Fragrance Free?

The kids are settled in school and the garden crop is in…. and it’s soap time!  I’m back making batches and batches of soap in preparation for the busy pre-Christmas craft sale season.   I’ve ordered some beautiful soap dishes from a local pottery artist for our gift boxes.  Here is one of her artisan dishes:

Gorgeous, right?

Speaking of gorgeous things, one of the soaps I recently made is chocolate soap.  I’ll talk more about it in a future post, but I can’t wait for it to be done curing.  With real chocolate, cocoa essential oil and  unrefined natural cocoa butter… it looks and smells like a slab of fudge…  yum!

Recently I saw a picture of a popular fabric spray in a post on facebook that was extolling its’ virtues.   The thing that struck me the most was that people commenting seemed less concerned about what they were breathing in when using the spray than whether or not they liked the smells.  I often wonder if our society is the same as others in this regard, or if we like to use more fragrances than others.  I did hear a soap maker in the UK comment that her customers in the UK were very picky about having only essential oils in their soap, whereas her US customers didn’t care, and in fact often requested synthetic fragrances.  Personally, I have noticed that apart from my customers who need to have no fragrance in their products because of allergies or other symptoms, everyone else doesn’t even want to look at the fragrance free options.  I wonder if people know what they are missing.  Since we moved to no/low scent in our house, it’s incredible how much better we can smell!  I can smell a bounce sheet clear across someone’s house, and know when someone 6 people in front of me in line was just smoking or is wearing perfume.  Boy, can I smell.

Since synthetic fragrances (see here for more info) have so many known toxins and allergens in them, it begs the question –  is it safe for us or our children to be inhaling any of them?  Clearly it is in the interest of the companies using synthetic fragrances to tell us that our stinky couch (have you seen the commercial where a person buries his/her nose in a disgusting couch and exclaims – “It smells like springtime!”) or our smelly gym shoes need to smell like their interpretation of a basket of oranges or a field of tulips.   But is it true?  The problem with that sort of thinking is that you are just covering up one natural smell with a synthetic one…. which may work to fool your brain into thinking it’s in a room full of flowers, but is in fact going to work attacking your central nervous system.  Isn’t that the magnificent power of marketing?

So, the next time you are given the option of fragrance-free (unscented is not the same), choose it.  It doesn’t somehow mean it is not as good, in fact it means that it may be better – free of noxious, toxic fragrances.  And that is a Beautiful thing.

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