Once again I'm amazed at my progress with fragrances. One year ago I would become dizzy as soon as I stepped foot in Wally World, but today I only feel slightly crappy, even after lingering to go through the ladies' wear clearance racks (where I scored a $3 pair of slacks and a $7 crinkled skirt--woo!). The key to stamina in public places is to manage my travels through them. I avoid the body care and cleaning aisles unless I absolutely have to, and then I whip out my mask just for those aisles. Minimizes embarrassment, but also minimizes fragrance exposure. I also stay clear of other people, and hold my breath when walking past high-fragrance areas, like the bathrooms.
Of course, it's not only scent intake management that's helping. I'm really getting more tolerant. I believe I absolutely needed this year off from fragrance to heal, because things which bothered me before, like being around other people, are no longer the huge problem they were. Obviously, if someone's wearing perfume or has freshly-washed hair then I'm just as bad off as before. Also, air freshener still bothers the hell out of me, but overall the improvements are enormous. I'm hopeful for an eventual full recovery. However, I'll continue to encourage people to think about the harmful chemicals we're exposed to every day, and I will forever hate air "freshener" with a passion.