I am a person that cannot tolerate any artificial fragrance. I cannot handle dryer sheets, laundry soap, dish soap, perfume, deodorant, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, hair products, body products, etc. with any petrochemical based fragrance or with any formaldehyde. That is one reason why I grow my own herbs and why we make our own ... everything. While there are many natural product companies out there these days, they are expensive, so I like to purchase the unscented bulk variety of any item and then blend my own essential oils into it if there is any fragrance, so I can tolerate it. We cannot even have someone in our home who uses perfume or dryer sheets without having an allergic reaction, so we are very particular about every single thing.
This life of fragrance sensitivity as led me to aromatherapy and the use of all natural distillations of plants via essential oils and hydrosols. I have a very sensitive sense of smell - as in I can smell your mildewy old book or dryer sheets from a hundred feet - and so in order for me to enjoy aroma, it must be pure and natural.
Many people with fragrance sensitivities believe it is ALL fragrance, but I have found it is fake chemical scents, and I am fine if it is a pure, unadulterated eo. So, making perfumes and scents as aromatherapy as well as personal fragrance is an area of interest. I love to grow my own aromatics and infuse them into alcohol, oils, butters, or lotions, distill them into hydrosols, and blend those things with essential oils to create amazingly rich, deep, and aromatic aromas. Aroma is therapeutic to me on all levels from fresh flowers to a blended personal fragrance.
Perfumery is an art and a science, a delicate dance of balance and hues of color and intensity, but in smell. Aromatic elements all layer within their frequencies to create a new and unique profile that interacts with our own bodies, environments, olfactory system, and subtle aromatic elements. It is wonderful to make something with a profound impact on say, mood, while also learning more about the different plants and elements in our explorations.
Over the past few years I have grown tired at how scents and fragrances are gendered. There is no masculine or feminine smell other than what we make up out of the clear blue sky. How is juniper for only some folks and not others. Why do we need gendered scents? What about the amazing diversity of gender expressions and diversity of humans who have different preferences and scent experiences. I love creating aromas that are NOT for him or her, but for us as a whole without any arbitrary binary. This is an exciting area in aromatherapy and fragrance, I think, cleaving out all natural fragrance without chemicals and without gender binaries. What we like or dislike in aromas is from our lived experiences and personal biased preferences. How can we change the descriptors of masculine or feminine in personal products that express humanity, not limited him or her?
Keep an eye on this space for more explorations in aromatherapy, plant aromatics, aromatic herbalism, and natural perfumery.
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