Stink raised over perfume

May 30, 2000|By BOSTON GLOBE

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia - Perfume is meant to provoke passion, but not the sort stirring this historic seaport.

Halifax has become the first major center in North America in which the wearing of all cosmetic fragrances - from Giorgio to grandmother's lavender soap - is prohibited in most indoor public places, including municipal offices, libraries, hospitals, classrooms, courts and mass transit buses.

With little fanfare, and less public debate, a city renowned for its sea breezes and friendly folk has declared underarm deodorant, herbal shampoos, colognes and other scented products to be hazardous to public health. "Aromatic chemicals are poisoning people and the planet as much as tobacco or pesticides," said Karen Robinson, an anti-scent campaigner .

Meanwhile, students have been suspended from class for wearing hair gel and other scented goo; an 84-year-old woman was booted out of City Hall for wafting her customary cologne while making a civic inquiry; and another woman was ordered off a city bus for smelling too sweet.

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