For centuries men and women have used some form of perfume to change the way their particular odour affected those around them. Artificial scent is pleasant to the senses, and perhaps perfume was primarily used to attract a mate. We enthusiastically continue this process today, with a limitless amount of fragrance options available.
I recall a moment in time as a young nineteen year old woman, while walking along a crowded Swanston St. towards the iconic Flinders St. Station in Melbourne. I had stopped at a pedestrian crossing until the flow of traffic had subsided, when an overwhelming and recognisable scent drifted my way. The fragrance was oh so delicious! I turned to view the person who had this instant affect on my otherwise passive temperament, he was absolutely gorgeous. I could have leapt into his arms there and then, but alas, the lights changed allowing the crowd to continue their journey. Perhaps a lost opportunity, or not, but whether we would have been compatible remains an unknown.
Which brings me to the subject of personal odour. I wonder why we are so reluctant for others to smell who we really are? Do we mask our natural odour for fear that others may be repelled by it? Do you really know what you smell like? On a day when you are home alone and haven’t had a shower, smell accessible parts of your body and ask yourself, is it offensive. If your smell is unpleasant, there may be several causes, such as the medications you take, certain foods or spices you eat, or even bacteria that live on you or on your clothing. Some foods can release gases when they are metabolised by your body and the odour seems to seep from every pore. Smoking, alcohol and disease also affect body odour. So, for whatever reason, we all have different odours.
Consider how we seem to have a need to alter how we smell to ourselves and others. Your natural body odour is altered by deodorant, perfume or the aftershave you use. Plus there are various fragrances found in soap, , shampoo, makeup, hair products and many other items you regularly use. Your body odour is now completely masked by a concoction of many different scents, which may affect how you appear to others. Have you ever walked into a room and have been overpowered by the smell of a cheap perfume that is so offensive you just want to run? This is a perfect example of how an odour can have an effect on those around you.
Recently we were dining with friends and they started discussing what had attracted them to each other. When they first met, there was an instant attraction and it was not just their appearance or personalities. To each, the scent of the other was also an attraction. She stated that as her relationship with her first husband had deteriorated, his odour became so repugnant to her, that she would turn her back to him in bed to avoid his stench. While he mentioned that his previous wife started to complain about his smell, so he resorted to showering twice a day (showering too often dries out your skin). Finally, he couldn’t even stand his own body odour, as his relationship deteriorated further.
The conversation continued and became even more intriguing. Our friends had known each other for several years before becoming partners and noticed they both found a change in their natural odour as their relationship developed. Both coming from failed relationships where body odour became a problem, to a new situation where body odour had either become much more pleasant or completely neutral. This neutral or non-existent odour fascinates both of them still to this day.
The statistics on failed or failing relationships are astounding, there might be an underlying reason, which has largely been ignored for this continuing decline in personal associations. Upon further discussion, our group concluded that perhaps artificially changing our natural body odour is at least partly to blame.
We watch other mammals using the sense of smell to find a mate, yet we ignore this basic human function and prefer to disguise ourselves in order to perhaps feel like the movie star who promotes our particular brand of perfume or aftershave.
How is this working for us? Not very well I would have to say.
By removing all other fragrances and allowing your own unique body odour to shine through, you just may end up finding the right mate. Could we humans be choosing our mates unwisely, because we have never really found out what the other person truly smells like, and if we did, would we still want them? I had a girlfriend who stated she was always able to attract men whenever she went out. This woman had a pleasant face and figure, but she was certainly no raving beauty. Her trick was to smear her own body fluid behind her ears and on her neck and wrists. It worked a treat and she too married the man of her dreams, who also smelt delicious.
So, I suggest the next time you go out in search of a mate, wear your own natural odour and see what happens.
Drop me a line, I would love to know how you went.
Advance Care Planning week starts on April 1st – 5th not only in Australia but also in Canada and the USA. These countries recognise the necessity to educate their population to help them understand the importance of Advance Care Planning.
What is Advance Care Planning?
An Advance Care Plan can be put in place when fit and healthy or in anticipation of your declining health due to injury, illness or disease. The Advance Care Plan is created before you lose the ability to speak for yourself to ensure your preferred choices of medical treatment and health care are provided.
Through appropriate planning, you have time to consider and choose how you will live the final stages of your life. Discuss your values, beliefs and healthcare preferences with your family, friends and doctor, then document your wishes in an Advance Care Plan.
In March 2018, The Medical Treatment Planning & Decisions Act 2016 became Law, but unfortunately only in Victoria. This Law provides you with the ability to implement a directive in advance that gives legally binding instructions for your future medical treatment. The Law also ensures your values and preferences are respected and acted upon, but only if you are no longer capable of communicating these wishes yourself.
According to Associate Professor Charlie Corke – an Intensive Care Specialist:
“About 80% of people at the end of their life are in a position where they can’t make their own decisions”.
Don’t let this be you, be wise and save your family the anxiety of having to make emotional decisions on your behalf. Quite often, families have major disagreements about what Mum’s or Dad’s wishes may have been.
An old saying for nurses is:-
“If it isn’t written it didn’t happen”. In other words, ensure your values, beliefs and preferences are written down in an Advance Care Plan, so that everyone in your family knows exactly what you want, then there are no arguments.
