"Second-hand fragrance" is perfume that is so strong that it makes
other people around feel uncomfortable. Therefore, it is disliked in
public places like second-hand smoke.
"I just can't breathe amid those heavy scents", said Chen Rong, a
customer service representative of a foreign trade company. Her company
took part in the 101st China Import and Export Fair, or Canton Fair, in
April in southern China's city of Guangzhou.
Chen said during the
10-day event, she had to talk with scores of foreign businessmen everyday.
"The heavy perfume they were wearing made me sick!" she complained.
Many feel the same way as Chen. Xu Yi, an advertisement mastermind also
from Guangzhou, even compared second-hand fragrance with chemical weapons.
"The other day in the subway, I was almost knocked down by the
overwhelming smell," he lashed.
As wearing perfume is becoming a fashion in the southern Metropolis,
many people in Guangzhou are calling for a restriction on the use of heavy
fragrances in public.
Professor Gou Lijun, an etiquette expert from Jinan University says
that wearing perfume is a way to show one's respect for other people,
however, overwhelming fragrance will just do the opposite.
And what makes things worse is that the "second-hand fragrance" may
actually make people ill. Doctor Zhang Yanan works in the infectious
department of a local hospital. Zhang says that there are some people who
are allergic to perfume. They may feel giddy and struggle to breathe if
they are subjected to the overwhelming smell for a long time.
In western countries, "second-hand fragrance" has been deemed a source
of air pollution for a long time.
The Canadian city of Halifax launched a "no-scent encouragement
program" in 1996, urging people not to wear fragrances to help reduce
illness and discomfort.
In Paris, some big enterprises have enforced bans on the use of heavy
perfume during work time.
In Guangzhou local authorities so far have no plans to restrict
fragrance use in civic areas.