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Perfume & Cologne in the Dining Room


gfron1
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In general I feel like people are wearing less and less body scents, but it does still happen. And out on the streets I kind of like it. But like an ages ago rant about wine tastings HERE, I wish people would be more considerate about the impact on the dining experience of not only themselves but others. Maybe this is just my issue since there were no other threads about this on eG based on my search. I just think that smell is so critical to taste, and if you're going out to dinner you might want to taste your food not the acridity of perfume. What do you all think?

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I am right there with you -  I find it off-putting in general but when  eating it can be nauseating. I have as you stated, noted less of that pungent stuff, but a female with something like Obsession can make it hard for me to concentrate and eat. Someone needs to write a piece in a prominent well-read spot perhaps to bring the offenders up short ;)  "they know not what they do...."

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I pay little to no attention to strangers when I'm out and about so it's never been an issue.

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Years ago when i was a soldier, for our tea break we could have fabulouse vienna rolls as we were in Germany, the salad filling was perfect but the lovely lady who constructed these delights wore some strong perfume at tainted every roll (we still ate them because we were young and hungry)

Martial.2,500 Years ago:

If pale beans bubble for you in a red earthenware pot, you can often decline the dinners of sumptuous hosts.

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I work in a hospital where scents are banned but there are still many who ignore it.  Sometimes you can't enter a room for the many visitors all "bathed" in different scents.  I am delivering dinner to the poor patient and I wonder how they can muster the will to eat when they aren't feeling well to begin with and they are bombarded with the scent of an overpowering garden of scents.

 

I am not allergic and I like to smell nice perfume and cologne if it isn't overpowering...but when I enter these rooms I have to hold my breath or else the scent will get in my nose and I will smell the rest of the day.  Sometimes this happens at breakfast too..  There are signs and reminders everywhere but it makes not difference.   It sends some staff home for the day...So disruptive.

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I'm very sensitive to odors -- I'll sometimes notice them before others do, if they notice them at all -- so this is my #1 pet peeve at restaurants. And not just at restaurants, but at concerts, in waiting rooms (as Beth mentioned above) -- pretty much any place I'm in extended inescapable proximity to other humans.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I sorta ignored the comment about - isn't your food good enough to overpower the smell (obviously my skewed version of the statement), but I'll chime back in now. I like scents. But they have their place. A strong cologne or perfume in a confined space of a restaurant where the emphasis is on the food effects the ability to taste the food by diners surrounding the stinker. Its basic physiology with the role of smell on taste. Some of the examples above are evidence. For geeky eaters like me I would suggest Neurogastronomy: How the brain creates flavor and why it matters. That book did amazing things for how I constructed my dishes using the consideration of smell and how we can manipulate how those smells are introduced into the diner.

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I was recently in a restaurant, seated at the next table to a man who was clearly a smoker. He wasn't smoking in the restaurant (not allowed), but I could still smell the stale tobacco stink.

 

I politely asked to be reseated without giving any reason. The restaurant didn't question that until I was leaving. Then the delightful waitress who had been looking after us whispered "I hate that smell, too."

 

And it's a non-tipping culture, so she wasn't after that.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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We were just visiting a friend in Queens, NYC, and walking through the streets of Jackson Heights looking for a dinner restaurant. We liked the menu at one Tibetan restaurant, but the smell of incense was so strong even through the closed door that I couldn't imagine trying to eat in that room. We chose to dine elsewhere.

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MelissaH

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Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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  • 4 weeks later...
On May 11, 2016 at 5:54 PM, DiggingDogFarm said:

I pay little to no attention to strangers when I'm out and about so it's never been an issue.

 

 

How can you avoid a scent in the air?  Or are there no scents you dislike so you are never bothered?

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I can't avoid it, but I learned to "zone-out" such distractions in a previous line of work.

It's not difficult unless it's something EXTREMELY nasty.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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1 hour ago, DiggingDogFarm said:

I can't avoid it, but I learned to "zone-out" such distractions in a previous line of work.

It's not difficult unless it's something EXTREMELY nasty.

 

I find smells particularly hard to ignore, and some do make me feel queasy, which interrupts the eating experience.  Like when I bought a used car from a dealer and they detailed it with something that smelled exactly like urinal cake - cheap industrial cleaner perfumey smell.  I was really upset.  It's been a year and the smell is mostly gone, though I do get a whiff every now and then when the car has been closed up for a few days.   There are some flowers that turn my stomach, I can't handle those really fragrant lilies or more than a whiff of gardenia.  As for dining patrons, there have only been a few times when I was seriously put off by another's perfume or cologne.  I think I skipped dessert or took the rest of my food to go.

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When I was in Japan last year, quite a few restaurants we booked specifically ask the guests not to wear perfume. Not sure what happens if someone ignores the rule as we didn't encounter any. I was cautious even putting on lotion from the hotel before going to a meal, in case it caused me to miss out on great food....

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I am old enough to remember the days when one entered any upscale department store you were besieged by young ladies bearing spray bottles of the latest perfumes; it was hard to get past them without be pressed upon by samples.  And in those days those perfumes were quite often very heavy and strong.  I stopped wearing colognes of any kind long ago and I'm grateful that they seem to have fallen out of favor mostly (maybe in cities like N.Y. not so much?)

It's especially awful to sit next to someone or near someone who's wearing too much scent in a restaurant.

 

Edited by lindag (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

And what do you do when your waiter seems to have bathed in a scent?  We recently had a lunch out and every time the waiter came over we were enveloped in a cloud of the stuff.

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

And what do you do when your waiter seems to have bathed in a scent?  We recently had a lunch out and every time the waiter came over we were enveloped in a cloud of the stuff.

 

Try speaking to a manager. In my experience, waitstaff doing this are trying to cover up the fact that they stayed up all night, are drunk or hungover, and didn't get a chance to take a proper shower. As embarrassing as it might be for you initially, the manager can handle the situation and maybe it won't happen again. Plus, you'll feel better returning because you'll know it was handled.

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