Perfume or Poison

Who doesn’t love to smell beautiful? My favorite fragrance was always Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. It was my “signature scent” for many years. What I wasn’t aware of, was how apt the name of my favorite perfume was.

According to EWG (the Environmental Working Group) even though many perfumes, colognes, and body sprays contain some small amounts of natural essences, they primarily contain hazardous synthetic chemicals, even ones originating from petroleum. The ingredients to perfumes are protected under the U.S. Fair Packaging and Label Act, which allows perfume companies to not be required to disclose their ingredients.

What’s more, these toxic perfume chemicals aren’t only in your perfume. They’re in nearly every beauty product you touch. How do you find that? Look at the ingredients list. Any toxic perfumes inside your product will be labeled as “Fragrance”. They use the term “Fragrance” because it is the term given protection by the FDA as an umbrella for any combination of chemicals that gives scent. These “Fragrances” can be any combination of natural raw materials, petroleum, solvents, absorbers, preservatives, and dyes.

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the International Fragrance Association lists ingredients used in fragrance compounds to cause health risks such as cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, kidney failure, endocrine disruption, organ toxicity, and more. And everyone is at risk of experiencing these effects.

At this point, I’m sure you’re feeling like your own “signature scent” isn’t so fantastic. But what if you still want to smell really beautiful? There is a safe and healthy alternative. The most beneficial fragrances you can use on your body, and even in your home, are essential oils. Many of these oils don’t smell like something you’d rub on your skin, but there are a few that will keep you smelling sweet.

You can mix a number of oils to create your own scent, or use alone. If not mixing, we recommend Jasmine, Vanilla, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Patchouli, and Lavendar. I even enjoy Chamomile. Combining essential oils will take some practice! But you can come close to the smell of your favorite perfume. We’ve heard that Chanel no. 5 contains some of these scents: Bergamot, Lemon, Jasmine, Rose Otto, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Neroli, and Vanilla. Giorgio Armani contains Orange, Cinnamon, Patchouli, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Vanilla, and Olibanum. Get creative, and you’ll be smelling like roses in the healthiest way possible.

Photo Credits: Top Image - Jessica Weiller, Bottom Image - Amy Treasure