Mother Nature Makes Great Scents, Doesn’t She?

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I am addicted to soaps and cleaning products with potent, natural fragrances. Really. Not addicted in the “I’ll sniff it to get high” sense, but I love a lasting fragrance when I take a shower or clean the bathroom. It may be illogical, but the fragrances make me feel “cleaner.”

And since we banished toxic cleaning and personal care products, I’ve realized that my nose has become extremely sensitive to chemical smells and artificial fragrances. Case in point: My husband bought a bottle of bleach sometime last year in an attempt to battle mold in our old apartment. When he opened it, I was three rooms away and had no idea there was bleach in the house. Yet, I smelled it and immediately got a headache. I ran to him screaming my head off about the bleach while he stood there confused about how I possibly could have known he was using it. To put it mildly, chemical smells are not welcome in my house.

Given the choice, I absolutely prefer scents created by Mother Nature herself. Not by a scientist in a lab coat. This also applies to perfumes and other fragrances for personal use. I’m more likely to rub a tiny bit of frankincense or orange essential oil on my wrists than I am to buy scented oils or “Eau de Toilette” at the mall.

By far, though, my favorite scents from nature are lavender and peppermint. They may be cliche, but I use them in everything and can’t get enough. I even mix them together when making homemade bath salts and carpet powder. The combination is intoxicating! I’d like to think that when my daughter is all grown up, these smells will bring back happy memories of her childhood. The smell of lemongrass and thyme absolutely do that for me. One sniff, and all of a sudden I’m back in the Virgin Islands.

They make me think of mornings drinking breakfast tea with my aunt and grandmother, and days when my mother would send me outside to pick some thyme leaves to add to her arroz con pollo, Puerto Rican-style chicken and rice. And the smell of ripe soursop never fails to make me misty-eyed at thoughts of my granddaddy, who once “forced” to me to drink a glass of milk. I hated milk. Still do. As it turns out, the “milk” was really soursop juice, so all my moping and complaining about having to drink it was for nothing. He thought it was hilarious.

Seventh Generation understands that Mother Nature knows best when it comes to fragrances. Their collection of dish liquids is a testament to that. You’ll find options like fresh citrus and ginger, lavender ( :) ), and lemongrass and clementine zest. In celebration of the fields from which their fragrances are derived and the hands that cultivated them, they are having the Nature Makes Great Scents Sweepstakes. You can enter to win a trip for two to either France, Italy or Vermont — the regions where lemons, clementines and lavender grow.

What natural fragrances do you love? Do they remind you of your childhood? A loved one? Have you ever seen the inside of a soursop? lol

Photos: Stock Xchng and Davity Dave

Disclosure: I was compensated for writing this post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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