Up until the modernisation of perfumery in the late 1880s, all perfumes were made from natural plants and animal sources. Synthetic fragrance was subsequently discovered and 95% of commercial products today contain fragrance, otherwise also known as parfum. This can be found in a wide range of FMCG products such as detergent, soap, cream, lotion, sunscreen and candles. No, we are not telling you to stop using them. It is unfortunately inevitable that we are and will continue to be surrounded by chemically created scents. But we believe you should be more informed and aware of what you buying. In most products, fragrances are added to emit a pleasant scent and often than not, used to disguise the offending chemical smell of other ingredients. Can you now try to imagine your favourite face serum or shampoo without the fragrance you were first attracted to? Yes, I thought I would frown a little too!
Unknown outside the industry, fragrance was labeled as the "new second hand smoke" in 2009 by researchers from University of Maryland. What's the problem with fragrance? Not the scent as you might think but rather the synthetic chemicals derived from petroleum, tar and industrial processing.
“Over the past 50 years, 80-90% of ingredients used to manufacture fragrances have been synthesised from petroleum and some of the commonly found harmful chemicals such as acetone, phenol, toluene, benzyl acetate, and limonene.”
- Respiratory - sinus allergy, asthma, breathlessness and airway dysfunction syndromes.
- Neurological - migraine, nausea, dizziness, palpitations, fainting and mental confusion.
- Skin rash, irritation and sensitisation.
- Tearing and inflammation of eyes.