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Cosmetic Products: Scented or Unscented?

Even though I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to the vanilla scent of my face cream, several people have asked me to make my cosmetic products in an unscented version as well. Let us consider the underlying issue. Why are some people allergic to scent?

How Smells Work

When the human body smells something, it recognizes the scent, then quickly adapts to the invading presence by ignoring it. If it senses no danger, the body accepts the scent as part of the environment without further response. That's why, over a short time, you no longer smell in-room fragrances. The scents haven’t disappeared—rather, your body just doesn’t want to be bothered signaling the brain.

For some people, however, scents provoke symptoms. About 1% of the population is allergic to common fragrances, and many more find fragrances irritating. It is one thing to have detox symptoms to harmful substances, but it’s another thing to experience hypersensitivity to natural fragrances from plants and flowers or food allergies to honey, fresh fruit, nuts, etc.

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Causes of Allergies

A normal, healthy body will react to toxic substances. The healthier your system, the more severe your body’s reaction to drugs and harmful chemicals. On the other hand, an allergy, by definition, is an abnormal, acquired sensitivity to a given substance.

The term allergy was first used by the Viennese pediatrician Clemens von Pirquet in 1906. He noticed some of his patients were hypersensitive to normally innocuous entities such as dust, pollen, or certain foods. Pirquet called this phenomenon allergy, from the Greek words allos (other) and ergon (work).

A severe reaction to natural scents and food is an indication that toxins are present in the body. High levels of pollutants build up, exceeding and eventually incapacitating your body’s natural detoxification capabilities. When this happens, common indoor air contaminants from cleaning agents, perfumes, even natural flower scents further infiltrate and damage delicate immune pathways. Detoxification mechanisms become exhausted and the lymphatic and immune systems become overloaded, even incapacitated.

In the attempt to save the body against this toxic overload, the immune system stimulates the release of cleansing responses which can result in symptoms such as runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, skin rashes, and difficulty breathing. This is an abnormal, attained sensitivity which usually improves dramatically or is even eliminated entirely by a raw foods and fasting regimen.

You shouldn’t have to live with allergies. My products are very good for healthy people. As healthy people, we cannot tolerate toxic chemicals and odors. But we are designed to enjoy natural scents. People who find they cannot enjoy natural scents should make a concerted effort to detox themselves via raw foods and fasting. I’ve received many reader testimonials that describe exactly how this happens. As their health improves, their allergic reactions vanish, and they’re able to enjoy natural scents—and use my vanilla cream—without any negative reactions.

In my masque, we use lavender for its healing properties. Its calming and relaxing. We add no “fragrance” because that would be adding an unnatural batch of chemicals to a product I’ve striven to make clean, pure, natural. I go instead with the natural scent that’s integral to a very beneficial herb. But even fragrance-free products may have a distinct smell! (Consider this: Freshly ground coffee is fragrance free, but it has a strong natural aroma.)

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Benefits of Natural Lavender

Lavender oil is native to the Mediterranean region. The lavender flower has natural antiseptic and astringent properties when applied to the skin. Because it is high in esters, lavender oil can help sooth irritated skin and protect it from further damage.

Historical accounts tell us that many lavender field workers and perfumers of the Middle Ages survived the Black Death and other plagues—the lavender protected them from the lethal bacteria. Lavender stimulates and supplements your body’s healing powers. Among aromatic plants, no other plant essence offers lavender’s broad palette of healthy and healing properties. It can, for example, kill pathogens in the air and in nasal sinuses and respiratory airways. Lavender has hydrating, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties as well. Lavender scent is a nerve tonic and an antidepressant, boosting one’s spirits. It has no toxicity whatsoever.

Go raw! As you detox, you may find that your allergies and hypersensitivity symptoms start to vanish, and you can enjoy the benefits of natural scents.