Category Archives: Society & Fragrances

Society’s obsession with scents

Smell INC Salutes: Fragrance Free Places

Smell INC. applauds those businesses, workplaces, and cities  that promote a healthy environment for all by limiting the use of fragrances.

These places promote a form of fragrance free environments. Let’s support them and  please encourage more to join the revolution.

  • City of Detroit workplace
  • New York City Health Department
  • Tuttle, Oklahoma City Hall
  • Portland Oregon City workers
  • Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Washington
  • Jefferson City Missouri’s Parks and Recreation Department
  • Windom Area Hospital in Windom, Minnesota

Those of us with allergies, migraines, asthma, and multiple chemical sensitivity thank you!

If you know of another place that should make our list, please let us know.

Perfume Obsession: What will they think of next?

For someone who gets ill from fragrances, I’m keenly aware of how scents are everywhere. Our perfume obsessed society can’t get enough. Most people wear fragrances in their shampoo & lotion & deodorant & laundry detergent & then add some perfume of choice. In the spirit of excess, here are new unconventional ways to get even smellier.

DIGESTIBLE PERFUME– Yep, you eat garlic and it seeps through your pores later giving you that lingering smell. Well, there is a company called Beneo that is working on this concept for perfumes. It’s perfumed candy is Deo and it creates the smell of roses once it is digested. It is made from beets.  Rose smells from beets might not be too bad but I can just imagine how this could evolve.

http://www.beneo-group.com/A-Sweet-Scent-sation

It sounds like this trend started in Japan. Fuwarinka in Japan has PERFUME GUM that when chewed exerts its fragrance of peaches or roses through the skin. In 2002 another Japanese company called Tsuge Pipe Company created an EDIBLE PERFUME for cigarettes. A smoker could add the drops of mint, peach, strawberry or orange to their cigarette to change the smell.

Beneo doesn’t seem to be the only ones developing the sweating fragrance method for the western world…. Lucy McRae with biologist Sheref Mansy is creating “Swallowable Perfume”.  They have a slick video ad that shows a woman popping a capsule and sweating out metallic beads that supposedly give off a unique odor. They are still in the developmental phase. While the photography is done well… I think the ad is a little creepy. See it for yourself.

http://youtu.be/X9cVAZrY_9E

http://www.lucymcrae.net/swallowable-parfum/

If you’d rather wear your perfume than sweat it perhaps Lisa Hoffman’s new FRAGRANCED JEWELRY is for you. She has created wooden bead bracelets that when exposed to air release a perfume. Each bracelet comes with a  container with extra beads so the jewelry can always transmit odor. She has five scents to choose from…. Japanese Agarwood, Tuscan Fig, French Clary Sage, Madagascar Orchid and Tunisian Neroli. These are being sold at the Home Shopping Network.

http://www.hsn.com/beauty/lisa-hoffman-perfume-jewelry-tunisian-neroli-beaded-stretch-bracelet-with-refill_p-6642912_xp.aspx

If jewelry is too subtle, you could wear PERFUMED GLOVES instead. L’Artisan Parfumeur offers gloves that will give off a floral scent for three years! According to InStyle Magazine these gloves will go on sale ($480) starting October 30 through L’artisan Perfumeur’s website.

Really? What will they think of next?

The perfume obsession continues.

Another Fragrance Free Friendly Place: Tuttle Oklahoma

City Hall in Tuttle Oklahoma has asked that people should not add perfume or cologne when visiting. They may be asked to stand outside if they do.

Thank You Tuttle Oklahoma!

Want to see for yourself… here is a link to their website

http://cityoftuttle.com/

Here is an article in USA Today discussing the trend of workplaces adopting a fragrance free zone.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-02/fragance-ban-allergies/55988704/1

Rolling Stone Magazine Reeks

Lately Rolling Stone Magazine stinks. It’s not the articles… it’s those smelly perfume ads. Is there anything more offensive than somebody spraying perfume on you that you didn’t choose? That is what it is like when Rolling Stone arrives in my mailbox.

Yes, Eddie, I agree this magazine smells awful!

The last couple of issues of Rolling Stone have at least two scented ads.  These ads are so pungent that (even after I have ripped them out) my hands smell like perfume when I handle the magazine. I may not be able to read them without fearing a headache even after airing them out.  When I asked customer service if I could have an unscented version, they said they do not offer one. All the other major magazines offer this service, it is a shame they will not.

Rolling Stone is a Rock and Roll magazine. Why must it smell like a 14-year-old boy trying to get laid? Hey editors, can you please talk to your sales staff? If this is the trend, you are going to lose this subscriber and I can’t believe I’m the only one.

Official military fragrance line

The Perfuming of America continues, now the military is getting involved. They have officially licensed scents for the different branches. The Marines have “Devil Dog” cologne. They are working on “Patton” for the Army and the Air Force has “Stealth”.

I can’t make this up.

Read the article in The Washington post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/the-marine-cologne-strong-with-a-hint-of-military-spirit/2011/09/02/gIQAMSmgAK_story_1.html

Ambient Scenting Revealed: Businesses Pump Fragrances to Encourage you to Spend $$$

I recently bought a purse from a large name department store. The bag is banished to the guest bedroom because it reeks. It will air out there for a month or so. This purse has been soaking in the scents of its store for a while. Many stores are scenting their air with fragrances.

This can be done by large units in air conditioning systems or small motion controlled units hiding under a shelf on a promotional display. There are a lot of companies out there delivering a myriad of devices and smells to businesses, this marketing technique is called ambient scenting and it’s taking off.

