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Do Scents Make Sense? Part 1

Updated on December 13, 2014

Breathe deeply... mmmm...

Rain-washed air. The bread Mom's taking out of the oven. New-mown grass. Spicy cinnamon. Sweet-smelling lilacs. Freshly brewed coffee. The fragrance of honeysuckle. Sizzling bacon. Jasmine's heady perfume. Popping popcorn. A bouquet of roses. Roasting chicken. Summer barbecue. The sense of smell is truly a gift to be treasured. So much so that when a lovely aroma is missing, people scramble to create a facsimile. Or if something smells bad, they create a new, pleasant smell to cover up the bad one.

It's really amazing that scientists can reproduce scents so amazingly well. But at what cost? Who pays the price?

photo courtesy of oksidor and Creative Commons 2.0

What is YOUR favorite scent?

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    • BodyHairRemoval profile image

      BodyHairRemoval 3 years ago

      Coffee, bacon, garlic, really anything involving food. lol

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Sweet scented English violets

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      That's a tough one. Fresh lilacs on the bush, perhaps. Or sweet English violets just picked.

    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 3 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      Hard to say just one. Natural vanilla extract, cinnamon, an ocean breeze. The one thing I can't tolerate because it produces nasal congestion and breathing problems are any artificial fragrances, perfumes, room deodorizers, laundry products. "It's really amazing that scientists can reproduce scents so amazingly well. But at what cost? Who pays the price?"....me and millions more.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      Honeysuckle!

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Lemon

    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      Vanilla and Lavender are my favorites plus I have incense called Nag Champa that really smells delicious!

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      Northern California's coastal redwood forests.

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      The sea, a forest on a rainy day, flowers on a hot summer's evening...

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      carnations - i've loved the scent since childhood. As a young teen Mom showed a group I was in how to make handmade paper flowers

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Coffee is my favorite and vanilla - cinnamon are equally placed for silver metal.

    • Carashops profile image

      Cara 4 years ago

      I love vanilla. I'm even drawn to perfume that has undertones of vanilla.

    • profile image

      ChroniclesofaWa 4 years ago

      Vanilla and coffee. :)

    • profile image

      Toy-Tester 4 years ago

      Anything that hasn't been created in laboratory and deadly to your health.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      The smell of clothes fresh off the clothesline.

    • profile image

      applejacking 4 years ago

      Blooming rose in my small potted window garden. hmmmmmmm, full of peach

    • BlogsWriter profile image

      BlogsWriter 4 years ago

      I love the aroma of wet mud from fresh rain, nothing can beat it.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 4 years ago

      Anything at all that I can smell...I lost most of my sense of smell several years ago. Occasionally it comes back, I love those days:-)

    • zumbawjade profile image

      zumbawjade 4 years ago

      Warm vanilla sugar AND the smell of my homemade laundry detergent (I think it's the borax that gives it the great smell!)

    • profile image

      nifwlseirff 4 years ago

      Lavender, vanilla, citrus and the woods (sandalwood, cedar, etc). All real, non-synthetic though please!

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 4 years ago

      I don't have a sense of smell. :O

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      Lilac, lilies, lemon

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Orange blossoms and lilacs.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I love the smell of fresh coffee, the smell of the rain on a hot day...just to name a few!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Chocolate!

    • profile image

      games_rush 4 years ago

      Soo many of them..roses, ocean air...

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

      Jasmine! A big white bush I can take out a chair and sit under.

    • Cinnamonbite profile image

      Cinnamonbite 5 years ago

      Hot roses. It has to be a hot day and then I love to smell the roses in gardens! Something about the heat just brings out the scent.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      freshly mowed grass, hot cocoa, and the ocean air.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 5 years ago

      So many! Lilacs, coffee, the grass just after it's been mowed and oranges to name a few :)

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      The fresh scent of clothes just taken off the clothesline.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Baking cookies!

    • Oneshotvariety LM profile image

      Oneshotvariety LM 5 years ago

      The smell of fresh air for sure! Great lens! :]

    • whats4dinner profile image

      whats4dinner 5 years ago

      I love the smell of cinnamon i try to put it on most dishes and beverages!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image
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      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      @ajgodinho: Ooh... me, too! ;)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Many to name, but coffee is one of them :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The smell of the air after the first drops of the summer rains! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love a lot of natural scents like a campfire, pines, earth, flowers and sweet grass.

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Lavender

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      I like sandalwood, it is really nice and smooth.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I like vanilla, especially for candles. Otherwise, I don't like using lots of sprays or scents around the house.

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      vanilla

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      cinnamon and spices

    • bechand profile image

      bechand 5 years ago

      Christmas cookie

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

      blood orange

    • Leilani-m profile image

      Leilani-m 5 years ago

      Lilac and jasmin :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      Vanilla :)

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      There are a few, depending on the circumstances. I really love the smell of lemongrass.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 5 years ago from Texas

      oooops, make that fresh cut grass.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 5 years ago from Texas

      Freshly gut grass in the yard.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      This is a hard one. I've always had a good sense of smell. I'll say a fresh baked apple pie.

