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Old 11-20-2012, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fragrance and chemical sensitivities...let's talk

I posted to the tread on waterless shampoos, but I think this would be a good thing to discuss. There are so many products that I have bought that I couldn't use because of a strong and lingering scent that made me sick. Personally, I think it is a fixative that is used to make the smell last. It seems that some products permeate your sinuses so that you can't smell anything else. Then the headache.
For me the worst offenders are: perfume, perfume saturated catalogs and magazines, air fresheners....Febreze is the WORST, cleaning products...swiffer...oh yuck. Drugstore brands of shampoo, hair color, even face make-up and lipstick. Last, but not least, lots of dog grooming products.
Even some so called aromatherapy items have given me the awful throbbing sinus headache. That's because they use orris root as a fixative to make the fragrance last. Orris root is also known as devil root, and is the most allergenic plant on earth. People who are allergic to nothing else are allergic to devil root. It is commonly used in potpourris.

Sometimes I will start off actually liking the smell of a product, but as my sinuses become irritated ...well, I get oddly cranky, and start to hate it.

I don't like the fragrance of Cowboy Magic, it is ugly to me...but it doesn't make me sick. The medicated shampoos I use for Ru smell icky to me, but they don't make me sick.

I don't understand my friends who use scented candles, air fresheners or perfumed fabric softeners.

Would you like to share your feelings on this subject? I would like to hear both sides...especially regarding highly scented dog products.
MiMi & Sylvie
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If a product has "Fragrance" on his label it means that the scent is synthetic. That's why it makes you sick. Most candles are made with synthetic scents, even the candles so called "aromatherapy" are not 100% pure essential oils. It's hard to find some, they are a lot more expensive. I found some a couple of weeks ago at Sprout's. Here is there website :

I also found some chemical free dog shampoo from Aroma Paws :

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Old 11-20-2012, 11:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm with you, Sylvia. Can't stand almost all manufactured fragrances. Gives me headaches, makes me feel ill. Especially perfume. I can't stand when people seem to bathe themselves in it. I have to literally run through the first floors of department stores. Can't stand any fresheners. I'm not too bad with some fruit smells and some spices but they need to be the real thing, not fake scents. And I really get ill from the white lilies that are pink inside and narcissus. They just totally choke me. As for things that keep the scents, I think that's one of the things formaldehyde does (also called Quarternium). I get a violent allergic reaction from them and have to use herbal hair dye and formaldehyde free nail polish, etc.

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Old 11-21-2012, 06:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There are a couple of strong smelling perfumes that really bother me and give me a headache. One is a scent from Bath & Body. I can't remember the name, but it has the dark purple label on it (if I remember correctly). Some of the "girls" at work were passing around a bottle of the lotion one day and I almost had to run to the bathroom because I felt like I was going to get sick. It gave me a horrible headache and felt like my head was closing in and squeezing my eyes. One of our case managers at work has been wearing some perfume a few months now that I don't know the name of. I really like her and used to enjoy talking to her. Now, I have to run when she's coming because of what it does to my sinuses and gives me a headache. She's really sweet and I haven't said anything to her because I don't want to hurt her feelings. For some reason, her perfume smells like she has taken a bath in it. But other people say they don't even smell it. It's so weird how it can smell so strong to me and no one else there can smell it!! I can smell her coming before I can even see her! I've smelled this same scent on other women from time to time when I've been in a store. To my nostrils, it smells bad too.

Other than these two things, I usually don't have any problems with different scents and actually enjoy using different scented lotions, body sprays, perfumes, air fresheners, candles, etc. We're not supposed to wear anything scented to work (hospital) even though some people do anyway, so I don't wear anything scented there. So, it's very rare I wear anything. I will use my favorite scents at home. But if I ever find that someone is coming over who has a sensitivity to scents, I won't use anything.

