Many women don’t leave home for a special occasion without a spray of their favourite perfume. Being bathed in glorious scent can immediately transport us somewhere special and lift our self-worth feelings. You probably select perfume for its intoxicating aroma rather than for the ingredients. But there’s not much that’s good for you in commercial perfumes.
Conventional perfumes are so toxic!
They present a serious problem for anyone wanting to keep healthy. They’re even worse for those with an autoimmune disease. As so many people have severe reactions to the chemicals in perfume (and deodorant, and other personal and household products) we have a social responsibility to reduce our toxic fragrant cloud.
Whenever you wear perfume you inhale a chemical cocktail. You also absorb the same chemical cocktail through your skin and straight into your blood stream.
Fragrance And Disease
Conventional perfumes may smell exotic but the truth is they’re quite mundane. In reality they’re just chemicals, solvents and fixatives straight out of the laboratory. These synthetic ingredients cause many health problems.
Migraines are often the direct result of perfume, as Kate Grenville explains in her fact-filled book “The Case Against Fragrance”. In fact many studies show that 50% of migraines are caused by fragrance. And many more who get simple headaches from fragrance were not included in this statistic.
The fragrance in many personal products, including perfume, can lead to many more illnesses, including asthma, mood swings, hay fever, reproductive problems, neurological damage, or skin irritations.
In fact fragrance has been shown to be the primary skin allergen in the world.
For those with autoimmune conditions fragrance and perfumes pose a very real problem, because they’re extra sensitive due to their heightened inflammatory response.
More fragrance facts:
- Perfumes available in Australia contain ingredients that are banned elsewhere because they have serious negative health effects
- A 2017 University Of Melbourne study showed one in three reacted negatively to fragrance and perfume
- Fragrance can cause anxiety, depression and mood swings
- That beautiful smell is carried on a cloud of hazardous chemicals, including formaldehyde
- Three quarters of products containing fragrance contain phthalates which disrupt hormones, reduce sperm count, and are linked to liver and breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
- Foetal exposure to chemicals from fragrance stored in body tissue can cause ADHD, autism and neurological disorders. Some fragrance materials are present in breast milk
A big part of the problem is due to the perfume industry being self-regulated.
Manufacturers can use a legislative “trade secret” loophole to avoid disclosing the vast array of chemicals in their products. While this protects them from copies being made of their products, you’re left with no knowledge of the harmful ingredients they contain. Essentially the government is protecting these manufacturers and giving them a licence to poison you.
Make no mistake, this is at your cost. Many chemicals in perfumes have huge question marks over their safety.
Alternatives To Perfume
Since many people are also sensitive to essential oils you may decide to use nothing at all.
But if you do want a natural alternative there are so many Natural Perfumes to choose from. Some are roll on, some balms, and some you dab. But they’re all very simple and made from few ingredients. Most importantly, none contain the long list of toxins found in normal perfumes.
Basically ‘natural perfumes’ contain just two components. These are natural or organic essential oils or absolutes, with vegetable carrier oil or a mixture of distilled water and natural grain alcohol. Some also include herbal or flower extracts. Balms are made from beeswax or shea butter.
The best thing about natural perfume is that essential oils are therapeutic. Their healing properties affect your body, emotions, mind and spirit. You get so much more than just a pleasant aroma.
Pure essential oils improve your wellness, helping you feel energised, relaxed, uplifted, or improve concentration. Choosing natural perfume on the basis of the health benefits as well as the aroma is a simple and effective way to take an active part in your healing.
Natural Perfume Oils
There are many natural perfumes available to fit every preference and pocket. Some are single essential oils and others glorious blends to suit every taste.
These are my favourites at the moment. The unassuming one on the right is especially yum! Called Sanctuary, it’s a roll-on natural perfume made by Unique Essence Aromatherapy. Accordingly to their website it’s a gorgeous blend of “Love, jojoba oil, and essential oils of bergamot, jasmine, ylang-ylang, and Damascus rose”. And that’s all!
The one on the left is organic jojoba oil and organic Sandlewood oil. Nothing more! I love the roll-ons because they fit in my bag and are easy to use.
I love skin products (including natural perfume) containing jojoba oil because it mimics the skin’s natural oils. It contains wax esters which are identical to the natural sebum produced by our skin and so can penetrate deeply and easily.
There are many natural perfumes available online as well as in health food stores. Just be sure to check the ingredients before you buy. Not all that claim to be ‘natural’ are non-toxic. Remember petroleum and mercury are both natural ingredients! Many natural fragrances and even some essential oils contain harmful chemicals like Toluene.
The word ‘organic’ on a product is no guarantee of non-toxicity. When a product displays the word ‘organic’ it can mean that just one ingredient in it is organic and the others may be quite toxic. Check that all the ingredients are safe.
I’m not affiliated with these products or companies and offer this information for your interest only.
Create Your Natural Perfume
Making your own Natural Perfume is easy.
Just add a couple of drops of one or more of your favourite high quality essential oils to a carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba or even coconut. (about 5 drops to 10 mls of oil is a good ratio). Make it up in small quantities.
Store in a small preferably dark, glass bottle and use as needed. The aroma releases as the oils warm on your skin. You may need to apply it more often than chemical perfumes.
I make one from a fabulous therapeutic grade essential oil blend which combines about ten different oils.
But sometimes I want something simpler. So I also love combining jasmine and vanilla, or ylang-ylang, patchouli and sweet orange, or simply sandalwood alone.
You can make your own signature blend. But it’s worth making a few different ones that make specific use of the therapeutic healing qualities to suit whatever your mood at the time.
Safety With Essential Oil
Pure essential oils have therapeutic qualities. Care needs to be taken as they may be contraindicated for certain people or conditions, such as pregnancy, high blood pressure, or for children. Here are some guidelines for safely using essential oils.
What To Do Right Now
- Be critical about the perfumes and perfumed products you use. If ingredients are listed, how many are natural or safe? Be suspicious if there’s no ingredient list. Healthy perfumes list their simple basic ingredients because they don’t need to hide them
- Decide not to use toxic chemicals in your personal products. They enter your body and are carried to every cell through your bloodstream
- Test some of the beautiful, healthy, natural perfume alternatives to find your favourite
What’s your favourite Essential Oil? I’d love to hear in the comments below
Be sure to let us know if you have a chemical free natural perfume that you really love?
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation with your health care provider. Do not use this article to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think your condition may be serious or before discontinuing any prescribed medication. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.
Essential Oils are not intended for the treatment of specific medical conditions. For treatment of health ailments, please consult with a licensed practitioner. Some Essential Oils are contraindicated during pregnancy. Please seek advice from your natural health care provider.