What smells? Pa. lawmaker wants to ‘Axe’ fragrance in schools

Teenagers looking to woo a homecoming date could soon be without a powerful -- and pungent -- ally.

State Rep. Marcia Hahn, R-Northampton, wants to introduce legislation banning the use of scented products such as perfume, cologne or body spray in schools having students with fragrance allergies.

The proposal sounds odd, but its inspiration is serious. A student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem this spring had a severe allergic reaction to Axe Body Spray -- a staple among high-school-aged boys -- and was taken to the hospital. He now takes cyber classes.

Hahn does not think that's a fair set-up for the student, but even she knows regulating fragrance use among teens eager to drench themselves in Britney Spears' latest scent is a challenge, even legislative overreach. She thinks her proposal, though, could at least start talk about a tough subject.

"If you have a piece of legislation and it's not enforceable, it doesn't really help," she said. "So I'm hoping that we can come up with a solution that works for everyone."

Hahn is seeking co-sponsors for the proposal, and a hearing could follow.

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