Why are we so obsessed with the way we smell?
Those who know me know that I cannot stand synthetic fragrances. Every time I smell perfume my head gets heavy and I start to feel queasy. Lord help me, should I ever be stuck on a plane, public transport or waiting room with someone that has showered themselves with what seems like forty bottles of a fragrance. The sheer thought sends waves nausea throughout my body. A naturopath once told me that this was because my liver was ‘compromised’ and I needed to detox. Seriously? I think it is more likely due to the fact that we are obsessed with smelling like a fake version of something natural, and those synthetic versions spark my olfactory senses into overdrive.
The synthetic fragrance enigma, for me, crosses over to laundry detergents (Surf, Spree, OMO, Dynamo.. the list goes on), household sprays, stinky candles, personal hygiene products and antiperspirants. What’s with antiperspirants? Why are we so obsessed with our underarms smelling like fake vanilla, rose or musk? I don’t get it.
Personally, I haven’t entertained the use of these poisonous potions for about 7 years. Now, I have scoured the internet for medical journals to substantiate the claims that the aluminium in antiperspirants may cause a number of diseases ranging from breast cancer, Alzheimer’s and kidney disease. As I expected some medical journals had research that suggests there is no correlation between these diseases and the use of antiperspirants to be completely safe, and the action of aluminium is to ‘just act as a plug so the sweat isn’t released’. Not surprisingly most of these research papers were funded by large pharmaceuticals, interested in preserving profits for their own brands of roll-ons. I really don’t want to name brands, but think of a soap that is a type of peaceful bird. Well they sponsored some of the research – and you can guess that the results would be in favour of roll-on use. This company is also responsible for margarine being used as a health ploy to reduce cholesterol. Arghhhh! Can you sense my passion?
Most of the products I use are fragrance free, including detergents, shampoos and skin care (my body care is coconut oil rubbed liberally over, most days I smell like a Pina Colada and as for my face…that is a blog entry for another day). Why are we so obsessed with how we smell? I don’t think I get close enough to people to notice if they have body odour, and if someone does, I’m not bothered by it. Admittedly, I have had laser hair removal so I am hair free – which means there’s limited scope for the bacteria to multiply and smell, but not everyone can get it done due to hair colour or cost. Even then, is it really worth using chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer, lymphatic cancer and other minor skin irritations? I have managed to convince my husband to avoid anti-perspirants. But he can’t seem to let go of the ‘roll-on’ addiction. Thus I had to find some suitable replacement for him. Let me say, I think I have tried over 15 different products and each had their positives and negatives. So I am only going to list the ones that I found to work and provide long lasting freshness without smelling like eucalyptus (I can’t stand the smell of eucalyptus or lemon myrtle under the arms. PONG-A-RAMA). Here goes…
Fresca’s entire range of deodorants – these are my first choice. Wooden Spice is amazing. There’s something sexy about a man that smells like wood, I have no idea why I love it so much. However, their entire range of fragrances are lovely. Also available in unscented for those sensitive to smell.
Tisserand – This UK brand is world renown for its lovely aromatherapy range, and their Tea Tree 24-hour protection deodorant is fabulous.
Lavera – Available in roll on or spray. A lovely lighter version of the above products. I don’t *think* I smell so I opt for this range in the orange fragrance.
As for washing detergents and all the other household products, I will get to that blog another day.
I'm a lover of fine food, amazing cheese and sharing with people I love.