Monday, March 15, 2010

No fragrance for Detroit city workers

"[Detroit] City employees will be urged not to wear perfume, cologne or aftershave as a result of a settlement in a federal lawsuit. Officials plan to place warning placards in three city buildings. The signs will warn workers to avoid “wearing scented products, including … colognes, aftershave lotions, perfumes, deodorants, body/face lotions … (and) the use of scented candles, perfume samples from magazines, spray or solid air fresheners."

Amazing! And very hard to implement...

Read the whole article on this link.


  1. it...sounds a bit...too extreme.. they had so many troubles regarding smellS?

  2. Wtf?
    I just smeared some crap on my face. Prescription-only, from my dermatologist. It smells. Rather nicely, for that matter, although not perfumey. Just sayin'.
    {further expletives removed} Now, I understand allergy concerns. I have rather annoying allergies myself. I yet have to wait, though, until some city council starts cleaning the streets after winter properly, explaining that there are that many asthmatic folks and people allergic to dust (it's so bad that I can't properly do the cleaning, it involves moving the dust around...). Nor has any city council banned smoking in public spaces - and apart from allergy concerns (I have this allergy too) it's been proven that smoking is actually very unhealthy. Or, who cares about all those fugly buildings that hurt my eyes? And umpteen more concerning matters than scented lotion?
    Jesus, Elvis and Buddha, lotions? I mean, anyone doused in Opium in July would be probably asked even by yours truly to either turn to the summer version which is what it is, or to something less overwhelming without a minute of hesitation. If anyone told me Hey, your perfume gives me hives and coughs, I'd say sorry and wear something else. It's called civilization.
    Anyhow, this actually hurts the asthmatic/allergic/what else people. Every other idiot can't say Oops, I don't like this food and perfume and it's sorta dusty here, I'm sneezing, heh, they say they're allergic. Then their fellow idiots are lead to think that allergies are those silly dislikes... how many times I got something like Tough it up when I had real issues - and nope, coughing for half an hour and not being able to stop is not fun. Now, the city council there made quite a handful of people pissed about the prissies who can't stand the smell of a lotion. Well done.

  3. UGH. Look, I live half an hour from Detroit, and that place is a DISASTER. It's ground zero for the recession, and it's broke and a total wreck. The last thing they need to be worrying about is who's wearing fragrance! Focus your energies on new green automobile technology, Detroit! Besides, with all those blown-out abandoned buildings, you'd think a nice whiff of Carnal Flower or something would make that place a little more livable.

  4. What would happen if someone raised a lawsuit saying that they do not feel comfortable at work unless they can smell perfume in the air?

  5. Mystic Knot10:47

    Good luck with implementing this craziness, Detroit !

  6. kathleen14:19

    If they can get away with this one, they will find something else to ban, and then something else, and on and on...

  7. Since "There were nearly 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in 2005, 2.9 million people were injured, 42,636 people killed and about 115 people die every day in vehicle crashes in the United States -- one death every 13 minutes" (*), obviously fragrance headaches is a big problem in this country and I'm glad the government is doing something about it! LOL


  8. Oooo, love Mark42's comment! Bravo!

  9. This would be laughable -- Detroit? -- if it didn't set some kind of precedent. Now private-industry HR departments will have that precedent as a excuse to implement no-scented-products rules.

    Summer before last I went to one of Chandler Burr's dinners. We were asked to wear no scented products of any kind. It isn't easy to do! I realized that just about everything -- from shampoo to deodorant to hair product to hand lotion -- is scented in some way. One would have to do a lot of shopping and lay out a whole lot of cash to replace everything that is scented. Which might create a hardship to individuals being ordered to do so. A good defense but maybe not enough for anti-fragrance zealots.

    We shall see.

  10. I imagine posting the warnings is just a CYA legal thing. They can't possibly expect to implement a total ban on scented products. I think Liisa makes a good point--this won't help anybody take real allergies seriously.

  11. I do wish them luck trying to enforce this ban. It may give them leverage with the worst offenders, as in: the ones who ruined it for the rest of the Detroit city workforce!

    Most of us know how to appropriately wear fragrance to work. For me, this includes wearing it very lightly on the days that I have meetings with people who I know to be sensitive to scents. Unlike a former coworker of mine, who never hesitated to soak herself in Angel and Addict and sit down next to our scent-sensitive colleagues. Even I had to move upwind.

    I wonder whether she moved to Detroit and inflicted herself on the woman who sued the city? Maybe she burned cheap vanilla candles at her desk too.

  12. I don't want to live in Detroit...

  13. You do all make great comments.

    Yes, lots of products have fragrance and it would be impossible to eliminate everything. Prescription things have a purpose and aroma is an afterthought, but they do smell.

    Also, it would be criminal that the matter of allergies (which is serious) is trivialised through these uncouth people who attribute their dislike to (imaginary) allergies. There are allergies, they're serious and surely they don't always derive from the fragrance of a co-worker.

    Mark's argument is fun to contemplate!

    Uella, excellent comparison for sanity's sake and to gain perspective.

    And Melissa, I so agree that a little consideration goes a long way. In this case it would have saved the day!


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