    • profile image

      Organic-Squidster 5 years ago

      I like citrus scents - lemon, lime, orange

    • lychic profile image

      lychic 5 years ago

      natural flower smell!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The scent of blackberries. :-) If I ever managed to find a perfume that smells of fresh, ripe blackberries, I wouldn't use anything else ever.

    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 5 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      cinnamon

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      Light floral, like Lilly of the Valley

    How much do we love Grandma?

    Most of the time I was growing up, there were things that made my mom sick. One of the worst offenders was perfume. Little did we know - little did anyone know - that she had lupus, which manifests itself in different ways. For mom, it made her particularly sensitive to fragrances. Some natural scents bothered her, but practically all chemical scents made her very ill. By the time I was grown and had a child of my own, she had been diagnosed and had to avoid most public places for fear of a fragrance "attacking" her at any moment.

    That was so hard for her! What was even harder? Having to tell her children and grandchildren that if they wanted to visit her, they couldn't wear any scented products. What?!? The realization of what that meant was hard for us to accept. Our cologne, perfume, aftershave, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, laundry detergent, fabric softener, and on and on and on - gone! Replaced with what? Fragrance-free products were extremely difficult to find. How would we manage?

    But common sense and love won out. What did we love the most - smelling good? or being with Grandma? Grandma won, hands down. And our fragrance-free life began.

    Photo courtesy of Samyra Serin and Creative Commons 2.0
    Photo courtesy of Samyra Serin and Creative Commons 2.0

    Unscented? Fragrance-Free? Hypo-Allergenic? Organic?

    Back then, there were hardly any of these options to be found in the typical grocery store. But now, these designations are found nearly everywhere. Do they all mean the same thing? If they're different, HOW are they different? And how do I choose the right product?

    I found a beautifully written article that simply cannot be improved upon. It's called "Why Do Unscented Products Have a Scent? Translating the Difference Between Fragrance-Free and Unscented." Here's a short excerpt:

    Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and unscented products abound in the market place. But why the different terms? After all, if there is no scent, shouldn't it be considered unscented? Not necessarily. . .

    . . . Whether it is a specialty market or grocery store, consumers will find hundreds of products marketed to those with sensitive skin, each carrying its own specific term. How does the savvy consumer choose between products listed as fragrance-free, unscented, hypoallergenic or simply marketed for sensitive skin? What do all these terms, which sound so similar, really mean?

    Read this article for a clear and complete explanation of a very complicated subject. :)

    Courtesy of 19melissa68 and Creative Commons 2.0
    Courtesy of 19melissa68 and Creative Commons 2.0

    Attacked at the grocery store!

    Why did we get headaches almost every time we went to Safeway? I never really analyzed it, until we started shopping for fragrance-free products. Doing that, ironically, forced us to spend more time in the detergent aisle - more time in the aisle where you buy hair care and bathing products, searching for products that would not bother my mom. More time reading labels, opening and smelling products to see if they would be offensive. My goodness...the chemicals used to create these "wonderful" scents gave us serious headaches. I really began to appreciate at last what my poor mother had been going through for so long.

    Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergents

    Everybody needs clean clothes. But if you can't find detergents that don't make you sick, you're in trouble. Fortunately, there are a lot more detergents available now than when we started searching for fragrance-free products.

    Fragrance-Free Fabric Softeners

    NOTE: The second product below is not a fabric softener. It's a product I'd never heard of, and I include it because it sounds like it could save you a fortune at the dry cleaners. On the product page, scroll down to the first customer's comment. It's a comprehensive article written by a person who has worked in the dry cleaning industry. There are LOTS of money-saving tips there, and fascinating reading! Take a look!

    Clean, fresh laundry that smells like . . . nothing! - The smell of just CLEAN is wonderful!

    Photo Credit: mysza831 via Compfight cc
    Photo Credit: mysza831 via Compfight cc



    So you have done your laundry with unscented products. It's fresh, it's wonderful, and has no scent but CLEAN. Wonderful!

    Now what? You clothes are wonderfully unscented, but what about YOU? How do you wash yourself, your hair? Can you use deodorant? We all want to be clean!!! How can we do it . . . unscented???

    Join us on "Do Scents Make Sense? Part 2."

    Attacked in the mall!

    I love to shop. You, too?

    I get very excited when I get a sales flyer from an expensive department store offering unbelievable bargains. I make up a shopping list, and I can't wait to get started.

    I head to the mall, park my car, and enter the huge complex. Scores of stores of every kind, all competing for my attention. It's fun! I start walking toward my destination at the far end of the mall, either chatting with friends or looking around at all the displays, humming to myself in anticipation. There's my store! I walk in cheerfully, and BANG! I walk straight into a brick wall of scent. It's the perfume counter, which the store, in its infinite wisdom, puts right in the front of every shopper as they enter. All right, it's not a brick wall. But it may as well be, because it knocks me for a loop. I stand there, sometimes in pain, but always dazed, because I can no longer remember why I came. Disoriented and foggy-headed, I wander around. Sometimes my list helps, sometimes I endure it long enough to look around a little, but for the most part, the store has lost a customer who probably would have spent more money than she should have.

    courtesy of x-ray delta one and Creative Commons 2.0
    courtesy of x-ray delta one and Creative Commons 2.0

    Attacked in the mail!

