This week I flew Delta for the first time in like fifteen years. (It was weird yet fine, but that will be a post for a different day.) As I was walking down the jetbridge, wondering what the flight would be like, I heard something tinkling in front of me. It took me a moment, but I realized it was the lady in front of me. She had tiny bells on her belt, and they jingled every step she took. It was actually kind of cute, and since she was probably ten feet in front of me wasn’t super annoying. A few steps later, I realized something else was emanating from that lady—the super strong scent of patchouli. For those of you that are unfamiliar, it is hard to describe except to say that it is a pungent, powerful, earthy scent. Unfortunately for me, this type of fragrance, especially patchouli, gives me instant headaches. Like, bam. Headache.
I prayed as I got on the plane that she wasn’t sitting next to me, because if that were the case I would be sick the rest of the day. Turns out that she was about seven rows behind me. Once I sat down and took some ibuprofen, my headache subsided and I forgot about her. Until that moment when the plane switched over to its own power, the lights dimmed and the air stopped blowing. It lasted only about 20 seconds, but in that short time I could smell the patchouli again. This time it wasn’t just me—people all around me were suddenly sneezing, and I heard the lady behind me saying, “What in the world is that smell??” As soon as the air started I couldn’t smell it anymore, thank goodness. But man I feel for the people in her immediate vicinity.
While I’ve said it before, this definitely bears repeating. Please, please, please don’t wear fragrance while flying. It can literally make other people ill, especially in such close quarters. There would have been no possible way I could sit next to someone wearing that much scent for a flight. And I know several people who are even more sensitive than I am. Personal expression is great, but when you are traveling with a hundred people in a very small space, please be cognizant of others’ personal space.
Readers, ever experienced anything like this?