What’s wrong with regular perfume?
June 24th, 2020

What’s wrong with regular perfume?

Here's the biggest thing you probably don't know about regular perfumes that are not natural (ie, probs every perfume you've ever heard of, including indie brands):


They might have a few notes from actual botanical extracts, but on the whole, the smells are synthetic. They're made in a lab. An incredible feat of science to be able to replicate smells out of a test tube sure, but the unfortunate truth is that there are a lot of synthetic smells that can be irritating and cause major health issues. As opposed to our natural perfumes which don't contain harmful chemicals. 

Top 2 ingredients to avoid

There are 3059 chemicals that can be classified as "parfum", according to the International Fragrance Association. The IFRA dictates what can and can't be classified as parfum. It's a self regulating industry which is part of the problem - because the association that wants to sell perfume also makes up the rules.

The worst offenders: 

1. Phthalates

In lab experiments phthalates have been known to cause developmental defects, changes in sperm counts and liver and kidney failure. They also inhibit the development of male hormones in fetuses and have been linked to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues. They are definitely not recommended for pregnant women and young children.

They are found in fragrance, personal care products (hair care, body wash, some cosmetics), household items (vinyl flooring), household cleaners, and food. 

This is a common ingredient in all fragrances that are not natural. Just so you know. And if it's unavoidable in our household items like the floor, it makes sense to avoid it where you can, like in perfumes and beauty products. 

2. Polycystic and Nitro musks

These are particularly insidious - they are in everything from laundry detergents to body washes and you know that musky smell you get at the end of EVERY SINGLE TRADITIONAL PERFUME? It is one of these musks.

Synthetic musks are some of the most harmful chemicals to have invaded our homes and will also be the hardest to get rid of because every big company uses them. They're cheap, they last a long time and they're in loads of supermarket products. 

They last so long in fact, they're called "persistent" in the science world, so even when you wash them down the drain they hold their molecular structure and pollute our waterways and soil. 

They've been found in human blood tissue, placenta and breast milk, which means they get into our bloodstream easily. 

And they've been linked to hormone disruption which can cause anything from bad moods to endocrine disruption which can cause reproductive issues and weight gain amongst other things.

They've been linked to tumour growth in mice.  Note - you can't test these ingredients on living humans because who is going to volunteer to see if they'll grow a tumour or not! They have caused human breast cancer cells to multiply in scientific studies.

They also bioaccumulate. Which means they don't go away. 

Synthetic musks are based on the secretions from the anal and genitals of a musk deer. They don't actually kill musk deer anymore because they hunted them to the point of extinction for their smell, so at least there's that. But the synthetic versions are what everyone loves about non-natural perfumes purely because it's familiar (and everywhere!) and it's literally one of the worst things for your body and the environment.

Break away from this ingredient. It's causing so many health issues that you can't pinpoint because it's impossible to test them. 

The way we see it is that some ingredients might be considered safe in the small doses you get in a cosmetic fragrance, but the cumulative effect of those various ingredients has not been tested. Nor has it been tested how it affects humans if you use a bunch of harmful chemicals on your skin in the morning, and then eat fruit and vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticide, and then clean the bench with harmful chemicals that get into your skin, and then eat off the bench cause you think it's clean, and then wash your hair with harmful chemicals that go straight into your bloodstream. It's a toxic cycle. 

Our advice is to cut out the unnecessary chemicals and use only chemicals when they're absolutely necessary for that product to work. Save your chemicals for when you absolutely need them.

Perfume and beauty products are not one of them. Our natural perfumes are never made with those ingredients. EVER. Check them out here with the full list of ingredients.


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