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BPAL at work?


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#1 Lunasariel

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 04:36 AM

(Mods, please delete/merge this thread if it's a repeat - I've checked around and I didn't see anything, but I could definitely have missed it.)

 

I've just started a new job, which is wonderful in so many respects: it's in my field, it's in my hometown (er, home-county), and all of my coworkers are incredibly kind, thoughtful, and intelligent. ...That said, there's an informal no-scented-products rule, as one of my coworkers is sensitive to strong smells. I would love to find a way that allows me to indulge in my BPAL habit, while making sure that my coworker is safe and comfortable.

 

Pertinent information:

- I've seen her get stuffy and congested when another coworker used a synthetic aloe-scented hand sanitizer, but a cucumber-scented EOS hand lotion I use seems to be ok. 

- Coworker and I share a workspace, although we do have our own desks.

- We work in a sort of mega-cubicle with an open top and several entrances/exists, along with three other people.

 

Does anyone here have any advice, either from an office veteran standpoint or a scent-sensitive standpoint (or both!) on how to find a happy medium? Should I apply something the night before to decrease its throw? Scent lockets? Stick to lighter scents like Embalming Fluid?

 

Thank you for any and all advice and input!



#2 urbanruralferal

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 05:13 AM

I can speak to this.
I find that the sensitivities will vary wildly from person to person. My husband will get a splitting headache from aquatics or rose but is fine with resins and woods, and a lot of other things, thankfully! This suits my tastes well. However, a former co-worker could handle some florals and nice rain scents, but the resins I love would make him feel ill. (And I also think he liked to find fault with me...)
And then, one of my local librarians would have a reaction to any scent I wore into the library! So if I knew I was going to the library, I would put on my oils after the visit.
I find I need to clear each scent family with the person who is affected by them, and that can be frustrating, but ultimately gracious.

One of my main concerns in wearing fragrance (in my case work involves dealing with hundreds of strangers a day) is that I can't be sure that my personal desire to indulge in beautiful (to me) scents isn't going to trigger a reaction in someone else. I try not to slather, and I definitely put on my oils an hour or so, at least, before I am going to be in public, so as to give the blends time to settle down.

Edited by urbanruralferal, 13 November 2017 - 05:15 AM.


#3 theredkilt

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 09:46 AM

Speaking from experience, i advise you to refrain from using anything heavy and incensy, loud florals or pungent resins. The only way to go is mild-foodies, clean/ mild-soapy and citrus/tea oils.



#4 Lycanthrope

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 01:20 PM

In the hospital while I was doing clinicals, I wore my locket (clocket) scent locket.  When I didn't want to stink up a storm I'd either put it in my workdesk, or even just above most of my clothing, since then it wouldn't warm and exude a touch of scent.  Then when I did want to enjoy such as when I was at the computer stations and away from patients and other staff, I'd just put it against my chest and I'd get a little bit of scent.  It's like a detachable way to enjoy, and worst come to worst (and it didn't while I was working) you can just completely take the locket off.



#5 norsowideasachurchdoor

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 02:08 PM

I'm a neophyte around these parts as well as to the intentionally-scented-self, so I don't have any specific recommendations. However, I did spot a relevant recommendations thread.

As for the situation itself, stay in communication with your coworker on the matter, so that you have her go-ahead and clear feedback in what works or not. Also consider limiting how often you test, so that it's not the uncertainty-of-the-day in her life. If you find something that works, don't necessarily stick to that one thing all the time, especially if she's prone to developing new sensitivities to products. I have a sensitive-skinned friend who buys travel sizes of body products and rotates through them to try to keep abreast of negative reactions, so talk to your coworker about whether a similar practice might be helpful or if she prefers consistency.

#6 LizziesLuck

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 05:39 PM

I have been collecting BPAL for over 10 years. My work place recently went "scent sensitive". I thought it would kill me, but I have adapted!

