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  1. #1
    neal's Avatar
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    Default Serious Question

    This will be a two part question, so please bear with me. I have been having a seemingly allergic reaction to all the cologne that I have been trying on and wearing the last few months.

    What do you all think about the dangers of perfumes that you read and hear about?
    http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/hrfragrance.htm

    Part two of my question. In order to determine if my allergic reaction improves. I will just spray the frag on my external clothes only. What does this do, how does this affect the scent. In terms of top and middle notes not burning off? And what causes a frag to burn off or reveal the middle and bottom notes? Is it simply exposure to the air? Body heat? I am wondering how just spraying it externally on my clothes will affect the scent.

  2. #2
    deck89's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    I will try and answer part 2 for you..

    Spraying on just your clothes will obviously last longer but the scent will not be able to mix with your own body chemistry therefore.. It will not give out out your own unique personal smell!

    The fragrance will not evolve through each stage as it should!!!
    Last edited by deck89; 17th August 2007 at 02:27 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Serious Question

    I would be interested to find out what happened if you used a supposed "organic" cologne. Would you not have the allergic reaction?
    I assume the reaction is on your skin and not your sinuses...

    mc

  4. #4
    Mikey Q's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    With scents that change a lot from top to bottom, the top notes somehow seem to stay on the clothes longer in my experience.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mikey Q; 17th August 2007 at 02:35 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Serious Question

    Quote Originally Posted by neal View Post
    What do you all think about the dangers of perfumes that you read and hear about?http://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/hrfragrance.htm
    I can already hear the groans of the Basenotes members, "we've been invaded by PETA!" The issue of toxicity does concern me. My brother, who has worked in close contact with benzene for most of his life, recently developed Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, which I would like to add, has never occurred in either side of my family before. As a result, my daily ritual of dosing myself with my "scent of the day" has become a bit ominous.****

  6. #6

    Default Re: Serious Question

    First: I think it's unscientific alarmist hogwash.

    There may well be perfumery ingredients that are allergenic or toxic, but this is a cause for rigorous, unbiased scientific study and realistic conclusions drawn thereupon.. not for a bunch of nu-hippies to invent thinly-plausible reasons for problems that may or may not be real so they can sell books to the ignorant, or for industry partisans to declare something dangerous because they soaked a rat in it for a month and the rat had health problems (and because restricting the product would hinder their competition).

    Even if there were allergenic ingredients in your perfume, different people's reactions to them would vary. To determine what's causing your problem, it would be necessary to test you against dozens of chemicals. Alternately, you could avoid all perfume, but you may miss out on perfumes that don't contain your allergy triggers.

    Second: the thing that mainly affects perfumes "burning off" is simple evaporation. Top notes are made up of smaller, lighter, more volatile molecules that fly off rapidly, whereas base notes are large, heavy molecules that tend to sit where they're put. A small quantity of perfume is possibly absorbed through the skin and metabolized or re-released, but I don't think anyone knows exactly how much (and again, it would probably vary by individual and chemical).

    If your allergy manifests as a localized rash, spraying it on your clothes may help. OTOH, if your allergy manifests as typical hay fever symptoms, I don't imagine that spraying it on your clothing would help at all; you'd still be breathing it in.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Serious Question

    What kind of reaction are you having? Is it your skin that gets irritated or your throat/head?

    Seeing as you probably don't have a university chemistry department in your basement to do "rigorous unbiased scientific studies" for you, you should go get tested at a clinic for allergens and then find perfumes that don't have those ingredients.

    I have a friend who devellopped a chemical sensitivity and she can't wear any perfumes anymore, but she can wear most essential oils.

    I've found that most designer perfumes irritate my throat after awhile, whereas I can wear niche perfumes all the time, even ones I don't like with no irritation. You might want to try some Creed, Serge Lutens, L'Artisan etc and see how you react to those if at all.

