A 23-year-old man from Westcliff On Sea in Essex has died after being overcome by the combined smell of 74 different scented soaps in his local branch of Lush.
The emergency services were called to the store in the Fairfax Drive Commercial Centre shortly after 3pm on Friday afternoon – they were responding to reports that a male was unconscious.
A witness said: ‘I was standing with my girlfriend and we were discussing whether or not we should try a blended buttock balm containing sandalwood and ostrich, when suddenly we noticed a young lad who was looking very uneasy on his feet.’
‘He was standing in the exact centre of the store, which would have meant that he was exposed to the widest possible range of odours at the same time.’
‘A few moments later, he was lying on the floor and everyone was rushing around him while fanning his face with small pieces of hemp.’
‘The manager called 999, but by the time help arrived it was clear that there was nothing they could do for him.’
‘It didn’t help that the first responders had to spend fifteen minutes putting on breathing apparatus for health and safety reasons.’
Professor Mervyn Sprick from the University of Vange has called for ‘immediate emergency measures’ to be put in place at all shops selling three or more varieties of scented girly products.
He added: ‘This has been a tragedy waiting to happen for a number of years.’
‘I have walked past these shops before and people have been complaining of crippling headaches more than 500 yards away.’
‘People don’t realise that although scented soaps are harmless when used individually, the combination of multiple fragrances can often be too much for a male to bear.’
‘It is a shame that on this occasion the cognitive overload has cost a young man his life.’