How To Negotiate Your Perfume Allergy (Hint, It Can Suck Less)

If you are like me, you probably really enjoy perfumes and fragrances. That’s rather obvious, considering you are on a perfume site probably browsing perfume samples

But hey, call me Captain Obvious; I’m good with that.

A perfume allergy really tosses a wrench into our love affair with perfumes. Because like any allergy, a perfume allergy can cause a disposition with our favorite scents.

So what can we do about a perfume allergy?

The good news is, a perfume allergy doesn’t mean you must cease using all perfumes (well, it can, but we hope not).

Perfume Allergies – What To Know


First off, an allergy is a serious medical condition. Don’t take this article as conveying a cavalier attitude toward any allergy. If you have an allergy to perfumes and find yourself hesitant in using perfumes, that’s a good thing. Also, see your doctor or medical professional before venturing out into perfume land again. 

Perfume allergies take a number of forms.

Perfume skin allergies are popular. When you have a perfume skin allergy, your skin breaks out into a rash after the application of the perfume. A perfume skin reaction can happen in minutes or hours, maybe even days.

A respiratory allergy to perfumes could result in sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, or asthmatic conditions. The bad news with a perfume allergy is that they can hit you when someone else wears the fragrance. 

Perfume connoisseur Kenneth Otieno Okello explains that different people react differently to perfumes. 

perfume allergies

“When you spray a perfume on your skin, several factors affect its fragrance. For example, the pH value of your skin, the acidity of your skin fats, what you eat and your hormone balance influences how the perfume will smell and react with your skin,” he says.

Understanding what’s in a perfume will likely impact whether or not you successfully navigate your perfume allergy. For example, understand the perfume top, middle, and base notes

Perfume notes can influence perfume allergies and even simple skin sensitivities. Understanding perfume notes is the same as reading a food label. If eating peanuts causes you to break out in hives, you understand that you are best avoiding food products that include peanuts. Perfume notes are perfume ingredients. The perfume company lists the perfume notes to sell the fragrance, but for your purposes, this can help you decide to take a pass on the fragrance. 

Many perfumes also list known allergens as a sub-category. This can be extremely helpful to perfume allergy sufferers. 

Reading a perfume label can help you distinguish and negotiate allergy risks. Many people who get a reaction from a perfume or two give up wearing perfume. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Again, consult your doctor over any suspected allergies, including in perfumes. 

Another good idea is to sample a perfume and see how your skin reacts to it. Again, we have perfume samples available which help the cause. 

Hey, perfume allergies suck for fragrance lovers. But they can suck less if we visit our doctor and perform some due diligence on fragrance ingredients.