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I have no sensitivities to chemical odors like cleaning supplies, paint thinner, furniture stripper oven cleaner , really anything(good thing) Fragrances don't bother me either. I enjoy walking down the candle aisle, or the perfume department. As much as I love flowers, my least favorite scent is floral, it does not smell like the real thing! My mom had a condition called atrophy rhinitis that left her with no sense of smell or taste. Everything bothers her!! She has even fainted from an oven cleaner before. Even though she can't smell or taste, she's a great cook!!
Deborah and my Fluffs, Laurel, Violet , Hardy and Dewey!

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Old 11-21-2012, 07:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I like any kind of smell that is clean and fresh smelling but can't stand anything that is flowery smelling. That will give me a headache. Oh and pennies, can't stand the smell of pennies. That will give me a headache for sure. So will the smell of cigarette smoke. That's nasty.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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As yall know, I'm allergic to almost everything (food, fabrics and chemicals) lol. Bella and I both get our baths in Aveeno unscented body wash. It may not make her shiny and bright white, but I can hold her and that makes us happier than a white coat . At the antique store where I work part-time, there are a bunch of candles and for some reason, they don't bother me. They are handmade by a lady and so I now have a ton of them. It is such a joy to be able to enjoy fragrances again! We also use essential oils sprayed in the air for fragrance when when want it. I love lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm glad I'm not allergic to it, I love scents. I have scented candles, and more recently I got a wax burner that I am IN LOVE with! It is quite strong though and sometimes I have to turn it off because it does give me a headache after an extended period of time.

I like to smell good, I like body sprays and perfume, White Diamonds in particular.

For those who have birds, scented things are really not good for them at all. Chico is upstairs when I have something going.
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There is something called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity ... it's not uncommon.

It may not be the chemicals themselves, but that your body is overloaded and needs to detox.

We have tried to eliminate as many chemicals as possible in the house. Because of my Lyme I am severely chemical sensitive.

If someone comes into the house wearing perfume, my lips go numb.

Earlier this year a little caulking in the kitchen was being done, the fumes weren't bad, but I walked past it on the way to my room. Just those few seconds, my entire throat went numb, my tongue started swelling. It wasn't good.

It's why I use all natural herbal shampoos. They don't have things people are used to... don't foam up as people as used to. But it works, we are clean And it doesn't make me sick.

I also use natural oils instead of lotions. I will use essential oils to scent them if I want.

We use soap nuts instead of laundry detergent.

If you have a lot of Chemical Sensitivities, Environmental allergies, Food allergies - that throws up red flags for me. There are conditions out there that are easily treated that your regular doctor may completely miss.

I have a condition called HPU (hemopyrrollactamuria) ... sounds scary, huh? It isn't... It's a blood disorder, and it isn't that uncommon, but sadly it is often never looked for (and general practitioners will look at you funny LOL).

It's where I basically pee out many of minerals and nutrients I need. I have a zinc deficiency, which isn't a normal blood test - my ND had to order a special blood panel that looked at every vitamin and mineral. I have other deficiencies. Taking supplements doesn't help because I pee out 10 times the amount I consume. So it is a never ending battle.

But there are easy natural treatments that help this. The problem is - many are left untreated and the condition is diagnosed as other things: food allergies, environmental allergies, insomnia, hormone disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, headaches, depression, panic disorder, borderline personality disorder, schizo-affective disorders, etc....

I guess what I'm saying is: If you are highly sensitive to things, there is probably a genuine reason why - be it a disorder like HPU or something like heavy metal or chemical toxicity

I'd really recommend finding a Naturopathic Doctor, a Holistic Doctor, or a Chinese Medicine doctor. I'm not saying you should use chemicals, but you can help lower the symptoms you get when you are exposed....

Grace (Dec. 4, 2011) & Gus (Dec.15, 2009)

my lyme journey blog: faith, water, & yoga

my lyme video (updated link):
Tick,tick,tick... Time to see Lyme

Last edited by Grace'sMom; 11-21-2012 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My least favorite scents are from laundry detergents like Tide, Downey, and Bounce dryer sheets. I hate the smell. Can't stand it. They are SO strong most of the time. I use that stuff, just the unscented kinds.
Micky and his new mom, Joan.

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