Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

How to Seduce With Smell

...Without the Side Effects

Each and every day we are bombarded with a medley of scents and smells.  Smell is an incredible human sense that helps us to navigate the world.  It can fill us with wonder, make our mouths water and our minds dream. Have you ever considered the subjectivity of smells? Do you think we all experience smell in the same way? Have you ever considered how smells affect our health? One smell that to you might be a joy, to someone else could easily be the signal and source of distress, headache and physical discomfort.

It is true that exposure to certain perfumes, musks and fragrances can indeed aggravate the body’s natural harmony.  Thousands of chemicals are used to make fragrant products, some that have yet to even be well tested or regulated.  *’U.S. researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.’ A percentage of the population clearly demonstrates adverse side effects to fragrant chemicals that are not only potentially harmful to human health but to our natural environment. The term  ‘hyperosmia’ refers to those who have an extremely strong sense of smell.  Although some people have a more heightened sense of smell and may be especially sensitive to various scents, even the most average nose can experience sensitivities.

Imagine a day in the life of a sensitive nose:  after rolling out of bed to the smell of freshly brewed coffee or herbal tea, sliding on a stick of lavender natural deodorant, and inhaling minty freshness while brushing your teeth, you walk outside your door into a store, onto the bus, go into your office and happen to be next to someone who is wearing far too much cologne or perfume. Your eyes begin to water and your nose begins to tickle.  Several sneezes shoot out. Your head begins to swirl and pound.  Your breathing becomes a bit heavier and your stomach churns. What happened to make you so sensitive?  The answer may be hidden in perfume alchemy.

Beauty sometimes comes with the price of compromise but it doesn’t have to.  Read the labels on your perfumes and scented products and do a bit of research to understand what they mean. Don’t assume that just because it smells good that it is good for you, or for those around you. ‘For example, diethyl phthalate (prounced tha-late), or DEP, is widely used in cosmetic fragrances to make the scent linger.[…]However, the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption [has found] evidence that it interferes with hormone function.’ This is not something you want to put on your skin daily.

We all like to smell delicious but compromising our health is just not worth it. Natural perfumes and fragrances can easily seduce without the nasty side effects.


Try This At Home

All-Natural Perfume Recipe

Stick to essential oils diluted with water or if you are savvy, here is an all-natural perfume recipe that you can try for yourself at home!

  • 15 ml perfume alcohol or jojoba
  • 15 drops black tea
  • 10 drops vanilla
  • 8 drops cognac
  • 12 drops rose absolute
  • 2 drops champa
  • 2 drops ginger
  • 8 drops blood orange
  • 3 drops pink grapefruit
  • Mix ingredients together in a glass jar, and store in a cool dark place
    Apply and voila!

Recipe by Mandy Aftel, a natural perfume connoisseur and entrepreneurial genius www.aftelier.com and pick up her book: Essence and Alchemy: A Book of Perfume.



Marni Wasserman is a culinary nutritionist in Toronto whose philosophy stems around whole foods. For more information please visit her website marniwasserman.com