With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
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Some people love to pass e-mails on to their friends, particularly e-mails that report of possible dangers and threats that they feel are credible. Unfortunately, this is also the way that urban legends and totally untrue stories are spread—by well-meaning people who fail to investigate what they are reading.
The "perfume hoax" is one such urban legend. It is apparently based on the strange 1999 story of Bertha Johnson from Mobile, Alabama. Johnson reported to police that she was approached by two men who asked her to smell a perfume sample and provide her opinion concerning the scent. When she smelled the scent, she passed out and was robbed of $800.
While Johnson's story may be true (it was not substantiated through testing), that didn't stop a rash of e-mails warning anyone and everyone to be careful that they didn't fall victim to devious people who wanted to knock them out and steal their valuables.
Fact of the matter is, there is no known additive that could be used with perfume to instantly knock out a person. Even in the movies, bad guys with "knockout drops" have to add them to a cloth and hold it over a victim's nose and mouth for several seconds.
So, next time you get an e-mail that talks about perfume knocking people out, just hit your delete key. Focus your attention, instead, on finding the scent that works best for your many moods!
If you want additional information on the perfume hoax, here are a few places you can visit: