Human’s sense of smell is an extremely powerful tool. Any smell can trigger even the most extreme physical and emotional responses. A smell of perfume can seemingly resurrect an old, forgotten memory of a loved one, long passed. It has even been known to trigger PTSD in trauma survivors. Our olfactory sense has such an impact on our emotions, and how we perceive the world, that it has become a multi-billion dollar a year industry.
According to an article titled “The Problem with Perfume”, “Our olfactory bulbs are part of the brain’s limbic system, where the hippocampus, which helps us create memories, and the amygdala, which helps us experience emotion, also live.”
This explains why the fragrance industry has taken over, does it not?
Our sense of smell has so much control over how we experience the world, that we have adopted smells for every occasion, every holiday and change of seasons.
Fragrances used to be plant based in the old days, but have since moved to chemicals which are designed to mock the natural smells that we know and love.
Let’s take a second, and think about how many consumer products most people use daily that are scented with artificial fragrances.
Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, perfume (obviously), hand soap, dish soap, candles, laundry detergent and dryer sheets, aerosol air fresheners, cleaning supplies… The list goes on and on. And many of us come into contact with many to all of these things, every single day.
So let’s take another second, and ask ourselves what these things might be doing to us. I mean, we’re exposing ourselves to them almost constantly, am I right? Shouldn’t we be curious what they’re doing inside our bodies?
First of all, most fragrances are derives from petroleum. So that obviously comes with a whole list of environmental and political reasons not to use them.
Dr. Anne Steinemann has conducted a series of studies in her practice, and found that over 30% of them are suffering adverse effects from the synthetic fragrances that they are being exposed to. These effects are, according to Health Impact News, “exhaustion, weakness, “hay fever” symptoms, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, confusion, headaches, rashes, swollen lymph glands, muscle aches and spasms, heart palpitations, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, asthma attacks (inability to breathe), neuromotor dysfunction, seizures, and even loss of consciousness. Babies and children are even more vulnerable to these negative health reactions than are adults. The elderly and people trying to recover from cancer and other serious illnesses are particularly at risk when exposed.”
Dr. Mercola, (a favorite of mine to refer to when writing of these things because of his innate ability to tackle every single issue that I am researching with precision and accuracy that I aspire to), wrote an article titled “Does Your Perfume Contain Toxic Chemicals?” and he says, “Laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and analyzed by EWG, found a total of 38 chemicals not listed on the labels in 17 name-brand fragrances (such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Bath & Body Works, Old Spice, Calvin Klein, and more). The average fragrance product contained 14 chemicals that were not disclosed on the label (along with another 15 that were listed!). The report noted: “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products. Also in the ranks of undisclosed ingredients are chemicals with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues. These include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, a synthetic fragrance ingredient that concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk.”
Not to mention many of them are known carcinogens that turn into formaldehyde when they interact with the chemical pollutants in our air.
It is already common knowledge among some that candles create their own indoor-pollution that comes along with the same side-effects as listed by Dr. Mercola.
Fortunately for us all, essential oils are not only a wonderful replacement for synthetic fragrances in any and all factions, they are incredibly good for you and pack a medicinal punch!
I have such peace-of-mind knowing that not only is my perfume (I diffuse Essential Oils around my neck via a diffusing necklace, which is wonderful) benefitting my health and supporting my immune system, but they’re also doing the same for my daughter and husband. They’re like a secret weapon of health, and of course they’re amazingly fulfilling in the olfactory department.