Monday, October 18, 2010

What's That Smell?

Gleanings from around the web:

“…. fragrance free zone signs will be  posted in Detroit, where City employees will be urged not to wear perfume, cologne or aftershave.  This came about  as a result of a settlement in a federal lawsuit, where the plaintiff was awarded $100,00 to a city employee who said a colleague’s perfume 'made it challenging for her to do her 
job' ..."

“Picture the scene; one minute you are fine and breathing normally and the next you are struggling to breathe and feeling dizzy with no real signs as to why. You could actually be suffering from an allergy to perfume, and it could be the person sat right next to you on the train or at work that is causing your problem…”

“Does Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) Cause Cancer?”

…"a drugstore perfume-counter employee here, backed up this assessment. 'You couldn't sell a bottle of fragrance if your life depended on it.' "
“Americans are living longer than ever, but a third of them develop chronic disease and disability....a major reason, claim advocates of tougher regulation of the cosmetics industry, is the cumulative effect of toxic chemicals that are absorbed through the skin (as opposed to breathing, drinking and eating)..."
“…clearly, IFRA is recklessly irresponsible…”
FMA Changes Name to the International Fragrance Association North America 
Reconfirms commitment to safety, advocacy, and collaboration on regional and global levels
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At the annual Fall Workshop and Luncheon in Teaneck, New Jersey, the Fragrance Materials Association announced its strategic realignment with the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) to become IFRA North America.  The event also marked the launch of the new website,, which contains in-depth information about fragrance industry and safety.
"IFRA North America has a strong 83-year history as the leading fragrance materials association in North America," said Jennifer Abril, Executive Director.  "Our new expanded global reach will serve not only our members, but also the public as we ensure the safety of fragrance ingredients and products through industry-wide compliance with the IFRA Code of Practice."
The name change reflects the growing need of IFRA North America's members to leverage global resources to strengthen its voice in North America.
About IFRA North America
IFRA North America ( represents the fragrance materials industry in the United States and Canada.  IFRA North America member companies create and manufacture perfumes and fragrances for personal care, home care, and home design products.  Companies that supply fragrance ingredients, such as essential oils and other raw materials, are also IFRA North America members.
IFRA North America advocates on behalf of the global fragrance industry.  We interact with legislative and regulatory bodies and other stakeholders in the US and Canada and worldwide – through our affiliation with IFRA Global.
By combining the art and science of making fragrances, our members bring to the world a universe of products enjoyed safely by millions every day.
…and the beat goes, um, on. What do y'all* think?

*an expression used in the American South to denote "more than one person." When speaking to a crowd, the correct plural is "All 'a y'all."

WCTU photo from Google Images; photo manipulation by Olfacta.


BitterGrace said...

Glad we got that "y'all" thing cleared up.

The safety Taliban is worrisome, but as long as there remain courageous souls who will ferret through the perfume at TJMaxx -- recklessly opening and sniffing every single bottle -- there is hope for civilization.

Anonymous said...

I realize that there's a chance that ALL the products I apply daily and sometimes several times a day, will probably catch up with me somehow. But, I just can't imagine living the rest of my life without fragrance. Smelling beautiful things makes me happy! I have been trying to replace cleansers and lotions with organic, paraben free products but a spritz of perfume is a much harder thing to do without.The thing is, cancer has been around since the beginning of man. And this is WAY before we were under attack by chemicals. In my opinion, and only my opinion, it's chemicals to some extent that has us living so long. I mean, if you're diagnosed with cancer, what do you think they're going to use to try and save your life? Unfortunately, we all have to go eventually.

Josephine said...

Well, I can understand that some people are allergic to perfume, or perhaps have an aversion to perfume smells.

May we also ban overwhelming body odor and horrendously bad breath? Both make it challenging for me to focus on almost anything.

Olfacta said...

Hi M -- Yeah, it should be awhile before they run out of the good stuff completely, or all the Granny's Shalimar in the world finally gets dug out of all those dresser drawers and sold for a small fortune on fleabay. Hopefully, by the time that happens, I'll be dead of some chronic disease or disability, as is everyone, eventually...hmmm....maybe I'm on to something!

Olfacta said...

Hi M -- You're right; with cancer in particular, they use poison that barely differentiates between the cancer cells and the healthy one. It kills quite a few people, incidentially.

Maybe the phrase "natural causes" needs to come back.

Olfacta said...

Hi J -- I understand it too, and save my gleeful over-applying for when I'm home alone. That's just good manners. Getting no-fragrance policies passed in entire companies simply because you don't like it -- that isn't, imho, anyway.

Rappleyea said...

Personally, I think there is MUCH more danger in what most people put IN their bodies rather than what they put ON their bodies. But what irritates me the most about the IFRA is that they attack the natural ingredients with a total disregard for the patented chemicals!

flittersniffer said...

I think I am glad I live in the UK? But maybe it is only a question of time before the powers that be put the boot in here...

ChickenFreak said...

Grumble. On the health issue, I refuse to give up perfume and then use dreadfully-generic-fragranced laundry detergent and dish soap and shampoo facial tissues and toilet paper and hand soap and deodorant and dustcloths and so on and so on. My plan is to go with overpriced scent-free products and keep on wearing perfume.

On the Annoying Others issue, I already wear perfume so lightly that few people can smell me, so I don't think I have any reforming to do.

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