Don’t Wear Perfume on a Plane

“Her perfume was a mixture of roses and tear gas.” ~ Rick Riordon

We all love to leave a sweet reminder that we were here or there. We all want to feel that our presence evokes good memories in other’s minds. It may be through a good gesture, advice, deed or simply by the aroma of our perfume. But, when we are traveling, we should take into consideration the people surrounding us – especially those sitting next to us.

I had a bad experience once on a 9-hour flight. Our seats were in the middle row, three to a row. My husband sat on the left side aisle seat, I was in the middle, and to my right was a young lady in her late 20’s I’d say. She was a polite young lady with a very thick accent who was visiting the U.S. for the first time.

She stayed on her side and was quiet during most of the flight. She was not fidgety or annoying in any way. But, her perfume was a big problem for me. Don’t get me wrong, it smelled good. But, it was either too strong or she had too much on. The fragrance was so strong that it felt intoxicating as if I was suffocating. Every time I inhaled my nostrils felt a sting as if burning. I felt as if I was swimming inside the bottle of perfume and desperately trying to get out. Then it reached the point where I felt it sweep up my nose towards my forehead. I got the worst sinus headache. I felt the perfume in my throat as if I had swallowed a gulp of it.

At That Moment

I reclined towards my husband’s side and pulled a sweater over my face to cover my nose as much as possible. I wasn’t coughing or sneezing, but a headache was bad enough and I began to feel nauseous. I tried sleeping but couldn’t and there was no way I could hold food down so there was no eating either. I tried meditating, but the smell was so intoxicating that I couldn’t concentrate. I tried reading, watching a movie, listening to music, even playing a game but nothing worked. The flight was full so there was no way I was able to switch seats. I didn’t want to switch with my husband because, unlike me, he suffers from allergies and that would have been worst. I had to endure the nine long grueling hours of perfume intoxication.

What a relief when we landed. That airport environment air felt so good, so fresh. I still had a headache, but the nausea feeling was gone so it was nothing that two aspirins could not resolve. It was a good thing that we flew on a comfortable airline and seats. Or was it that I was so miserable with the perfume problem that I didn’t realize anything else? Oh well, I guess I’ll never know. But, she sure did leave an everlasting impression on me.

Moral of my story: Please bathe and use deodorant when flying on an aircraft but DON’T WEAR PERFUME.

What are your thoughts? Have you had a bad experience while flying?

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