My best friend of seven years, Cheyanne, has a chronic disorder called Mast Cell Activation Disorder, or MCAD. In layman's terms, this means she's allergic to most scented things. Whether it be perfume, candles, scented laundry detergent, etc., one waft causes her throat to close up to the point that she can't breathe. In order to visit her, I had to go completely scent-free. 

This month Chey got engaged, so her family and boyfriend (now her fiance) asked me to surprise her in South Carolina for her engagement weekend. It was a given that I would make the seven-hour trek to see her, but first I had to go scentless. 

Here's the catch

Even though Chey and I have been best buds since we were 14, this was the first time we ever met in person. We met each other online years ago, and we have texted each other daily since then. The friendship has always been over the phone, but we know each other like the back of our hands.

With it being the first time we met, going scent-free was completely uncharted territory for me. I love strong candles and lotion, so this was definitely a new way of life for me.

Day 1: Bye Bye, Candles

Every Christmas in between cooking and baking, my mom and I would frantically race around the house and light up countless candles before guests arrived for dinner. The typical scents we used were things like "Apple Cider Spice" and "Christmas Cookie," so the idea of not having my home smell like a baked treat was a hard thing to wrap my head around.

I love Chey like a sister, though, so the candles were blown out and tossed into boxes in my closet. Easy enough I thought, no candles, no problem.

Day 2: Hello... Seaweed Shampoo?

When Chey's mom advised me to get this seaweed shampoo, my first reaction was to squirm. I like seaweed in my sushi, but most definitely not in my hair.

I was, however, happily surprised to find that this ooey crystal clear goo actually did wonders for my hair! Not only did it untangle my usually crazy curly hair, it also completely got rid of the irritation my scalp gets from the shampoo I typically use. Not to mention, it made it silky smooth.

This was a big winner in my eyes, and I plan on continuing to use it!

Day 3: All Clear To Wash Some Clothing

Like with the seaweed shampoo, I was skeptical about how "clean" this detergent would actually make my clothing. To my surprise, my clothing came out smelling fresh and not bogged down by overbearing fake scents. 

While I'm not sure if I'd use this all of the time, it was gentle on my skin unlike some of the other detergents I've used, and it made my clothing smell clean.

Day 4: See You Soon, Soap

I got Dove's unscented soap, but there are surprisingly so many options when it comes to unscented soaps. Much like regular soap, this soap produced bubbles and all of that jazz. The only thing I found to be different was that it had a very light, clean smell. 

At home when I'm not near Chey I probably won't use this soap, but it was an interesting new thing to try. I just personally enjoy having floral scented soaps when I shower.

Day 5: Deodorant For Days

So unlike most of these other products, this one took some getting used to. I'm not sure if my body just needed to adapt to it or what, but the first day I used this product it did nothing to prevent me from sweating.

However, after using it for a few days, it began to keep the sweat away and make me feel fresh without an overbearing smell. 

Day 6: New Clothing Too?!

When it comes to clothing, Chey can smell all detergents used in the most recent wash. That means all of my clothes that had previously been washed in a different detergent were still fair game for Chey's sniffing. Because of this, I decided to splurge a little and get some new outfits just to be safe!

While it was easy to get some cute outfits, I had to carry along a cheap handbag in order to prevent her from reacting to the scent of tea I normally carry in my purse.

Day 7: It Was Worth Every Bit of It

900 miles, 2 seven-hour drives, and lots of scent experiments in one weekend was worth every bit of it. If you just look at our faces you can tell this scent-free week paid off for both of us.

Not only did I get to meet my best friend of seven years, but I also got to witness her getting engaged. It was truly a magical weekend, and I'm so glad I was there to make it a little extra special.

While there were some products (like the seaweed shampoo) that I will definitely continue to use, there are some others that probably won't make it on my next grocery list. 

Either way, I learned a lot about what someone goes through with MCAD. Much respect goes out to those who have battled it — how something as little as putting on perfume could be life-or-death for someone with this disorder!