Perfume can be polarizing. Some people love to douse themselves in spicy scents that linger on clothes and leave a cloud of fragrance wafting in their wake. They think nothing of huffing a store’s smelly candles and lotions. And then there are those of us who need a gas mask if someone so much as steps into an elevator wearing even a spritz of cologne. If you’re more like this last type, there’s likely a perfectly logical reason why you’re so put off by perfumes.We all are born with a different sensitivity to smell, says Erich Voigt, MD, clinical associate professor in the department of otolaryngology at NYU Langone Health. Our sense of smell is important to human survival, and we use it to pick up on possible toxins and dangerous substances, Dr. Voigt says. “Like any of our abilities as humans, some people have stronger senses than others,” he says.