The problem with scented products is not so much the smell itself as the chemicals that produce the smell. Nearly all scented products currently on the market are made largely or entirely of synthetic chemicals, usually derived from petroleum or coal tar. Nearly one-third of the chemical additives used in perfumes and other scented products are known to be toxic. Just one perfume can contain more than 500 chemicals.
Even "unscented" may actually mean that a masking fragrance has been added to the product to disguise the smell of certain ingredients. Many of the chemicals in perfume are the same chemicals in cigarette smoke, and yet there is no regulation of the fragrance industry.
The only safe assumption about scented products is that they contain numerous toxic chemicals that constantly vaporize into the air and attach themselves to the hair, clothing, and surroundings of anyone who wears them.
These chemicals go directly into the bloodstream when applied to our skin and are also absorbed into the skin from our clothing. We also inhale the chemical fumes, which then go straight to our brains where they can do major harm. These chemicals are skin irritants, suffocants, eye and respiratory tract irritants, and neurotoxins.
That's why being around someone who's wearing a scented product (or who's wearing clothes that have picked up smells from past use of scented products) can cause an MCS person to develop obvious allergy symptoms (sneezing, coughing, watery eyes), to have an asthma attack, to develop a headache, to become dizzy or nauseous, to have trouble focusing or thinking or remembering, to experience sudden mood changes, to develop muscle cramps or spinal subluxations, or even to have a seizure or lose consciousness.
And that's why wearing scented products isn't just a personal choice. It's a choice to impact the air space of others—and in ways you may not be able to predict or control.
And that's why "I'm just wearing a little!" or "It's not perfume, it's just my soap" are irrelevant responses. The chemicals don't care. They don't care how much you're wearing or in what form you're wearing it—they're going to vaporize into the air around you and do their chemical thing, even if you weren't planning to harm someone.