Essential Oils–a Safe Alternative to Scents

May 27th, 2011 by

We were visited by Pepe Le Pewe at our house today.  Unfortunately Mrs. Skunk decided our barn would be a wonderful place to birth her litter of stink bombs.  Our dutiful dog, however, had other plans for Madame Smelly, and his challenge of her agenda triggered a release of “scentsationalism”!  OiY!! 

Anyway, the fragrance that is now wafting over our ranch got me to thinking about the other times I have been “overcome” by my olfactory system.  Most of those times involve chemicals….the cleaning aisle at Walmart, paint fumes at the auto body shop, and who can forget Sister So-n-so’s perfume in church?!  I don’t like any of these smells, but other than a mild headache, I’ll eventually get over them.  Some of my clients, however, aren’t as blessed.  Individuals with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) can literally become bedridden for weeks just by making one trip to their local department store.  Church events become things of the past as one whiff of incense sets off an asthma attack.  Theatres, concerts, and parties cannot be tolerated due to chemical smells in shampoo, deodorant, and cologne residues.

I often wonder, has our incessive need for personal hygiene added to the growing problem of MCS?  Not that I’m advocating the degredation of cleanliness, but it seems to me that fragrance is added to everything from laundry soap to shampoo to garbage can liners!  The majority of these fragrances are petroleum based.  Petroleum is a common sensitivity in many individuals and can cause symptoms such as headaches, nausea, skin rashes, itching, hives, post nasal drip, asthma, and many others.  

So, other than offending those around you with an “all-natural” odor, what can be done to safely deal with fragrances?  Well, I propose first of all that people go with the CLEAN smell!  Instead of using scented fabric softener, how about hanging clothes on the line for that wonderful “sun-dried” smell?  Or, try rinsing out dishes as you use them instead of letting them sit in the sink for days to develop the nasty odor of sour milk!  Practicing pro-active habits could help cut down on the use of unnessecary fragrance.

That being said, it is nice to catch a hint of soft fragrance now and then.  It is especially nice in the form of an essential oil.  Peppermint, for example, makes an excellent breath freshener.  Citrus oils compliment the fresh smell of clean in kitchens and bathrooms.  Soft flower essences gently tickle the air in bedrooms.  Experimenting with essential oil scents that work in your home is not only fun, but can be done without the detrimental side effects of air fresheners! 

Currently I am using Wild Orange in our home.  It sure beats ala Skunk!!

1 Comment

One Response to Essential Oils–a Safe Alternative to Scents

  1. Deb Kile says:

    Funny story!! I’m afraid our dog wouldn’t be wise enough to leave the ‘stink bomb’ alone either. Thanks for the info on essential oils! :)

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