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Why Does Perfume Make It Hard To Breathe? A Detailed Explanation

Perfume always helps us become more attractive, exalting elegant beauty in daily activities. However, why does perfume make it hard to breathe for some people?

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Perfume is a product that supports the creation of fragrances for the body to increase confidence, enhance elegance and charm. However, some ingredients can cause you to have an allergic reaction. This can lead to difficulty breathing and other serious symptoms. 

So, why does perfume make it hard to breathe for some people? Let’s scroll down and refer to this article to find the ultimate answer!

Why Does Perfume Make It Hard To Breathe

why does perfume make it hard to breathe
why does perfume make it hard to breathe

Toxic Chemicals Of Perfume

Perfume is a multi-component mixture made up of a complex blend of natural essences and synthetic chemicals.

Perfume composition contains various substances, such as: 

  • Formaldehyde 
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Isoeugenol
  • Eugenol
  • Cinnamyl alcohol 

They can cause congenital disabilities, cancer, central nervous system disorders, allergies, burning sensations, etc.

In addition, many chemicals in perfumery are often easily oxidized and unstable when exposed to air and sunlight or during the curing process. These oxidized products can then act as highly toxic light-based agents and allergens.

Therefore, these toxic substances are one of the main causes of shortness of breath or perfume allergy anaphylaxis

However, it can be difficult to determine if you are exposed to irritating fragrance ingredients. This is because some manufacturers do not specify the substances. So you can smell or see detailed information on the website.

Perfume Allergy

Perfume and asthma are related, and fragrance products can affect people with asthma. Usually, two main types of allergy symptoms associated with fragrances are skin and respiratory problems.

If you are a fragrance sensitivity disability who is prone to allergies or is suffering from allergic rhinitis, you may experience symptoms such as constant sneezing and a runny nose. More seriously, they can feel dizzy short of breath with a dry cough.

Hypersensitive, easily irritated skin is also considered the main cause of perfume allergies. When the skin shows signs of itching, burning, and redness, the skin has likely been irritated with its ingredients.

Treatment Of Breathing Trouble With Perfume 

 Skin Treatment
Skin Treatment

Skin Treatment

After you notice that the skin in contact with perfume shows a red rash accompanied by a burning or itching sensation, you need to stop using this perfume immediately. 

Then use strong water to wash and clean the skin that comes in contact with perfume. It would help if you used a soft and clean cotton towel to absorb all the water on the skin.

Use physiological saline to relieve symptoms caused by perfume allergies. Physiological saline, also known as 0.9% sodium chloride solution (0.9 % NaCl), can relieve allergy symptoms. 

In addition to physiological saline, you can use baking soda diluted with salt, which also has a high therapeutic effect.

In severe cases, topical hydrocortisone is the doctor’s first choice for treating fragrance allergies. The effects of this drug include supporting skin disorders, reducing inflammation, improving itching and burning sensation.

Respiratory Treatment

If you have an allergy accompanied by headache, difficulty breathing, wheezing, cough, or some other symptoms related to the respiratory tract, you need to stay calm. 

Then use force to take a deep breath and then exhale forcefully through the nose. You can use paracetamol or ibuprofen for perfume headache treatment.

In severe cases, inhaled steroids and cortisol are the first choices in treating fragrance allergies. The effects of this drug include supporting respiratory disorders, asthma, and reducing the burning sensation.

However, topical steroids often cause unwanted side effects when used for long or over the prescribed dose. Therefore, to ensure safety, it is best to use the drug as prescribed and under the guidance of a specialist.

Preventing Breathing Trouble With Perfume 

Avoid Synthetic Fragrances
Avoid Synthetic Fragrances

Avoid Synthetic Fragrances

There are thousands of substances used in perfumery production, and many of them are harmful to nerves and health. Therefore, if you are a person who is sensitive to fragrances, it is better to avoid synthetic fragrances.

Moreover, you can perfume your body with many other methods that do not irritate. Specifically: Use scented shower gel, perfume shampoo, clean body, use perfumed conditioner, clothes.

If you have fragrance sensitivity in the workplace, change your work location. Or, you can keep your distance from the person using the perfume that makes you allergic. 

It would help if you stayed away from public places where people use perfume or where room spray products are used.

Use Natural Perfume

The composition of the perfume is the first criterion to consider. You should choose the ones with natural ingredients, without fragrances, toxic fragrances, because this substance can irritate your skin and affect your health.

If you are too sensitive, you should use fragrance products of natural origin. With quite familiar ingredients in beauty, such as essential oils, you can make your perfume with a cool and delicate herbal scent.

Fresh citrus fruits will help you have a fresh scent, full of energy and vitality. You should use these fruits’ fresh skin to add more essential oils and a refreshing aroma.


This article has clearly explained the question: Why does perfume make it hard to breathe for some people. Perfume is always an indispensable product in the beauty wardrobe of women, even men. 

These fragrances can cause dangerous conditions if not suitable. Thus,  you need to be careful when choosing them. Hopefully, the above useful information will help you prevent and treat allergies.


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