Friday, November 14, 2008

Green Aspiration

Most fragrance trends are created by the perfumer skillfully adding a new nuance or "note" to an existing theme. The time honored example is Coco Chanel mistakenly adding too much Aldehydes to her floral creation. This provided a sophistication and an attractive uniqueness. This mistake became Chanel #5. As people encoded this odor memory as they were exposed to the #5 Perfume form or the hundreds of adaptations that followed in skin products, a trend was born and tracked. 

This "conditioning" of recognizing new fragrances and inputting borrowed demand has repeated itself in nearly every fragranced product. Even when something was technically deemed impossible like chlorine based cleaners, R&D was devoted and rewarded with positive results.

Today consumers are so manipulated that they have created a real economy based on products that they adorn themselves, their clothing, living space and everyday cleaners with every evolving trends. Most of this actually serves a common good and should thrive. People are healthy, feel better about themselves and how they want others to relate to them. Houses are cleaner and germ free as the fragrance products promote correct usage and hygienic habits. And despite the so-called synthetic chemical backlash, what people put on themselves is a free choice and causes virtually no harm. 

Now the tasks are to inform people that there is a small population sector that has a real sensitization and we should all try to minimize contact when known. And we should all voice opinion and try to influence consumers that they do not need fragranced cleaners that imitate every odor trend when the raw materials, both of Natural and Synthetic origins are tested for its environmental impact. We can actually start this in 2009 when the EPA DfE (design for the environment) program provides the Perfumers a method to access raw material data for environmental persistence, sensitization, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity and target organ toxicity. Thereafter, the consumer can intelligently decide and aspire to make their space a healthier place while contributing to a safer planet.  

 

2 comments:

Susie Collins said...

Aloha! I am a member of that "small population sector that has a real sensitization" to synthetic fragrance. And I have a blog that speaks to that sector. It's great finding you-- you're all wonky and scientific about a problem that basically destroys the quality of life for those of us with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I appreciate that! We need people like you, inside the industry, who are looking at the problem of toxicity in synthetic fragrance from two sides: what it does to people's bodies as well as what it's doing to the environment. Thank you for your work and I look forward to following your blog, learning from you and sharing with my readers, the "canaries." Mahalo!

Susie Collins said...

PS I would like to add, though, that I do not think it is a "small" population sector who has a real sensitization to synthetic fragrance. We would need to define our terms "real" and "sensitization," but I think the number of individuals who have some level of sensitivity to synthetic fragrance may be higher than you think. Aloha.