10.05.2007

Shouting from my soapbox: Too much perfume

Yesterday, I went online and bought tickets for Last Comic Standing. No sooner did I get the confirmation email, than I started fretting. And what, you may well ask, did I have to fret about? Well, here's the thing, I hate going out. It's not anything like agoraphobia. I can go out, I just don't like it much. The reason is simple: PEOPLE WEAR TOO MUCH PERFUME, AFTER SHAVE, COLOGNE, FRAGRANCES and so on. They don't know when to stop. Have you ever sat down on an airplane, only to discover that you're trapped between two people who marinated in some godawful stuff just before getting on? ARGHHH! I really really really hate that. And it seems to be getting worse. We live next to a popular jogging/bike trail and you would be appalled at the number of people who go by smelling to high hell. Unbelievable. Truly unbelievable. It's my theory that they can't smell it because they've ruined their olfactory nerves by using so much of it. It's a horrible spiral.

This is another brainwashing problem. You see, people think they don't smell okay without all that shit. And where did they get that idea? From very good advertising. Huge amounts of money are spent to convince you and me that love, happiness, beauty, success, and sex are all just waiting for that perfect aroma to come wafting from our bodies.

"The amount of money spent on perfume advertising has increased since 1999: the launch of a new scent often costs tens of millions of dollars, sometimes even more." (The New Yorker October 5, 2007)

And what about the millions spent by consumers on these products? In 2000, a perfume called J'adore topped $120,000,000 in sales!! I'd say that the advertising did a good job, wouldn't you?

Even a great company like Bert's Bees uses so much fragrance in one of their shampoos, I couldn't get the stink out of my hair for days, even after repeated washings with an unscented product. These long lasting, man-made smells are toxic. They basically come from petroleum products and they don't dissipate into the air. They linger. They cling.

"The manufacturing process to create a perfume starts with the collection of the ingredients used in the scent. The perfume can be based either on one scent or a combination of hundreds of aromas. Ingredients come from many different sources such as flowers, grasses, spices, fruit, wood or leaves, among others. Only about 2,000 of the 250,000 flowering plant species actually produce oils naturally, so synthetic chemicals are often used to duplicate these smells. Synthetic chemicals are also used to create scents not found in nature. Perfumes can incorporate animal products (e.g. musk comes from male deer), which are often used as fixatives that prolong the scent by slowing the evaporation process. Other fixatives used are coal tar, mosses, resins or synthetic chemicals." (How is your favorite perfume made? from CareFair.com)

Human bodies don't stink unless they're sick or really filthy or something like that. And as if all that body scenting isn't bad enough, now folks think they have to spray their houses, cars, closets, clothes and everything else in their immediate vicinity. Or they light disgusting candles; or they use those nauseating dryer sheets everywhere. I am so tired of not smelling the real world I live in. That's one of the reasons we want a few acres when we move to Oregon. I'd like to be far enough away from any neighbors that I don't get a whiff of their fragrance du jour when I sit on my patio. I'd like to be able to smell the trees and the flowers and the air. Hey, now that I'm not smoking, this is serious.