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It's Not The Amount of Perfume... UPDATE, p. 62!

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So, my company recently re-organized, and I'm in a new department.  I am now on a team with Carla, whom I'd only known before by sight and scent.  That's not a typo: Carla is famous for her heavy perfume.

Now, I don't really know why nothing has ever been done, or even if anything has ever been tried, but Carla's perfume is really egregious.  The scent is fine, I suppose, but it's just SO MUCH and really heavy.  You always know if she's coming or if she's just been by - that's how much there is.  I've also been treated to her "refreshing" herself in the bathroom: all of that spritzing caused me to have a sneezing fit, and she sighed heavily and told me to stop being a drama queen. (Yes, she really did - thank G-d she stalked out because I probably would have said something non-e-hell-approved.)

I'd been pondering saying something to our boss, or possibly to HR, or thinking I should just deal with it, mostly because it bothers me, but it's not an extreme bother, so...  Well, what do you know, our boss called ME in this morning to discuss MY PERFUME.  He looked incredibly uncomfortable, but said that Carla (Yes, Carla!) had complained about my perfume. 

Now, I do wear perfume, but I learned a trick years ago that keeps the amount I wear light and all-day constant: spritzing the underwear (the theory is that you never wear too much AND your body heat keeps re-activating the scent all day long). I have no idea if the theory really works this way, but I have had people ask me what perfume I'm wearing after a long day and have NEVER been told I wear too much.  And no, it's not like I'm just surrounded by people afraid to tell me that - my mother would in a heartbeat because she has a sensitivity, and she's never said a word.

My boss was acting really weird and cagey, but after some questioning, it turns out that Carla's "problem" is that my perfume CLASHES with hers, and the resulting scent is making her sick, so I need to stop wearing my perfume.  When I remarked that my "problem" is Carla's perfume, period, and that I knew I wasn't alone, he said, "Oh, come on, you know what she's like."

I said, "Are you kidding?"  I think he realized what he said, but now he's asking me to just not wear perfume because if I go to HR it becomes "this big thing," as he puts it, "and then Carla will be all bent out of shape."

I can't believe how silly this all is.  If she wasn't marinating in her own scent, I'd stop wearing my own - I know people can be very sensitive.  But this isn't anything like that!  Do I talk to my boss again? Carla?  HR?  And if I do, what do I say, because this sounds so very ridiculous!

rose red:
I am so tired of the "Carlas"of the world winning and people giving in to them because "Oh, come on.  You know what's she's like."  Your boss is a wimp who is trying to make you give up your rights because you are the reasonable person who won't make waves.  Make waves.  If it goes to HR and becomes a big thing, so be it.

Tell your boss you are not changing your habits and if there's a rule of no perfumes, they it goes for everyone, including Carla.

Well, isn't Carla just a Special Stinky Snowflake???  I am extremely sensitive to perfumes and she would (as would my supervisors) that either she tones it down or I would be filing a complaint.  I hatehatehateabhorabhorabhor the line "You know how she is".  Yes, you know how Carla is..rude, smelly, and just full of herself.  I think you need to escalate this to HR.  I will eagerly await an update to their response to you being told you cannot wear your light scent as it clashes with her marinade.  What if someone like myself has to work with Carla and she causes them to have a serious respiratory attack?  Will she cry to the boss that my wheezing is bothersome and I should stop breathing for her???

Outdoor Girl:
Your boss is really showing off his fine managerial skills, isn't he?  NOT!

I would continue to wear your perfume and ignore the edict from your boss.  If Carla raises a stink about it again, straight to HR.  What will probably happen is that a scent-free policy will be implemented for all employees.  So while you wouldn't be able to wear your perfume, neither would Carla.

Personally, I'd make it a BIG THING.  I'm incredibly scent sensitive and working with Carla would result in constant headaches and nausea for me.

Evil doodlemor thinks that you should start snacking on raw garlic cloves all day long. 

[Putting evil doodlemor back in the cellar.]

I think that you should just keep on with what you're doing.  Let Carla go and complain to HR - they will be gasping for breath and in astonishment at her audacity.


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