9 Reasons Why You Have a Perfume Taste In Your Mouth

  • By: Nathan Cherry
  • Time to read: 6 min.

If you have a perfume taste in your mouth, it could very likely be nothing. 

Sometimes, a particularly strong fragrance can leave a taste in your mouth. It’s happened to me lots of times. Our taste buds and sense of smell are linked, after all. Although it’s not certain to what degree, it’s clear that a considerable portion of gustation, our sense of taste, derives from olfaction, our sense of smell. 

However, a perfumey taste in your mouth can also be a sign of other conditions, including: 

  • Overspraying
  • Hormonal Changes 
  • Medication
  • Allergies 
  • Diabetes 
  • Dysgeusia
  • COVID-19
  • Stress
  • Oral hygiene

Let’s take a closer look. 

1. Overspraying

If you’re a perfume fanatic (like myself), it’s pretty much a given that you’ve oversprayed your perfume before. 

I get it, I really do. When you’re new to the hobby, discovering and falling in love with new perfumes and wanting to share your newfound obsession with everyone, it’s easy to get a bit overzealous when it comes to spraying. 

I hate to break it to you though, from one fumehead to another, overspraying ain’t the move. Of course, it all depends on the fragrance, but a liberal application of something like, say, Thierry Mugler’s A*Men or Moschino’s Toy Boy, could get you into trouble. 

Not to mention that it could be causing that lingering perfume taste in your mouth. 

As I said before, gustation and olfaction are closely connected. Anyone who’s driven by a cattle ranch on a hot summer’s day can tell you that smelling a powerful odor in the air can leave a taste in your mouth. 

Perfume, of course, is no different. 

If you spray too much perfume, especially on your neck or your chest, the smell could very easily pass through your nose and onto your tongue, leaving behind that perfumey taste in your mouth.

If overspraying is the culprit, then you just need to wait for a few hours or a day for the taste to subside – and, of course, spray less next time. 

But if the perfume taste in your mouth doesn’t subside, or gets more intense, there might be something else at play. 

2. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes can very readily cause a change in your sense of taste. 

Perhaps the most classic example of this is pregnancy. The flurry of hormones at work in a pregnant body can be a sea change for one’s sense of taste and smell. And it can cause a metallic, sweet, or perfumey taste in the mouth. 

Fortunately, that strange taste usually goes away by the third trimester, so if you’re pregnant and can’t stop tasting Chanel No. 5, you might just have to wait it out. 

The onset of menopause has also been reported to cause strange tastes in the mouth. 

If you’re going through pregnancy or menopause, they might be the culprit. However, hormonal changes can also be caused by the next reason on the list – 

3. Medication

A number of different medications have been known to cause strange tastes in the mouth. 

Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, for instance, might make your tongue feel fuzzy or leave behind a metallic or perfumey taste. Multivitamins and certain supplements, such as calcium, chromium, copper, iron, and zinc, might have a similar effect. 

Hormonal changes caused by new medications, like contraceptives, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants, could be a likely cause for that weird, perfumey taste in your mouth as well. 

If you’re taking antibiotics or anti-inflammatories, you will probably only need to take them for a week or so. But if you have a perfumey taste in your mouth due to other medications, consult with your physician about lowering the dose or pursuing alternative treatment options. 

4. Allergies

Some allergies can cause a strange perfumey or metallic taste in the mouth. 

That’s because they’re a sinus problem, and hence a nose problem, and since the nose is linked with the tongue…you can see how they might lead to a weird taste in your mouth. 

Even such common allergies as pollen can cause olfactory abnormalities. 

Certain food allergies, such as shellfish or nut allergies, can also cause a perfumey or metallic taste. 

Most sinus allergies are treated with antibiotics, which might also lead to some tongue weirdness. 

If you’re treating your sinus allergies with antibiotics and experiencing a strange taste in your mouth, talk to your doctor about switching to a new medication. 

5. Diabetes

If you’re suffering from diabetes, you might have experienced a sweet, bitter, or perfumey taste in your mouth. 

Diabetes can lower your body’s level of zinc, making your mouth feel dry and causing strange tastes. 

Furthermore, some diabetes medications, such as metformin, have been known to cause this. 

If you have diabetes and are experiencing strange tastes in your mouth, you might have low blood sugar. Your medication could also be the culprit. Consult with your physician on how best to solve the problem. 

6. Dysgeusia

Dysgeusia is a medical condition which causes abnormalities and distortions to one’s sense of taste. Sweet things become bitter; sour things become metallic; salty things become perfumey; and etc. Dysgeusia can affect you whether you’re eating, drinking, or not even doing anything at all, and can be accompanied by a whole host of other symptoms, including nausea, fatigue, fever, headaches, and sore throat. 

Dysgeusia can be a short term condition, caused by dry mouth or medication, or it can be indicative of a larger problem, such as diabetes, gastrointestinal infection, Parkinson’s, stroke, nerve damage, or dementia. 

If you’re experiencing dysgeusia for an extended period of time, or if the symptoms of dysgeusia become more pronounced, contact your doctor immediately to explore treatment options. 

7. COVID-19

It’s well known by now that recovering victims of COVID-19 can experience loss or distortion of taste and smell. Unfortunately, it’s not yet very well understood why it causes these problems, nor are there many treatment options available. 

However, some have recommended using home remedies like lemon, ginger, peppermint, castor oil, and garlic to recover your sense of taste and smell. 

If you are recovering from COVID-19 and experiencing a perfumey taste in your mouth, it might be worth it to consider exploring home remedies to help get your sense of taste and smell back on track. 

8. Stress

Though it might seem relatively superficial, stress and anxiety can wield a strong influence on your sense of taste and smell. 

High stress levels can cause xerostomia, also called dry mouth, which can cause reduced production of saliva in your mouth, hence the strange taste. 

Stress and anxiety can also lead to hormonal changes, which, as we’ve seen, can cause strange tastes. 

Unfortunately, there’s no single surefire way to solve your stress and anxiety. However, changing your diet, exercising more, and ensuring that you’re well-hydrated is an important first step, and might also help with that strange taste in your mouth. 

9. Dental Hygiene

Last but not least, a strange, perfumey or metallic taste in your mouth might be indicative of an underlying problem in your dental hygiene. 

Have you been brushing twice a day? Using mouthwash? Flossing? When was your last visit to the dentist? If you’ve been flagging in any of these crucial areas, that might very well explain why you’ve got a perfumey taste in your mouth. 

You might also have been too overzealous in your routine, causing your gums to bleed or become damaged. 

To maintain proper dental hygiene, make sure you brush twice a day (and not too hard), use mouthwash, and floss. Try to visit your dentist once every six months. If you’re not following a proper oral hygiene routine, that might be the cause of the strange taste in your mouth.

The Final Word

There are several different reasons for a perfume taste in your mouth, including, but not limited too: 

  • Overspraying your perfume. 
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Medication
  • Allergies 
  • Diabetes
  • Dysgeusia
  • COVID-19 
  • Stress
  • Dental Hygiene

The perfume taste in your mouth might be caused by one of these, or several, or none. Whatever the case may be, if your symptoms persist for a number of days or increase in intensity, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.