Perfume triggered allergy

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:27 AM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- No perfume please, we're playing.

After a Scott Tournament of Hearts competitor suffered an allergic reaction to another curler's perfume yesterday, all players were asked to cease and desist from smothering themselves with sweet scents -- an edict you are unlikely to hear at the Brier (not that there would be anything wrong with that).

If any curler shows up still wearing perfume or cologne, they will be asked to wash it off before playing.

In the game against Manitoba's Janet Harvey at the John Labatt Centre yesterday, Nova Scotia second Mary-Anne Arsenault suffered an allergic reaction to someone's perfume midway through the match and had to be rushed to the hospital for precautionary reasons.

"I couldn't get a word out of Mary-Anne except, 'I can't breathe,'" said Nova Scotia skip Colleen Jones. "She'll be curling in one of those (gas) masks."

The Manitobans had no idea what was going on.

"Apparently, she needed a medical timeout, I'm not really sure of the details," said Manitoba lead Carey Burgess, who was surprised when told the reason.

Arsenault returned to play against P.E.I. (sans mask) last night.

Afterward, Arsenault said she is just sensitive to a certain perfume, which she believes is one called Poison.

Very scary

"It was very scary, I had never been in an ambulance before," she said. "I've always had a sensitivity to that one, where I feel light-headed and head-achy and kind of feel like I'm tasting it. But this was just, she had SO much on that it was just overwhelming and I had to breathe."

Arsenault, however, said she did not know which Manitoba player it was.

Ironically, Arsenault wears perfume herself, just not on the ice.

"I'm a perfume junkie," she said, adding that she hopes the perfume ban becomes permanent at the Scott.

"It makes sense," she said. "We're playing a sport here, we don't need to put any on."

Arsenault apparently took Benedryl (an accepted substance) to get her back on her feet.

Jones had never experienced such a scenario before.

"That's a first, but we've had bad backs, Kim in a wheelchair and we've had our fifth play before because of illness," Jones said. "But I don't think it's ever happened in the middle of a game."

Because the end had already started, fifth Mary Sue Radford was inserted at second, but dropped to lead for the remainder of the match.

"I realized she's the lead and can't peel and I thought she was the second so it was just very dreamlike," Jones said. "It was just very confusing that way. But when we kind of got our, 'This is what it is,' she (Radford) played fabulous. I still don't know how we won the game, frankly."

Radford shot 78% as Jones won 7-6.


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