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heavily cologned diners


shelora
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I know both male and female diners are guilty of this, but there is a fairly common scent/cologne for men that always seems to be applied over-enthusiastically.

We were practically asphixiated the other night at dinner. We weren't exactly sure where it was coming from as it would waft over every ten minutes or so. It was impossible to concentrate on the wine or the food for the seriously vanilla scented cologne wafting our way. At times so strong, we felt like our eyes, nose and throat were about to bleed.

Now that we have nipped the cigar and pipe smoking in the bud - smoking banned everywhere here - and we are working on cell phone use in restaurants - it's time to address the heavily perfumed diner. It's damn offensive!!! Just a little note on the bottom of the menu may do it.

Please and thank you.

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I've asked to be reseated when someone who's been heavy handed with the cologne/perfume is seated near me. Taste is, as we all know, predominantly smell. If the surrounding odors are strong enough, that's all you taste. It's vile.

On a similar note, I've been to a few restaurants that insist on cleaning the tables in your proximity with a putrid smelling windex type of substance. Not high end places, but still food that I enjoy, or that I would enjoy if it weren't for the stench.

It's air pollution, plain and simple. I had heard somewhere that some municipality(s) in California had passed legislation regarding the wearing of excessive perfume/cologne. If this was/is indeed true, than those Californians are yet again ahead of the rest of the nation. I believe they were the first ones to enact anti-smoking legislation as well.

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Ohhhhhhhh... *cracks knuckles* This is one of my personal bugbears.

There are two types of perfume I find particularly offensive in a food environment. One is that heavy, sweet vanilla perfume so beloved of the middle-aged cougar, and the other is a piercing floral top note that makes you think you were in a florist's shop.

It's difficult for the management, of course. They can't be expected, as much as I might like it, to march over to the offender's table and deliver an impassioned tirade about why it's inappropriate to come to dinner smelling like a whore's handkerchief. In the past, I've called the manager over and asked to be reseated, saying that I have a sensitive nose (in truth, I do) and that the perfume is making it quite impossible to enjoy the food. A veiled threat to leave after the starters usually lets them know you're serious about the matter.

It's just as unacceptable as coming to a restaurant stinking of body odour.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Ohhhhhhhh... *cracks knuckles*  This is one of my personal bugbears. 

There are two types of perfume I find particularly offensive in a food environment.  One is that heavy, sweet vanilla perfume so beloved of the middle-aged cougar, and the other is a piercing floral top note that makes you think you were in a florist's shop.

It's difficult for the management, of course.  They can't be expected, as much as I might like it, to march over to the offender's table and deliver an impassioned tirade about why it's inappropriate to come to dinner smelling like a whore's handkerchief.  In the past, I've called the manager over and asked to be reseated, saying that I have a sensitive nose (in truth, I do) and that the perfume is making it quite impossible to enjoy the food.  A veiled threat to leave after the starters usually lets them know you're serious about the matter. 

It's just as unacceptable as coming to a restaurant stinking of body odour.

Hi Culinary Bear

Better than the chef wearing it! :raz: I never could understand first why they want to wear it in the kitchen but more importantly how the hell they could taste anything properly! Sure you've met the odd one over the years?

Stef

Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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I've always had issues with FOH staff wearing fragrances and have asked to have my server changed on more than one occasion.

Tobin

It is all about respect; for the ingredient, for the process, for each other, for the profession.

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I know both male and female diners are guilty of this, but there is a fairly common scent/cologne for men that always seems to be applied over-enthusiastically.

Worse than this for me are heavily made up women who have layers and layers and layers of differently scented beauty products on. The hair smells of shampoo and hairspray. The face powder and lipstick are scented. Scented body lotion and perfume. And if it's that time of month scented feminine products as well. (please use unscented :raz: ).

I like perfume and cologne, but they should be delicately applied on well washed bodies.

