What’s in a scent? Does it come from nature, or is in synthetic, and does it even matter? As a Certified Aromatherapist, I take this question very seriously. Why? Because if a scent is derived from a plant, it is natural. Not to say you might not have a reaction to something natural, but the odds are less than a manufactured scent that may be derived from petrochemicals. In fact, 95% of synthetic fragrance comes from petrochemicals which include toxins capable of causing at the very least allergic reactions, at most birth defects and cancer, and other serious disease.
One of the things that really scares me is that you, informed consumer, may not be aware of these damaging chemicals because they do not have to be included on the label due to ‘secret recipes’. Even worse, some detergents and so on can be labelled ‘fragrance-free’, but actually have been treated to cover up the smell of the initial product. Back to essential oils for a moment: these plant extracts have been used for centuries for their therapeutic value, and of course, the fact that they smell nice. Lavender has proven its mettle as a skin healing oil for centuries. Frankincense has been known to quiet the mind since…well, who knows exactly when, but it is certainly an oil that goes back to biblical times. Myrrh has been used to help strengthen gums and as a preservative, and both myrrh and frankincense were highly prized gifts to Jesus from the magi. Essential oils have stood the test of time, and we have a wealth of information about their uses and safety precautions. More details can be found at the following links, as the length of this article only skims the surface:
©2017 Heather Garrod is a Certified Aromatherapist and owner of Planet Botanix at 301 Bank St in Centretown. She gives how-to workshops on making natural products for the body and has been creating natural bodycare for over eighteen years. The shop offers natural alternatives to commercial products and features a holistic therapy clinic.