Liberty Goodwin, Director

P.O. Box 40441, Providence, RI 02940

Tel. 401-351-9193, E-Mail:

(Lighting the Way to Less Toxic Living)



Wednesday, December 07, 2005

By Greta Van Susteren


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Today, something different on the blog: you!In Tuesday's blog I asked what you thought of people who wear heavy perfume on planes (in closed areas) and loud talkers on public transportation. I received so many responses that I decided to turn over today's blog "real estate" to many of you who wrote. Here are some of your many responses ó and I want to emphasize that I pulled them from the show e-mail account randomly:




I hate people who wear a lot of perfume or cologne. It bothers me so much I no longer wear any scent. And folks who talk loudly on cells regardless of where they are or who is around are just rude. They are just trying to impress upon others how 'important' they are. Anyway, both types "take up a lot of space"!
MB, Kingsville, OH


First question: I donít wear heavy perfume. I personally donít like it when others do. You have to know how many times you are spraying it on yourself. While some might want to smell good they need to realize they might be irritating to others.

M., Birmingham, AL


I have no problem with people wearing a small amount of perfume, but here's my question. Why is that the only people who wear too much perfume/aftershave always wear something stinky? I just put a dab on each wrist and you have to get really close to smell me. That's how perfume should work today, not how it worked in Elizabethan England where it covered up the fact that no one bathed.I don't know what is up with people who talk really loudly on public transportation. My guess is this; they are either showing off or wanting everyone to know their business or they really do have some sort of hearing problem that can be solved by making a pilgrimage to the Miracle Ear store. A friend of mine has significant hearing loss in one ear and sometimes tends to shout; she has no idea she is being loud. I have to be a good friend and ask her to use her inside voice. I guess in that case, you just have sit on the side with the good ear; for the showing off scenario, there is just no help for that one.

Paula Smith, Frisco, TX


What about men with lots of cologne? I know that I have accidentally put on too much cologne on several occasions. I'm sure anyone I ran across on those days thought there ought to be a law. Should you bitch and complain about something that the person may have done accidentally and you just happen to catch that one day? Anyone over the age of 19 that hasn't made a mistake that hasn't inconvenienced someone else can have all my worldly possessions.Regardless, should you get bent out of shape for something that has no real effect on you? We are not Japan or China either by population density or culture or mindset. Our cultural norms are different. I don't care what someone does do themselves as long as it isn't a DIRECT negative impact on me.

This includes the whiners about second-hand smoke, which is BS. Yeah, the smell is horrific, but I really doubt that my minimal exposure to second hand smoke is any worse than what I get from the asbestos dust from brake linings while walking along any-street USA. By the way, I do not smoke. Quit bitching about stuff you can't change, live by example and move on with your life. Stewing about crap you can't and shouldn't change is a waste of time (of course, I'm wasting time about people wasting time aren't I?!

Roy Hanson, Marion, IA


I hate perfume anywhere, anytime. I try to use no products with scents. They give me a headache. People who use too much perfume can't smell themselves!

Joan Hartnett, Boise, ID


I think it is so rude for people to be so insensitive and wear heavy perfume at the expense of those around them. I find it offensive and have ask to be moved before. But more especially I think it is rude at hospitals and funerals. Some people just get accustom to their perfume and don't realize it.As far as loud talkers ó well ó I know that I find myself extremely embarrassed in that situation. It seems like such a private thing yet out of no fault of your own you are forced to be made a part of it. Good questions and you are doing a good job.


I think it's terribly inconsiderate of either men or women to be so doused with cologne/perfume that you smell them before you see them. I make it a point not to wear perfume on airline flights. There are perfumes that I, as a non-allergic person, am still sensitive to. There is one particular brand that, when I just smell it, I get an instant nauseous headache. If I had to sit next to a person wearing that brand I would become physically ill.
Tanya,, Hanover, MD

I used to be a heavy perfume wearer. However, since I went to work for my brother I have had to wear very light fragrances, as he is allergic to perfume. I am very mindful of those who stink up the place with their favorite concoctions. Please ask women, AND MEN, not to wear heavy fragrances on airplanes and in enclosed areas. Keep the air clean, folks!Keep up the work on your great show.

Roxie B, Austin, TX

Wearing lots and lots of perfume anywhere can be a problem for many people, especially those highly sensitive to the scents. Seems the days of a light scent are over... but how do you tell someone 'politely' that their perfume is overwhelming? Recently had to leave an event early as the perfume on the person sitting two seats away from me gave me a terrific headache.

Bev Knapp, Auburn, WA


I think people who wear too much perfume or cologne during an airplane trip or while in any other restrictive area are being insensitive to other people. Many people have allergies to perfumes and colognes and when they are 'trapped' in an area with no escape it can be miserable. People should remember that a little goes a long way!
Diana, Birmingham, AL


I hate being next to a lady wearing perfume. It makes me sick. I have had to move many times when a person sits down next to me with too much perfume on.