    I've been going to the post office to pick up the mail since I was a little girl. It's never been a dangerous experience. But one day, as I pulled out the envelopes, cards and magazines, I was assaulted by a powerful smell. The same strong smell I had run into at the mall, only concentrated. Puzzled, I drove home. The smell filled the whole car, and came with me as I carried my mail into the house. This wasn't just a case of disorientation, this was becoming pain. I couldn't think, I could only hold my head and moan. What WAS it?

    I scrabbled through the mail, discarding one piece after another as fast as I could. Nothing. Nothing but this glossy ladies' magazine I had been looking forward to receiving ever since I decided to subscribe. I turned the pages rapidly, hardly noticing all the eye-catching ads and fascinating articles. There! A nice "gift" for me - a sample of an expensive perfume. All I had to do was to peel back the folded page and breathe in the wonderful aroma. Breathe it in?!??? It was killing me! I couldn't just rip the page out - the whole magazine smelled the same, and sadly, so did my mail - letters, bills, and other things I needed to handle. I raced outside to the garbage can and dumped the offending magazine in. The rest of the mail? I had to put it outside. I couldn't deal with it. It would have to wait until my husband got home. In the meantime, I had to try to scrub the painful smell off my hands. Did you know that you can't just wash perfume off?

    Unfortunately, my husband was affected almost as badly as I was. So was my daughter. It was awful. And it kept happening month after month. I canceled my subscription, but it must have taken four months for that stinky magazine to stop coming. Every time was migraine time.

    Perfume Samples... good idea?

    Should publishers put perfume samples in their magazines?

    Yes! I want to know about the new products! Besides, it smells great!

    Yes! I want to know about the new products! Besides, it smells great!

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      • othellos 4 years ago

        It adds to the picture or article a missing sense. The smell.

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        Yes, I understand it's a marketing strategy and it hardly ever brothers me.

      • MissRubyStars 4 years ago

        I like the free sample

      • getmoreinfo 4 years ago

        I like the scents they are great

      • Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

        I love them, but it would be great if they could do it with sealed foil packets so those who react badly to the perfumes still could read the magazines, but unfortunately that would be cost-prohibitive...

      • whats4dinner 5 years ago

        Yes! I find that you get to know what is new in the market.

      • pacrapacma lm 5 years ago

        I personally like them. I don't get out and shop much, so it's fun for me to smell some perfumes without being at a sales counter. It reminds me of the fancy magazines my grandma always had around when I was young and visiting her house. I don't wear perfume much or enjoy too much scent in candles, air freshners, or detergent. I hadn't thought about how the perfume in magazines could make people have migranes. I think it's a fun part of the magazines that many people like and expect, so I think they should continue the tradition of perfume. Maybe they could find a way to seal it up better.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Yes and why not!?

      • intermarks 5 years ago

        I don't mind if they put something smell nice in the magazine but not the strong smell, it will definitely make my room or house full of the smell.

      • Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

        yes, I enjoy them.

      Not if they want my business! Those perfumes make me physically ill!

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        • Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

          No! I hate them and stopped subscribing to magazines in part because they smell up the whole house with those awful chemical scents.

        • Judy Filarecki 3 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

          NOOOO!

        • Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

          I love when I get a perfume sample in one of my magazines, but I never thought of those who might be allergic or sensitive to it! So maybe its not such a great idea!

        • Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

          Nope! I have seen just how badly some individuals react.

        • guinevereglass 3 years ago

          I read digital editions now... perfume is a no-no for chronic daily headache!

        • Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

          I am not a big fan of perfume at all! I always get a head ache when I smell it. The sense is so dominating! So please no samples for me :)

        • TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

          They do make me ill, so I would prefer to avoid them.

        • lesliesinclair 4 years ago

          I, too, find these offensive, especially as the years accumulate - such a blessing! I've gotten so that I avoid all chemical smells possible, and that includes walking through the fragrance sections of most large stores.

        • Irrevocable 4 years ago

          I do not like scented anything - whether its perfume or laundry detergent - it makes me feel sick.

        • irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

          I have never seen that here in Sweden!

        • vegetablegardenh 5 years ago

          Nope!

        • norma-holt 5 years ago

          No, not if they want people like me to read them.

        • Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          I personally have not problem with it, but can understand people who may have a problem with it. I wouldn't miss it if it was not included.

        • anonymous 5 years ago

          NO!

        • Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

          It doesn't bother me but I sure can empathize with those it does

        • bechand 5 years ago

          nope - hate them

        • Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

          No, they shouldn't. I cannot even read a magazine that has had them removed. The smell still lingers there and makes my head hurt. It will cause me to cancel a subscription.

        • Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

          Gosh I hate those scent samples. They are overly strong and smell like they are blended with cardboard. It's enough to knock your socks off.

        • NorDac LM 5 years ago

          How can you not love picking up a magazine, having a bunch of samplers fall on the floor which you now have to pick up. Now when ever you put your hand near your face you get a headache. What's not to love?

        • Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

          I have never bought a magazine subscription of that sort but I do know that some perfumes are very powerful and I would not want my mail to smell like that.

        • Judy Filarecki 5 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

          Headaches and wheezing make my not want to buy aything.

        • Judy Filarecki 5 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

          No. I have the same reaction as you...head aches, wheezing, my nose stuffs up and I really feel lousy.

        Fragrance-Free Lotions

        How about skin care? For a long time, fragrance-free skin products were few and far between. Now, there are many excellent options available. Thank goodness.

        Best Fragrance-Free Baby Products at AMAZON

        Okay, if these scent-producing chemicals are not good for me, how could they possibly be good for my children? For my BABY? Now there are products that can ease your mind on that score.

        Miscellaneous Fragrance-Free Products at AMAZON

        There are some products that just don't quite fit into a category - you'll find them here. :)

        Courtesy of patries71 and Creative Commons 2.0
        Courtesy of patries71 and Creative Commons 2.0

        Complainers or Canaries?

        I used to wonder why some people always seemed to complain that fragrances bothered them. Those same things didn't bother me or most of the people I knew, so why all the complaining?

        Later, I developed some of the same symptoms as those complainers. Funny how your viewpoint can change when something affects you personally. Maybe we're not complainers. Maybe we're canaries.

        I heard a story about canaries. It seems that coal miners used to take canaries with them into the mine. Why? They used them as an early warning system. If carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide were present in a mine, the birds would die before the miners were affected. The canaries, who sang a lot of the time, would become silent just before they died. That silence alerted the miners to the danger, and they would hurry out of the mine. Those canaries saved their lives.

        Nowadays, a person or a thing that serves as an early warning is referred to as a "canary in a coal mine." Those of us who are seriously affected by chemical or environmental dangers NOW, may be serving as a warning to the rest of you that danger lies ahead. Think about it.

        So, what do you think...

        ...are we complainers or canaries?

        Some people will always complain about something. I think it's all in their head.

        Some people will always complain about something. I think it's all in their head.

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          • getmoreinfo 4 years ago

            It depends on how strong the fragrance is, sometimes it is too much for the senses.

          • irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

            I hope I am not too much of a canary

          • whats4dinner 5 years ago

            There will always be haters!

          • hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

            well, i think scents do bother (or more) some sensitive folks, but i think some might be making a bigger deal than necessary... i'm hypersensitive to light, sound and smell, but i can usually avoid what bugs me.

          • lychic 5 years ago

            I am fine with it. But I don't read much magazines anyway cause too much Ad.

          Maybe there's really a danger here. It's worth looking into.

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            • Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

              Canaries, absolutely.

            • Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

              @Judy Filarecki: Good for you! It's complainers that help warn the rest of the world about the dangers around us. :)

            • Judy Filarecki 3 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

              I sing with an international chorus and the rules are "No fragrances." Unfortunately, the rule is not always applied or the fragrance is imbedded in their clothes. Put me near a person with a fragance and I no longer can sing within about 5 minutes because of congestion, irritated vocal cords and coughing. I guess I'm a complainer.

            • Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

              My experience is that where there is a reaction there is danger.

            • Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

              As long as we don't know it all we certainly are no complainers. Some people (me included) are really sensitive to all the dangers you describe. Always take it serious. By the way, I never complain about it, but I do tell people to be careful ;-)

            • TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

              I think each person should decide what they want or don't want - what needs to be stopped is deception about safety and ingredients in products. Consumers who need to or want to avoid something need to be able to easily do so.

            • lesliesinclair 4 years ago

              It seems like we more resemble canaries until our own health awareness pops up as a result of some health crisis - ours or that of someone close to us - and then our noses are literally opened.

            • Toy-Tester 4 years ago

              Toxic chemicals being applied to largest organ

            • anonymous 4 years ago

              I would have sympathy for those who do have a health issues also.

            • Tea Pixie 4 years ago

              Always worth taking the time to look deeper. If you react to anything, it's beneficial to figure out what is worth avoiding - be it a compound or natural product.

            • Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

              My husband is allergic to perfumes and he'll sneeze himself to death when someone is in the car after putting on after shave lotion.

            • Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

              Dear skiesgreen, please don't suffer in silence. There are many compassionate people who would never willingly hurt you. For their sake and for your own, let people know what causes you pain. Let them show you that they care. :)

            • norma-holt 5 years ago

              As one allergic to chemicals I am a canary. I rarely complain but suffer in silence.

            • Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

              Difficult to say being on the other side of the fence, but I would definitely try and sympathize with those who do have a real issue.

            • anonymous 5 years ago

              Complaining canaries...use your voice! If some get sick, all are at some risk.

