For once I was ahead of the curve.
I had a sweetheart once who wore lavender oil for some obscure medicinal purpose and I got weak in the knees when I smelled it on him. However, I myself have never worn perfume and almost everybody I know hates it. Somebody must be buying those 1,160 different bottles, though...
The Sweet Smell of ... Nothing
by Natasha Singer for the New York Times, February 14, 2008
Last year, department stores carried 1,160 different fragrances for women.
Yet, last year in the United States, spending on upscale women's fragrances declined ... more women are forgoing scent altogether.
Fragrance fatigue is probably inevitable, with heavily fruited scents wafting out of everything from dishwashing liquids to hotel linens to candle displays at the mall.
Many people said it bothers them that fragrance has an effect on other people, that they are trying to be considerate by not overcoming others with scent.
Several women interviewed for this article said their mates had complained on occasion about strong scents that leave a trail in their wake.
Now a few workplaces and cultural sites are trying to become fragrance-free zones. Some doctors' offices ask patients not to wear perfume because some medical personnel or patients may have allergies or asthma that could be exacerbated by scent.
The idea that some people's perfumes are other people’s fumes is not new. In 1738, Alexander Pope wrote in a disparaging verse about over-fragranced nobles: "And all your courtly civet-cats can vent, Perfume to you, to me is excrement."