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I've always had issues with FOH staff wearing fragrances and have asked to have my server changed on more than one occasion.

Yep. I've had this experience more often than I care to remember but unlike you, I've never had the guts to ask for a new server. One of these days, however . . .

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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The sous chef at work told me of an incident that took place a year before I got there, of a waitress who used to carry an atomizer around with her and used to 'top herself up' every hour. One customer stood up in the middle of a Friday evening service and shouted at the manager to, and I quote, "Get that fucking woman away from my table, this isn't a fucking florist's shop!".

Stef, I've had to tell one of the porters at work to shower before coming in to work - sometimes he truly stinks - and yes, I've come across the odd chef who sprays themselves from head to foot in Lynx. It not only means they can't taste the food properly, it's unfair on the rest of the staff as they're affected too.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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This is my biggest annoyance. I am so sensitive to fragrances that I will actually leave an establishment. If I have food in front of me, I will ask them to wrap it up quickly because I need to leave. I have migraines that are triggered by most if not all perfumes and fragrances, some food scents too, like orange oil, and when they start, there is absolutely nothing I can do but leave. That's why I tend not to go out very much, it just makes it easier.

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I've asked to be reseated when someone who's been heavy handed with the cologne/perfume is seated near me. Taste is, as we all know, predominantly smell.  If the surrounding odors are strong enough, that's all you taste. It's vile.

On a similar note, I've been to a few restaurants that insist on cleaning the tables in your proximity with a putrid smelling windex type of substance. Not high end places, but still food that I enjoy, or that I would enjoy if it weren't for the stench.

It's air pollution, plain and simple. I had heard somewhere that some municipality(s) in California had passed legislation regarding the wearing of excessive perfume/cologne.  If this was/is indeed true, than those Californians are yet again ahead of the rest of the nation.  I believe they were the first ones to enact anti-smoking legislation as well.

hmmm.. wonder if I could do this in my own house. My mother-in-law came over the other night as I was cooking dinner, and smelled so strongly of rotten flowers. I was nearly bowled over. It actually overtook the smell of the smoked kielbasa and eggs that was on the stove.

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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Most of the time, I just find perfumes annoying, but now that it's spring allergy season I'm extra sensitive. I can just handle the pollen in the air, but if you add one more thing on top of it -- cigarette smoke, cats, perfume -- I start sneezing like a maniac. On Saturday night we went out on the Upper West Side pre-Lincoln Center and the symphony/opera/ballet-goers were wearing tons of perfume/cologne/whatever. I started sneezing and just couldn't stop. I took a Benadryl and got it under control about 25 minutes later, just in time for our concert.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I ate at a place that thought it was chic or something to have several spray colognes in the bathrooms for whatever reason. This night, an obnoxious drunk guest brought one back into the dining room and proceeded to spray it all over the place until the waiter took it away from him. I was glad we were on the dessert course, but even so it was horrible.

The spray bottles disappeared from the bathrooms after that.

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Perfumes and other things of this type also bother me because of my allergies.

Sometimes patient's come into the office marinated in some kind of cologne and I have to stay away from them or risk an attack. Mine is not just sneezing, but also edema in my larynx. My voice gets hoarse immediately and sometimes I lose it completely.

I use an inhaler for rapid relief and to keep the reaction from progressing but sometimes I simply have to leave a restaurant or wherever.

I rarely use any kind of fragrance and then only spicy scents, very mild. Otherwise I buy unscented things.

I have problems shopping in some stores where scented things are too strong.

I avoid the cosmetic section in the higher-end department stores because so often they have women standing around with spray scents. It is like running the guantlet to get through the place.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The smell of a rose... pure vanilla extract... onions as they hit a sizzling hot pan of pork fat...

I can't get enough of these things.

But these chemists, with their franken scents and the cosmetic manufacturers that spend billions of dollars duping people into believing they'll be more popular/attract the opposite sex? Those I could do without.

