Your scent: How do you smell and why this is important?

Massage therapy is a practice that combines the healing power of touch with a profound understanding of the human body. Whether it’s for relaxation, pain relief, or stress reduction, the benefits of massage are widely acknowledged. However, what often goes overlooked is the importance of being considerate of potential allergies and sensitivities when providing a massage. In this article, we’ll explore the essential considerations for massage therapists to ensure a safe and comfortable experience for their clients.

The Importance of Consideration

One of the hallmarks of a skilled massage therapist is the ability to adapt to the unique needs and preferences of each client. While the focus is typically on technique and skill, looking at the holistic experience including how you smell when you arrive at a client is crucial. Are you being considerate of your smell, allergies, and sensitivities?
This should be an integral part of the regular massage therapist’s routine.

1. Perfume and Fragrance Allergies

Many individuals suffer from allergies to perfumes and strong fragrances. For them, being exposed to such scents can trigger a range of symptoms, from mild discomfort to severe respiratory distress. When you arrive at someone’s door, it’s imperative that you are conscientious about your choice of personal care products, particularly your choice of fragrance.

2. Tailoring Your Product Selection

Before heading to a client’s house, take a moment to contemplate the products you’re putting on your skin. Whether it’s body lotion, oils, or even deodorant, consider whether these products have a heavy scent. If they do, it’s best to avoid using them on the day of your massage appointments, especially when working with a new client.

3. Communicating with Clients

A vital aspect of being considerate is communication. It’s wise to ask your clients about any allergies or sensitivities they may have before your visit. This simple step can go a long way in ensuring a comfortable and safe experience. Plus how considerate your clients will think you are and this added check-in and touch goes a long way.

Using Unscented or Hypoallergenic Products

To accommodate clients with fragrance sensitivities, it’s advisable to use unscented or hypoallergenic products during your massage sessions. This minimizes the risk of causing allergic reactions or discomfort during the treatment.

  • Unscented Massage Oils and Lotions

Unscented massage oils and lotions are widely available and offer the same therapeutic benefits without the added fragrances. These products are designed to be gentle on the skin and are a great choice when you’re unsure of a client’s sensitivities.

  • Hypoallergenic Options

In cases where clients have known allergies, using hypoallergenic products can be a game-changer. These products are formulated to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and are usually free from common allergens and irritants.

Cleanliness and Hygiene

Ensuring a clean and hygienic environment is not only a sign of professionalism but also a crucial aspect of providing a safe and comfortable experience for your clients. Next, let’s look at what you are cleaning your equipment with. Does this also have a sturgeon lingering scent?

  • Cleaning Equipment

Before every appointment, it’s essential to thoroughly clean your massage table, sheets, and any other equipment you bring with you. Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness not only promotes hygiene but also enhances the overall experience for your clients. What are you cleaning your equipment with? What do you wash your sheets with? Do they have a strong odor that could be a turn-off for your client?

  • Personal Hygiene

In addition to clean equipment, your personal hygiene matters, and what you clean yourself with matters. Not only do you want to ensure you’re well-groomed and wear clean, professional attire, but also pay attention to what you smell like. What do you wash your hair with (do you wash your hair), what kind of deodorant do you wear and what perfume or cologne are you putting on? While you might like the smell, not everyone will agree. Check-in with your clients and see what their preferences or allergies are. One client may detest the smell of patchouli while the other loves lavender. This demonstrates respect for your clients and creates a more pleasant atmosphere for the massage.

Communication and Getting To Know Your Clients

Beyond the physical aspects of massage, effective communication is a key element of providing a positive experience for your clients. Get to know your clients and their preferences. Have a conversation about what they like and dislike. 

Get to know your clients. Find out what smells they like and dislike. What does their house smell like when you arrive? What do they smell like? Compliment their smell and ask what it is. Let them talk. People love talking about themselves and their space. They will give you insight into what smells they love and what they cannot stand. Take notes, so you remember next time. Remember you are not just performing a massage, you are creating an experience that you want your clients to long for and look forward to.

After the massage session is complete, it’s a good practice to ask for feedback from your client. This helps you understand their needs and preferences better and shows your commitment to their satisfaction. Positive feedback can also lead to repeat business and referrals.


Providing a mindful and considerate massage experience goes beyond skill and technique. It involves being attentive to the potential allergies and sensitivities of your clients, using the right products, maintaining a high level of cleanliness, and practicing professionalism and effective communication. By embracing these principles, you can ensure that your clients not only enjoy the physical benefits of a massage but also feel safe, respected, and well-cared for during the entire process and want more! Ultimately, these considerations contribute to building a loyal client base and a successful career as a massage therapist.

I made a short video for you here to dive deeper into “perfume protocols for massage therapists):

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