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Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Houston Area Traditional Dance Society

Why Fragrance Free?

Most people understand why we want our dances to be alcohol-free and smoke-free, but question “Why fragrance-free? Do you want us to stink?”

No, of course not; we want you to use a deodorant! But you don't have to wear cover-up fragrances to eliminate natural body odors, and just as second-hand smoke is irritating and harmful to many people, so are the fragrances added to thousands of personal care products.

This is especially important in our small dance space with the close contact inherent in contra and English dancing.

It's a Preference Issue

An individual who reeks of smoke or alcohol or has a strong body odor is repulsive to dance with. For many people, so is the individual who wears perfume, cologne, or other scented personal products.

Everyone can breathe clean air. Not everyone can, or wants to, breathe unclean air.

It's a Health Issue

Surgical MaskPlease understand that this is not just a preference issue. For many people, it is a health issue.

For some people the solvents, petroleum products, and even natural essential oils used in personal care products can act not only as respiratory irritants but also as cardiac stimulants (skyrocketing blood pressure, palpitations), neurotoxins (severe headaches, tremors, mental confusion, equilibrium loss, blurred vision), and if being worn, skin irritants (rashes, itching). Exposure to products containing even small amounts of these chemicals can cause these symptoms.

Chemical sensitivity results from continued exposure to solvents and products in doses thought to be safe. It could happen to any one of us, and if you're someone who uses scented products, you are most at risk for developing sensitivity.

Although chemical sensitivity sounds like an allergy, it is not. Unlike many allergies, the symptoms can not be treated with drugs. The only remedy is to avoid exposure.

What to Do?

We ask that, when coming to a dance, you please:

  • Do not attend smelling of alcohol or smoke.
  • Do not wear perfume, cologne, or aftershave.
  • Do not use hair spray or dandruff shampoo; even the unscented varieties contain toxic products and can trigger reactions in chemically sensitive people.
  • If possible use a fragrance-free laundry detergent and do not use fabric softener. Thoroughly air out dry-cleaned clothes and clothes that have been stored in mothballs.
  • Do wear a fragrance-free deodorant! See the list below for suggestions.
  • If you perspire heavily, do bring a fresh shirt or two.

A Sample of Fragrance-Free Personal Products

  • Deodorant: Lafe's Unscented, Tom's of Maine Unscented, The Crystal Unscented, Le Stick, Liken, Almay Fragrance-Free, Mennen Unscented
  • Shampoo & Conditioner: Pure Essentials, Jason, DHS, and other brands make fragrance-free varieties.
  • Hair Gel: KMS, Aloe Vera 80.
  • Shaving Cream: Noxcema Fragrance-Free, Kiss My Face, English Leather Fragrance-Free, CVS Basic
  • Lip Balm: Look for beeswax-based (non-petroleum), unscented varieties (eg, Burt's Bees).
  • Body Powder: Use baking soda and/or cornstarch.
Thanks to the Bay Area CDS and (archived site) for portions of the text above.

Stifling an urge to dance is bad for your health—it rusts your spirit and your hips. ~ Adabella Radici