If you've ever worked in an office full of women who are really into fashion, beauty, and trends (like I have) then you know how it feels to spend your day breathing in a variety of different perfumes and fragrances. It can be nauseating. Honestly, it only takes one person in a small enclosed space who layers on the perfume to make it unbearable.
The reason isn't because it smells bad (although some of them do smell really bad) it's because of how the fragrances make us feel. Headaches, dizziness, and a feeling of being light-headed are common reactions as well as nausea, fatigue and irritability. These are all reactions to the synthetic cocktail you'll find in popular fragrance products.
The truth is that fragrance makers do not have to disclose what they use in their product. They can use virtually any chemical and do not have to put it on the label. When you purchase a fragrance, it could contain any number of the 3,100 or so stock chemical ingredients used by the fragrance industry. The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, explains:
“When you see ‘fragrance’ on a personal care product's label, read it as ‘hidden chemicals.’ A major loophole in FDA's federal law lets manufacturers of products like shampoo, lotion, and body wash include nearly any ingredient in their products under the name ‘fragrance’ without actually listing the chemical.
Companies that manufacture personal care products are required by law to list the ingredients they use, but fragrances and trade-secret formulas are exempt”
Doesn't seem fair, does it? I believe consumers have the right to know exactly what is in the products they purchase in order to make an informed decision. This is why I avoid all products that contain the ingredient “fragrance” on the label, including all perfume and fragrance products.
This has been proven in laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and analyzed by EWG. The tests found a total of 38 chemicals not listed on the labels in 17 name-brand fragrances. Some of the brands included were Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Bath & Body Works, Old Spice, Calvin Klein, and more.
On average they contained 14 chemicals that were not disclosed on the label, along with another 15 that were listed. Many of the chemicals on this list have been associated with allergic reactions and hormone disruption and others have not even been assessed for their safety.
So, now what? If you enjoy fragrance products and perfumes, there is a healthy solution (and it's probably a lot cheaper).
How to Make Your Own Healthy Fragrance Spray
A healthy homemade fragrance spray can be made with only a few ingredients, using essential oils as the fragrance in place of synthetics.
The process of making this fragrance spray is very simple. The hard part is finding the fragrance mix that you like best. If mixing fragrances intrigues you and you want to do some experimenting, this page gives a great explanation on how to do that.
If you're not into doing a little experimentation, there are lots of blends that people have already created. This post lists 15 different combinations that sound amazing. There are also some essential oils blends that you can buy already mixed up. I happen to love the blend called “Joy” from Young Living and I often use it as a perfume replacement.
Here's how to make it, you'll need:
- 1 Cup distilled water
- 2 Tbsp. witch hazel extract, I buy this from Mountain Rose Herbs
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable glycerin (optional but helps to make the scent stick around longer)
- 20-30 drops of essential oil
Mix all of these ingredients together and pour into an atomizer spray bottle like this one.
How to Make Your Own Perfume Roll-on
This is another simple way to make your own healthy fragrance. All you need is:
- A carrier oil, like jojoba oil
- Your desired essential oils
- A glass roll-on bottle like this one
Once you have selected your essential oils or your essential oil blend, add them into the glass roller bottle. Use as little as 10 drops or as many as 20-30 for a stronger scent. Then fill the bottle the rest of the way with jojoba oil. Shake the bottle to mix well. Roll on as desired.
With so many wonderful essential oils to choose from, there is no need for synthetic fragrances that can pose health risks to you and those around you. It might take some time to find just the right scent for you but that can be the fun part!