The Savvy Path

    A Quest For Affordable (and Safe) Personal Care Products

    One Innocent Sounding Word

    By now we know that the word “fragrance” on a product label is a red flag. That one innocent sounding word can include so many unknowns from endocrine disruptors to carcinogens. Finding products that disclose what makes them smell so good can be hard and some of the products with clean ingredients can be expensive.

    Karen Roche understands this problem all too well. In 2006 her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. So began her journey to learn about and find better-for-you products free from toxins and artificial fragrances. The one thing Karen had the most trouble finding was personal care products that fit the bill. There were limited options and many that she did find were pricey.

     She figured that if she was having problems finding non-toxic, affordable personal care products other woman were, too. 

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    Five Friendly Fragrance-Free Signs

    Once in a while we’ll see a sign in a public facility, usually medical offices, stating the intention to make it a ‘fragrance free’ setting for the benefit of those who have allergies, asthma and chemical sensitivities.  

    The wording may change, but they have similiar intentions. For example, back in 2001, Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital took the initiative to

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    Fragrance Sensitivities: Is it You or the Workplace?

    Navigating and creating a work space

    Do you get dizzy or get severe headaches when sitting next to co-worker doused with perfume?  Do you find it hard to breath or feel nauseous when passing by a department store perfume counter? Do you feel like someone has you in a choke hold which leads to coughing with certain air fresheners, deodorizers or laundry detergents?

    Many Americans suffer from fragrance sensitivities from toiletries, cosmetics, air fresheners, cleaning products and pesticides which can trigger chemical insensitivities and result in a severe or life threatening health risks.  Fragrance sensitivities can profoundly impact production at the workplace and this is a real condition that permeates all aspects of life. 

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    I'll Bring Popcorn. You Bring "Stink!"

    It’s been a long day.

    Starting with the first chirp of the robin, you slathered on your favorite baby-powder deodorant and headed for the gym. After kicking butt in boot camp, you hit the showers with your favorite apple scented shampoo and silky peach soap bar. Spritzing your favorite flirty body spray, you head out the door and to your car, feeling pumped and ready for the day. The tropical coconut emanating from the pine tree swinging from your rearview mirror as you drive reminds you of that beachfront condo you’ll be parked in front of soon. With the day dragging by 4pm, you attempt to boost your energy with the mountain fresh scent in your air freshener, the very scent you love in your laundry detergent.  Once home, you light your favorite seashore candles and shuffle through your emails.

    “You're Invited: Gals Night Out” reads the one from your best gal pal. 

    “We’re never gonna smell the same again.” 

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    The Powerful Voices Behind Your Fragrance Revolution

    Women Power

    It is estimated that in the United States nearly 80,000 chemicals are in use and that only approximately 200 have been thoroughly evaluated for safety. Scary, right? What’s even more concerning is that many chemicals have only been evaluated for their health effects on men, not women. Women’s unique bodies interact differently than men’s, especially those of children and women of reproductive age. Worrisome statistics indeed, but the future is bright thanks to  Woman’s Voices for the Earth, a Savvy Founding Nonprofit Partner and a powerhouse moving the women-led charge to eliminate toxic chemicals from the products we use every day.

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    Fragrance in the Classroom 1-2-3

     

    Scent is so tied to our memories. Elementary school and tempura paint. Mr. Sketch markers. Cafeteria bleach. Elmer’s glue. The super-cool student teacher’s perfume. 

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    Welcome to the Fragrance Revolution

     

    An Ode To Our Olefactory System 

    Sneezer, smeller, sniffer, snotter, snuffer or schnoze; snubbed or pointy, dear lovely nose how we love you so.  An information inferring machine that, with barely a flare of the nostril, can lead us from garage to kitchen on the waft-and-promise of home cooking. You can detect the slightest dab of perfume on a wrist, or the powdery fresh deodorant application during a snuggle. We rely on your keen sense for protection: fresh paint? Don’t touch! Dirty diaper? His turn. Mildew? Time to investigate. The list goes on. Plywood to photocopiers, new couches to new cars. You are constantly sniffing around, and thank goodness, because there is a heck of a difference between old soured milk and a freshly poured glass. Honestly, our taste buds prefer the nose does it's job first. 

    Fragrance is part of the beautiful human experience. Recently, the fragrance experience has twisted into human deception.

    Welcome to the Fragrance Revolution! Révolution de parfum!

     

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    This Boyfriend's Simple Fragrance Request

    “I am SO proud of you!”

    …I told my boyfriend one night a few weeks back. Craig had just arrived home from work and we were sitting down to dinner, catching up on the day. 

    “The lobby at work smelled like a Febreze factory!” he had just told me.“So I emailed someone and said that we need to get those out of the bathrooms. That we just can’t be exposing our athletes, clients, and employees to potentially carcinogenic chemicals.” 

    Craig works for a company that trains elite and professional athletes, military operators, and corporate wellness clients worldwide. In the name of health and for the sake of the thousands of people who walk through the front doors and into that lobby, he knew they could do better.

    My heart skipped a beat. Is there anything more romantic than environmental health advocacy? 

     

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