“If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears.” -Isaac Hayes
Scents are powerful and primitive. They can evoke memories and emotions, good and bad. People like to add scents to themselves and to the spaces around them. That much is obvious and is evidenced by the huge demand for scented products in our world, from skin care to laundry detergent to scented candles. What is rarely discussed, however, is the growing number of people who either don’t care for or have allergic reactions to such scents; and prefer unscented, or fragrance-free, products.
For some people the slightest whiff of perfume, cleaning products, air fresheners, or that ‘new car smell’ cause irritation and lingering physical symptoms. This should not be surprising as most of these types of products are a stew of manmade chemicals (the same VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, found in paints, glues, etc.) that not everyone can tolerate. Both the American Medical Association and the Americans With Disabilities Act recognize that low exposure to common chemicals, including certain scented products, can disable an otherwise healthy person. Halifax Nova Scotia became the first ‘Fragrance Free’ city in North America back in 1991. Since then numerous public buildings, schools, churches, and hospitals across the globe have incorporated scent-free policies to protect those who are affected by scents.
The only scents we ever use in our products at Badger come from organic plant extracts and essential oils. These are totally safe and we add them for a few specific reasons, such as to provide aromatherapeutic benefits (Sleep Balm, Cheerful Mind Balm), to heal or protect (Aromatic Chest Rub, Anti-Bug, Sore Muscle Rub) or simply to make the products smell nice (Beauty Balm, Shave Soap). Over the years we’ve heard a growing demand from our customers to make more products without any fragrance. We now have fourteen unscented products, including sunscreens, lip balms, and skin moisturizers. Most of these have become best-sellers in their categories.
What is your opinion on scented products? What types of products do you like to have a scent and what types of products do you prefer to be unscented. Do you prefer natural and organic essential oil fragrances to synthetic ones?