Tag Archives: fragrance


If any of you following this blog doubt the dangers of perfumes, please read a fellow bloggers post “Perfumes – An Investigation of Chemicals….” at http://the-labyrinth.com/2012/12/21/perfume-an-investigation-of-chemicals-in-36-eaux-de-toilette-and-eaux-de-parfum/#comments. I think you will find it enlightening and further confirm what we have all been saying about the dangers of chemicals in perfumes.

Tyvek – this mold survivor’s best friend

Recently I read a blog post on another site.  The post was about having company come in with fragrances, sitting on the furniture and causing the environment to no longer be safe.  It made me think about my own surroundings and guests.

I don’t have a lot of visitors into my home.  I think the biggest reason is that if you want to come visit me, you must put on a Tyvek suit.  The suit helps block out fragrances from laundry soap and keeps them from accumulating on my furniture, not that I have anything exciting but my wicker chairs do have fabric cushions.  The suit also prevents anyone who may have mold on their clothes from contaminating my home.  I know this may sound extreme, but I have been through a lot with my mold exposure.  The last thing I need is for my house to be cross contaminated with mold spores or mycotoxins and have nowhere to go.  There may come a day when I no longer have to be so careful; I just don’t know when that will be.

So until then, if you want to visit me or ride in my car, put on the Tyvek suit.  I buy a one size fits all (XXL).  If the sleeves or legs are too long, just roll them up.

Marketing and Promotion Ideas

I was just informed today via email that I now have a new check-in-coordinator from the self-publishing company I am using.  This is frustrating.  I am waiting for what I hope is the final edit.  I still need to pick 1,000 words from the book to use and get photos for the covers.  The book will be available in hard cover, soft cover and as an e-book.  I have also looked into doing an audio book but I am not sure if this is a viable option at this time.

I am also concerned about how I am going to market and promote this book when it is finally published.  The usual things are author talks and book signings.  I am limited unless I can do this outdoors or for a very short time indoors in a safe place with my mask on but getting prospective buyers to come fragrance free is a challenge.  I have been told there is a way to do author talks and readings via the web from my computer at home.  I still have to check into that.

One option is to host a book launch in my yard or that of a friend and make certain the invitation says “no fragrance.”  This will work but depends on when the book is actually printed because I will have to deal with weather conditions.  I could contact online groups I have been in touch with and advertise my book there.

If any of you readers have any ideas or suggestions, I would love to have you leave a comment for me.



How Do You Get Fragrances and Chemicals Out of New Clothes?

Those of us who have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity) are all to familiar with the daunting task of getting fragrances and chemicals out of clothes that have been purchased in  the store or in online shops.  I have found that online purchases are usually easier to deal with as they haven’t been exposed to as many fragrances and other chemicals found  in most department stores.

Depending on where the piece of clothing was purchased and the fabric it is made of plays a big role in how many times I have to wash the item.  For new purchases, I place the clothing in the washing machine with baking soda, powdered milk and 7th Generation Laundry Soap.  I allow the machine to agitate a little and then let the clothing soak for an hour or two.   Once the soaking has stopped, I finish the washing cycle and take a whiff.  Generally it can take three to four washings to be able to tolerate the item. If this doesn’t work I may add a little AFM Super Clean to a wash cycle.  Some of my information has come from a book by Carolyn Gorman with Marie Hyde.  The book is titled, Less-Toxic Alternatives.

I know others who have literally had to boil their clothes to get some of the formaldehyde and other chemicals out.

I am curious what have you tried to remove chemicals and fragrances from new clothing?

Who Are We?

We all define ourselves by who we are and what we do.  Our lives revolve around these roles.  We are teachers, parents, bankers, lawyers and nurses. 

For years I defined myself by what I was.  I was a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.  I also defined myself by what I did.  I was a friend, PTA president, Booster Club Member, School Board Member, 4-H Leader, Band Mother, Room Mother and Secretary.  I was someone who loved gardening, loved to cook and bake and loved to sew. I loved to take my daughters shopping and I loved to lunch with friends.

What happens when we suddenly lose the ability to be what gives us our identity?  What happens when what we did that defined our lives is no longer there?  Do we suddenly become something else?  Do we move on or do we give up?

When I no longer was able to work, go to the movies with friends, participate in my everyday activities, volunteer or even attend one daughter’s graduation or participate in the planning of my  other daughter’s wedding my world came to a stop.  I no longer felt I knew who I was.  I wasn’t the person that I had been.  I didn’t look the same or feel the same.  Who was this crazy woman behind the mask that could only eat a few limited food items, could not color her hair or wear her contact lenses any more?  My IDENTITY was gone; stolen away from me. 

For years I wrestled with this.  Who I was hadn’t changed.  I was still a daughter, sister, wife, mother and friend.  But I was not a Board Member, PTA Member, 4-H Leader or Booster Club Member.  I didn’t bake because I couldn’t eat the things I baked.  My cooking skills diminished as I had very little to cook.  I didn’t sew because it caused anxiety to try to look at shapes and colors and prints.  I didn’t  lunch with friends or take my daughters shopping because going into stores and malls made me very ill.  Because of all these losses I felt I had no identity.  I felt I had nothing to offer.  I found myself writing poems about this in the middle of the night when I could not sleep.  From my book a portion of a poem entitled, “Who Am I?”:

Who Am I?  Stripped of all the things that were once me.  No more contacts – I now have the weight of my glasses on a face that always hurts.

Who Am I? I am the one whose hair makes her feel old – gray with time.  I am the one whose face feels hollow and sunken.

Who Am I?  I am the one sitting patiently by waiting for a treatment to bring her back into the real world.  I am the one trying to be strong when constantly given more bad to deal with.

Who Am I?  I am the one who cries secretly at night – alone in her room.  The one who prays to God for the strength to go on.

It has taken a long time to realize that I can still have an identity without the labels of what I can do.  I am “me” and no one or no illness can take “me” away. 

Layers of Fragrance

I wonder how many give any thought to how many layers of fragrance they are wearing and the amount of chemicals they are being exposed to as a result of these layers.  I know that I never thought much about it until I became ill and my body refused to tolerate fragrances and chemicals of any kind.

Think about it for a moment.  You get up in the morning and shower using fragrant or scented soaps, shampoos, and conditioners.  You exit the shower and put on scented lotions, hair gels and hairspray.  Next comes make-up and perfumes.  Last you put on your clothes that have been laundered in scented soaps and fabric softeners or worse yet come from the dry cleaner.  Every one of these products you have put on your body is full of chemicals.

Your sense of smell over time becomes dulled as your body masks itself to all these fragrances.  Have you ever walked by a little old lady and thought you would keel over from her perfume as if she had taken a bath in it?  After years of putting it on I believe she has become so masked that it takes more and more for her to even smell what she has put on herself.

We need to be more aware of what we are putting on our bodies and absorbing through our skin.  I have learned to do without a lot of products that I have not been able to find that are safe enough for me to wear.  I no longer color my hair, wear fragrant lotions or use fragrant products.  I think that what we put on our skin is worth thinking about.