Fragrance Notes

Wouldn't you rather smell roses rather than a chemical concoction?
Wouldn’t you rather smell roses rather than a chemical concoction?
I’ve noticed something interesting lately. People have become totally hooked on fragrances. It’s like they are trying to hide all of the natural smells in their world: cooking smells, body smells, bathroom smells, etc. OK, some smells need to be hidden. But the fragrance industry has hoodwinked far too many of us into believing that we should be using their products to mask all other odors. Wouldn’t you rather smell roses than some chemical concoction? Especially when they don’t want to tell you what’s in it?

It’s really funny some of the answers I’ve received over the years. Comments about using fragrances. Comments about not choosing more natural products.

  • I really like my clothes to have that smell.
  • That shampoo doesn’t get my hair clean.
  • That’s too bad if my perfume bothers you, I like this seat. (On a bus when the perfume wearer sat down AFTER the offended party. And the one with the allergy had to virtually climb over her to find a new seat.)
  • I have a right to wear perfume. They’re taking away enough of my rights as it is.

FACT: Febreze didn’t really sell until after they added a chemical fragrance to it.

FACT: You can get fresh, clean-smelling laundry without any fragrance chemicals. And you don’t need a clothesline and a sunny day either.

FACT: Hair can be clean without being “squeaky clean?” That’s just some advertising hype.

FACT: Your ‘right’ to wear perfume ends at the edge of the other person’s air space.

The fragrance industry seems to be as pervasive as sugar nowadays. Did you know that:

  • Retailers and hotels now can have a ‘signature scent’ that wafts through their facilities?
  • Even restaurants now have ‘signature scents’ that smell like food? Things like: cinnamon buns or bacon.
  • It’s easier to find a scented version of a product than one without an added fragrance?
  • There are ‘masking fragrances’ whose job it is to hide the chemical smells of products?

The sad truth is that perfumes and fragrances are really just more chemicals. So when they use a masking fragrance they’re just adding more chemicals. Like the printer’s office I visited once that had two (2!) plugins in their lobby to counteract the smells from the copy machines.

My questions: Why do so many people choose to remain ignorant about fragrances and air fresheners? It seems whenever I mention them in the title of a blog post, few people even read it. Is it that ignorance is bliss? Is it that people trust the fragrance industry? Is it that people trust the FDA and the government to protect them? Or do people just not want to trouble themselves with finding more natural options?

I have heard some say, whether it is in response to fragrance chemicals or toxins in their food, “Well, we have to die from something.” Seriously? People would rather die from cancer than from old age? Have you ever watched anyone die from cancer? I have, and it is not the way I would choose to go!

What are your thoughts on this? Wouldn’t you rather smell roses rather than a chemical concoction?
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I'm now an author and publisher. I write a blog over at And I have a book published - “Lessons of an Opening Heart."
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