Perfumes are the Devil

I remember as a little girl staying the night with my Nana on Friday just so I could be there Saturday morning when the AVON lady came ringing the door bell. I loved to see the new little items she would pull out of her luggage that she carried from door to door. I was in awe of the different shapes and colored perfume bottles lined up on the counter as she told of the fragrance and then came the spritz of this and that. It would be seconds after that my eyes would begin to ache then came the nausea. I was ready to go home. Mom seemed to think it was from the “junk food” I ate the night before but little did we know it was a trigger from the AVON lady!

I am now 45 and perfume is still my enemy except now my speech gets slurred, vision is impaired, my face and hands go numb. It’s as if I’m having a stroke. I have had to stop attending church due to all the new and different scents. I don’t understand why people have to bathe in fragrance at any given time but on Sunday’s, after Christmas, Valentines Day and Mother’s Day it is the worst. On top of that I work in a public school system and the scents that pass by me on a daily basis is literally mind blowing.

Just a little over five years ago I had to leave work due to a triggered migraine and have not been able to get rid of it since. For 5 years I have been on level 5-10 pain scale and have learned to deal. I have been to Minnesota to the Mayo Clinic to be told it is genetic. I have traveled 5 hours one way to have lidocaine injected through my sinus cavity to nerve endings (which worked wonders but had to stop because they wanted me there 3X’s a week) I have taken so many different medications, botox, nerve blocks and now I’m looking at surgery. My sight, hearing, smell, and taste are on sensor overload. I am miserable. My family is miserable. I have missed so many activities with my children and grandchild. Even being outside if a scent is to strong I have to run away from everyone. I have become a hermit and is it sad to say I don’t mind it?

I continue to work because I refuse to quit and let this beat me. There are many days I sit in my office with lights out and door shut but I’m at work pushing myself into exhaustion and being more frustrated with this illness. It has taken me several years to accept this one migraine as an illness and not just another “episode”. It will take several more to realize I need to give in.

Probably one of my kids favorite memory of me and perfume is when we were walking through a department store and a lady was spritzing a new perfume on people as they passed. She approached me and I asked her to please not spray me. She did. I took the bottle from her hand and sprayed her down then threw the bottle in the trash next to her. My kids stood there in shock and couldn’t wait to tell their dad what their mother had done. So to me perfumes are from the devil himself!

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

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