Letter: Be aware of scent sensitivities

Dear InterConnections,

I would like to see an article about dealing with scent sensitivities. It’s difficult for those of us with this problem as we are at the mercy of our fellow congregants. Some people, like me, hesitate even mentioning our problem. We hate to be complainers or aren’t used to asking for our needs to be met. I feel bad when I tell someone that their beautiful scent is making me sick. It is obvious that they put pride into the way they look and smell and I hate to make them feel badly. Usually I suffer in silence or leave if it is too overpowering.

Additional problems arise when one sings in the choir. It is difficult to insist that the choir be scent-free, even though someone like me cannot participate if it is not.
There are different degrees of scent sensitivity. Some people get a little choked up, some get hives, some become faint.

Thank you,
Katherine Wilson


Katherine,

Congregations can educate themselves on this issue with this article from UUA.org: How Accessible is your Congregation for People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities? And with this InterConnections article, Church Can be Perilous for Those With Allergies. I hope this is helpful.

Don Skinner,
Editor, InterConnections