Health & Wellness

Is your perfume making you sick?

There is much-heated discussion in the perfume world when it comes to the question –

“Is your perfume making you sick?”

Those that have sensitivities to strong over-powering fragrances will argue the nasty toxins in synthetic mainstream fragrances make them sick and those that have never had anything but joy from a single spritz of their favourite designer perfume will wonder what all the fuss is about.

So what is all the fuss?

Personally, I can get a slight headache if I’m walking down the street and a mainstream fragrance hits my face like a large suffocating blanket – it’s uncomfortable, but not extreme. With that said, I’ve had issues when it comes to dousing myself in mainstream perfume – I’ve felt congested, fuzzy-minded and as though I need to cough immediately.

Naturally, it makes sense to delve a bit deeper and figure out what the heck is going on.

The not-so-fun facts about mainstream perfume

Last year a Melbourne University study revealed that –

One in three Australians reported health problems such as migraine, headaches, skin conditions and asthma attacks when exposed to everyday fragranced products.

One in three people!

Consider this as well –

An EWG study tested teens to find out which chemicals in personal care products were found in their bodies, the results were 16 different hormone-altering chemicals, including parabens and phthalates, were detected.

It’s hard to ignore the findings, especially now when there is more and more research uncovering the harmful effects of toxic chemicals found in our everyday consumables. Fragrance is in many things, from perfume, to skincare, air-fresheners, cleaning products, toys, furniture, and more.

But we are not doomed.

There are safer, natural alternatives to your everyday perfume

There are healthier alternatives that I hope will one day be ‘mainstream’, and with the growing awareness of how beneficial a natural and organic lifestyle is, so grows the availability of the everyday products to suit our needs.

These are exciting times, people.

Typical ingredients inside a mainstream perfume

The chemical composition of a mainstream perfume is made up of two parts:

  1. A base carrier – usually a perfumer’s alcohol; and
  2. A fragrance compound.

Together, this chemical cocktail if legally enforced on a label (which it is NOT due to a loophole in the industry) could look something like this:

In your mainstream perfume, you'll find ethanol (denatured), Isopropyl myristate, Dipropylene glycol, phthalates, artificial dyes, fragrance oils, mineral oils, parabens, adulterants… and any of the other 3000 ingredients available for use in perfume creation.

So, when it comes to lovingly spraying yourself with a luxury signature scent best known for its celebrity name, you might want to think about those ingredients first before applying again.

What ingredients are inside natural perfumes?

Now in comparison, the chemical composition of a 100% natural perfume is also made up of two parts:

  1. A base carrier (sometimes oil like jojoba and sometimes alcohol); and
  2. A fragrance compound.

This time when you look at a label of any natural perfume it’s pretty damn simple:

Typical ingredients inside a natural perfume - pure botanical ethanol (sugar cane, grain or grape), 100% natural botanical fragrance (proprietary blend of 100% botanical ingredients).Or to that like.

And while some people might argue that even an essential oil –

  • Is a chemical (which it is); and
  • Can be harmful (which it can in incorrect doses);

There are regulations & standards set by government bodies to guide safe use of the botanical ingredients found in fragrance and cosmetics, just as they are for the synthetic ingredients.

This equals one bloody happy body and mind.

Most companies will also list the botanical ingredients in their packaging or on their website, as well as proudly state they are cruelty-free, vegan, organic or toxin free. This is because there is nothing to hide and educating people on what they put on their skin is empowering.

Are you new to natural perfume?

It can be a little confusing to understand what's natural, what's toxic and what isn't. That's why we help women like you make better decisions about the products they put on their skin.

Sign up below if you'd like to learn more about natural perfumes.

Try our natural, toxin free perfume

A natural perfume won’t make you sick

There are many factors that might contribute to deciding what everyday products to purchase for you and your family:

  • Budget
  • Quality
  • Effectiveness
  • Smell.

Scent is known for its connection to conjuring up the sweetest memories and emotions, and for the fragrance lovers who question whether you can get variety, longevity and value from an all-natural and organic fragrance, I would have to ask…

Have you tried a natural perfume lately?

  1. Natural perfumes don’t sit on the surface of your skin like a blanket; and
  2. They evolve with the chemical make-up of your skin to become part of your natural scent, only that little bit more lovely.

So when it comes to choosing a little bottle of magic mist in the mornings, I sit on the side that works best for me.

The natural perfume side.

Because quite frankly, there’s enough in this world making us sick, I’d rather it not be my spritz du jour.

What side do you sit on - the mainstream perfume side or the natural perfume side?

Try each of IME Natural Perfume’s incredible fragrances

I wanted to create a perfume that was not only good for you, but smelt beautiful too and I think I’ve done that with my nine incredible scents.

I know how difficult it can be to choose a perfume based on what you’ve read, so I put together a sample pack with 9 x 2.5ml bottles of each of my scents. It’s called The Collections Pack and you can purchase it below.

Are you new to natural perfume?

It can be a little confusing to understand what's natural, what's toxic and what isn't. That's why we help women like you make better decisions about the products they put on their skin.

Sign up below if you'd like to learn more about natural perfumes.

2 thoughts on “Is your perfume making you sick?

  1. nathasha says:

    Or you can use a genuine good perfume like Amouage perfumes ( ) or creed perfumes where they use real essence oil instead of chemicals.

    1. Tonia says:

      Hi Nathasha, yes many niche/boutique brands are using essential oils in their fragrances also, and some are even using a pure alcohol which is great, but unless they state they are 100% natural, I would hazard a guess that there are aroma chemicals also used in their formulations along with a perfumers alcohol or a denatured alcohol. There are definitely levels of toxicity from no-tox to low tox to the full blown mass market stuff you definitely don’t want to be spraying on yourself. Thanks for your comment. Tonia x

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