multiple chemical sensitivity, fragrances
From: Racheli Gai (
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2005 18:52:05 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Jim,
I didn't hear Lynn say that gardenias (as an example) should be totally removed from everyone's presence, rather that if there is someone who is sensitive to them, it might be a good idea to remove them from the public/common spaces. This should still allow you to have gardenias in your private space.

Here is an example from our community: I've always wanted to have a fruit-bearing olive tree, because I grew up in the Middle East, and olive trees have significance to me both emotionally, and also because I love olives and would love growing and curing some of my own. I was planning to have a tree in my back yard once I moved into my cohousing home. It turns out that one of my neighbors is severely allergic to the pollen, so I don't have one... I can't imagine insisting on having a plant which would make
someone sick -- as dear as that plant might be to me.


On Jul 31, 2005, at 6:05 PM, james f. palmer wrote:

Lynn shared with us her concerns with fragrances. I think that it is very appropriate that some communities (e.g., EcoVillage apparently) be founded to create a more comfortable (and healthy) community for her (and others who have similar concerns). However, I do not see that this is furthered by wanting all cohousing communities to be fragrance free. What am I to make of your request that we remove all gardenias from our presence--some of my fondest memories are of the gardenia bush by our front steps when I was a boy. Must the world be sterilized of such joys because a few people object (or have a health reaction)? While there are many fragrances that I find objectionable, I think that I would find a fragrance free environment even more so. Is it not appropriate that they simply gather together to form fragrance free (in this case) communities rather than ask it of us all? Or are gardenias endangering the health of us all (as cigarettes apparently do)?

Jim Palmer, Essex Junction, VT

Lynn Nadeau wrote:
At the very least, it would be great if coho common spaces could all be fragrance free, in terms of incense, potpourri, smelly cleaning products,
gardenias and stargazer lilies too.

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