Let's Choose Friendships Over Fragrances

Sherri Connell

Often loved ones have difficulty with going fragrance-free for someone who lives with mild to serious reactions to chemicals in fragranced products. As you can imagine, this can lead to isolation and feelings of being abandoned for people like myself who miss out on holidays, get-togethers and simple visits.

This is a video I did with my friend, Karyn Buxman when I had to have surgery out of town and needed a place to stay. I wanted to get a candid view of what a friend or family may feel, fear or think when I ask them to go fragrance-free so that we may visit.

I hope that loved ones will see how simple this is and how valuable it is to make a difference in the life of their friend or family member. The Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign is using this video to create more awareness for the millions living with Environmental Illness (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Chemical Injury, Toxic Encephalopathy).

Research done in 2004, 2005 and 2009 by Stanley M.Caress and Anne C. Steinemann “… found that nearly 38% of Americans report adverse effects when exposed to some kind of fragranced product.” With approximately 310 million people in America in 2010, that is almost 117 million Americans who report adverse effects to normal, everyday products.

For more information on the Choose Friendships Over Fragrances project, visit the Cleaner Indoor Air Campaign (CIAC)

Sherri has always been an extremely active person. She used to cheer-lead, sing and dance in musicals, act in commercials, work multiple jobs and obtained 3 college degrees. However, she has been unable to work or care for her daily needs since 1991, due to Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and Chronic-Late Lyme Disease. She lives with unbearable and disabling pain, fatigue, cognitive disorders 24×7. She also has Chemical Injuries and Intolerance, which has kept her very isolated from friends and family.

Sherri’s website comes to life with her writings and videos sharing her story, information about her illnesses and a positive outlook amidst her daily pain and losses, as well as her desire to help friends and family better understand debilitating conditions. Sherri’s husband, Wayne, is the Founder and President of the Invisible Disabilities Association.


  1. beatsalong says

    As someone who’s MCS comes from Mast Cell Activation Disorder and being only 20 it can be hard to get friends and family to go 100% fragrance free and chemical free. I have lost friends to fragrances they just couldn’t get out of their lives- but for those who HAVE stuck around I really do thank them.

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