Allergy to Fragrances

Jim Astwood jdastw at
Thu Oct 12 12:59:52 EST 1995

Betty said:

>stuff deleted<

> I'm really not sure if my reactions to fragrances is a true allergy.  I
> have read some articles on the stimulation of Cranial Nerve 5.  The
> theory is the chemicals stimulate that nerve to set the reaction in
> motion.  Once the reaction is started the immune system is involved.
> Formaldehyde, ether, smoke, etc are some of the chemicals mentioned in
> the article that could trigger a reaction by stimulating Cranial Nerve
> 5.  
> But whatever the process...the end results is the same.  When I say
> someone's fragrance leaves me breathless......I MEAN IT.
> Thanks to everyone that has given me input on fragrance allergies.  And
> if anyone knows of any effective treatment, I would be very interested.
> Tired of getting sick every time I go out in public and hate wearing a
> mask.  
> Thanks 
> Betty


I was once told that "expensive" perfumes actually contain extracts from
feline scent glands.  If this is true, then it is logical to conclude that
people can be allergic to fragrances containing these extracts for the same
reason that people can be allergic to cats (including broncial asthma). 
Cat allergens are usually associated with the skin (dander) and are in fact
proteins (See Leitermann et al., 1984. Journal of Allergy and Clinical
Immunology 74: 147-153).  It is conceivable that the same protein can be
found in these extracts, or that there is some other entity associated with
the protein that could be responsible.  It is already known that cat
allergens are found in saliva, serum, urine and even house dust (separate
from Dermataphagoides allergens)  For references, see  Anderson et al.,
1985.  J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 76: 563-569.

Any truth to this notion that expensive fragrances contain extracts from
feline scent glands?

James D. Astwood, PhD
Regulatory Science
Monsanto Company          
St. Louis. MO
E-Mail: jdastw at

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