I Told a Stranger She Wore Too Much Perfume


Have you experienced a perfume fugue before? I have many times--often lingering in elevators or dressing rooms, but not usually in confined quarters. Tonight was different. We were settled into prime seats at the movie theater waiting for "Slum Dog Millionaire" to start. Ten minutes before show time, it was already getting crowded. I heard the show was drawing big at the box office, so we left early so I could enjoy watching people scramble for seats. Good fun!

A couple sat down in front of us in two of the few remaining adjacent seats. My nasal cavity was assaulted with gardenia scent immediately. At first I was amused by the offending aroma; it's funny when someone smell weird. At first.

By the time the movie started, I was nauseous. The gardenia plume was not lifting in the least. I tried breathing out of my mouth but I tasted gardenia. My popcorn lost its seductive butter smell. My hair smelled like gardenia. I couldn't smell by boyfriend's musk (yes, I know musk is outdated, but he wears it for me because it makes me jiggy) even though my face was buried in his armpit. Only gardenia. And I've never liked gardenia.

The theater was too crowded to find new seats. I really wanted to see this movie, so we stayed. It was a fantastic show, by the way, and I highly recommend it.

Back to the gardenia. After the movie, during the credits, I leaned forward and said, "Excuse me, this may sound rude, but I'm fairly certain you're unaware that you're wearing too much perfume. Waaay too much." She turned to her male companion and asked if that was true. He said, "Well, now that you ask. Uh, yeah. It's a little heavy."

Granted the girl looked like she was going to cry, but here it is hours later and my pores are still oozing gardenia. She can't go around having that effect on people! How many opportunities has she missed by gassing people with gardenia? I was just trying to help. Honest.

11 Snap and Comment:

self taught artist said...

you really did this?
i would have paid full movie price just to see that and that only.

Kathy said...

You're my hero. I would never have the guts. I'm glad you said something and didn't get killed for it.

For my part, I try not to wear too much perfume. A little goes a long way, so it's only a little spritz for me!

Cat said...

That is TOO funny! I have thought about saying this many times but never, ever would. Some perfume, especially the really floral ones, can make me feel sick.

THis post reminds me of my ex-boss who used to practically bathe in CK Obsession. At least we could always smell her coming.

JD at I Do Things said...

Good for you. There wasn't anything she could do about it, but you said it in a nice way that let her know NOT to do it in the future.

I had a good friend who always wore too much perfume. My house, clothes, and cats reeked long after she'd left. I never had the nerve to tell her.

JD at I Do Things

Mik said...

God for you and I'm surprised the guy hadn't already told her that. My wife would want me to if she inadvertently splashed on too much smelly stuff.

My wife has had asthma attacks because of people wearing too much crap.

Vivienne said...

@ Self Taught Artist, Yep. I surely did. And I still proud of myself days later. How pathetic is that?

@ Kathy, now that you mention it, I'm also glad I didn't get killed! I consider it a victory for perfume blast victims everywhere.

@ Cat, that was my issue with the gardenia scent. It was so over-powering. That's pretty clever about your ex-boss, by the way.

@ JD, how extreme that your cats were gassed, too. That's so miserable!

@ Mik, my sympathies to your wife. It's weird that the offender can't smell their own perfume cloud.

Jen said...

You are my hero! Now go and tell all the 13 year old boys to stop wearing so much AXE!

Daisy said...

Gardenia sure is a strong scent. I think you were Right to tell her. Sort of like when you have something stuck in your teeth. Wouldn't you rather know? I think so.

Vivienne said...

@ Jenn, so true. SO true.

@ Daisy, thanks for your support! You are a very smart girl. I was thinking, Harley looks like he'll be quite popular with the ladies when he gets older -- a predisposition for over-cologning himself. You might have to defend your nose someday.

Jay said...

Oh, wow - KUDOS!!!

I can't tell you how any times I've wanted to do that, but never had the courage.

Too much perfume makes me cough. I mean, a completely involuntary, feathers-in-the-throat, constant thing - and this has sometimes led to wheezing. I'd have had to leave the cinema.

I think a lot of the time these women do not have a clue, and aren't being intentionally obnoxious - sadly, obnoxious is exactly what it is.

You'd think having people back away from them all the time would give them a clue, huh?

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