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Mine nose is mine enemy!

In the last several months, my sensitivity to light, smell, and sound has skyrocketed. I don’t know what the deal is, but times are tough. I won’t even go into the fact that going to rock shows (which is one of my favorite things to do in this entire world) has become painful to me even when I wear my omnipresent earplugs. Let’s save that tragedy for another post.

Let us focus on my borderline live-in boyfriend for a second. J. is thoughtful, lovely, kind, smart, and extremely goofy. Wonderful traits. J. wears a combination cologne-deodorant that my 19-year-old self would have swooned over. (Swooned!). He smells so wonderful when he sprays the mist into his pits. Unfortunately, the smell has gotten worse. A couple of years ago, I asked him if he would wear the blue-bottle scent instead of the green-bottle scent because greenie and I didn’t get along. Then came a lovely period when he used normal stick deodorant like most of us. A month or so ago, he bought his old brand again…and this time I CANNOT TAKE IT.

Despite my feeling like a crotchety old lady, I asked him that if he was going to get ready for the day at my house could he please spray the deodorant outside on the porch? Affirmative. Except for the times when he forgot and I had to turn on fans and lie down. (One time in particular I got a migraine attack within thirty minutes despite my going as far away from the Spray Site as possible!)

It’s been awhile since I trained him to spray outdoors (ew–I sound like I’m talking about a feral cat). Tonight he sprayed his deodorant on the deck and reentered the house. Kind soul.

Too bad the smell is shooting straight up my nostrils into my brain! So gross! I am in my office, door closed and window open. I still cannot shake the smell that he sprayed nearly two hours ago OUTSIDE.

When I was a younger lass, my mom’s inability to be around strong sensory stimuli drove me crazy now and then. I’d come in the room after a shower and try to sit with her on the couch, but my shampoo smell was too potent for her and she’d ask me to get up (or even leave the room). When Bath & Body Works lotions were all the rage in eighth grade, I became a fan of the ever-popular “sun-ripened raspberry” line. My mother couldn’t stand to be in the same room as I after I slathered myself in the overpriced body lotion. (Again, I will not discuss her other types of overexcitabilities here, but suffice it to say she is very sensitive to her environment.)

It made me sad and hurt my feelings when my mom wouldn’t be able to hug me because I smelled. To be honest with you, my friends, I thought she was being overdramatic. (Sorry, ma–I was a ‘tudey teenager anyway, eh?) Surely no one could have physical reactions to smells that were so mundane yet lovely! Right?


I am turning into my mother. Yeah, yeah, most adult women come to that realization some time or another. Truth be told, I am proud to be very much like her. Too bad part of that similarity is extended to my nostrils’ oversensitive nature. I can’t be around strong smells. My boyfriend is going to change deodorants. I hold a shirt over my face if I’m around cigarettes, thereby marking myself as one who is trying her best to passive-aggressively judge the smokers around her. (While I detest cigarette smoking, I am only covering my nose to help stave off the migraine attack, not to pass judgment with a gesture.)

So Ma, I’m sorry. Sorry I doubted the power of your nostrils all those years. Sorry, sorry. For now I am you! Aaaahhh!

The end.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Dee
    8 years ago

    Ditto to that!

  • Mary Carol
    11 years ago

    I’m sure I’ll think of more comments later…but for now, I guess this assures me and your dad and your sister that you were definitely NOT switched at birth…

  • rachel
    11 years ago

    i am one of those sensitive to smells people as well! the office is a nightmare for me b/c we have so many smokers… and, while the smoke doesn’t bother me, it’s the perfume they all LATHER on either to cover up the smoke smell or b/c they have destroyed their sense of smell by smoking.. that kills me.

    my mom had migraines and it’s obviously where i got mine. however, she doesn’t have a smell issue.. and she’s been wearing the same perfume for years so i have become quite sensitive to it.. to the point where i can’t borrow her car b/c the smell is everywhere! and the worst is that when i ask her to not wear it around me she rolls her eyes- not that it matters b/c it’s in her clothes anyway. and sometimes she wears it anyway, but then LIES to me and claims she isn’t. lovely.

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