I gotta tell you I was about to cave with this fragrance thing, I really was. Everywhere I go with the body butter, the first thing people do is smell it… which is normal. And it doesn’t smell bad, it just smells like…nothing really…Shea Butter mostly which is kind of a ‘nothing’ smell, or a neutral smell. But it’s so funny how surprised people are (and in some cases miffed) that it doesn’t smell like pina colada, butter cream frosting, or almond biscotti (now I’m hungry). I get that we are a very olfactional society. In my current opinion, we are also way over scented, over washed, and over antibacterialized, yes now I am making up words (and yes I used Google to find the word ‘olfactional’).
At any rate, there is certainly nothing wrong with smelling good or loving yummy smells. That is part of the reason I add essential oils to my Body Food and use them all over my house. But I feel that oils are a personal thing, something that you have to choose to use on your own and know why you are using them, and OK yes, also because let's face it, essential oils are pricey and I want these products to be affordable, a no-brainer alternative to their commercial, chemical filled counterparts.
So that brings me to the topic of fragrances, or more specifically fragrance oils, which are used in just about ALL cosmetics, in one form or another, to make them smell good. Why you are currently this very moment walking around smelling like a creamsicle or a chocolate mousse cake. By the way, (A.D.D. tangent) why are we only interested in smelling like desert? Why don’t they have French Fry or Grill Cheese Sandwich scented lotions? Food for thought (AHHHHHHH…HAHAHAHA!!! No pun intended!!). OK, OK, back on topic…
So I started looking into these fragrance oils, thinking, maybe I’ll have a line of unscented AND scented products!!? What are they, how are they made, are they bad? Are they natural? After all, it is stated right on the back of your lotion bottle “other natural fragrances.” Yes, I’ll wait while you go look…
Many companies that sell these for use in cosmetics do so under the pretext of “vegan,” “all natural,” “non-toxic.” Huh, so they couldn’t be that bad right!? But I’m a chemistry geek so I wanted more…HOW ARE THEY DERIVED?? Something that was not readily available on the sites of these suppliers. Well, to make it super simple, they are a combination of plant oils (essential oils basically…yay! This is sounding great!), combined with aroma-chemicals, otherwise known as synthetics (in English: made in a lab…oh…poo).
But is it REALLY..THAT..BAD…and in my apparent desperation to offer people the option of smelling like vanilla nut sugar cookies, I persisted….until…
(Hope you’re sitting down) The instructions for “maximum skin exposure percentages,” and the “please refer to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for these products for more info,” oh and lest we forget the “you may need to dispose of unused product directly in a landfill but call your waste management company for how to proceed.” Uhhhh…..excuse me? L But all I wanted was to smell like honeysuckle lemon peanut nuggets!!
Well ladies and gentlemen, now I know why certain individuals are OBSESSED, with a capital EVERYTHING, with being ‘all natural.’ Oh! And since I realize some of you may not work in an industry where the acronym MSDS sparks interest, allow me to get technical:
OSHA requires MSDS's ONLY for materials that a) meet OSHA's definition of hazardous and b) are "known to be present in the workplace in such a manner that employees may be exposed under normal conditions of use or in a foreseeable emergency."
Well shucks…so the moral of the story? I’m sticking to my no yucky stuff guns! Otherwise stated: I will NOT be offering a line of ginger snap mocha marshmallow bavarian cream fudge cake flavored body butter for ya’ll obsessed with smelling like desert…because it’s YUCKY STUFF!! Yuckier than I thought actually!! And now you know it’s yucky too. I have however started experimenting with cooking extracts and spices, so you may end up smelling like food after all...stay tuned for more on that!!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a trip to the French Bakery Café down the street :)
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I am a wife, a mom, and a registered nurse. I also happen to be a chemistry geek and a researchaholic! Welcome to the Body Food® blog!