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Odours - the nice, the not so nice and the ones you should avoid. 

Odours are a natural part of our life; we are constantly surrounded by either pleasant smells or not so great ones. 
Some odours attract us, and some will provoke a memory or bursts of emotions.
Whenever I smell the salty beach air, it takes me back to my sun-washed childhood in a city by the sea. I can even feel the warmth of the sand between my toes and the sweetness of the watermelon we used to bring with us as a snack. That smell always brings feelings of calm and happiness. And I am not alone! So many of us have had experiences where a particular smell, perhaps freshly baked bread, the musty and woodsy smell of the forest or a freshly brewed cup of coffee, floods our brain with memories of a specific event or location that we associate clearly with certain emotions.

On the other hand, some odours repulse us. Some bring us bad memories, and some we're just happy to hide. For example, I can't stand the smell of heavy sweat; it takes me right back to a long and crowded bus ride in the peak summer heat when I need to breathe through the fabric of my t-shirt.
No wonder I've ended up making deodorants for a living :)

We don't enjoy certain smells. Like the smells from your bathroom, bins, kitchen, stuffy rooms, shoes and even our car…
So, how can we make those bad smells go away quickly and effectively?

There are two approaches, the conventional one, and the natural one.

The conventional approach is masking the smells with mass-produced household items like air fresheners, candles and diffusers.   
The aromas we smell from those items are fake, synthetic scents made in a lab from manmade chemicals. Synthetic aromas and products are getting more and more known to have many negative side effects on health.

The natural approach is to neutralise the odour using the right amount of essential oils made out of raw materials and have natural anti-bacterial properties. The essential oils not only smell nice, but they also cleanse the air and eliminate unwanted smells, not just mask it. That air left behind is pleasant, healthy to breathe and doesn't affect the health and quality of our environment. 

The problem is that there are so many aromatic products on the market. So which ones are the best to choose from?

Check the labels

Like many of us who check the ingredients on the back of food labels, we need to do the same in every scented household and cosmetic product.
If the label is filled with names you can't pronounce, like Phthalates, Benzisothiazolinone and Dialkyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, chuck them out; they might be hazardous and toxic.

For example, Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in hundreds of products, such as toys, vinyl flooring, wall covering, detergents, lubricating oils, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, blood bags and tubing, and personal care products, such as nail polish, hair sprays, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfumes and other fragrance preparations. Each of us is exposed daily to Phthalates from many sources, including the air, drugs, food, plastic, water, and cosmetics.
Unfortunately, Phthalates are powerful endocrine disruptors implicated in several wide-ranging health issues, including certain cancers, asthma, obesity, male fertility issues and birth defects.

How to avoid exposure to Phthalates?

You can check the ingredients online or use an app like the "Chemical Maze”, which reveals how certain food and cosmetic ingredients can really damage our health.
And yes, it's true- natural ingredients have complicated botanical names that many people are unfamiliar with but will always have their common name written next to them - like Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba Oil).

Check the name

Look for the word "essential oils”. Be careful if the label lists words like “fragrance oils”.

So what's the difference between fragrance oils and essential oils?

The main difference between fragrance oils and essential oils is that fragrance oils are manufactured in a lab and contain undisclosed synthetic chemicals created to try and mimic nature. Unlike essential oils, they have no healing powers, and they are used in various products just for scenting purposes. On the other hand, essential oils are derived from real plants. They are most commonly used in Aromatherapy - the healing practice of using natural essential oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being, and in natural products for their health properties and beautiful aroma. 
Unfortunately, some products containing synthetic fragrances are labelled "Aromatherapy" or "Natural", which, unfortunately, misleads people unfamiliar with the science and, therefore, may cause serious health issues.

Check the price

Many companies use synthetic fragrances because they are cheap and can offer unique scents like popcorn and caramel, raspberries and cream or even figs and melon. However, these scents don't exist in nature, as we cannot yet derive a scent from most fruits (except for citrus). So if a product lists those kinds of scents, that should tell you that they contain cheap, synthetic fragrances and ingredients. Products containing real natural fragrances will be more expensive as they are costly to extract. For example, it takes 10,000 roses to fill a single 5ml bottle of Rose Essential Oil. So if you paid $18 for a 50ml bottle of rose perfume, it’s probably not the real deal.

So, the next time you buy products like deodorants, lotions, bath salts, air fresheners etc., that claims to be ‘natural’, check the ingredients carefully!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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