you have ever smelt. Tell her you don’t understand why it give you migraines because it truly is a good smell. But, the smell is for some strange reason really bothering you. If she is your friend she will do quit wearing it to help you feel better as long as you don’t insult her.

On thing to consider though. Are you sure that the perfume is giving you the migraine? Smell has never triggered my migraines (I know everyone is different), but when I have a migraine smells I usually like smell horrible to me and seem to aggravate it.

If she’s a friend, I’d say talk to her and explain (what seems to be) your allergy to her perfume. If someone spoke to me about it, and I was a friend of theirs, I would do something about it. Be nice, be kind but tell her - I’m sure if she’s a good friend she’d be horrified she’s causing you so much pain.

I’d be careful about stressing that it’s that particular scent causing the problem. Chances are, if she switched you’d just end up with the same problem but just a different smell. The issue is not that she’s wearing that specific perfume, but rather that she is wearing too much perfume, period. Right?

Do any of your other coworkers notice this as well? I guess I’m wondering if she really is bathing in the stuff, or if you’re just particularily sensitive to it…

ParentalAdvisory, I did a bad job of explaining my work environment, for which I apologize. My “cube” is right next to her “cube”, yet there are no other cubes near us. Or offices that the perfume would affect. Only the office supply cabinet. It’s a weird layout, yes, but if anyone would complain and it got back to her, it would obviously be me, and I don’t want to hurt her feelings.

{Originally from InConceivable)

Yes, I’m sure. My Doc and I have my migraine triggers down. This is a really sickly sweet, very strong, with an undertone of vinegar perfume. And she doesn’t even put it ON for the day until she gets to work. Why can’t people do their personal hygiene stuff at home?

Honeydew, thanks for your advice, but how could something like that be worded? I feel like telling her would be such a slam - and insulting. How does one say “your overuse of cologne is making me sick, lay off”? There’s no way to say something like that nicely, or is there? That’s my problem. God, I hate that it’s bothering me - I don’t want to hurt her, and I hate myself for being so sensitive to it - but I can’t TAKE it. God, it sucks all around.

belladonna, you’re correct. It’s TOO much perfume, no matter WHAT the particular brand/scent. And as I mentioned above, no one else is in the area to notice it - it’s just kinda me and her in that area. :frowning:

I guess my biggest problem with this is not MY hurting, it’s saying something to HER that would hurt HER feelings - I don’t EVER want to do that. Maybe I should just ask MY boss to move me to another area.

Missy, Don’t go to your boss. If this person is a friend of yours, you owe it to her to tell her. She is hurting you without knowing it. You are hiding the fact from her. If she were having some physical symptoms from one of your personal habits, would you not want to know?

Don’t make it sound like she is doing anything wrong. Tell her that any perfume smell does it to you recently. Blame it on the chemicals. People love to blame things on chemicals.

In short, don’t tell her that she is overusing cologne. Tell her that her perfectly normal use of a very lovely cologne is having a bad effect on you and likely any cologne she might choose to use would have a similar effect.

Tell her! As long as you make it clear that it’s your allergy/hypersensitivity to perfume that’s causing the problem, I don’t see how that could hurt her feelings. (That is, don’t make it sound like there’s something objectively wrong with the quantity or quality of her perfume—even if there is.)

Thanks, y’all. pervert (and yeab, this does feel really whacked typing out :)) you’re right on the money, I guess. I won’t go to the boss, I’ll try and find a nice way of talking about it with her. I just am one of those people who doesn’t have “confrontation of ANY kind” part of my personality profile. We can chalk up a bunch of ex’s to that. But that’s another story. :wink:

In Conceivable, your advice has been way more than helpful and I SO thank you - I think, if I phrase things in the manner in which you posted, I may actually be able to get this behind me, and be able to actually work at my work again. I’d hug you, but that would be mushy. And we all hate mush, don’t we? Thank you again. Really. :slight_smile:

Thudlow, thank you. Between yours and the other advice I’ve received, I think I can get this to work out. I really, really appreciate it. Thank you again.

Oh, and in my post above, it should read (and yeah - not yeab). But y’all knew that, didn’t ya? :wink:

Tell her you’re allergic. My parents used to go to a fabulous restaurant in Chicago. The owner/chef developed an allergy to pretty much everything and told his customers they couldn’t wear perfume to his restaurant! It was reservations only, so everyone got the message when they made their reservation. Also, no smoking due to allergies. Don’t feel bad about it. She’ll understand.

Missy2U, does she know that you are a mgraine-sufferer? If she already does, it makes things easier, I think, to say something like “I have a favor to ask. One of the things that triggers my migraines is perfume. Would you mind not wearing it in the office?” If she’s a friend at all she’ll do it. If she’s not a close enough friend to know you have migraines, I still think being direct is the best approach, but it’s just more difficult.

Good luck on getting the headaches under control.

Missy, don’t worry about hurting her feelings. If she really is using too much perfume, then you owe it to her as a friend to let her know her overuse of fragrance is distracting. People aren’t noticing her or her work, they’re too knocked out by her “marinade.”

Start off by saying, “I’m saying this to you as a friend…”

That limits your options actually making it easy.

It is simple, you should

On second thought, what if your cell mate uses lots of perfume? Maybe that is not such a good idea.

You are making me think about my Mom! When she gets into the car with me I have to hang my head out the window like a dog.

Come in early one morning, and wait for her to come in. When she does, jump out and spray her down with a super soaker. Or better yet, one of those seltzer bottles that the clowns use.

If you want to be really passive-aggressive, you could go to her cube to ask her a question, then sort of fade out in mid-sentence and fall to the ground, pretending to pass out. As they try to shake you awake, you can come half-conscious and mutter, “Fucking perfume…” with your eyes rolled back in your head.

Then you come all the way awake, “realize” what you just said, and say, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean… I just…” Then burst into tears and run away.

Or, you could just tell her. :wink:

So did you talk to her yet? How did it go?

Buy her a litre bottle of perfume that your not allergic to?

It went just fine, In Conceivable, because I haven’t had to say anything yet. Friday I was home, Monday she was home, and today, she hasn’t sprayed any in the office, and has either toned it way down, or isn’t wearing any. I’m having a GREAT DAY!!! :smiley:

And as to the suggestions from Blown and Injected, G-Unit, and Cervaise - thanks y’all - I just choked on a Frito I was laughing so hard. :slight_smile: