Which way would it sway you?
August 10, 2019 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Atop One World Trade Center, New York City's tallest building, a fragrance carrying hints of citrus, beech trees and red maples wafts through the glass-enclosed observatory deck. "The quickest way to change somebody's mood or behavior is with smell," says Dr. Alan Hirsch, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago.

If I had any desire to visit NYC and the World Trade Center (I don't), this would stop me in my tracks. I hate smelly stores. I literally hold my breath going down the laundry detergent isle. With all people in the world with fragrance sensitivities, who thought this was a good idea?
posted by kathrynm (7 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
the many people in the world with fragrance sensitivities are completely invisible to the tyrannic majority who think more smells is better. most of them wouldn't care if they were aware.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:01 AM on August 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

I don't think they're having any trouble attracting customers, and saw a chance the further The Brand. If Ferrari can sell hair dryers, and Taipei 101 can promote damper babies, why not take a stab at selling World Trade Center fragrance?

(It's pretty wild that they were complaining that the viewing area seemed too sterile, away from the sounds and smells of the city. Being above it all is the point? Of supertall skyscrapers? And the people who erect them?)
posted by grandiloquiet at 10:51 AM on August 10, 2019

My workplace has a "no-fragrance" policy that I am grateful for. It is in the employee handbook, and helps orientate new employees to this part of the workplace culture. It definitely took some getting used to - the policy was implemented only because our company was purchased by another company that already had this policy in place. One of my co-workers was literally getting an asthma attack every time someone in another department walked by due to his cologne. This also helped when the cleaning company switched to a new brand of cleaning solution, and many employees complained about the extremely noticeable smell.

Some links:

1) Implementing a Workplace Fragrance-Free Policy as an Accomodation
People with fragrance sensitivity often experience symptoms such as breathing difficulties (wheezing, a tight feeling in the chest, or worsening of asthma symptoms); headaches; nausea; hives and other skin irritations; and limitations in memory and concentration.

Essentially, an employer can still take measures to reduce or eliminate exposure to known irritants – without having to establish a 100% fragrance-free environment. It becomes a matter of increasing fragrance-use awareness and informing the workforce about the impact of fragrance chemicals on health – their own and others’.

2) New ADA Guidelines for Fragrance Sensitivity
Employers need to be aware that allergies to fragrance or multiple chemical sensitivities can be disabilities under ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This was amply illustrated in a recent post on McBride v. the City of Detroit that ruled senior city manager Susan McBride’s chemical sensitivity was a disability under ADA because it interfered with the major life activity of breathing.
posted by cynical pinnacle at 12:01 PM on August 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

this is horrifying and i will protest by visiting while drinking an enormous full fat real dairy milkshake very very slowly
posted by poffin boffin at 2:31 PM on August 10, 2019

Yeah, my mood pretty much changes to sneezy and annoyed.
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:45 PM on August 10, 2019

I don't know if I'll ever visit the new World Trade Center in NYC, I still consider it kind of an abomination and really insulting that they didn't just put back modern towers with the appearances and amenities of the original ones...but now I'm curious:

Did they seriously make the new tower ONLY have an indoor observatory? If so that's some gross, sanitized, bullshit compared to the old observatory. Hell even 30 Rock and the Empire State Building let you go outside in the fresh air and actually see things.
posted by trackofalljades at 6:55 PM on August 10, 2019

This is definitely terrible for "people need to breathe" reasons, but it's also terrible in the "stop trying to subconsciously control people's emotions" reasons. Earlier this week in another mefi thread i made a comment about being terrified that capitalism is reverse-engineering human experiences, and this definitely fits the bill.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:08 AM on August 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

« Older Doctorspeak for "go away."   |   The Vegetarians Who Turned Into Butchers Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments