Our culture is saturated with fragrance. Many Americans are preoccupied with avoiding body odor. Unfortunately, synthetic fragrance is loaded with chemicals and research continues to find it is harmful not only to adults but to children, even unborn babies. The irony is often our body odor is reflective of the toxins we put into our body as our system tries to eliminate it.
Instead of trying to mask unpleasant body odor with chemicals, it might be more effective to eliminate toxins you put into and on your body to lessen the toxins and odor coming out. Anti-antiperspirants and chemical deodorants will only make the problem worse when they clog your pores and body’s natural system of cleansing, causing toxins to search for another way out – or to settle in the body in a comfortable place like the liver or the brain.
Perfumes are just as toxic, simply chemicals you spray onto your skin where they are absorbed quickly into your bloodstream. Is it any surprise that we have so many people in our society with mental illnesses like attention disorders, depression and anxiety? Our culture is saturated with chemicals, we are chemical beings – our bodies interact with all the substances we are exposed to. The unknown is how will we respond to any given fragrance, perfume or other engineered ingredients in our environment – and will we notice? Research studies individual chemicals, but no one studies the cocktail effect of exposure to many chemicals over the course of a day. If you’d like to begin improving your self-awareness and learning how your body is responding to chemical exposure, register for a free copy of eBook, The 7 Habits of Healthy People, in the margin to your right.
Now, you don’t have to give up fragrance all together, the great thing is essential oils offer natural fragrance that supports your body’s health. Many oils make great deodorants because they are killing odor causing bacteria. Some essential oils are even excellent for deodorizing clothing, like those sweaty gym clothes that sat in your bag all day from your morning workout. I know people who just buy new workout clothes because they can’t remove the soaked in sweaty, smell from clothing. Purifying Blend or Immune Boosting Blend does the job in just one washing! Simply add 2-3 drops to your laundry soap and wash as usual. I’ve been using an essential oil deodorant for years and after I teach a yoga class , often students coming in for the next class will comment that it smells like a spa – Maybe because I’m sweating essential oils instead of toxic chemicals~ I get more compliments on my deodorant than I ever did all the years I wore perfume.
When you switch from synthetic to natural for fragrance or deodorant, make sure any oils you use are Therapeutic Grade and not diluted or filled with additives. Since there is no regulation in the essential oil industry, make sure you get product from a trusted source that verifies and tests all their oils for purity, otherwise you may be just trading a synthetic fragrance for another chemical filled product. No matter what your personal preferences, there are essential oils to suit your personality.
Essential oils were some of the first perfumes, synthetics have only been around the past 100 years or so, with Chanel No. 5 being the first mass-produced synthetic perfume. Real perfumes are out there and you can make your own. Purchasing a real perfume with real oils would be cost prohibitive to most, hundreds or thousands of dollars. Relying on cheap oils with potential additives or fillers is not wise either. Often additives in an oil will be the cause of irritation on skin, something many perceive as the oil being the culprit. Tainted oils may cause many symptoms including dizziness, nausea, headache and even heart palpitations so be careful when selecting your brand. I only buy essential oils from companies who test their purity and potency. Ideally a company will grow their own plant material, distill it on their farms and package them with complete quality control from seed to finished product. I only use essential oils that are certified safe enough to ingest, so pure they are certified as Food Additives.
When you do it yourself, start with just a couple of oils. You can use many essential oils directly on the skin if they are therapeutic grade with just a few things in mind. When you have a quality oil with nothing added and nothing taken away you’ll be more pleased with the results. A pure essential oil will last forever unlike an oil with synthetics that will break down over time. You can always test a small area on the inside of your elbow or forearm to see if you are sensitive, any response would be apparent within an hour. Avoid applying citrus oils to skin exposed to the sun within 24 hours because they increase your sensitivity and you may burn. Here are some basic suggestions to help you find a scent you like.
Earthy Cistus (Rose of Sharon), frankincense, myrrh, onycha, patchouli, spikenard & vetiver. Tree oils ground your emotions, they can be earthy or woodsy depending on what they are blended with. My favorite earthy blend is (spruce, ylang ylang, balsam fir & cedarwood).
Citrus Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange & tangerine. A Citrus Blend is versatile.
Spicy Black pepper, cassia, clove, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.
Floral Geranium, jasmine, neroli, rose, ylang yang. Eau de”Joy” blend fits in the floral category.
Herbal Angelica, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, rosemary. a Tranquility Blend is an herbal blend of lavender, cedarwood and Roman chamomile.
Woodsy Cedarwood, juniper, pine, spruce, sandalwood. Inspiring Blends include essential oils of of cedarwood, spruce, rosewood, myrtle, sandlewood, frankincense, spikenard and vetiver.
Complex oils contain many different essential oils, some more than 50 or 60! The result is an aroma full of character with definite top, middle and base notes like an expensive perfume. Creating blends is an art and takes time and practice using the best quality oils. If inferior oils or chemical additives are used, the quality of the overall blend will not be as pleasing as it could be. One of my favorite blends is an Awakening Blend, an amazing blend of over 25 different oils. The scent changes gently over time, reminding me of a fine wine. Watch for my next post, Essential Oils, the Fine Wines of Personal Care.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. For medical treatment, see your doctor.