Fragrance. One word that can mean so many different things. But what is the one thing all artificial fragrance has in common? It’s probably detrimental to your health.
As women, we use more product day to day than anyone else in our household. Fragrance is in almost every item. From your shampoo to the candles you burn to your make up and even in your cleaning products, artificial fragrance most definitely has a spot in your routine. If you look closely, I guarantee you’ll find the word “fragrance” on almost every product you own.
However, “fragrance” and “parfum” aren’t as simple as they sound. Actually, they’re typically an incognito way for brands to hide the yuckiest of ingredients in their products. The words act as a mask to hide what they don’t want to put on the label. How can they do this you ask? Well, fragrance is considered a trade secret meaning a brand does not legally have to disclose what is in it.
Actually, when you see the word “fragrance” or “parfum” listed on the back of a product you should be reading “potentially over 3,000 undisclosed ingredients”. Yep, you read that right. Three thousand. See the list of ingredients the International Fragrance Association compiled here.
According to The Environmental Working Group, fragrance is a high overall hazard to our health and can cause allergies and immunotoxicity. I know from personal experience that anything with fragrance in it gives me a headache, if not immediately definitely over long time use. And not only can fragrance cause allergies but some of the most common ingredients used in fragrance are known carcinogens.
Actually, using scent topically was first introduced by the ancient egyptians. They often used incense and essential oils which were though highly of and as a sign of wealth or religious practice. Fast forward to the 16th century and perfume use exploded in France. By the 19th century, modern day science changed the way perfume was made and used forever.
Now, perfume and fragrance are not only used on the skin but can be found everywhere and in almost everything we use daily. It’s no longer for the wealthy nor a rare commodity. Synthetic chemicals are used in place of naturally occurring essential oils and the quality is apparent to both my nose and my health, which is why I choose to forgo fragrance altogether.
What do I use instead of artificial fragrance and perfume?
I look for products which are either fragrance free or contain only essential oils (with the latin name listed). Or, I make my own products using essential oils that I know come from a good source. And as far as everyday perfume, I use a few drops of my favorite floral or citrus essential oils on my wrist and neck. To me, taking that small extra step is so worth it. Not only am I headache free, I feel better overall and I especially feel good knowing I’m taking care of my health and wellbeing.
How are you making small steps towards living artificial fragrance free?
This post was done in collaboration with Roses N Rosé, who also opts to make their products free of artificial fragrance.