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Pondering Perfumes

How they impact human beings and why a spritz a day may not keep the doctor away...

The smell of jasmine emanating from a flower pot brings joy and peacefulness to the heart. 
The plant was created in such a way that it gives generously without asking for much in return.
Let us be like that jasmine flower when we adorn ourselves with fragrances. Let us be cognizant of the quality and 'naturality' of the scents we expose others to; for not all is as it seems.
- Dr. Haque

Studying naturopathic medicine makes you rethink products that many believe to be harmless.

After wearing colognes for many years and witnessing the differing responses that people had from them (not all good, let me tell you), I began to question where the scents came from and how they impacted living beings.

Why do many people love the scent of a cologne or perfume but find it hard to breathe in their presence or even develop brain fog and headaches around them?

Why do we think we love the scent of a candle only to feel nauseated after a while?

I know people who avoid walking in front of those body spray, candle and lotion stores at the mall because of its impact on them.

So, What's the Culprit?

Unfortunately, nowadays, most perfumes found in stores are made with synthetic ingredients that are harmful to biological life, including our own. The truth is that the art of perfumery has deteriorated significantly in modern times from its historical origins.

It is very similar to the deterioration of the quality of offerings we have in the food industry, without lowering the price tag, making us have the false sense of security that we are paying for "premium" products when that may not be the case.

What ends up happening when we breathe in these chemical synthetic renditions of fragrance, the gasses accumulate in the air, are inhaled, and then exchanged with precious healthy tissue in the lungs and eventually end up in the blood, leading to a cascade of health-damaging effects.

This statement below made years ago in Scientific American capitalizes on the harm and secrecy of the perfume industry:

"The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label,” reports the Environmental Working Group (EWG) ... “Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”

EWG adds that some of the undisclosed ingredients are chemicals “with troubling hazardous properties or with a propensity to accumulate in human tissues.” Examples include diethyl phthalate, a chemical found in 97 percent of Americans and linked to sperm damage in human epidemiological studies, and musk ketone, which concentrates in human fat tissue and breast milk.

Was This Always the Case?


But there are (disappointingly) few authentic perfumers of our times. There used to be many who existed in the past, before industrialization and the creation of shallow, single-layer, synthetic versions of these scent profiles.

Perfumers from around the world used jasmine, frankincense, and oud, as well as many other plant/animal oils (think about ambergris; the dried vomit of a whale!) to create layers of scents that blend to create a wondrous olfactory experience.

These authentic substances DO have non-harmful, pleasing, and even healing effects on the human body. But, when we tinker with what nature provides us, we usually end up with unforeseen side effects.

I discovered this on a personal level after testing many patients in my clinic for different colognes and perfumes, body creams, and air "fresheners", only to find a handful of products that tested well by strengthening muscles and clearing painful lymphatic reflexes. These findings initially came as a surprise to me but made perfect sense in hindsight.

The way I see it, and the way I have put it to many of you in the clinic is this; when you apply synthetically made scents to your body, home, clothes, etc., you not only harm yourself but anyone unfortunate enough to take a hit of whichever toxic fumigant was marketed to us.

You don’t want that responsibility on your shoulders.

As consumers, we should aspire to be educated and make intentional decisions that only boost our health and not weaken it. It may be a difficult change to make, but it all adds up and takes its toll on the body.

So Do We Stop Smelling Good & Enjoying Nature's Bounties?!


The good news is that I have found and vetted a handful of companies that do care about others to the point that they curate their products by synergizing natural ingredients designed to heal. They are true to the original art of perfumery.

Some of those companies include Ansar Oud and Bortnikoff Parfum for oils and fragrances, and Mion Artisan Soap for body butter and room fragrances.

I have tested and experienced many of these products to be healing when inhaled and have selected a few that had the strongest neurological response to offer at my clinic.

Stop by our office to sample some of the scents and let us know what you think.

The application of these naturally based perfumes will not only be a medicine for you, but all those who are fortunate enough to catch a breeze.

In Health,

Dr. Haque

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