The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Smells Like Teen Spirit: A Ban on Perfume in Schools?

Bureaucrats have banned everything from foie gras to trans fats, and now they're putting their nose in another place it doesn't belong:
From The Wall Street Journal: "School districts in Rhode Island, Minnesota and Massachusetts have recently launched public-service campaigns that target fragrances as potential allergens.

The proponents of curbing or banning fragrances in schools—mostly school officials and legislators in different states—argue that excessive use of scents can trigger asthma attacks and cause headaches. Some workplaces and schools have scent bans in Canada, where strong odors have long been viewed as an air-quality issue."

Five scents aimed at the teen crowd, from

These proposed fragrance bans come at a time when perfume makers are marketing more and more scents towards teens.

Gotta say, as much as we loathe the smell of high school guys masking body odor with Axe or teen girls bathing in dizzying dollar-store perfumes, an outright ban seems like an infringement on people's rights.

We don't mean to put our noses up to the potential health risks of fragrances (yeah, we've heard of those phthalates in fragrances that have been shown to lower testosterone levels in males), but we think more research is needed to prove whether perfumes are a nuisance or indeed a real threat to public health.

What do you think: Do bans on scents make sense to you?
when i was in high school, we weren't allowed to wear makeup. if the perfume ban were for the same reasons (concentrate on your studies, not on your looks), ok. but if it's because of allergies, then it's going a bit far, in my opinion. airplanes are one thing (closed space, recirculated air), but schools and offices are large enough places that can handle smells. what's next? you can't smell of garlic, or you can only use certain spices?
too much control is a bad thing.
#1 maggie z on 2007-08-29 07:26 (Reply)
We can understand dress codes. And we support offering healthy food choices instead of the junk food and vending machine crud that food manufacturers push into schools.

That reminds us, we heard that Atlanta wants to ban underwear-exposing pants! Sure, it's a huge fashion faux-pas but pul-eez--playing fashion police is not the role of government.
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2007-08-30 09:18 (Reply)
this is totally absurd.

kids, fight for your right to smell good!
#2 romi on 2007-08-29 14:34 (Reply)
I agree! How stupid! I think thats just going too far. How much are these kids marinating themselves that people are freaking out? If you can't handle some perfume what about going to the mall? or walking down the street for that matter (car exhaust, construction dust, natural plan allergens) I mean give me a break. I feel bad for bubble people, but they shouldn't dictate the way the rest of us live. How about these states worry more about things that are REAL health hazards, like all the junk food and pop in their schools that do a lot more damage then a little Bath & Body works body mist. Sheesh~!!!!
#3 peaches (Homepage) on 2007-08-29 17:54 (Reply)
Great comments, my freedom-loving readers! :-)
#3.1 The Budget Babe on 2007-08-30 09:02 (Reply)
As a teacher who suffers from both migraines and asthma, I find this to be a great idea. I have had students catch on to the fact that what they are wearing gets to me, and will put on even more the next day. I cannot help the physical reaction, my face pales, my lips lose color, one or both of my eyes twitch, I become dizzy, can barely concentrate, and am beginning to suffer memory problems.
Since when did the right to breathe become dominated by "right to smell"?
You talk about freedom: I want to be free to LIVE my life, to teach, to be able to go home and work and play and not be trapped in bed with a migraine, to not be tied to an inhaler that makes me shaky and irritable and prone to panic attacks the next day!
#4 Teacher on 2009-04-30 01:23 (Reply)
After reading your comment, I'm much more inclined to say bans on perfumes in schools are fair. Thanks for sharing.
#4.1 The Budget Babe on 2009-04-30 08:39 (Reply)
I just read this and in in tears. I think certain students have done this to me too. It makes certain hours of my day horrible to get through. I try to be nice and explain the reasons, but it doesn't seem to work. I am literally looking into shots and medications so I can not be miserable at work.
#4.2 Angie on 2023-02-10 20:37 (Reply)
I am a student with perfume allergies. In places like malls and other buildings, I have the freedom to move if a scent is triggering my allergies. This is not so in class. If the person in front of me is wearing something I am allergic to, I cannot leave the room and therefore miss my class. I have to sit there while dizziness and nausea gradually build up to a splitting headache that makes concentrating hard, and I end up missing parts of the class anyway.
One of my friends has allergy-induced asthma. She has had to leave school in an ambulance several times this past year due to classmates wearing perfumes and colognes. Schools make policies banning peanuts and things like that for allergy reasons. Why are perfumes any different?
#5 Jessica on 2009-07-04 10:06 (Reply)
LOOK!!! This is a serious issue for some people. I'm seriously allergic to some perfumes and just got sent home because someone in my class sprayed some, and my Throat started bleeding!! Take into consideration why they're thinking about banning it. If you're gonna spray it, do it outside, not in a classroom full of people who may or may not have health problems!!
#6 Tori Mae on 2011-09-07 11:30 (Reply)
Awesome! You can't smoke near people because you may harm their health so why should you be able to ooze your raunchy disgusting perfume all over them. Banning perfume makes total sense, unlike other things that are banned.

People with allergies could literally fall over from anaphalactic shock and those with sensitivies can be incapacitated by migraines. Freakin KUDOS.

I hope perfume is banned everywhere.
#7 looksgoodonyou on 2011-09-27 15:38 (Reply)
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