With the over saturation and confusion of ‘green washing’ in the market today, it is very difficult to know if you are purchasing the real deal when it comes to natural and organic perfumes. If your perfume lists under its ingredients :
Alcohol denat. (from botanical source), Botanical fragrance, water. – then you are well within your rights to think, ‘this is great!’ right? Mmmmm, maybe not.
What to avoid:
For starters, denatured alcohol (ethanol). This is alcohol that has gone through a process that adds toxic chemicals* (usually petroleum derived) to remove the ‘alcoholic’ component, rendering it undrinkable – so basically, something like methylated spirits or rubbing alcohol. It’s also a cheaper option for manufacturers as it doesn’t carry the taxes like drinking alcohols do. Organic alcohol or not – if you see ‘Alcohol denat.’ listed then you now know it is not pure and has had toxic chemicals added. And given that a minimum of 80% alcohol is used in an eau de parfum, I would probably avoid putting this one on your skin if your intention is to reduce the toxic chemical load to your body.
According to the comprehensive resource ‘The Chemical Maze,’ by Bill Statham, the potential effects of using denatured alcohol are: skin irritation, birth defects, reproductive toxin and neurotoxicity. Not so naturally appealing now really, is it?
*The most common chemicals used for denaturing are Methanol, Terbutyl alcohol, Di Ethyl Phthalate, in combination with Denatonium Benzoate (Bitrex). NASTY!!
* Just for comparisons sake also – the chemicals found in a mainstream perfume not 100% natural or organic are: ethanol (denatured), Isopropyl myristate, Dipropylene glycol, phthalates, artificial dyes, fragrance oils, mineral oils, parabens, adulterants and many many more!
The healthier option:
Use a perfume with pure botanical oils used for the fragrance and a botanically derived un-denatured alcohol. Un-denatured is simply a botanical material (cane, grape or grain) that has gone through several processes of fermentation and steam distillation. It’s what all natural perfumes with an alcohol base should contain. It’s what we use!
How to be sure:
Without confusing you too much, there is a very simple way of checking if what you buy is the real deal or not, and its called the ECLIP list (Ethical Complete List of Ingredients in Perfume).
If the brand of natural or organic perfume you are using does not disclose this list, then they just might be hiding something.
A couple of years ago a few long-time natural perfumers came up with this brilliant way of making sure you are honestly informed about all the ingredients used in their perfumes in hopes to make a worldwide movement for change. We are proud to follow suit.
Complete transparency, how honest is that!
The idea of the ECLIP list is to openly state all the ingredients that are and are NOT contained in their fragrances. This is done using a standardised format based on the ISO (International Organisation Standardisation) standard for Aromatic Natural Raw Materials ISO 9235.2013.
Every perfumer publishes his own ECLIP list that shows 3 things:
1. the whole list of ingredients that are used in perfumery, with the definition of what they are and how they are obtained
2. the list of the ingredients that the perfumer uses in his fragrances
3. the list of the ingredients that he does NOT use in his perfumes.
Click here to see the ECLIP of “ime natural perfume.”
It is in my opinion that this List is necessary today as more and more of us choose to consciously avoid toxic chemicals, animal or genetically modified products in order to create cleaner lives for our health, wellbeing, our families and the planet.
Here’s to following the movement for change!
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