I've always thought of aromatherapy as a load of high-priced hooey -- and it's not even harmless hooey at that.

The scents that are supposed to help you "relax" actually contain volatile organic compounds that can damage the liver and kidneys, cause headaches, irritate your eyes, and even lead to breathing problems.

There's no relaxing once you get a whiff of that!

Researchers in Taiwan recently tested the air in aromatherapy spas before and after the scented oils were unleashed and found that the number of volatile chemicals floating around the room shot up by about 1,000 percent.

That's already enough to make you want to put on a gas mask -- but that was just the beginning: Those compounds then reacted with the air to create lung-damaging secondary organic aerosols, according to the details in Environmental Engineering Science.

The researchers suggest better ventilation. I suggest finding a better way to relax: Avoid any massage joint that uses scented oils in any form, and keep far away from anyone who wants to rub those oils directly into your skin.

Don't swap aromatherapy oils for scented candles, either -- because even the fancy high-end candles sold in malls are loaded with noxious chemicals.

After all, that "fresh mountain air" candle is neither fresh, nor from a mountain, nor is it even air -- it's a chemical cocktail designed to deceive the nose, and it's loaded with some of the worst endocrine-disruptors around: phthalates.

As I've told you before, these chemicals can feminize young boys, cause mental problems in girls and lead to behavior problems in both.

Use your common sense… and stick to more common scents.