7 Scents for People Who Hate Perfumes
 
Beauty editors, as a general rule, love fragrance. When a new bottle comes into the office, everyone gathers around to spritz and sniff. Everyone ... except our editor in chief, Beth. She claims to "hate" perfume and has yet to find one she can tolerate. "Most perfumes are so overpowering," she says. "If I take an elevator ride with someone wearing perfume, I still smell it for the next hour or so. And if I wear perfume, it's almost like I can taste it all day -- most fragrances give me a headache. I think I just have a sensitive nose."

Some might accept that as a personality quirk (flaw?) and move on. I, however, saw a challenge.

Could I find a perfume that my uber-picky EIC would fall in love with? One she wouldn't wrinkle her nose at or complain of a headache after sniffing? A fragrance she would actually (gasp) wear on a regular basis?

It wasn't easy, but I managed to find not one, but eight amazing scents she's excited to wear. And if they can make her happy, I'm willing to bet they'll make a lot of other fragrance-avoiding women happy too.

So what's the secret to a fragrance anyone can love? First, it needs to be light, nothing that sucker punches your senses the moment you spray it. Most people with fragrance allergies can smell things at lower levels than others, so you don't need a big dose of scent to get the effects, says Pamela Dalton, PhD, an olfactory researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.

It also helps if it is a single-note fragrance, because they are less likely to cause reactions than a mix of multiple scents. Finally, certain notes -- citrus, clean laundry, cucumber -- are better crowd pleasers than others, likely due to their light scent and positive associations.

The moment you perfume-haters have been waiting for has arrived. At last, a definitive selection of scents that won't make you sick.


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