March 23, 2010
Our fragrant future is at stake. We are living in the 21st century, where open office environments and anti-fragrance activists may turn our love of perfumery into a crime.
There may be a time, in the near future, where we will become actual olfactive offenders; huddled in our apartments or homes,or standing out in the freezing cold just to wear our favorite fragrance. I am assuming if you are reading this, you take the art of fragrance seriously, and that know better than to pour half a bottle of a scent all over you. If you live in the USA, you must have noticed that you are no longer bombarded by the "perfume ladies" in department stores spraying you without your permission; instead, you are discreetly asked to smell a scent on white blotters, and can choose to spray at your own risk .
Many natural perfumers have told me that they were allergic to non-botanical fragrances, which inspired them to create chemical free scents. Yet, all natural ingredients can caus allergic reactions as well. The new fragrance free zones sweeping America at a record pace , will affect their perfumes as well.
Just a week ago, it was anounced that fragrance free zone signs will be posted in Detroit, where City employees will be urged not to wear perfume, cologne or aftershave. This came about as a result of a settlement in a federal lawsuit, where the plaintiff was awarded $100,00 to a city employee who said a colleague's perfume "made it challenging for her to do her job" (my first encounter with a fragrance free zone was 15 years ago, when a sign on a door of restaurant banned the wearing of Giorgio and Poison). Detroit… the home of the auto industry !
Can wearing your beloved fine fragrance be the last "PC" prejudice?
Many people have allergies to food and pets and take the proper precautions. Imagine banning all foods with peanuts or glutens ?
Since I starting writing on this subject in 2005, the changes in both the IFA regulations and IFRA have certainly been a hot button among Perfumers, Fragrance Companies and Perfumistos. Creating fragrances that smells like "clean white shirts" or "laundry soap", is not the answer. This is not Art.
We are all friends-in fragrance . As a community, the Fragrance Industry, IFRA, large consumer event groups like Sniffapalooza, bloggers, perfumistos, and perfumers must unite and stand together to fight the repercussions of "anti- perfumism" on our Art.
But for now be 'scentsible, and 'scentsitive'— wear fragrances that stays close to the skin, or if you are sensitive to synthetics wear a botanical fragrance when in public spaces or at your office.
– Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief