NPR has a great story out today on fragrance bans in the workplace — why some employers are considering them,
According to reporting by Yuki Noguchi, requests for fragrance bans are among the top five for human resources at workplaces around the country.
This isn’t just an imagined concern. Some genuinely have allergies triggered by the ingredients in some commercial fragrances, and some get migraines from exposure to perfume and cologne.
Having a fragrance-free policy can even earn building owners credits towards LEED certification, Noguchi reports.
The layers to this particular issue seem endless. On the one hand, I’ve been that person sitting next to someone whose perfume talks louder than they do. I’ve entered bathrooms where someone must have bathed themselves in cologne and not been able to breathe. Even if fragrance can be a personal mood-lifter, some wearers aren’t considering just how cranky their perfume can make the rest of us.
But I also wonder if the whole issue would be moot if consumers were choosing natural fragrances which are far less off-putting, which don’t carry as far on the air, and which age a little more subtly on the body.
Just how far do fragrance bans extend — to your deodorant? Your personal care items? Body lotions? News like this makes me happy I work from home, where the only rules about environmental sterility are the ones I make myself.
What’s your take on fragrance bans in the workplace?