I’m slowly trying to wean myself off of harmful, synthetic perfumes but the process has been a little bumpy. For instance last week, in need of a little Monday morning pickup, I decided to de-stress with lavender-chamomile essential oil lotion. I blended a spoonful into my arms and hands and headed out the door.
It was only as I boarded the bus to campus that I realized I may have overdone it. My attempt at aromatherapy didn’t soothe the passenger on my left; actually it seemed to revolt her. As she held her nose and gave me angry glares, I realized that lavender may not have the same soothing effect on others as it does on me. At that moment any earlier relaxation I felt evaporated just like the fumes of lavender radiating from my skin.
Photo by Jaako/Courtesy Flickr
So what to do? If I had thought ahead or known earlier, I might have diluted my lotion with a carrier oil, like jojoba, applied some rubbing alcohol or packed unscented lotion to mitigate the essential oil’s heavy perfume. I also would have waited for the scent to sink in at least 10 minutes before leaving my house. As it was, I sat out the interminable bus ride, ran into the bathroom before class and ferociously scrubbed my forearms so that I wouldn’t have to worry about disturbing my classmates as well.
Photo by The Owlchemist/Courtesy Flickr
Shifting our communities to more sustainable, thoughtful living is all about experimentation. We’re trying to find out what works, what doesn’t work and what we can compromise on in order to ensure a healthy future. Until I can afford the pretty, light smelling crème perfumes and eau de colognes that are being created by natural perfumers and aromatherapists, I guess I’ll just have to rely on my own methods and hope that others will be more tolerant.
If you’re having troubles, like me, switching from eau de parfum to au natural, check out some of these resources.
• Learn which 20 synthetic perfume ingredients to avoid.
• Find out how to use essential oils and how to make your own herbal fragrances:
How to Create Floral Waters and Colognes by Janice Cox
Fragrances of Life by Theresa Loe
Herbal Body Fragrances by Theresa Loe
Restorative Perfume by Edwin T. Morris
• Check out these natural, beauty brands. (A lot of companies offer trial sizes so you can test out a scent before investing your hard-earned money):
Ayala Moriel Parfums
CB I Hate Perfume
Have you had any embarrassing or disastrous moments in your transition to herbal living? Leave me a comment and share your story with others!