Forums


50 Years & Older Living With Migraine

Perfume

  • By Jillie57

    I have suffered with Aura Migraines since my 40’s but now in my 50’s I’ve had a spell lasting three weeks and I had to take some days off. Usually I can work through and collapse when I get home or at work at least get the overhead lights off. The last spell like this was about 18 months ago and since then I get them but not on what I would call a regular basis. Upshot is I’ve never been sure what my trigger or triggers were. Yesterday I caught a whiff of a musky perfume and my head was immediately on alert, today my colleagues ( all considerably younger than me) are each wearing different perfumes and guess what the migraine is back. Thing is apart from potentially causing an outcry by asking them to refrain from wearing perfume to work, which I know is a potential solution, are there any other tricks I can use for example a air purifier on my desk ? If anyone out there has had a similar problem then any advice is welcome, thank you

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi Jillie57,

    Thank you for being here with us and sharing your journey. Perfume – UGH!! I simply cannot understand the need to bath in perfume – a little goes a LONG WAY!

    The older I get the more sensitive I am to scents. One of the worst scents for me is the fertilizer (at least I think that’s what it is) in big box stores.

    Essential oils may be worth looking into. I use this difuser (they call it an inhaler, I don’t inhale it, rather wave under my nose) to clear offending scents when needed; https://www.naturesgift.com/product/deluxe-personal-inhaler-black/, something to consider. And what about a desk top difuser with an essential oil that works for you? And there is always an air purifier. This article has some tips on how to combat this issue.

    Whatever you figure out, will you let us know how it works?

    Have a good day!
    Nancy

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
    • By pennyleigh222

      The worst for me is the plug in scents. I took my husband in for some minor surgery this morning. When we walked into the Doctors office, I immediately felt nauseous. There was a plug in in this tiny office space. You would think a Doctor would know better. I am currently sitting in my car, waiting on my husband.

      Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By T.rish

    Hi All, it’s definitely musky scents for me, along with sharp citrus perfumes. I often find my scent triggers are something natural like smoke or petrol (gas in US). I hate those plug in scent things, and wonder why people have to bathe in their perfume. Surely a little goes a long way. It’s excruciating. I do feel for you, Jillie57, if your colleagues overperfume themselves ( though to be fair, on the day just a little can set my migraine off). I asked a helpful colleague if she could not spray perfume in the office and she was great! She avoided the offending perfume when I was around. Hope you find a solution.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By sysad

    We have an older woman friend we socialize with when camping, always great stories and conversations. She is one of those people that like to bathe in colognes and lotions. When walking, I can smell her 50 yards away outdoors. Last weekend, we were having a pot luck dinner, I was setting up the music and crock pots. I knew she walked in the door before I heard anyone say anything. I spent the rest of the night trying to be social, but she triggered a migraine which made the noise and smells barely tolerable. My wife has asked her to tone it down, but it doesn’t seem to work. It is hard to say anything to anyone, people get offensive and blame it on you. Seems avoidance is the only solution. Hope you find a solution.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
    • By suzie828

      I feel your pain. I don’t know why some people have to drench themselves in perfume, it triggers me as well. If your wife already asked her to tone it down and she hasn’t, I’d stay clear of her for your own health. It’s inconsiderate since she knows it triggers your migraine. I ask people before getting together if they could refrain from using fragrance and they are very kind to skip it when I’m around. I assume I’m going to get a migraine or the itchy reaction at church or a wedding since it’s usual for them to wear it there, but a neurologist’s medical office baffles me that people wear perfume and the dr won’t put up a sign asking people to refrain from wearing it.

      Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By thinakay

    Perfumes are a definite problem for me. My daughter loves to wear perfume, and gets frustrated because I have bought her stuff that, on a good day, doesn’t bother me. But on a bad day, it will send me right over the edge. She’s away at college, so it’s not an issue right now, but she does understand, and will ask me if I have a migraine now before wearing smething. At work, I have people walk in to my office reeking of cigarette smoke, or perfume. One guy came in and I had to leave my desk because I could feel a migraine coming on just from his cologne. I am lucky that my coworkers do not wear anything offensive, and any scents we have in the office, (plug-ins, air fresheners, etc.) are approved by me so as not to trigger a reaction.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi thinakay,

    I hear you! As I age, scents are becoming a strong migraine attack trigger. I’ll never understand why people bathe in scents. I was in AZ last week and one of the hotel staff stunk of cologne!! It was really awful.

    Good to hear your co-workers are cooperative! Not everyone is so lucky.

    Nancy

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply