I don’t know about you, but I used to think if something smelled good- a candle, perfume, men’s cologne, or whatever it may be, it was worth buying. The power of scent is one of our most used senses. Especially for skin products. “If it smells good, feels good, and looks good on my skin, it’s a winner.”
However, my “power of scent” failed me. That AMAZING smelling candle that exudes crisp fall day vibes? It’ll give me a mean headache. Just a few whiffs of the candle, and my head is like “Nope, no good.”... and don’t get me started on people using perfumes on airplanes… not the right place or time, Karen.
Now in this blog, I won’t just be talking about skin products… Fragrances are found in tons of consumer goods: shampoos, perfumes, soaps, hairspray, body oils...the list is endless.
Fragrance isn’t all flowers and sunshine! According to the FDA, fragrances are defined as any chemical, synthetic, or natural compound used to make the scent of product more pleasant, or to cover up any unpleasant scents from other ingredients in the products (this is what is considered “unscented”).
Now this is even more shocking: “Natural” (quotes intended) Fragrances are NOT always healthy!
Under FDA regulation, regardless of what ingredients are used to make a fragrance (could be a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients), the manufacturer of a product can simply put “fragrance” or “natural fragrance” on the label. The FDA considers fragrance formulations to be a “trade secret”; therefore, companies are not required to disclose what ingredients are used. Who knows, it could be formulated with hundreds of the 3,000+ toxins (which can be allergens, carcinogens, phthalates, and others that can cause birth defects and infertility) being used in fragrance formulation today. It’s all up to the company to deem whether or not the product is “safe” for consumers.
According to Women’s Voices for the Earth, fragrance is one of the most common allergens in the US. Fragrance allergy symptoms include: red bumps, itching, breathing problems, and heightened asthma.
Scary thing is, EU companies are required to disclose 26 of the ingredients found in fragrances that are known to be allergens so that their consumers can make smarter choices. How many ingredients do US companies disclose? Zero.
Make sure you’re reading ingredient labels thoroughly.
Fragrance = Thumbs Down
Essential Oil = Thumbs Up. Essentials oils add great scents to products along with their therapeutic benefits, so no artificial fragrance is needed!
So sorry pumpkin spice candle, not this year. I will not trade your inviting and oh so yummy scent for more and more headaches.
After much research about “fragrance fraud” (coined this term myself, pretty clever, right?), I’ve really enjoyed reading Women’s Voices for the Earth, which is where I found a lot of information to put this blog together. As someone who didn’t know too much about toxins in cosmetics before working here at withSimplicity, this resource is amazing. #notsponsored #notanad
Here at withSimplicity, we do not use any fragrances in our products. All scents in our products are from the essential oils used in our recipes. We disclose every ingredient used in each of our products on our website and our labels so that you know exactly what you are using and can avoid anything that you’re allergic to.
Reference: safecosmetics.org, womensvoices.org
I have heard of companies who do use exclusively essential oils for scent still using the labeling “fragrance” to keep their scent formulations proprietary. I would think consumers, who may not be aware that labeling guidelines allow for this (as you point out above), would just assume the fragrance is synthetic… I did before reading about this. Thanks for listing exactly what EOs you use in your products so buyers can truly determine if it suits them!