Is It OK to Smell Good?

One of the first things I learned when I was starting to go green was that added fragrances were often viewed as a no-no in the natural world. It made perfect sense -- fragrances did seem like a pleasant, but unnecessary, addition to things, and some people are sensitive to them -- so I got right on board with going scent-free. Over time, I replaced my scented cleaners, detergents, and hand soaps with fragrance-free varieties. Many of my scented products were conventional formulas that used synthetic fragrances to achieve their flowery perfumes, and the day I completed the transition to my new unscented life was a proud one for me. I had eliminated unnecessary odors from my home! My air would be perfumed by petroleum-derived fragrances no more! After a few weeks, however, I started to feel like something was missing in my house. I just couldn't put my finger on what it was, though. Then one day, I was at my mom's, helping her fold laundry, and suddenly I knew. Her clothes smelled like lavender, and it was wonderful. Her kitchen smelled lemony clean, and I wanted to spend the day there. (In my house, everything now smelled like nothing. Except the dogs. They still smelled like dogs.) I realized that I missed having that extra little something in my life, that sense of well-being you get from a clean you can smell. So to the store I went, and I treated myself to Seventh Generation's Natural Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender Concentrated Laundry Detergent instead of going with my usual, the Free & Clear. I decided that it is OK to smell good. I decided to allow some fragranced products into my home, as long as the fragrances started as real plants, not petroleum. It has been a week since I started using my new scented product, and I love it. The fragrance is present, but in a low-key way that lets me smell the clean without being overwhelmed. Do you prefer scented or unscented products?

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RealMom is married to RealDad, a super-buff and handsome red-headed fella, and they have two super-cute and reasonable children, RealGirl (3.5) and RealBoy (1). They were all born and bred in – you guessed it – New Jersey.

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