I don’t use perfume but I’m a sucker for scented products.Â Sniffing is probably one of the first things I do when testing a product.Â Those that smells good usually get my attention.Â But fragrance in a product isn’t always good news especially ifÂ they’re of synthetic formulations.
According to Safecosmetics.org, synthetic fragrances can contain chemical compoundsÂ with harmful ingredients such as neurotoxins, allergensÂ andÂ phthalates, whichÂ have been linked to reproductive problems,Â early puberty in girls, andÂ breast cancer.Â This is why fragrance is always single out as aÂ major culprit when a product is considered as unsafeÂ and is always listed as an ingredient to avoid if possible.
So forÂ olfactory sensitive women like me, what are the alternatives?
The best alternative to synthetic fragrance isÂ those derived from plant-based aromatic compounds such as pure essential oils which are sometimes called fragrance oils.Â Depending on the product, some of these maybeÂ certified organic.Â Examples of essential oils includeÂ chamomile,Â eucalyptus, geranium,Â juniper berry, lavender, lemon, lime, orange,Â peppermint,Â rosemary, spearmint, tea tree vanilla, and ylang ylang.Â Â However, I need to highlight that although essential oils may have more benefits and are not known to be toxic,Â certain oilsÂ may not be suitable for everyone especially under certain conditions like pregnancy or high blood pressure.
AnotherÂ alternative isÂ toÂ pick synthetic fragrancesÂ without harmful ingredients,Â such asÂ phthalates.Â But since theÂ companiesÂ are not required to listÂ any of the chemicals used in their fragrance mixture on their product labels, it maybe difficult to tell.Â Â In addition, cosmetic manufacturers are also free to label a petrochemical replica of an essential oil as natural; such as apple fragrance,Â peach fragrance and so forth.
Of course, the extreme measureÂ isÂ to go for products that are unscented but even then, you want to be aware thatÂ some manufacturers use masking agents that block our ability to perceive odors; so not only is fragrance still in the product, but even more chemicals are present.
Personally, I have taken the approach of choosing products that are natural or organic and looking out forÂ essential oils as ingredients for fragrance.Â But I acknowledge.Â There are still instances where it just isn’t possible.