            • intermarks 5 years ago

              Should be canaries, we should aware any danger before it come near us. Prevention is better than cure.

            • Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

              Definitely canaries

            • Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

              Canary! Squawk...

            • Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

              While it is true that some people will always complain about something, there is a very real danger to some people and we should try to accommodate them.

            • Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

              If you are sensitive, you have to complain.

            • Harshitha LM 5 years ago

              I know what you went through because I have had similar experiences.

            Do Scents Make Sense? - All the Links!

            There are so many areas in which we need to find unscented products - far too many for one lens. So I've created a series of "Do Scents Make Sense?" lenses to help you find exactly what you're looking for. I hope you find it helpful. :)

            What do you think about the whole "scent" issue? - What do you think of the lens?

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              • ecogranny profile image

                Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

                Many scents give me an instant headache. If I'm exposed for too long, it can morph into a great deal more pain and a day or two of suffering. I scoot fast past stores that have strong perfume scents, such as that popular lingerie chain, bath and body boutiques and the like. Even furniture and fabric stores can give me quite a headache. Like you, we have a family member who can become quite ill from a huge variety of scents and other allergens. We use only products he vouches are safe for him. We do not want to be the reason he ends up in the emergency room!

              • Johanna Eisler profile image
                Author

                Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

                @Judy Filarecki: So nice to find a kindred spirit! :)

              • Judy Filarecki profile image

                Judy Filarecki 3 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

                I think this is the third time Ive read this article and find new things we have in common every time I read it. I appreciate that other people love and tolerate scents, but for me it is just like second-hand cigarette smoke. It produces all sorts of health problems that last from hours to days.

              • Zeross4 profile image

                Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

                Great lens! I hadn't thought about it before but your lens brought a lot of light to the issue! I love my scents though, especially honeysuckle or lavender.

              • Johanna Eisler profile image
                Author

                Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

                @Lynn Klobuchar: For me, the offending flower is narcissus. My mom had the same problem. They're such innocent-looking, sweet-smelling flowers, that other people have a hard time understanding the problem. They would ask my mom, "But doesn't it smell GOOD?" Her reply, which echoes in my memory to this day, was always, "It smells like pain."

              • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

                Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

                Everyone needs to be aware of what they can tolerate! I love many scents -- natural of course -- but, for example, if I smell peonies I get a severe headache.

              • rob-hemphill profile image

                Rob Hemphill 3 years ago from Ireland

                You can't beat the scents of nature, they are so much more subtle than man-made ones.

              • smine27 profile image

                Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

                I used to love all kinds of scents, but now I prefer natural smells made only from plants.

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                Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

                @darkflowers: Yes. I wonder sometimes if people like that have a serious problem with their sense of smell. They walk around in a cloud of powerful scent and don't even seem aware of it. They leave an invisible but unmistakable trail of perfume behind them. For some of us, it's a trail of pain. They are not bad people, they just don't "get" it. Thank you so much for stopping by. :)

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                Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

                @TanoCalvenoa: Yes, I understand. Some people cannot fathom how something that doesn't bother them can make you sick. It's hard to be patient, but eventually most of them learn, as long as you continue to explain it to them kindly.

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                Johanna Eisler 3 years ago

                @SavioC: Thank you for your kind words. I'm glad you came.

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                lesliesinclair 4 years ago

                I became aware of the problems caused by wearing perfumes into the public spaces when my migraines were triggered by my first instances of working in offices where women wore scents that were noticeable from 30' away, and left traces in the elevators. Well researched article. Thanks.

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                Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

                I am very sensitive to scents and smells, some I can have, others make me really sick or give me a terrible headache. Natural smells are perfect, but when it comes to stuff like perfume, deodorant, and other not natural scents I can't cope with them. I have a neighbor (really sweet woman by the way) who uses lots of perfume. When she's been in the hallway you can smell her! A nightmare for me!

                I enjoyed your Lens, well done!

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                TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

                I feel sick with most perfumes, cleaners, shampoos, etc. I look for as mild of scents as possible. I have family members who seem to me to have no sense of smell, who will overload themselves with things like lotions that make me nauseated. It varies from person to person.

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                SavioC 4 years ago

                I like certain scents and then there are those which I absolutely detest. You have very well presented this lens. A good scent is something that soothes me. Some people wear such strong perfumes I wonder what on earth are they thinking.

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @lesliesinclair: Your story is a familiar one. I remember Mom needing to take care of some business in an insurance office where the agent wore incredibly strong perfume. She felt trapped and panicky, and got very sick. It was hard for her to even sit in a car where someone had previously worn perfume. The "fragrance" really lingers!

                Another time my husband and I were enjoying a leisurely breakfast in a new restaurant. A waitress, late for work, hurried in - surrounded by a cloud of the strongest perfume we had ever smelled. We looked at each other, got up, quickly paid the bill and hurried outside. Once there, we gulped the fresh air - because whatever she was wearing had made it hard for us to breathe.

                It's sad, because many of the people who wear these scents no longer smell it, so they put on more and more. And more.

