Perfume Trauma

perfume trauma

Controversial title.

Real issue.

I grew up in a small town. Like, minuscule. I’ll put it this way; my town didn’t matter to anyone (including most of its residents) until Walmart decided to set up shop near a highway exit.  That’s not to say people were happy about the Walmart.  My point is, sadly, my hometown is the kind of town which only really gained any recognition by its ability to house a Walmart.

As you can imagine, growing up as a child in the 80’s and early 90’s without being in proximity to a shopping mall was not awesome.

I envied people who lived near a mall and could hang out with their friends and eat Cinnabon and drink Orange Julius until they inevitably puked in their family’s minivan on the ride home.

As a child from small town America, I felt well and truly left out.  The mall was the place to be, but I couldn’t be there.

Oh, capricious youth and all its struggles.


Well, times have changed.

As an adult, I loathe going to the mall and despise department stores.

I think malls and department stores are horrid.  They are hot and full of people buying meaningless filler crap made in sweatshops to make their lives seem less miserable

You know I’m a scoach dramatic, but not really?

Is it just me or are the fragrance people in department stores aggressive AF?

You know what, no. It’s not just me. I’ve been a victim of what I call “perfume trauma” multiple times in the past thirty days.

In fact, it happened just a few weeks ago.

Said trauma was during a last minute quest to find Soul Mates for a garden wedding we were attending (which, by the way, are the BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY) and, to date, this was the worst perfume trauma I’ve ever experienced.

I went in, like no exaggeration at all, 25 stores in Glasgow City Centre on this quest.

It was a scavenger hunt for something I didn’t even really want to find.  The best kind, right?

But I digress. One of the stores I went into was House of Fraser department store.

I mean, no offence if you like that shop, but the one on Buchanan Street here in Glasgow was an absolute shitshow as far as shopping experiences go.   Seriously.

First off, the music is way too loud (and shitty) and there are fucking mirrors EVERYWHERE.

As I first walked into what was about to be one of the most annoying retail experiences of my life, I was attacked by a vigorous and powerful mist of perfume.

Like, it went into my mouth and eyes.  Like pepper spray.

As I was choking (not even exaggerating) the girl who attacked me tried to hand me a piece of paper with the awful scent on it.

“Would you like a wee sample of [most offensive fragrance ever]?”

Perfume trauma

Photo: Giphy

Straight up perfume trauma.

I asked the girl who finally (didn’t) help me locate what I was looking for in House of Fraser how she could work there. To which she replied, “I don’t know, but it certainly makes me think twice about drinking the night before a shift.”

Seriously, that is a version of hell I’d rather not imagine.

So, you can imagine my enthusiasm this morning when my husband mentioned that he wanted to go into a particular department store to “compare colognes.”

In fact, the conversation went a little bit like this:

Luke: “How do you feel about popping into [store I’d rather not mention]? I want to compare colognes.”

Me: “Can I counter your question?”

Luke: “Uh, sure.”

Me: “How do you feel about me stabbing myself in the neck with this key?”

True story.

When you get sprayed with perfume in a department store and it's traumatic #retailhell… Click To Tweet 

Have you ever experienced perfume trauma?  Do you like malls and/or department stores?



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