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Too much perfume ends up creating a big ol' stink in the workplace

DEAR ANNIE: I know you've covered this topic before, but please do it again. I work in a small office. One person douses herself in perfume. It makes my eyes water and my nose run, and sometimes I have sneezing fits. Everyone comments about it behind her back, but no one will bring it up to her face, although I have casually mentioned it to her in conversation a few times.

Why don't people understand that the workplace is not the place to overdo the strong scents? They should save it for their husbands or boyfriends at home.

Years ago, my doctor told me he had a patient who was so sensitive to scents that she had an allergic attack and died — right in the hospital. My doctor now makes his employees sign a letter of agreement not to wear any type of cologne or perfume to work, or it could be grounds for dismissal.

Please tell these people that although they may believe they smell great, they actually reek.

— Suffocating in Louisville

Dear Suffocating: Some folks have a diminished sense of smell and do not realize how strong their perfume is. Those who insist on wearing a scent should remember that a drop is sufficient. And with so many folks suffering from allergies these days, one really must be careful.

If you have supervisors or a human resources department, please ask whether a notice can go out suggesting that employees not wear perfumes. Otherwise, approach your co-worker and say, “I'm sure you don't realize how overpowering your cologne is. I have terrible allergies and am very sensitive. Could you please not wear it at the office?”

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