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @othellos: Thank you, othellos!

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                othellos 4 years ago

                Very nice investigated lens for a sense that gives meaning to a lot of things in life. Very interesting the way you moved around your topic. Thanks for sharing:=)

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                Treasures By Brenda 4 years ago from Canada

                Scent is an important issue; it must be very hard to live with this issue.

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                Bartukas 4 years ago

                I don't think that I have what kind of issue but still great lens

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                ChroniclesofaWa 4 years ago

                Thank you for sharing your story. I don't have problems with anything scented but I think it is very important to consider how others feel about them. :)

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                Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

                Scents make a big difference to those who are sensitive to them. I also suffer from an inflammatory based illness and some perfumes literally leave me breathless and running to get back to the safety of home. I spend most of the winter indoors.

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @Redneck Lady Luck: You have my sympathy. I have seen my mother suffer for days after one brief exposure to someone's perfume. To that person, it was a beautiful feeling to wear that perfume. But when they walked past my poor mom, from her perspective, it felt like a personal attack. It's so hard but so important for us to put ourselves in someone else's shoes.

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @anonymous: Thank you. :)

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                anonymous 4 years ago

                It is a sensitive issue and should be looked ino more.

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @nifwlseirff: You make a good point. It's been so many years since smoking was allowed in public places in my state that I had almost forgotten how bad it used to be. Once in a while, though, I'll be taken by surprise when that smoke hits me - and so do the headaches. For many people, like you, it's even worse.

                Thank you very much for your visit and your insightful comment! :)

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                nifwlseirff 4 years ago

                The perfume sections of the department stores are gag-worthy at times. I usually hold my breath or try to find a different entrance.

                But for me, the most dangerous 'scent' is actually cigarette smoke - it often triggers a strong asthma attack. Here, you are no longer allowed to smoke in shops and cafes, but smokers congregate around the entrances. It's dreadful!

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @Teapixie LM: Very thought-provoking...

                I remember now that one of my uncles had no sense of smell - also very little sense of taste. This was always amazing to me, because despite these things, he was a wonderful cook!

                Thank you so much for coming! :)

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                Tea Pixie 4 years ago

                Without a sense of smell, I have always laughed at the idea that people make their incomes from "aromatherapy." I think it's because I am continuously told how a certain scent is supposed to affect me, but I can't smell it and couldn't say that it affects me in any particular way. I think scents must stimulate psychological responses that are developed through repeated experiences associated with those scents. Because I can't smell things, I don't develop those associations.

                For people who have physical reactions to particular scent ingredients, it must be awful. That has nothing to do with the psychology, just the physiology.

                That's my guess. ;)

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                getmoreinfo 4 years ago

                This is a great topic and one that needs to be considered especially since some people have bad allergies

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                Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

                I think we have to be sensitive to people who are affected by this. As I grow older, some scents affect me, too.

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                LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

                Interesting lens. I remember going to a presentation given by a blind man. He was saying how awful it was going into pharmacies and places that had perfumes on display. As his sense of smell was heightened to counteract the lack of sight it was just a confusing mess to him, and not pleasant.

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @delia-delia: Me, too. Thank you so much for coming. I hope you only found refreshing scents here!

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                Delia 4 years ago

                Well it does make sense! Interesting lens! There will be those that are affected by certain smells or scents. I have Fibromyalgia and am very sensitive to smells/scents I can smell something a mile away, but it's not always good, because certain things, like cigarettes and some perfumes, sprays etc just make me ill and gives me a headache...

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                Sandy Mertens 4 years ago from Frozen Tundra

                Nice lens on scents.

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                Johanna Eisler 4 years ago

                @LaraineRoses: Thanks so much, angel. :)

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                Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

                Back again to refresh the SquidAngel blessing. This is a very important subject and you have given us a lot to think about!

              • mariaamoroso profile image

                irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

                Since I have a slight allergy towards scents and perfume, I have to be carefully when I wash my hair or body. But I love scents in other forms.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Cinnamonbite: I love scents, too. Some people have to avoid them altogether. Others can enjoy those not made from chemicals. Your soap-making sounds fascinating!

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                Cinnamonbite 5 years ago

                I love scents. I make my own soap just so I can dabble in mixing scents and creating new smells. It's a shame scents negatively effect people, but I enjoy the heady scented oils I work with and can't imagine living without them.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @betterhealth lm: I really appreciate your taking the time to read our story. :) And thank you so much for linking this lens to your very excellent and educational one!

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                betterhealth lm 5 years ago

                Thank you for relating the personal experiences of people with perfume and fragrance allergies. Their stories must be told. I have linked to you from my lens at http://www.squidoo.com/toxic-fragrances

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Margaret Schindel: Thank you so much! I love your idea about the samples in sealed foil... You know, the advertisers put so much money into the ads in that kind of magazine, they just MIGHT be able to afford some kind of packets. Wish they would look into it! :)

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                Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

                A well written, thought provoking lens with helpful product suggestions. Blessed!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @LaraineRoses: Thank you! I love to get input from my readers!

