Why Do Perfumes Give Me a Headache

Why Do Perfumes Give Me a Headache 1
Written by Lucas M. Hall

Have you ever smelled a perfume and felt your head start to hurt? You are not alone! Many people feel this way when they smell strong scents. In this article, we’ll talk about why this happens and how you can avoid those pesky perfume headaches.

1. Strong Scents Can Be Overwhelming

Our noses are amazing! They help us enjoy yummy food and nice smells. But sometimes, when a smell is too strong, it can be too much for our noses. It’s like when sounds are too loud for our ears. Strong scents can make our heads hurt because they are overwhelming.

2. Chemicals in Perfumes

Perfumes are made of many ingredients. Some are natural, like flowers. Others are made in a lab. These chemicals can be harsh and can cause headaches for some people. It’s like when you eat too much candy and get a tummy ache.

Common Chemicals Found in Perfumes That Can Cause Headaches
Chemical Found In
Alcohol Many perfumes
Benzaldehyde Almond-scented products
Acetone Solvents and nail polish remover

3. Allergies to Fragrance

Just like how some people are allergic to cats or pollen, others can be allergic to fragrances. When they smell a perfume, their bodies think it’s a germy invader! So, the body tries to fight it off, and this can result in a headache.

Why Do Perfumes Give Me a Headache
Why Do Perfumes Give Me a Headache

4. Smell Sensitivity

Some people have a superpower where they can smell things really well. Their noses are very sensitive. They can get headaches because their noses pick up on all the different smells around them. It’s like when you hear noises that others can’t hear.

5. Associated Memories

Scents can remind us of things. A smell can remind you of your grandma’s house or a trip to the zoo. But sometimes, smells can remind us of a bad time or make us feel worried. This can cause headaches too, because the brain is getting stressed out.

How to Avoid Perfume Headaches

Find a perfume that works for you:

  • Look for ‘hypoallergenic’ perfumes. These are gentle and made for sensitive noses.
  • Try natural smells, like essential oils. They come from plants and can be softer on your senses.

Use less perfume:

  • You can wear a little bit instead of a lot. Dab a tiny bit on your wrists or behind your ears.

Take breaks from scents:

  • Give your nose a rest! Stay in places without strong smells for some time every day.

Open a window:

  • Fresh air is great! It can help clear out strong smells and give your nose a break.

Talk to a doctor:

  • If perfumes often make you feel sick, tell your doctor. They can help you find out why and what to do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Perfume Trigger Migraine Headaches?

Certain perfumes contain chemicals and strong scents that can activate nerve cells in the nose, leading to migraine headaches in sensitive individuals.

What Ingredients In Perfumes Cause Headaches?

Ingredients like synthetic musks, benzaldehyde, ethanol, and acetone can be irritating for some people, resulting in headaches after perfume exposure.

How To Prevent Headaches From Perfume?

Opt for perfumes with natural or hypoallergenic ingredients and apply them sparingly to reduce the risk of triggering a headache.

Is There A Link Between Perfume And Allergies?

Yes, perfumes often contain allergens that can trigger allergic reactions, which may include headaches as one of the symptoms.


Sometimes, smells can make our heads hurt. But with some tricks, you can avoid these headaches. Remember to be kind to your nose, and it will be kind to you!

About the author

Lucas M. Hall

Lucas describes himself as a “certified fragrance expert”, having worked with some of the world’s top perfumeries as a perfume consultant. His love for fragrances has allowed him to help companies create scents that continue to sell out to this day. When he isn’t choosing notes, he helps clients find the perfect fragrance that complements their style and personality. Many high-profile clients have found their signature scent through his advice. During his downtime, Lucas likes to fill his home with the mouth-watering smell of s’mores, scones, and other delectable desserts.

Leave a Comment