Avoiding smelling might be better than smelling good
UVic is supposed to be a scent-free campus, but more often than not the signs on campus that make students aware of this policy are ignored. Recently, a redditor posted on the UVic community forum about students walking into the library doused in perfume and triggering their asthma.
As someone who has asthma myself, I know the feeling of gagging on someone’s scent because they’ve over done it (bonus gags if it’s Axe). It feels like you’re suffocating, and I generally have to move away from the person before I start hacking like a banshee.
However, I’m not completely against spraying some cologne on myself before going out. I like to smell good, but I don’t expect others to smell my cologne unless we hug, or do the accidental tango when you have to squeeze by large crowds gathered in the aisles of Mystic Market.
The redditor also noted that deodorant is good enough if you need something to mask your B.O. Another commented that a shower would also work just as well. And, in my opinion, we can’t argue if someone wants to mask their B.O. because it’s worse to smell horrid than to smell like Axe Phoenix (although these options are closer than you think).
So what is the right way to go about smelling alright? An ideal scenario is one where everyone showers when they have B.O. and uses a deodorant stick to freshen up. But sometimes these options aren’t available for everyone right away. You can’t exactly detour for a shower if you get sweaty running to a class after your bus was late and don’t want your lab partner to deal with the smell. On one hand, spritzing a quick scent might seem like the easiest and most convenient solution. On the other hand, not everyone will hoo-ah at your eau de toilette or parfum. Some sprays are just too overpowering. Especially for people with asthma.
Obviously, adhering to the scent-free signs on campus is the true ideal. UVic’s policy on scents and fragrances encourages us to avoid using them, which isn’t a strict ban, and there are ways you can stop others from going blind from your choice of aroma.
First, you can pick a good fragrance that people enjoy. I’m sorry if I’m bursting your balloon, but most people don’t like the smell of cheap cologne. My preferred method of choosing cologne is going to Shoppers Drug Mart or London Drugs and testing the samples they have. I’d suggest bringing a roommate or significant other with you to verify that a scent is good. If you would like to be uber conscientious, you could pick perfumes and colognes with subtle fragrances and low alcohol levels, which won’t affect asthmatics as badly.
Secondly, even if your fragrance passes that test, it doesn’t give you licence to overuse it. A spray around the neckline is more than enough. Again, asking your roommate or S.O. before leaving the house will help you figure out how much is a good amount.
Or you can forego the use of fragrances altogether and try something more subtle, such as deodorant or antiperspirant. The sticks and dry sprays are designed to mask and prevent odour, and they are barely noticeable even if someone nuzzles up next to you.
The important thing that people should take away from this is that at UVic, it is better to not smell at all than it is to try and smell good. Even if you have a perfume that everyone compliments, it’s best to save that scent for nights out rather than an 8:30 a.m. lecture. Me and my asthma-affected lungs would appreciate it immensely.