These fragrance pumping devices are found in stores, hotels, casinos, cruise ships and even public buildings. They may be trying to mask an unpleasant odor or they may be trying to seduce you into spending more of your money. They may also be making you sick, but more on that later.

Shopping Malls: ripe with ambient scenting

The concept is to use smells to create brand recognition. A signature scent that may evoke certain emotions or memories. My friend Kelly says that Cover Girl powder has a unique scent to it and when she smells it she instantly recalls Cover Girl and the positive feelings she has towards their makeup. Companies are taking scent branding beyond their products and are using it in their stores and promotional displays.

Most people know that the popular teen clothing store, Abercrombie & Fitch keeps their stores smelling of their cologne, Abercrombie’s Fierce. If you walk into one of these stores you will be greeted by their signature scent.

Scent Air, an ambient scenting company, boasts on their website about some of their customers.

  • Sony Style Stores – a signature fragrance of  “citrus, vanilla and other secret ingredients”
  • Westin Hotels & Resorts – entrances use a white tea fragrance
  • Four Points by Sheraton Hotels – lobby and common areas smells of “Pinwheels in the Breeze”, a Yankee Candle designed signature scent
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino – Uses a HVAC system to pump “Coconut Spice” through 135,000 square feet
  • Bloomingdale’s–  Baby Department smells like baby powder, coconut in the swimsuit section, and Lilac fragrance in Lingerie. Seasonal scents like chocolate, pine and sugar cookies waft there as well.
  • Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando – Smell of “Ocean” in the lobby and “sugar cookie” and “waffle cone” near the ice cream shop.
  • Celebration Health MRI facility – smells of “ocean” and “coconut” to relax patients receiving MRI’s.

Scent air offers many ways to distribute fragrances from devices that can be hooked up to large building air conditioning systems with intensity controls to point of purchase sprayers that can be mounted on a shelf display and be triggered by motion sensors. Scent air is so high-tech they custom make units large enough for theme parks and the military to use in simulation training. They even created scent distribution devices for street billboards. Scent air is just one of many companies offering ambient scenting devices.

Another company named Prolitec created scents for a large retailer in Europe comparable to Wal-Mart. They created a “Wine Cellar” scent for the wine section and “Nature After Rain” for the checkout line. For hotels, Prolitec claims it turned a pool’s chlorine smell into fresh flowers and masked bad tobacco and moldy odor. Prolitec also supplies a major casino in the Southeast with ambient scenting to hide tobacco smells there. Prolitec suggests its products to cruise ships, malls, fitness centers, schools, health care facilities, theatres, and airports. Here are some of Prolitec’s clients they have listed on their website…

  • Bebe
  • Abercrombie & Fitch
  • Hollister
  • Samsung
  • Diane Von Furstenberg
  • Hilton
  • InterContinental
  • Sofitel
  • The Breakers
  • Palm Beach
  • MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
  • Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
  • Bellagio
  • Harrah’s
  • Bliss Spa
  • GE Healthcare
  • Lifeline Fitness
  • Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  • Henry County Health Center

Event planners may contact another scenting company called Scentevents for their parties. They have quite a list of events on their website which they provided this service.  It ranges from weddings to movie premieres to theme parks to museums. They carry a wide range of scents including crayons, rotten fish, fresh-cut grass and bubble gum.

Ambient scenting may just be an interesting marketing technique to most people but it can make some sick. Many people suffer from allergies, asthma, migraine headaches and multiple chemical sensitivities. All of these can be triggered or made worse by fragrances. When someone walks into an establishment there is no way of knowing whether fragrances are being pumped through the air.

I get headaches triggered by fragrances. Trips to certain businesses mean I will be popping Excedrin before the afternoon is over. I thought it was probably the fragrances of the other people in the store but now I suspect it has to do with the fragrances these stores are using. I am now a lot more savvy to this and avoid those stores. I wonder if these businesses even give consideration to people like me. Do they think about the customers they might be losing because their marketing technique makes them ill?

I’m not saying all scents are evil. I enjoy the vanilla wafting through the air from Ben N Jerry ice cream shops. That fragrance does not give me headaches, maybe it’s just natural vanilla?

If you are like me and suspect an establishment is using a fragrance that is making you sick, please speak up. Tell the manager. Write the corporation. That business would most likely want to know and if enough people complain perhaps it will create change.

And for those businesses using Ambient Scenting, it would be nice if you disclosed it somehow. A sticker in your storefront window perhaps or a disclaimer on your website. I would love to know before I plan a cruise or book a night at a hotel whether or not they use this kind of scenting. I know this will likely never happen but it really should.

Ambient Scenting is widespread, don’t take my word for it…. here are some links to check out and as always your comments are welcome.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_26/b4184085987358.htm

http://www.prolitec.com/ambient_scenting.htm

http://www.scentair.com/power-of-scent-case-studies/

http://www.scentevents.com/scent-systems-products.html

http://healing.about.com/cs/mcs/a/scentsense.htm

If you want to know more about how fragrances can affect your health, how prevalent scents are in our society, or how to have a fragrance free lifestyle please browse other articles on this blog “Smell Inc. The Perfuming of America”.

NYC Health Department bans fragrances

The New York City health department is enacting some new rules for their employees to encourage healthier lifestyles and set better examples. This includes employees to refrain from wearing strong fragrances.  As someone who suffers from fragrance induced headaches, I applaud them. Click on the links to read more.

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/04/04/2011-04-04_health_depts_new_guide_focuses_more_on_donts_than_dos.html

http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/national/nyc-health-department-unveils-new-employee-rules-20110405

http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/136776/strict-new-guidelines-for-city-health-dept–workers