 

I think our rules would be applicable to you also - we have to ensure that no one else can smell our scent unless they come right into our "personal space". And that if they do have to be in our personal space (we work in cubicle land and also frequently have to get into vehicles together) that the scent should still not be strong enough to cause an allergic reaction in anyone.

 

My strategy was to switch to clean, light scents that have little to no throw. I go for scents that would easily be mistaken for "clean laundry" or "this person just smells freshly showered". I use only hair gloss that smells like shampoo. I try to make sure that the person who walks into my cubicle, sits beside me at lunch, gets in my car with me can't smell me. But if they DO smells me, I want to smell like something clean and totally inoffensive. I don't want anyone at work to ever know I apply perfume, if that makes sense. This has been my solution to giving it up in the mornings, which frankly horrified me - my job is incredibly stressful, I apply make up and perfume like armour and would feel naked without it!!

 

So here are my go-to scents, both perfume and hair gloss (my hair suffers greatly without HG, no way I am giving it up!)

 

Event Horizon (applied sparingly, it's super light, no throw)
Kill-Devil (must be applied sparingly - still testing this to make sure it's appropriate)
Ochosi
Vasilissa
Neutral (I can't recommend this enough, it's so light and inoffensive)
Bard (must be applied sparingly)
Mr. Ibis (A different sort of clean, I really love this one)
The Forgettable God (The cleanest clean laundry you ever smelled)
Boober (Slightly sweeter clean laundry)
Stormclouds Over The Midway (more of a clean rain feel)
The Illustrated Woman (Soft skin scent, when applied lightly)
Tamamo-No-Mae
Giant Vulva
Velvet Nudie
Velvet Tiki (This is just super light on my chemistry, might not work for all)
Stinky (A different sort of clean scent)
Boo (Recently I have been amping this and may have to rethink if it's too strong, but could work for others)
Lilith vs. the Giant Crab (Very subtle skin scent on me)
Gypsy (another great soft sweet skin scent)
Dancing Koi (ditto)
Self-Portrait (This has a powdery soft clean vibe)
Recalcitrant Dragon (Ditto)
Stekkjarstaur (Who ever had an allergic reaction to the scent of marshmallow?? Plus it's super light on me)
Bast (Kingkiller, not AG)
Funerary Papyri
Alternative Facts (It smells like sort of fruity vanilla powdery soap on me - very light)
Envy (Seven word story - carrot seed smells really clean to me - apply sparingly though)
Chastising Your Dragon (Harder to come by, but an interesting take on clean on my skin)
Gold and Tears (again with the carrot seed!)

 

And for HG, these all smell clean or like expensive shampoo to me, or are super light and inoffensive:

Apple Marshmallow Hair Gloss

Boo

Chorion Hair Gloss

Departing Like Smoke

Dragon Mlerm

Kamisuki

Kill-Devil

Pearl

The Moon Reflected in Every Rice Paddy

White Tea and Sage Hair Gloss

Juniper Mint Hair Gloss

Snow Angel

Crack of Thunder (This is my new fave for work, I love it!)

 

 

I hope you find a good amount of things you can wear to work without affective your co-worker! I was really upset at have to change things up initially, but now I find it actually let's me use my collection more freely, as I slather in whatever I want the second I get home, and don't have to worry about who might not like it.



#7 Happicuppa

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 06:33 PM

With BPAL, I only apply enough that I can smell me and anyone else has to zoom in to get a whiff (and no one does because hello that's creepy to do to a co-worker.) I'm a dabber not a slatherer, so I never have real issues. Some bpal does give me a headache/sneezies so I keep it away from my face by only applying on wrists and inner elbow if I'm wearing long sleeves (I don't put much on if I'm wearing short sleeves. )

 

As someone who hates smelling other people's intensely over-applied alcohol based perfumes (think a skunk-trail in their wake when they leave a room) I find BPAL is about 90% less offensive than anything alcohol based.

