My beloved Scents of Self readers, it is time that I come clean with you. I have very reactive skin. Everything from cardamom to pop tarts causes me to instantaneously break out in hives and rashes. As you can see from the picture, these rashes are not extremely severe, but they are painful. I have known for a long time that perfume aggravates these rashes, to the extent that I no longer wear perfume for any reason except for writing a review. As winter approaches and my skin gets drier, I am afraid that I will no longer be able to wear perfume even for that. My perfume testing is going to have to be confined to smelling perfumes on scent strips.
I have not shared this before because I have been worried that you, as readers, might feel that reviews in which perfumes are not tested on skin are not as accurate or legitimate. Will you continue to read Scents of Self even if the perfumes I review are not tested on my skin? (Please say yes!!!) By the way, this is not an “I told you so” moment for the IFRA. My skin is unusually reactive, and even if it wasn’t, just because I am unable to tolerate certain ingredients in perfumes does not mean that other people should not get to enjoy them!