The F Word

Fragrance vs Real Scents

Choose REAL scented products and REAL ingredients.

Do you enjoy pleasant smells? Perfume, lotion, soap, shampoo, or even scented trash bags?

Fragrance isn’t a personal preference. It’s actually a matter of public health.

If you’ve ever spent an entire day with a headache because someone drenched their body in fragrant soaps or “unscented body wash,” you can relate. Or if a business you visited has multiple plug-in type “air-fresheners” that were so toxic you were sick for the rest of the day, you’ll understand why this is a matter of public health.

Please understand, even if you don’t experience these noticeable symptoms, your health is being affected by these toxic chemicals.

Of course, we know that people who use these toxic ingredients in the form of synthetic fragrance probably don’t know or do it on purpose. The health effects are still negative and can include:

  • Female and male breast development (from endocrine disruptors)
  • respiratory diseases
  • sensitization
  • allergies
  • asthma triggers
  • migraines and headaches
  • nervous system disorders
  • birth defects
  • sensitive skin

Fragrance is the new second-hand smoke. Just like the population was bombarded with second-hand smoke because smokers could light up anywhere, the chemically sensitive have nowhere to go to get away from these toxins. Some doctors, especially allergy and asthma specialists, are asking patients not to wear perfume to visits for the comfort of others.

Not only will this reduce toxicity in patients, it’s better for environmental health because scented products contain chemicals that are harming the planet. Indoor air pollution is real. If you own a business, please consider your patrons’ health and stop using plug-in air fresheners and other fragranced products.

What is the difference between fragrance, even natural fragrance or perfume, and essential oil scents?

Manufacturers aren’t required to list fragrance ingredients on product labels.  Often only “fragrance” or “natural fragrance” is used on the label and can hide a cocktail of thousands of chemicals. This is because fragrances are considered to be “trade secrets”.

One of the most troubling chemicals hidden under the label of fragrance is “phthalates”. Phthalates are chemicals that help the scents last longer. Health risks for phthalates are startling and include cancer, human reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, and birth and respiratory problems. These toxic villains are very hard to avoid because manufacturers aren’t required to list them on ingredient labels.

Check out this article from Safe Cosmetics for more information.

Essential oil scents have been used for centuries for their therapeutic benefits. By definition, essential oil scents are the aromatic isolates of plant material. Basically, they’re the compounds that give plants their distinctive smells. Essential oils can come from just about any plant part, including the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, and roots.

Have you ever squeezed a fresh lavender flower and noticed the smell left on your hands? Or sliced a fresh orange and noticed the bright, juicy scent? Those are basically the essential oils!

You can still have a great smelling product without the “F” word. Protect yourself and your family from harmful and hidden chemicals. Choose REAL scented products and REAL ingredients.