Re: I can see why smoking was banned!
Alcohol, like gasoline, doesn't explode unless it is at or very near the stociometric ratio, which will never happen at a perfume counter regardless of how thick and nasty the fumes are.
Alcohol burns cooler than gasoline, and has a lower energy density (Gas 32 MJ/L, Ethanol 19 MJ/L, Methanol 16 MJ/L).
Alcohol is used in engines because it has a higher octane rating than gasoline (Gas up to about 99, Ethanol about 107, Methanol about 106). This allows a higher compression engine before detonation sets in. It also allows the use of higher pressures in supercharged applications. The fact that it burns cooler also helps in boosted situations. It also provides better cooling under evaporation, further making for a denser charge in the cylinder(s).