Office of Inclusive Design

Scent Sensitive Spaces

What does Scent-Sensitive Mean?  

Scent-sensitivity can come in forms of general sensitivity/allergy to fragrance or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), which is a diagnosable condition. Many individuals have adverse reactions to chemicals and fragrances including but not limited to migraines, asthma attacks, or general allergy reactions. Many chemicals in fragranced products are toxic for everyone, so we should avoid bringing them into our offices and events! In order to create accessible and inclusive environments, we need to make efforts toward being scent-free.  

Products that Typically Contain Fragrances (Products to Avoid) 

  • Perfumes, colognes, body sprays  
  • Scented lotion, shampoo, conditioner, hair products  
  • Laundry detergents/fabric softeners with strong scents  
  • Room fresheners and candles  
  • Scented cleaning products, hand sanitizers, dish soaps 
  • Incense and sage  

We know this is a long list! At the very least, please avoid using obviously fragranced products like perfumes, essential oils, scented lotions or any scented room fresheners/candles.  

How do I Make My Events Scent-Sensitive? 

  • You cannot control everything that attendees at an event do, so we understand that you will not always be able to guarantee a scent-sensitive space.  
  • Please advertise your event as “scent-sensitive” and ask individuals not to wear strongly scented products to the event.  
  • Hang posters that indicate that the space is scent-sensitive at the event venue  
  • If you’re comfortable, remind guests that are wearing strongly scented products that the space is meant to be scent sensitive.  

How do I Make My Office Scent-Sensitive? 

  • Outside of your office, hang a sign that says “scent-sensitive space.” This sign should indicate which products you ask that people refrain from using in your space.  
  • Inside your office, avoid wearing (or wearing clothing that smells like) perfumes/scented lotions, using candles/essential oil diffusers, or cleaning with products that have a strong odor.  
  • Use an air purifier to help get rid of any chemicals or scents that you may not be able to smell but that can negatively impact individuals who are sensitive to chemicals/scents.  

 If you need any additional support or resources, please contact the Office of Inclusive Design (