Ah-hah! Another article justifying that cleaning with traditional Western cleaners can be bad for you:
I cannot stand being in a home where a synthetic-smelling cleaner, detergent, or bleach has been used. My allergies go insane, and sometimes I get a reaction similar to when I am near too many cats, or a dirty home with cats - I have much difficulty breathing. I start sneezing at work if anyone passes by and their cloud of cheap cologne or perfume wafts in my direction, or if they decide that NOW is the time to use a scented Clorox wipe on their desk. (The obscenely dirty cubicle desks some people maintain seriously frightens me. I clean mine every other day or so, and more if I see a stain on the desk).
When I clean my own home, I use three spray bottles: one with white vinegar, one with hydrogen peroxide (and the bottle is covered in duct tape so as not to let in light), and one bottle with a mixture of half water, half vinegar, and a glug of rubbing alcohol (this is my glass cleaner. The vinegar degreases, and the alcohol helps decrease drying time / streaks). When I clean countertops or other surfaces, I spray one layer of vinegar followed by another layer of hydrogen peroxide. My sister presented us with a study long ago that found that this combination was as antibacterial and effective a cleaner as synthetic "all purpose" cleaners. For sinks and tubs, I use an abrasive powder called Bon Ami, and a stiff bristled plastic brush. I was trying baking soda when I ran out of Bon Ami recently, but I went back to it because, in my opinion, it scrubs better. For the toilet, I use a toilet brush and a soy-based toilet cleaner that has peppermint oil in it. I hear Clorox GreenWorks toilet cleaner is pretty good, as well, but I think the smell is a touch overwhelming for me.
I was in Madison, WI this past week (coming in a separate post), and I couldn't share the inflatable mattress with my friend, because she smelled like fabric softener. To some, it might evoke memories of Mom's fresh laundry, smelling "clean", but to me it just smells hideous and I get a vague memory of walking by apartment buildings in college and having sneezing fits because someone was drying their clothes and the Downy was emanating from the dryer exhaust vent.
When my friend Kim visited, I couldn't let her share the bed with me, either. Whatever combination of personal care products she chooses left me sneezing and blowing my nose the entire weekend. She is a great friend, but I couldn't have her stay anywhere near me! :)
I also recently got duped by a deodorant; Sure, I believe, was the brand. It purported to be "unscented", and then I got it home, opened it, and HAH- it smells like Febreeze-cucumbers. I looked closer, and "masking fragrance" is listed as the final ingredient. I usually use a natural deodorant, either Tom's of Maine or a spray from Origins that contains essential (read: natural) oils. But for actual odor-killing, I turn to Dove Unscented sensitive skin deodorant; the one brand that has actually proved to me it's UNscented.
So, I say the above not only to whine about the overuse of synthetic "fragrances" in society, but to bring up a narcissistic viewpoint. Synthetic fragrances are gross! And if you believe the voodoo-hurdy-gurdy, they have been shown to deplete your aura, or energy field surrounding your body.