Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I think I'm allergic to patchouli

Psychotronic Volume 8 available here

This is not my way of announcing that I am not a hippie. Nay-no. Instead, it is an observation, that there is a strong correlation between the application of certain scents (AHEM.. Midnight Poison) and watery eyes, sneezing, a swollen tongue and uncontrollable coughing.

I'm not allergic to much. As a kid I thought I was allergic to marshmallows because of an episode where I ate an entire bag and projectile vomited on my parent's friends. Similarly I thought I was allergic to gluten after sat down with a fork and ate an entire can of mock duck and then experienced flu-like symptoms. (It could have just been the sodium content, a coincidence, or contamination with melamine. Total enigma.)

But this is the second time a perfume has left me in fits. The first was Trance Essences' Abbey Rose. It's not that I dislike the scent - in fact, I am quite fond of Midnight Poison. There are some notes, like calone which make me gag, but they do not turn my eyes red and bloodshot. This possible allergy is a whole new experience.


tmp00 said...

Well I wouldn't try to explore that if you have a bad reaction to it. Especially as an adult. I have sadly developed an allergy to cats over the years; unless there's an albuterol inhaler nearby I will be whorfing up furballs. Which is sad, because I really like cats.

I hope for your sake that it's just that Midnight Poison is god-awful, so that you could dab on some Borneo with impugnity

tmp00 said...

Of course it would help if I read the whole post before commenting. I blame an incipient headcold.

You like Midnight Poison and it kills you? That sucks! I hope that Patch isn't a trigger for you since so many frags use it..

I read a story on NYT that killed me about someone who moved to NY after being hit by a car and for the longest times could not smell anything. I can;t imagine that. I was horrified at the idea..

the oblitterati said...

Oh, I do love the kitties too, but my husband's tongue swells up into a plum pudding around them, so I can totally sympathize.

You're totally right, saying that I have this reaction because of Patchouli is like saying the Bush Administration was problematic because they didn't give enough money to bio-medical research. There's a whole ball of hot mess in the perfumes that gave me trouble, and it's very hard to tease out a single allergen. I have to pay more attention though to my reactions since I've found that it takes at least 5 minutes for my body to indicate it's displeasure.

Anonymous said...

Opium used to be my everyday scent, but now I can't wear it.
I seem to have some type of allergic reaction to it now.
I'm not sure why that is...

maisqueperfume said...

Patchouli allergy - me too!
i also feel bad with ylang ylang although I love both.
Secret - small quantities, many many times till you feel comfortable with it.
I did that with essential oils and today i can use all of them.
Cats - tell me about it - live angora or angora sweaters make me sick, I need to take heavy medication. Although I love them soooo much i have to take distance and look only at pictures!

Poison - I hate all the Poison franchising...besides tendre - that one was nice!

Jessica said...

Another way to wear a scent if your sensitive to it (headaches, sneezing, pregnant, even asthmatic) is to put it on your back, in between your shoulder blades. This way the scent isn't wafting up into your face all day, but others can still smell your presence!

eula_w said...

A lot of people has an allergic to something but me I never get allergic to a perfume. :)

human pheromones

Linda Heenan said...

I'm allergic to patchouli too. It causes a svere asthmatic reaction if I'm in a room where someone is wearing it. After leaving the room and breathing clear air, the reaction disappears quite quickly.

Sangrail said...

It isn't in the list of the top 26 most common fragrance allergens (EU fragrance allergens list), so while it is possible it is patchouli, it is far more likely to be another ingredient in the same perfume, even one that doesn't have a very distinctive smell.

Checking against a pure patchouli essential oil might rule it out, but get someone else to pick two similar scents, so you don't know for sure it is patchouli (placebo effect can cause allergy reactions!) and wait 30 mins between each smell.

Anonymous said...

Feel the same as Linda Heenan. Also get a severe reaction to a perfume called TABU. It feels
as if it penetrate my skin even my clothes and my throat closes and sever coughing follows.
after about an hour breathing fresh air it goes away.