    As for clothes - a scent will last way, way longer in your clothes than on your body. It'll last days if you don't wash them. It won't smells quite as good though because your body smell and skin are what bring it to life to a large extent, but it's still nice.
    CAESAR SEEKS:
    CREED: Chevrefeuille, SMW, BdP, Aventus
    Parfums d'Empire: Fougére Bengale
    YSL: Vintage M7

    CAESAR SWAPS/SELLS:
    Sale Thread



  8. #8

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    Default Re: Serious Question

    I love FM Noir Epices but it makes me cough, hack, cough, hack, cough throughout the day every time I put on any more than a tiny amount. Never had this problem with anything else.

    Some have made me want to vomit but that is a different story.

  9. #9
    Cognoscento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    Neal,
    That's a great question, and a very complex one. Interesting ideas people have.

    I am not allergic to scents, fortunately. But I am somewhat allergic to other things, and my view is that it's possible, in some cases, to reduce sensitivity to allergens. It takes some doing, and I won't blather on and on about it here. If you're interested, PM me and I'll run some ideas by you.

    Cheers, Dave

  10. #10

    Default Re: Serious Question

    Well, organic perfumes (meaning oil and eo based) perfumes are all well and good, but they are the ones that cause my allergies to flare up! I am allergic to roses, cinnamon, and any grass based things, like chamomile. So, any eo based perfume that contains any of those will either cause a massive itchy eyes-runny nose-sneezing-clogged up allergy attack or a skin rash. I don't have those problems with "synthetic" or commercial perfumes. Except the ones with rose scents. I have to avoid all rose scents, no matter what. JMTCW.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Serious Question

    What about fragrances like Creed, where it's supposed to be all natural and nothing synthetic? Have you tried wearing a fragrance from that house?

  12. #12
    The_Giraffe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    Quote Originally Posted by skyhye0808 View Post
    What about fragrances like Creed, where it's supposed to be all natural and nothing synthetic? Have you tried wearing a fragrance from that house?
    Let's not mislead anyone here, Creed is definately NOT "all natural".
    As for the danger of the chemicals in perfume, I doubt that they are concentrated enough to be harmful but it is a slight worry for me. I mean, applying perfume every day over the course of many many years could easily be harmful. It's not enough of a worry for me to stop wearin' though. Not even close.

  13. #13
    neal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    Are there in fact parfume houses that use only natural and not synthetic ingredients?
    Or are we looking at natural essential oils etc.?

    http://www.tigerflag.com/madini-list.html

  14. #14
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    Quote Originally Posted by neal View Post
    Are there in fact parfume houses that use only natural and not synthetic ingredients?
    Or are we looking at natural essential oils etc.?

    http://www.tigerflag.com/madini-list.html
    L'Artisan Jatamansi is USDA certified organic like the eggs I have for breakfast.
    -

  15. #15
    Cognoscento's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    I am definitely in favor of organic products, especially for eating, for many good reasons. But I think it's easy to create a false dichotomy here: non-organic bad for allergies - organic good for allergies.

    To put it another way, the idea that organic perfumes will not cause allergies has been pretty thoroughly debunked. Think about this for a second - ever start sneezing when being around certain plants? It would be hard to get more organic than the actual plant growing in the wild.

    I think people advertising organic products would like you to think that they will not cause any allergies, but there's no way they could possibly guarantee it - everyone's sensitivities are different, and organic products can cause allergic reactions.

    On a more positive note, I would guess that organic products might be a little easier on the allergies than non-organic. But even so, as others have said above, people can say or imply that something is organic when it isn't, and it that's true, they're not going to tell you. Even if a perfume is certified organic (and I haven't run across any of these), it may give you a reaction anyway. Or maybe the "organic" product may just have a tiny bit of some chemicial thrown in to increase scent longevity, improve the color, blend better with other ingredients, ad infinitum - it's very complex.

    So the reality is, the only way you'll really know if something gives you a reaction is to test it. And that's where samples come in!

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Serious Question

    I don't want to downplay the risks of longterm exposure to chemicals that are known to be toxic, cause cancer or whatever, but if we're worried about toxins, you can find out about some toxins that naturally occur in food here: http://extoxnet.orst.edu/faqs/natural/page1.htm

    I haven't heard much about avoiding potatoes, tomatoes, or other vegetables that contain at least trace amounts of stuff that's not good for you. I guess it comes down to how much exposure over how much time, not to mention your own body's natural reaction the chemicals involved.