Attraction is based on pheromones. Pheromones which everyone possesses. Outside of the realm of food, nothing is more delicious to me than the smell of a freshly showered fragrance free female. All that deliciousness collecting in the hair around the nap of the neck.

*deep breath* Yummy!

Edited by scott123 (log)
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Oh, god yes, I have to vent on this topic. I too, suffer from scent-induced migraine hell.

The worst is on an airplane-why or why do people put these foul-selling scents on their bodies? You put that crap on your skin?

I was eating at a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant once-they don't even use onions or garlic-but the woman at the next table was wearing a scent that wafted into my mouth every time I took a bite of tofu. I was in agony.

I have vomited from men's colognes.

We live in an old house (ventilation circa 1913) and we have tenants in the basement. They were using a shower gel that was so strong (that green apple "lime" smell so often used in bad's men's cologne's) I could smell it the minute they started the shower-and I was on the third floor. I sent them a very short explanatory note and they stopped using it right away.

Artificial scent and florescent lights can basically cripple me.

On the other hand, I love most Aveda products, and tolerate those smells quite well.

Also at wine tastings-arghh. This woman latched onto me once at a wine tasting and I kept having to outrun her as the scent drifted into my wine glass... Help! They post signs on the door, but by that time it's too late.

When I was pregnant, I was ten times worse. I could smell layers of meals on people's breath. I couldn't tolerate the smell of warm or hot food. I was so nauseous lost more weight than I gained, and almost had to take the drugs to counteract it. It was like being from another planet. So if you are sensitive to smell, and you're thinking of getting pregnant-think about setting up a support system and read up on what you can do for this condition. (I drank a lot of smoothies!)

Phew! Rant over. I feel so much better now.

The irony to all this is I really am a sensous monster-I love fragrance-just not frankenfragrance!

Zuke

Edited by Zucchini Mama (log)

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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I wear cologne, but I mist it in the air a few feet away then walk through it. My general opinion is that if you can smell cologne and you're farther than three inches away from some part of the wearee, that's too much cologne.

My wife and I were driving past "Denim and Diamonds", a really trashy Country-Western night club in a really trashy part of town, and were almost gagging on Polo for Men with the windows rolled up, from about 50 feet away. Why do people bathe in it!?

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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were almost gagging on Polo for Men with the windows rolled up, from about 50 feet away.  Why do people bathe in it!?

perhaps because they don't bathe in anything else?

wasn't it the french aristocracy who popularized

perfume because they believed bathing was bad

for you and so they were all unwashed with

lice running among their silks and jewels?

:raz:

milagai

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I can't remember who said that "Perfume is meant to be discovered, not announced."

Farting and Belching on the other are to be announced.

:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

Bruce Frigard

Quality control Taster, Château D'Eau Winery

"Free time is the engine of ingenuity, creativity and innovation"

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

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A few years ago, I was told that a certain men's cologne had porkine hormones included in it's formula. This cologne stunk :blink: and it seemed that the only guys wearing it, must have been trying to hide some other, more offensive smell.

Would a vegan restaurant insist that someone wearing this cologne not dine in their establishment? Would a Mosque bar them from entry?

I can't stand tasting someone's artificial fragrance.

I consider it very self centered when people affect my enjoyment of being out in public by forcing their fragrance on me.

Oh well, no one's perfect. :hmmm:

-------------------------

Water Boils Roughly

Cold Eggs Coagulating

Egg Salad On Rye

-------------------------

Gregg Robinson

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As bad as heavily perfumed/cologned diners are, I think it's worse when a waitron reaks of lillies or vanilla or whatever. How can they accurately describe the food they've tasted when they can't smell anything? And worse, it interferes with your experience as a diner when the food and wine arrive. Very unprofessional. Luckily, I know most restaurants worth their salt around here specifically ban their staff from wearing such obnoxious products.

But then again, I generally don't like it when people wear scents in any setting.

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