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                Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

                Back again. I like what you did with your guestbook module. Gives us a chance to have an interchange of ideas .. or ask more questions.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @GetFactsnotHype: Wow... I'm honored. :) I found the link to this lens on your very informative page. Thank you so much!

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                GetFactsnotHype 5 years ago

                This is the 2nd page of yours I added to yet another lens of mine. I added this to the related pages or related reading section on the right at https://hubpages.com/politics/green-beauty-product

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @JoshK47: LOL! I almost named this lens "Do Scents Make Sense--or just Cents?" Thank you for your comment. :)

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                JoshK47 5 years ago

                I think it makes perfect "scents"... and I really wish I could think of more smell puns... ;) Thanks for sharing!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @LaraineRoses: I'm not sure what you mean by "didn't take," Laraine. If you scroll down, you will see that your blessing was the second one I received! Thank you! And thank you for coming back - you're welcome any time. :)

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                Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

                I just returned to bless this very sens-itive lens. I thought that I had done that but ... I guess it didn't take. I hope that you and your family are well!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @whats4dinner: Thank you. :)

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                whats4dinner 5 years ago

                I love your scent lens! Loved the dual modules. Great job!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @sudokunut: What an intriguing comment! Doesn't it seem like the chemicals they put together to create scents in various products are what is really attacking us? Thank you so much SudokuNut, for your thought-provoking input!

              • sudokunut profile image

                Mark Falco 5 years ago from Reno, Nevada

                I have very little sense of smell, I can't tell the difference between rotten eggs and lavender, they all smell the same to me. Still, that said, if I walk into something like perfume store its quite painful even without smelling it and I can't wear aftershave. The whole smelly industry is lost on me. :)

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @norma-holt: Dear skiesgreen,

                I thank you for your praise and your blessing.

                Please, please don't suffer in silence. It's true, some people don't care if their fragrances bother you. But notice that many who have commented here, although they are not affected, would never want you to be in pain. Let them show their compassion by telling them what you're feeling. You might be surprised by their loving response.

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                norma-holt 5 years ago

                Nice subject to air for comments. Blessed

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @ajgodinho: Thank you, AJ, for your visit, your kindness, and your blessing. :)

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                Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

                Personally, I have no issue with scent whatsoever which I'm grateful for. But like you said, it's difficult to understand until you have to deal with it yourself. It's always good to be sensitive to people around you and act accordingly. Stay blessed! :)

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @anonymous: Thank you for being understanding and frank. I appreciate your honest comments. :)

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                anonymous 5 years ago

                I am an advocate for natural scents and perfumes, though I have no "scent" issues!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @anonymous: It's good to hear from someone who loves people who have to deal with this issue. You see their pain, you know how very real it is, and you are a wonderful support and advocate for them. You are a blessing to THEM! Thanks for helping others understand.

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                anonymous 5 years ago

                I don't really have scent issues but both my Mom and sister are terribly affected and regularly have to change products when their unscented or fragrance free products are altered. The only thing that is successful is avoidance. Most of us are unaware of how we may affect others by something we can't even smell because we are desensitized to all our products. Allergy products give some relief but fragrance sensitivity is really a chemical sensitivity I guess with no treatment other than to relieve symptoms and to avoid contact. Giving a fragrance free blessing!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @intermarks: I agree. :) Thank you for the compliment!

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                intermarks 5 years ago

                Man made fragrance might be will affect our health, so why not choose and use the natural fragrance? Nicely build lens!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Virginia Allain: Thank you, vallain, for your honest comments and your blessing! I'm so glad you visited here.

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                Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

                Very thought-provoking. I'm not especially sensitive to scents, but do find the magazine ads stinky. I don't wear perfume as it reacts poorly with my body chemistry and doesn't smell attractive. I bet a lot of people suffer from this problem too.

                Blessed by a squid angel.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @OhMe: Thank you! And what a good wife you are to be sensitive to his sensitivity!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @bechand: So do I. I love scents that do not cause me pain. And there are so many wonderful harmless scents in the world!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @LaraineRoses: You have such a variety of awesome lenses that I can't stay away! LOL! I'm curious about the new one! I'll be checking it out for sure! Thanks for coming!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @hlkljgk: Yes, I agree about the restaurant problem. I remember one morning when my husband and I were enjoying a leisurely breakfast together (which happens RARELY!) in a local restaurant. A waitress came in to start her shift. She entered in a cloud of fragrance that you could practically taste. My husband generously told me I could exit into the fresh air while he paid the check. He practically ran out of that place, but not before he told the restaurant owner what effect the "cloud" could have on his business. (It may be coincidental, but the restaurant closed not too long afterward.)

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                Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

                My husband is very sensitive to scents so I certainly can appreciate this lens. Well done!

              • bechand profile image

                bechand 5 years ago

                i actually love scents

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                Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

                Just dropping by to say "Hi" and thank you for visiting a few of my lenses. I just published another one. hint, hint. Just kidding.

