Scent from heaven?

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘misted and walk through’?

It’s been the way – over the years – that some fashion magazine advice columns have told people to apply perfume.

Just spray it into the air and step through it. The idea being that your application results in a subtle scenting and not a bath tub soaking.

Personal choice of course – both on how much you spend on your product and how you apply it – but here in Bath some people are complaining that they’re getting a scented dose whether they want it or not.



It’s where there are now a whole gathering of companies – including Jo Malone, Penghaligon’s, L’Occitane and Aesop – with their own scented products.

All of them are happy for their customers to come in and sample their individual lines but one of them – Penghaligon’s – actually uses what looks like steam to blow one of its scents out into the street. It’s coming from a tiny hole below the shop window.

Walking along little Burton Street this morning – having crossed from Upper Borough Walls – one gets the first whiff of it as you pass the West Cornwall Food Company at the other end of the retail rank.



It actually made me stop and think – as l breathed in the delicious fumes coming from my Italian blend coffee – how we are surrounded by things made to smell nice.

Unlike the natural scent of my black Americano l got to thinking of the perfumes being used in my body wash, shampoo, washing powder, conditioner, floor cleaner, polish, room sprays and diffusers, candles, deodorants and colognes.

Taking this up with a Google search led me to a newspaper article from Feb 2018  which looked at the fact that artificial fragrance is literally everywhere – inside the home and out – with an argument that smells can have health implications for some.

According to the article:

“Scientists recently concluded that everyday chemicals, including cleaning products, perfumes and paints, are now contributing to air pollution more than cars.

The tiny particles contained in these compounds are said to be harmful to our lungs, and concentration levels are ten times worse inside the home than outdoors.

Cleaning products, as well as items such as perfume and deodorant, now contribute up to 50 per cent of outdoor air pollution in cities, the study published in the journal Science revealed.”

I am no scientist – and can only speak for myself – but there is one very strong brand of French perfume that certainly gives me a headache if l am sitting behind someone wearing it on a bus or train.

Do we need everything to smell nice? What do you think?

I have asked those – no doubt – pleasantly-smelling people at Penhaligon’s HQ for a comment.