I love smells. Especially perfume-y smells and for a few significant years I wore 'Satsuma' from the Body Shop. It was my 'smell'... mmm oranges. I had a whole collection depending on the day, vanilla, tangerine, chocolate... (are you catching a trend? I like smelling like food hah. Andrew wishes I had a 'bacon' perfume for sure).
Working in health care means a 'no scent' policy, which I like just fine actually. We've all experienced those people that simply reek of some sort of cologne or perfume smell. A pet peeve I have is if you walk by and I can smell you, it's too much. A friend while living in Montreal used to spray her M.A.C. perfume at least five times as she walked through the misty cloud she created. Swirly her ridiculously beautiful red hair and fluffing her boobs (yes... that is what she did). We loved her, but man did she SMELL.
Word to the wise: no one needs to smell the cloud of chemicals as you walk by; le cough.
Practicing yoga next to someone who smells, either icky or like lavender patchouli, also isn't fun. My ujaiji breath isn't meant to absorb 'essence of sandalwood'.
Beyond the incredibly rude, offensive aspect, typical perfume and cologne is like a sludgy cocktail of chemicals that we're dousing on ourselves continuously to inhale and absorb into our bloodstream.
On average there are 800 chemicals in a bottle of perfume; many asthma triggering VOC's, endocrine disrupting synthetic musks and hormone disrupting phthalates. Even though Canada and the US has banned phthalates from children's toys, you don't hear anything about how we're spritzing these plasticizers all over ourselves every day (sometimes several). (Ecoholic 2009).
Think it's just our own health these nasty sprays are affecting? In 2010 the California Air Resources Board announced that it was penalizing Unilever's Axe bodyspray 1.3 million in air pollution fines. Yep, each and every can of Axe bodyspray failed to meet California's clean air standards and was fined for selling 2.8 million units between 2006 and 2008 (ENS 2010).
So what's a perfume lovin' yogini to do?
Well... my transition to Aveda's version of 'natural' perfume was really a sad one. In 2007 both Aveda and Aubrey Organics were found to have phthalates in their perfumes (Ecoholic 2009). Some companies may have phthalate and scary synthetic chemical-free options, but oils and ingredients are sourced from long distances and may not be sustainably harvested or produced.
My favourite options?
1. Five Seed's natural solid perfume or body massage oils. They smell delicious and are all hand crafted from organic, natural ingredients.
2. Make your own with organic essential oils. Be sure essential oils are safe for you (depending if you're pregnant or have health conditions you should consult your family physician), choose a favourite scent, or mix and match, and a few dabs- presto! Yummy smell coming right up.
3. DIY au complêt: A few ounces of vodka (look for local vodka or liqueurs- Lunenburg's Ironworks Distillery sells at the Seaport Market) and your essential oils. Let sit for a few days and sprinkle in some distilled water. Shake and let sit for another few days. Any small jam glass jar or cleaned out makeup jar would do just fine. :)
What are your favourite non-chemical ways to stay yummy smelling?
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com