Watching television, the other day, I lost a bit more of my innocence to a subject about the dangers of incense. “What now?” I thought. “Is that the new evil in our lives? One of those wonderful things that turned out to be toxic?” When I think about incense, what I have in mind is the pretty smoke that swirls upwards with an exquisite smells that seems to dress up a freshly cleaned room. But this documentary was telling me it was dangerous.
Have you had a walk in Paris, up the Champs-Elysées, and stared at the majestic Arc-de-Triomphe? Do you picture the kind of traffic at the foot of the arch, you know that gigantic roundabout? Well, according to the article, that is the equivalent on your lungs of one stick of incense in your living room with the windows shut.
For a split second, it made me sad. And then, I became immediately furious.
Well, it’s not really the incense that is toxic, it’s everything else in it. A bamboo stick glued with materials fit for the trash, soaked in solvents and artificial fragrances… that is the kind of incense that will kill us. That to me was the most disappointing part, because…
How are we supposed to know?
These days, it feels like we all have to become experts at everything. Absolutely everything. We need to read studies about air fresheners before we buy them, otherwise we risk spraying things in our homes that will later make our children sick. We need to chow down all sorts of scientific facts and research before we buy lipstick because we might be putting toxins on our lips, which will go straight into our bodies. It feels insane.
And again, why?
Because other human beings, just like us, have decided that they don’t care. Profit now, consequences later.
I believe if I were not already convinced that natural and organic is the way to go, this would have been my big shift. Incense, this thing that felt so natural to me in all instances and that seemed to balance the energies in my home, really can be a toxic monster, burning its way through my lungs and those of my loved ones—when it is not chosen carefully.
More than ever, when it comes to anything really, I am absolutely convinced that we can no longer simply trust what is on the box. (I even gave my toothpaste the side eye.) I can only encourage everyone who reads this blog to do their research. Go for the real natural. Go for real certifications and decide for yourself and from the fruit of your research which labels are acceptable to you. For me, here is how it is going to be: When there is time, research. When in doubt, go organic.
— Kendy Bourguignon Sencée
What about you? Is there something in your life you were surprised to find out was toxic or dangerous? Or something you thought was natural but really was not? You can leave a comment below or reply on Twitter by tagging us @AntoninBParis and using the hashtag #AntoninB