 

Full disclosure, I used to get allergy shots and I'd wear my bpal into the waiting room which is a 'scent free' zone (coming from work usually, where I do wear BPAL daily.) I never set anyone off, no one ever mentioned my perfume or any issues, and even the nurses administering shots never mentioned being able to smell my perfume and they were right by my arms (and I'd heard them comment to people that their hairspray was too strong, etc.) If you dab and avoid the big ballsy scents (I don't tend to like incense/leather/tobacco/smoke much) I don't see you having any issues at work.



#8 urbanruralferal

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:43 AM

Unfortunately my husband has reactions to all the strong laundry detergents people use these days. So at my house I have to avoid "clean" scents.

#9 Lunasariel

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:07 AM

Thank you so much for your advice/input/brain-offerings!

 

It sounds like the way to go is: lighter scents, apply early so they have a chance to settle in, and remember that every person's allergies/sensitivities are different. I already have a father and a brother with hyperosmia, so I'm fairly familiar to people who have a naturally low tolerance for strong smells, but allergies are a whole other ball of wax. Norsowideasachurchdoor, I especially appreciate the perspective re: not sticking to the same thing too often - I would never have thought of that, but that's a really good thing to keep in mind.

 

LizziesLuck, thank you in particular for that very extensive list! "Freshly showered" or "just naturally smells nice" are excellent words to keep in mind. Unfortunately, I do tend to lean towards the wood/leather/rum/amber family of scents, but you've given me some great starting points for others.

 

Again, thank you everyone for letting me pick your brains!



#10 kajacana

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 04:26 AM

Chiming in here to suggest citrus scents, which tend to be light, have low throw, and burn off rather quickly -- plus the added bonus that a lot of soap/shampoo is citrus scented, so it's a fairly ubiquitous smell that most people probably wouldn't find jarring.  Some from the GC you might try:

Whitechapel
Gobo
Lemon-Scented Sticky Bat
Baobhan Sith
 



#11 Lucchesa

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 06:52 AM

Lunasariel, if you lean toward the leather end of scents, I find the book-themed scents to be very quiet on me.  That may be a skin chemistry thing -- a lot of reviews for Philologus say it's like men's cologne, but on me it's very gentle leather and parchment and candlewax.  Buggre Alle This Bible barely showed up on me at all.  I've also tried The Book (Fleurette's Purple Snails, not Paranorman, but I suspect they're similar) and Scholar's Tower as well, and both are quiet and cozy.  Dee in the regular GC. But maybe some of it is my middle-aged skin sucking up scents; I rarely get any throw.  Still, I think as long as you don't slather and stick to soft worn leather scents, not brand new black leather jacket, you'll be fine.  Have you tried White Rider?

 

I also second the recommendation of coconut scents like Blood Pearl and Black Pearl that can pass as sunscreen.  Very quiet on me.  

 

I'm not supposed to wear scent to my yoga studio but I do it all the time with my gentler scents and no one has ever noticed.  



#12 roseus

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:07 AM

Thank you so much for your advice/input/brain-offerings!

 

It sounds like the way to go is: lighter scents, apply early so they have a chance to settle in, and remember that every person's allergies/sensitivities are different. I already have a father and a brother with hyperosmia, so I'm fairly familiar to people who have a naturally low tolerance for strong smells, but allergies are a whole other ball of wax. Norsowideasachurchdoor, I especially appreciate the perspective re: not sticking to the same thing too often - I would never have thought of that, but that's a really good thing to keep in mind.

 

LizziesLuck, thank you in particular for that very extensive list! "Freshly showered" or "just naturally smells nice" are excellent words to keep in mind. Unfortunately, I do tend to lean towards the wood/leather/rum/amber family of scents, but you've given me some great starting points for others.

 

Again, thank you everyone for letting me pick your brains!

I think amber/ambergris scents (I'm thinking like Haunted or Diamond Star where it's simple and the main player) can be good when applied lightly because generally they are just vague and warm in a way. They make someone say "you smell so good" rather than "your perfume smells so good" ya know? 




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