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Something Smells Fishy in Fashion…
by Justin Mendoza



Editor's Note: I love how Justin really exposes these "chemical cocktails" for what they are and offers some great alternatives like making your own scent using essential oils which is something that I do personally.

We may aspire to wear the glamorous creations sashaying down the runways of New York, Milan and Paris, but most of us only invest in some shoes, the ‘it’ bag, the underwear or perfume.  Just a spray on our pulse points and we can all wear Armani for the day.  Or maybe you’re just a Jenny from the block and want to smell like J.Lo.  Whatever fantasy you choose, compared to the price of most other products bearing their famous names, fragrance definitely seems like a more accessible luxury.  But is our health a hidden cost?

We may assume that their ingredients are of high quality and as expensive as the lifestyles we are promised in the splashy ad campaigns.  In the fashion industry, designer fragrance is known as ‘the juice’.  But unlike a delicious green juice that’s packed with nutritious value, in this parlance juice really means dough and refers to how much profit a design house can reap from this prestige product.  Considering the mucho moola needed for development, royalties, and especially advertising, I’m not sure how incredible those ingredients really are if they’re still laughing all the way to the bank.

The scary truth is, we don’t even know most of what goes into these chemical cocktails.  Claiming it as a trade secret, these magic potions can simply be listed on the label as ‘fragrance’.  In fact, ‘fragrance’ can be composed of any of over 3,100 chemicals, some of which have hazardous properties that build up in our tissues or cause allergic reactions.  And just like our processed and packaged foods, some of these ingredients are preservatives and dyes.  Phthalates (good luck trying to pronounce that one correctly) is one such class of chemicals that make a scent last longer but is also linked to hormone disruption and can cause sperm damage in men.  Even if you’re not a man, you may be carrying a baby boy inside you someday.

Now, the industry is actually legally protected from having to disclose their formulas by the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973.

The industry set up its own safety panel but has only published its findings on 34% of unlabeled ingredients (Environmental Working Group).  Not only is there no transparency about what’s really in those seemingly fabulous flacons (perfume bottles), no one even knows how safe they are to use.

Well what’s an informed fashionista supposed to do now?  The Holistic Couture solution is to blend your own personal fragrance with essential oils.  Essential oils are the concentrated aromatic essences extracted from plants.  They’ll be more expensive, but look for therapeutic-grade oils that aren’t labeled an ‘aromatherapy oil’ as some synthetic oils may still use phthalates or other solvents.  One resource is to find or become a distributor at Young Living Essential Oils.

To avoid irritation for this use, don’t apply undiluted oils directly on your skin.

First, you’ll need 1 oz. of a carrier like distilled water or base oil of jojoba, avocado, grapeseed or sweet almond.

Then select 3 or 4 scents that appeal to you.  I would suggest using some complementary oils in the same family so it has a distinctive profile (like a floral, woodsy or citrus scent).

Use a 3-2-1 ratio, for a total of 15-20 drops of your custom essential oil blend.

Combine the oils in a tinted glass container, cap and shake very lightly.

Allow it to age two weeks before using and you have an all-natural, couture scent.

Now that’s chic!



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About the Author

Justin Mendoza of Holistic Couture is a Nutrition and Image Consultant. He is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and is board-certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Previously, he was a head fashion designer in Manhattan after obtaining his Bachelor's degree from Philadelphia University. Now Justin guides and supports clients to address their health and image concerns and achieve their goals in his private practice. Just like haute couture, your program is tailored to your unique needs. Learn for yourself why bliss is the new black!

For more information visit www.HolisticCouture.com or visit Justin's blog HolisticCouture.wordpress.com.

Follow Holistic Couture on Facebook.




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