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                hlkljgk 5 years ago from Western Mass

                my only big issue with scents is when someone wears a strong perfume/cologne to a restaurant - especially if it's a good one (although, i've seen people asked to leave because of it); it really can ruin a dinner.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Leilani-m: Thanks for coming, Leilani.

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                Leilani-m 5 years ago

                Great lens! I sometimes have headaches in presence of heavy perfumes. I prefer to use natural light scents on me and around me. :)

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @hsschulte: Some fortunate people are able to tolerate essential oils when they have a problem with other scents. I'm glad it works for you! :)

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                hsschulte 5 years ago

                Essential oils are the only type of scent I use.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Sylvestermouse: YES! I totally agree. And you know that poor lady just wanted to look and smell her best to feel like she would fully enjoy her very "special" evening. She had no idea she was causing serious pain to anyone around her! Fragrance free box seats would be awesome!

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                Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

                I think I have had every one of the experiences you have described. What I had most, paying for expensive seats in the theatre only to have some "doll" sit close to me with heavy perfume. By the time we get to the intermission, I am suffering so bad that I have to leave and miss the rest of the play. I want fragrance free box seats available :)

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Close2Art LM: That's encouraging to hear! Sometimes I wonder about that... *smile* - Thank you so much for the blessing!

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Lindrus: I agree. A few aromatherapy scents bother me, but MOST of them are fine in moderation. (Being allergic to some natural scents is a whole other problem, lol!)

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                Close2Art LM 5 years ago

                some scents can be offensive that is for sure, love your way of story telling, Blessed!

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                Lindrus 5 years ago

                Overpowering scents aren't nice, nor the ones that just smell "fake", like chemicals. But I do think there is something about aromatherapy.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Lady Lorelei: I'm happy you came to visit today, Ladymermaid. And thank you so much for the blessing!

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                Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

                I wear cologne but I am also very sensitive to loud or powdery scents. Delicate fragrances are the only way to go folks.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @LaraineRoses: I'm happy that you have found products that don't cause you pain! :) It's not always easy. Thank you so much for visiting, for your support, and for your blessing!

              • LaraineRoses profile image

                Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

                I get a headache when I'm near the soap aisle in any store so I avoid that aisle and I switched to Melaleuca products. You can buy scented soaps if you like but you are given the option of scent-free/fragrance free products in all of their lines. No guessing and I don't have any allergic reaction to any of the products.

                Love the lens, Joie. Blessings from this SquidAngel

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @KimGiancaterino: Thank you, Kim. Once I started to search, I was amazed at the number of fragrance free products were available. When we first started, there were hardly any to choose from!

              • KimGiancaterino profile image

                KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

                When I was an aerobics instructor, we had a "no perfume" rule in the studio. Competing scents were very offensive to some of our students. Thanks for showing so many fragrance free products to choose from. I use Arm & Hammer laundry detergent with no scent. It works fine. My husband is sensitive to perfume, so I seldom wear it any more.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @anonymous: You're right. Our sense of smell is quite sophisticated - incredibly designed!

              • Johanna Eisler profile image
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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @lychic: I agree; natural smells are best!

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                anonymous 5 years ago

                Though I can tolerate the scent of most cosmetics fairly well, the funny thing is I cope with natural cosmetic scents much better. I almost exclusively use natural products and quite like the way they smell. Now give me any artificial scent or perfume, and my stomach will immediately do a somersault. I suppose I need not mention that using those is absolutely out of the question. Categorizing cosmetics is now easy: "Does it leave my stomach be? Then it's probably safe enough to use." I guess that even though we don't possess olfactory organs as sophisticated as dogs, we can still rely on our noses to tell us what's safe and what isn't.

                I really enjoyed reading your lens; thank you!

              • lychic profile image

                lychic 5 years ago

                I would still enjoy natural smell than synthetic, human made smell though.

              • Johanna Eisler profile image
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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @Judy Filarecki: Thank you for that comment! I will have to check out Michael's - or not (I lose all self-control in that store, lol!) Thanks again, Judy!

              • Judy Filarecki profile image

                Judy Filarecki 5 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

                I have the same problem sitting behind someone in church with too much perfume on or walking down the detergent aisle in the store. It makes you not want to buy anything. I used to walk out of Micheals even though there were art supplies I wanted because I couldn't breath. I notice that they have stopped polluting the air in their stores finally so it is more conducive to shopping.

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                Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

                @PlethoraReader: That is so true! Just a faint smell of something can whisk me back to basking in front of a fireplace at Grandma's house, or walking to school through a sunny springtime field, or coming home from school realizing that Mama's been baking bread, or being blindsided by a beloved innocent elderly friend who smelled like she had taken a bath in perfume, lol! Does the part of the brain that recognizes smell have any connection to the part of the brain that stores memories? It seems like it must!

              • PlethoraReader profile image

                Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

                It is amazing how we take something as simple as what we smell for granted, but who among us has not walked by and gotten a whiff that brings us back to a memory decades in our past (either good or bad). Thanks for just talking about an interesting topic.