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Does The Nose Always Know?

by Alejandra Tello |

How to make sure you’re not sniffing your way to poor health. 

Smell is one of our most powerful senses. Also known as Olfaction, a sense of smell can evoke memories, folding space and time and allowing us to momentarily revisit the distant past. This fascinating and often overlooked sense has the power to alter your thoughts and behaviour on a subconscious level. It’s a major contributor to our ability to taste food, and is inextricably linked to our overall experience of life. Anosmia, which is the loss of one’s ability to smell, has been linked to loss of appetite, and even depression. Since the 14th Century, we have been producing and using man made perfumes to scent our bodies, clothing, and homes in a bid to enhance our quality of living. 

woman in hat with lilies

At What Cost? 

Great marketing, which makes multi-millions for the cosmetics industry every year, entices us to purchase synthetic fragrances for a variety of purposes. But these scents are not always great for our health. We may smell good on the outside, but we don’t immediately notice the effects that this has on our insides. We use scented products on our bodies to complete a fabulous outfit, to make us feel glamorous and to woo potential suitors. We scent our living spaces to add ambience to our lives; a lavender pillow mist to aid peaceful sleep, a mint scented body wash to bring us to life in the morning, a citrus cleaning product to make our homes smell fresh. Brands create products to replicate these comforting scents with artificial sprays. But at what cost to our health? 

spray air freshener

Tissue Issues 

It’s proven that synthetic sprays can cause sneezing, respiratory problems,  allergies, headaches and skin irritations. Shockingly, a single product used to make ourselves or our space smell attractive can contain up to 3000 separate toxic elements. It is commonplace for any synthetic fragrance to contain phthalates. Phthalates are toxic chemicals that ensure that our favourite perfume or spray lasts for the whole day, which many consumers see as a benefit when purchasing a scent; longevity is key, as the more money you spend, the longer you want it to last, right? But you might not want these nasties lingering so long once you realise the trouble they can cause. Health risks imposed by phthalates are ample and alarming. These include cancer, development and reproductive issues, birth defects, and major respiratory problems. 

spray perfume bottle

What’s In It For Me? 

Unfortunately, not much good. Research shows us that 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are built from crude petroleum oil. The components of this compound can cause irritation of your nose, throat, and lungs, dizziness, drowsiness, loss of coordination, fatigue, and all manner of eerie effects. So why are we still using these toxic products? Good question. The fragrance industry is “self regulated” meaning that safety testing is not mandatory, and does not have to be supervised by a regulatory governing body before a brand sells a product to you. 

woman holding nose

Don’t Be Fooled 

And sell it, they will! Clever marketing techniques enable brands to entice you with misleading words such as “unscented”. But don’t be fooled! As there are no standard guidelines to ensure that the manufacturer is truly transparent on their labels, these “unscented” products can also easily contain phthalates, benzene derivatives, aldehydes and other harmful chemicals. A “fragrance-free” label shows that no artificial scents have been added to the product, however an “unscented” label really means that a neutralising fragrance was added to mask any other artificial scents. It’s important to make yourself aware of these misleading terms so that you are armed with the ability to choose completely natural options.  

cycle all purpose cleaner

Real Natural  

Most synthetic fragrances contain chemicals that are detrimental to our health. In this era of greenwashing and false advertising, it can be a real challenge to find even a simple product that is legitimately natural. Thankfully, household cleaners are one product that you no longer need to be afraid of, as long as you choose the right one. CYCLE products are made from 100% natural ingredients, and are fragranced only with essential oils. That means that you can now be 100% certain that you and your family are safe from the effects of petrochemicals when you clean your home. Naturally, this is of huge importance! You can find CYCLE’s all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner and WC cleaner on our webshop, and breathe a chemical free sigh of relief.