So, I’m a sensitive person when it comes to my skin. Always have been. But recently it has been off the charts ill tempered and badly behaved. We are talking flushing, dry skin, spots (at the same time as the dry skin), rashes, scales (yeah, I totally crocodiled it up one week), and other nastiness.


I ended up seeing a dermatologist and being diagnosed with Rosacea but also found myself sent for allergy patch testing. Turns out I am allergic to ALL scents. And in particular a scent called linalool. Now, you look on pretty much anything in your bathroom cabinet and I will bet it has linalool in it. Most hair products do as do many skin products. But it gets worse – linalool also naturally occurs in many essential oils including lavender. Lavender!! Oh how I loved my lavender.


Turns out I can’t use most hair products. Can’t wear any perfume on my chest or neck or around my ears etc – or my inner wrists – so basically I am reduced to dabbing my elbow area and backs of my knees. I can’t use normal sunscreens and even some toothpaste has some of the fragrances I am allergic to in it.


Becoming ‘scent free’ has been a real adventure. I don’t use half the things I used to. I buy special scent free shampoo from a trichologist range. I can’t use ANY hair serum as there isn’t one without fragrance in it – and my hair is like wire so that is not good. I have found scent free hair spray and – thank the gods and all that is holy – scent free fake tan (thank YOU Famous Dave!!).


My facial products are reduced to a pharmacy cream called Doublebase and a couple of Clinique products (100% fragrance free – yeah for Clinique). And my shower gel has been replaced with the glamorous (and greasy) Aqueous cream.

But here’s the thing: The number one cause of skin flare ups is said to be perfume and scent allergy and yet most of the stuff we put on our hair, use to wash our faces and bodies and slap on as make-up – is full of added fragrance. It didn’t used to be. I remember when you could buy unscented products. Yes, they smelt bad – like perming solution – but they didn’t contain the scent that so many people are increasingly allergic to.