    As for the benefits of organic vs. not organic, I think it's a matter of personal choice as much as anything. I've heard chemists say that your body doesn't know the difference between chemicals produced in nature or those produced in the lab if they're actually chemically the same. Eating a poisonous mushroom you found in the woods is still poisonous, even if it is organic. I would prefer to skip stuff like pesticides when I can, but because they are obviously intended to be harmful to something, not because of any inherent evil that comes from them being manufactured.

  17. #17
    neal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    My concern was more geared towards the known carcinogens that may be used in some fragrances as opposed to an allergic response. The thought of spraying METHYLENE CHLORIDE or TERPINENE daily directly on my skin makes me uneasy. The thing is you don't know whether there is anything bad or not in your favorite frag - as the companies do not have to reveal that due to twists and turns in the way the law reads. I recently just got so caught up with basenotes and frags that I didn't take the time to think of these things. The good news is we can all still use frags on our clothing and/ or in moderation on our bodies.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Serious Question

    Quote Originally Posted by neal View Post
    My concern was more geared towards the known carcinogens that may be used in some fragrances as opposed to an allergic response. The thought of spraying METHYLENE CHLORIDE or TERPINENE daily directly on my skin makes me uneasy. The thing is you don't know whether there is anything bad or not in your favorite frag - as the companies do not have to reveal that due to twists and turns in the way the law reads. I recently just got so caught up with basenotes and frags that I didn't take the time to think of these things. The good news is we can all still use frags on our clothing and/ or in moderation on our bodies.
    The ones that frighten me the most are the synthetic musks: musk xylene and musk tibetene. Both are known to have carcinogenic potential.
    When one has an allergic reaction to a substance, it's quite evident. By process of elimination you can usually discover the culprit and eliminate it from your environment. On the other hand, if a chemical substance is altering your body's cells, you wouldn't find out until the damage was done. Depressing, isn't it?
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 20th August 2007 at 10:22 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Serious Question

    It's true that the "designer" mainstream fragrances contain cancer-causing ingredients and products that are harmful to our biology. Not all synthetic ingredients are poisonous, but the chemicals commonly used by the department store brands are not in our best interest.

    I will say that I eat organic food, I support sustainable agriculture, small businesses, alternative energy, etc. I believe fully in alternative medicine and I think that pharmaceutical companies are largely corrupt and are failing their customers...

    HOWEVER... I also greatly enjoy fragrances. Even though some people might mistake my views as being "hippy", I'm not an alarmist and I don't believe everything that the natural health advocates say (there are charlatans in every business). I don't think ALL perfume with synthetics should be avoided.

    My point is that I personally think only perfumes from (most) niche houses should be worn if you are concerned about your health. The mainstream/commercial ones are a chemical soup. One benefit, aside from it being a healthier alternative, is that you'll smell more unique.

  20. #20
    FatTony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Serious Question

    Allergies are your own body freaking out. In a sense, it is "your" fault if you have an allergic reaction to something. Humans aren't *supposed* to have allergic reactions. A reaction is a mistake in your body chemistry where you over-react to a relatively harmless stimulus (a bee sting is supposed to hurt, not kill you).

    Something truly harmful should affect everyone to some extend or another. If you spray on a mainstream product that doesn't bother *most* people, then it is simply an allergy and its too bad for you There isn't an significant difference between natural, organic, or synthetic compounds when it comes to allergies. I am allergic to some kinds of pollen and I'm a little more sensitive to bees than the average joe - those are 100% natural and cause me trouble. However, I can be around and handle all kinds of petroleum products and have no effects.

    Its all very personal - there is no magic recipe for avoiding allergies. And at the risk of being a bit of a jerk - I would love perfume companies to publish *all* their ingredients so the people who think niche scents are so wonderfully different could see that their fantasies are complete bunk.

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