Judy Page, Moore, SC


Well, this one I have to respond to. I have allergies and colognes worn by men or women simply make my breathing heavy and I can be choked up for weeks along with several doctor visits. Cigarette/cigar smoke does the same. Just this past Saturday my daughter and I attended a dance recital that my granddaughter was in. Two elderly ladies came in and sat next to us. My daughter is like myself and she was seated closer to them than I was. The entire afternoon was ruined by these two ladies. Please Greta, tell these people that good old soap and water are enough along with a non-scented deodorant. Thanks,

V. McGlone, Portsmouth, OH


Unfortunately, people who wear lots of perfume usually does so because after a period of time, they can no longer smell themselves and assumes neither can anyone else. I personally prefer a hint of fragrance on myself and other people. Folks should be aware that though they become immune to their own fragrance, doesnít mean that other people will. Some people are either clueless or has no regard for other people.
In both cases, it boils down to being too self-centered. As that saying goes, ĎDo onto others as you would have them do onto youí. What? You canít hear me? Thatís O.K. I bet you can smell me

Karen Lanier, Huntsville, AL

I was once a flight attendant, and smells are just one of a zillion annoying things on an airplane where you can't get away from the problem because you can't open the doors or windows. First of all, it's not just women and perfume. Men can really overdo it as well, and it is very nauseating. To this day, if I ever get a whiff of Aramis, I feel ill for hours. And then there's the problem of body odor. I could go on and on, but then you didn't ask about how I feel about people who put their feet up on the bulkhead. Very unattractive!

Julia Smith Grossman, Santa Monica, CA


Hi! My own thoughts are that women who wear lots of perfume are airplanes are being very inconsiderate. I don't wear perfume unless I will be out in the open (park, open air facility, outdoor restaurant etc.) More and more children are born with asthma and respiratory problems. Heavy perfumes can contribute to breathing problems, headaches, asthma attacks, etc. I try to live by the golden rule... Those are just my thoughts...
J. Schulte, Columbia, MO


I find that women that wear "lots and lots" of perfume are the same women that speak loudly on public transportation. I just light up a cigarette and tune into my iPod.

Jan Maane


Women AND men should be careful about applying fragrance when they are going to be in confined spaces, like an aircraft. It is not only annoying but can cause physical distress to those with allergies. At the other end of the spectrum are those (who always seem to be seated near me on the airplane) with body odor or foul breath.As a human resources professional, I can tell you that overuse of fragrance is a common complaint in the corporate "cubicle farms."

Byrd Dottie


Excessive perfume on airplanes and other public places is one of my pet peeves/annoyances. The sad thing is, in such large amounts, it doesn't even smell like perfume. It could just as well be an obnoxious chemical. They should make sure it doesn't affect the explosive sniffers at the airport. Maybe it would keep them of the plane ó hope, hope.

Gary, Henderson, NV


Heavy perfume wearer and loud talkers are just rude. The heavy perfume is annoying for people like me with Asthma, it's just inconsiderate and way over board in most cases!

Susan, Springfield, VA


I love to wear Estee Lauder's perfume, "Pleasures". However, I know it's a fairly strong scent so I am cautious about when and where I wear it. I put a very light spray of it on before work because I have my own office but if I'm going to be somewhere in a crowd, I don't wear it at all. I've seen allergic reactions and would hate to cause such a thing!Thanks for asking!

Debbie, Cheyenne, MT

About women who wear lots of perfume anywhere in public. Someone needs to tell them it is NOT appealing and when others are forced to smell it, it is rude ! I have been in a restaurant when I could not enjoy my meal because of "overpowering" perfume from a table nearby. Help!

Donna, Little Rock, AR


Can't stand overwhelming perfume or loud talkers in public.

Janice Davies, Live Oak, CA


It's extremely rude for women to wear heavy perfume anywhere (and men too, with aftershave or cologne!)It makes me gag, tears run down my face and my nose runs! I refuse to be near someone like that. Those people need to get a clue. Isn't there a rule of thumb, if the wearer can smell it, it's too much?
K. Lowry


Wow! Two of my pet peeves ó I thought I was weird!A) Too much perfume is obnoxious! Not only can it trigger migraines but hello, not everyone has the same smell preference! More consideration should be demonstrated to fellow people. And here's another question: Why is it that the heavy perfume-wearing people have the most offensive perfume?B) Yes, this is extremely irritating. I don't have a clue as to why people can't be more aware of their surroundings and be more polite. Some people have not figured out that they are not the only ones occupying the earth.Think there is a correlation between heavy perfume wearing people and loud talkers? I do.

Melissa Shea, Grand Junction, CO


As for perfume on airplanes, I definitely think itís rude and inconsiderate. I also think that itís rude and inconsiderate to wear heavy perfume when youíre going to visit a newborn baby or when going to work out in a gym (like cycling classes in a small enclosed space). My mother-in-law had a habit of bathing in perfume every time we left the house to go somewhere. I finally made a really big deal about it and she has lightened up on the perfume around my kids. She has a friend that came to see our son when he was six weeks old and her perfume was so strong that we faked a spit up episode in order to change his outfit before getting in the car to leave!
Stacy, TX


Greta, in regard to your question about heavy perfume, I have a rare disease called Mastocytosis and lots of us can have an anaphylaxis attack if we are around those who wear heavy perfume.

Joyce McEntire, OK


It is very rude for people to wear a lot of perfume when they know that they are going to be in a crowd.It is not good to wear a lot of perfume especially during a job interview. My boss was an employment recruiter was allergic to perfume and would cut interviews short and not consider the person for a job b/c she knew her strong perfume would be offensive to others as well. Not a good idea.

Linda Clark, Atlanta, GA


Regarding your question about women who where lots of perfume on airplanes: I hate it and think itís rude. But not only on airplanes... on trains, buses, subways, in elevators, doctors offices, stores, at work... you name it. Itís overwhelming and gives me a migraine. They neednít bathe in the stuff!

Vickie Charlton, Auburn, WA


You have hit on two of my pet peeves. The perfume is almost more of a problem than smokers. I have been on empty elevators where I was sickened by the scent left behind by an earlier passenger. I sing in choral groups where perfumes and perfumed hair care products are strictly prohibited ó for good reason. Some folks are allergic to the point that they cannot sing.

Judy, Social Circle, GA


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