Let me start off by saying that I LOVE perfume! I love smelling nice and lovely and it makes me feel happy and confident.
I wish I never started researching perfume for this article and continued to live in happy oblivion. Things I found out were very yucky and now I am going to hesitate very much before I put on my beloved Opium again 🙂
Perfume/fragrance is very special because it has a very special loophole.
You see, back in the day of the famous Chanel No 5, it was decided that ingredients in perfumes did NOT have to be disclosed. This was to preserve the formula and exclusivity of the brand and to ensure there were no copy cats. Probably the reason Chanel No 5 is so very expensive to this very day.
I can see why they did this but it has had an adverse effect on us today.
Remember that perfume/fragrance is not just found in a bottle. It is also used in products like deodorants, air fresheners, shower gels, anything that has a smell. Even products that pride themselves on not having a smell. They use fragrance to mask the smell and thus making it “fragrance-free” 🙂 yet another way we have been had, as consumers.
Because of the loophole we cannot even begin to dissect perfume/fragrance but there are a couple of ingredients which we do know about, such as:
DEP – makes the fragrance last longer but it interferes with hormone function
Phthalates – causes all sorts of reproductive systems havoc, from early puberty to low sperm count. It has also been associated with obesity and insulin resistance
Benzyl Alcohol – irritant to the respiratory tract, causes nausea, vomiting, drop in blood pressure etc
The list goes on and I really don’t want to do the full list here (it’s making me quite nauseous just thinking about it), just enough to make you aware and to make sure you have a look for yourself next time.
The main thing perfume/fragrance does that can be noticed straight away is that it is a skin irritant and a lot of people will find their skin will erupt in all kinds of ways when they apply a certain fragrance or a product containing fragrance.
It is also a respiratory irritant and I have a personal story to share on that one, which brought it home to me like nothing else.
Many, many, many moons ago when I was young and impulsive I worked in a call centre. And it was just like in the movies, a huge floor space with little cubicles. One day, while I was in my cubicle I must have felt a bit stinky so I got out my can of deodorant and just gave a spray under each armpit. The next thing I know, a girl about five cubicles away is having an asthma attack and the next thing after that was the ambulance coming to get her.
I felt SO SO bad…. but I genuinely had NO IDEA that I was doing anything wrong or that two sprays of deodorant under my armpits could endanger someone’s life!
In my research, I have also come across this article. It is witty and brings the point home. In our perfume there is poos and vomit, who would have known?
Luckily, NOW I know that there ARE safe alternatives.
For the different kinds of products which smell nice and are safe, please visit my Safe Alternatives tab.
In conclusion, I encourage you before you buy, look, research, ask.
I love it when you ask me questions because it gives me an opportunity to help. Don’t be shy, it’s why I am here.
Here is to a safe, divine smelling world of divine smelling conscious consumers 🙂