Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thinking about Perfume........

Last night Gwyneth Paltrow appeared on David Letterman. She was, as always regal, a little bit haughty and oh so gorgeous. Her dress was simple and extremely low cut, with the highest heels you have ever seen (luckily she probably only had to walk from behind the stage to her chair beside Letterman - but that is another rant).

Letterman commented that she smelled nice and asked what perfume she was wearing....and her answer was Youth Dew by Estee Lauder. Paltrow became the new face of Estee Lauder in 2005 pitching the Pleasures fragrance - and her comment got me thinking. My first thought was that Youth Dew was a scent from a thousand years ago (actually it was created in 1953) - something that the older generation wore. My second thought was about perfume wearing itself.

I haven't worn perfume for a long long time and since I have been in Kansas I have not even worn fragranced creams. There has been a dramatic increase in people who are made sick by fragrances because so many products are now scented. Babies and children are even more vulnerable, as are people who are trying to recover from cancer and other illnesses. No one wears fragrance in hospitals - and that is where I have been spending lots of time. The first time I ever played bridge in a large group in Vancouver, it was made clear to me that wearing perfume would not be appreciated by anyone.

The Toxic Informations Project has this to say about perfume:

Perfume today is not made from flowers but from toxic chemicals. It's about as romantic as hazardous waste.
More than 4,000 chemicals are used in fragrances. Of these, 95% are made from petroleum.
No agency regulates the fragrance industry, yet perfume chemicals are as damaging to health as tobacco smoke.

The consumption of fragrances is declining, industry analysts state in
the NYTimes. Last year in the United States, spending on upscale women’s fragrances declined, as part of a multiyear trend. The group said $1.97 billion was spent, down from $2 billion in 2002. The article posits that perfume aversion seems to be tapping into a larger societal phenomenon that may have its origins in bans on cellphones and cigarettes: the idea that the collective demands of the public space trump one’s personal space.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I love wearing perfume! I like getting little wiffs of it throughout the day. I'll have to reconsider my spraying habits!!??
Speaking of Youth Dew, that was the perfume that Mrs. Abraham, our supervisor at Cedarbrae Library wore. Smells, and the memory of them, are so evocative. Even the mention of the perfume Youth Dew, conjurs up memories of gold jewellery and gorgeous saris. And that reminds me of being 16 or 17, sunlight streaming through the library windows and looking forward to going to the staffroom for coffee break. And talking to whomever I had a crush on. And all of these memories come flooding back thinking of Youth Dew. Nosiree, I'm not giving up perfume.