The Benefits of Advance Care Planning for You and Your Family
- Your wishes are known, respected and acted upon
- It reduces your anxiety about your end of life care
- You are more likely to die in your place of choice
- Palliative care services are implemented sooner
- There are less unwanted life-prolonging treatments at the end of life
- It improves surviving relatives psychological outcomes
- Families are more satisfied with the care provided.
By completing an Advance Care plan you are giving your children and family the precious gift of peace of mind.
Think Learn Change provides a comprehensive workshop to help you develop your own Advance Care Plan by addressing each question and helping you put your ideas, values and preferences into words. We explain all the requirements that need to be addressed so that your plan will be legal and binding.
For more information about the workshop or individual consultations send an email to:
In her seventies, mum developed a heart valve defect, apparently common in patients with thyroid disease. A specialist told her, he would remove her damaged valve and replace it with one that lasted either 10 or 20 years. A quick calculation and she stated, “I’ll have the 10-year valve, I don’t want to live into my nineties”.
Mum also suffered from extremely dry eyes and regularly instilled eyedrops throughout the day. She never sought a diagnosis and for some reason just put her dry eyes down to working in the “Rag Trade”, as she owned a ladies clothing boutique. She told me her dry eyes were a result of the chemical fumes emitted by the new clothes. (That’s why these days we are advised to wash new clothes before wearing them). Mum also regularly sucked lollies, usually Minties or Mentos for her unusually dry mouth. At the time, her explanation for this dryness seemed plausible.
In the early 2000’s, I too developed the same extremely dry eyes and dry mouth, so I sought a diagnosis which revealed I had Sjogren’s Syndrome. Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the healthy cells that produce your tears and saliva. This is a serious disease that also effects many other organs in the body.
Recently, I required new glasses. The Optometrist had difficulty assessing the condition of my eyes due to the effects of long term dryness. He took digital photos of the eye surface revealing what he described something akin to craters on the moon. As a temporary measure, he sent me home with eye drops and suggested I come back is three weeks in order to better assess my eyes for prescription glasses. I’ve had these eye drops before and found they had little or no effect and didn’t achieve any lasting positive outcomes.
Now, to just change direction in this story a little, my friend introduced me to Essential Oils. She claimed her various ailments had improved using these oils. I was eager to find relief for my conditions and searched for something other than what had been recommended to me for the past 15 years. I purchased some Essential Oils, a comprehensive book and researched how exactly to use these oils. They smelt lovely, so I thought at the very least I could wear them as a perfume if they had no effect on my disorders.
Following the appointment with the optometrist, I wondered if there was an oil that would help my extremely dry and painful eyes. Three days before returning to the Optometrist I found an essential oil that was recommended for dry eyes. I gently dabbed a small amount of oil around the outside of each eye socket several times a day, being careful not to allow any oil to touch the surface of the eye. Amazingly, there was almost instant relief from the pain and my eyes felt so much better. I found there was no longer a need to constantly instil eyedrops throughout the day.
The oil worked so well, I decided to massage some oil into my painful, dry, split tongue, wow, it also improved. Within a few days, my tongue was painless, and the cracks had completed healed. Returning to the Optometrist who examined my eyes, he asked what I had done to significantly improve the condition of my eyes. I explained how I had used an Essential Oil, and he stated, “but your eyes are almost completely healed”. He took more photos and sure enough not a crater was to be seen on my cornea’s, my eyes looked normal. We were both amazed.
Two years previous to this, my doctor diagnosed me with a mild case of Hashimoto’s Disease, which is an underactive thyroid gland. He prescribed a low dose of Thyroxine 25mcgs daily to improve the amount of thyroid hormone circulating in my body. Some months later, thinking about mum’s medical conditions, I thought, ok, there’s a pattern here, she had her thyroid removed, then developed Sjogren’s Syndrome and finally heart disease. So, there appears to be a fairly good possibility that I too would develop heart disease. I decided that’s just not going to happen, I had no intention of developing yet another disease. It was time to take the matter into my own hands. Having had such success with my eyes and mouth surely there must be Essential Oils to improve my Thyroid condition.
After taking Thyroxine for 18 months prior to the successful outcome with my eyes, I investigated and found the Essential Oils I needed for Hashimoto’s Disease. Taking a bit of a risk, I decided to cease the Thyroxine and instead mix up my own Essential Oil brew. The oil blend was applied and massaged into my throat morning and night for the next 6 months without fail. My plan was, after 6 months there would be enough evidence to determine if the oils had been successful or not. This could easily be proven by taking the relevant Thyroid blood tests to determine the outcome. When the results came back from pathology to my utter amazement not only had my thyroid improved, but I no longer had Hashimoto’s Disease, my thyroid levels were the best they had ever been.
My story may sound incredible I know; however, I must add that I had been researching self-healing methods for some time. Putting into practice meditation, mindfulness, changes in food, improved sleep hygiene and other self-healing methods before commencing this experiment. These self-healing methods contributed to reducing my stress levels, allowed me to be calm and my sleep pattern to markedly improve, aiding the healing process, which assisted in producing a normal Thyroid Function Test.
These experiments have proven to me that there are other ways to heal yourself. I will continue to use my Essential Oils and self-healing methods for the rest of my life, to stay healthy for as long as I can, well into my very old age ……… Hopefully one hundred years old, I would like to see how the human race progresses during my century on this Earth.