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What You Don’t Know About Perfumes May Hurt You!

What a joy to our senses is the great smell of a perfume or air freshener in our home! I personally love waking up to a fresh, clean smell or doing some work with floral aromas filling the room. We spray all these perfumes and fresheners all over our houses and bodies, but do we know what is in them? I know I didn’t so a few years back until I started paying attention to product labels. As many of us didn’t know one of the most seemingly “normal” words is “ fragrance” which seem so harmless because it’s used so much in the cosmetic industry and a vast majority of skincare and household products have this ingredient in them. Now, I know what you are thinking! What’s wrong with fragrance? That’s why the perfumes and fresheners smell good, right? While it’s true that the fragrance gives products their smell, the word fragrance is a code word for chemicals used by companies to hide a lot of artificial-no so good- ingredients to their products behind that one word!

Unfortunately, in the US and some other countries, companies are not required to list all the ingredients on a perfume bottle or a product.  That way, companies don’t have to disclose all the harsh chemicals that are used in their products. Instead, they will be listed as fragrances. This does not seem too bad initially until you realize that, “the word fragrance on a label signifies a mix of potentially hundreds of ingredients, and the exact formulas of most  are trade secrets, according to most companies (1).” This is horrible because you have a right to know what you are putting on or inhaling into your body!

The EPA performed a study and found that “numerous chemicals commonly used in fragrance products, [include], among others: acetone; benzaldehyde; benzyl acetate; benzyl alcohol; camphor; ethanol; ethyl acetate; Limonene; Linalool; [and] methylene chloride, (2).” These chemicals have been proven to lead to “central nervous system disorders, dizziness, nausea, poor coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, irritation to the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, lungs and GI tract, kidney damage, respiratory failure, ataxia, and fatigue, among other symptoms and illnesses” when combined and inhaled (2).

Not only that, but fragrances are known to cause health issues like asthma, allergies, and migraines. There have also been reports of some fragrance materials getting stored in the body and showing up in breast milk. This is not good because some fragrance materials are thought to be hormone disruptors (3).” This is detrimental to the human body as it creates all sorts of hormonal imbalances which could lead to infertility, auto-immune diseases, and even tumors.

The  endocrine system that makes our hormones function is one of the main communication networks in the body, “and is responsible for controlling and coordinating numerous body functions (4).” The endocrine tissues, like the thyroid or ovaries, create the hormones. These hormones get into the bloodstream and act as the body’s messengers and control the coordination of other tissues in the body (4).

Coincidentally, some of these tissues are in spaces where perfumes are applied. For instance, the thyroid is in your neck. This gives the hormone disruptors easy access to one your body’s main communication systems and nothing good can come of that!

Hormone disruptors mimic (fully or partially) the hormones in your body. In doing so, they stop the hormones from binding and communicating with the receptors in your body. This affects the normal bodily functions by changing the signals that your hormones give out and can lead to major damage such as, “reduced fertility and increased incidences or progression of some diseases, including obesity, diabetes, endometriosis, and some cancers (4).”

This is a pretty serious issue that is overlooked. Just think of all the sprays you have in your house that have “fragrance” listed in their ingredients if the ingredients are listed at all! The fact that you are being exposed to chemicals that are linked to serious health issues like infertility and cancer is outrageous! To top it off, these “fragrances” are found in just about everything from your favorite bar of soap to your favorite scented candles!

If you are like me, then you are probably ready to throw everything away and be done with it all, but part of you will miss the pleasant smells. You are probably asking yourself how you can avoid this invasion of chemicals in your environment and still enjoy the scents you love. The solution is easy and 100% natural- switch to USDA Certified Organic Essential Oils!

essential oils as natural perfumes, organic essential oils perfumes

In case you didn’t know all perfumers in the world use very small amounts of essential oils as the base of their perfumes to get the scents you love but the problem is the rest of the commercial perfumes bottles are filled with nothing but only chemical fillers. Just image how pleasing and healthy it would be to smell the essential oil alone, without the added fillers=aka chemicals!  As a bonus to using only essential oils, you’ll also get the benefits of the natural oils therapeutic properties because your body can properly break down the compounds found in organic oils which will get easily absorbed and processed in your body.

The human body cannot process at all the chemicals found the most of the products we purchase today, which is the main reason why people living in Western societies are sicker than ever with chronic diseases than people living in poor countries who don’t have access to “modern” commercial products yet. Our bodies can easily absorb and process properly everything that comes from nature that is 100% natural.

There are essential oils for everything from anxiety and depression, to muscle tension, pain management, and aphrodisiacs. Anything you are struggling with, you can be sure that there is an essential oil that can help you! I think we can agree that nothing is better than smelling good AND feeling good at the same time and with essential oils you can have both. You should consider making the switch and creating your own perfumes with essential oils!

Make your own oil perfume

To make a perfume out of essential oil just follow this simple trick. Mix 1 drop of your favorite essential oil with 1-2 tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut, almond, or jojoba oil, shake the mix well, and store it into a small rollerball for easy application, and voila! Make sure you are using USDA organic oils for topical use, otherwise, there is no guarantee that you are avoiding chemicals in non-organic essential oils which come from conventional farms where plants are sprayed with pesticides and artificial fertilizers. 

Some of the favorites essential oils scents for women include Jasmine, Rose,
Lavender, Bergamot, Patchouli, Clary Sage, and Ylang Ylang. Other oils such as Sandalwood, Vetiver, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Fir, Bay, LemongrassMyrrh, Frankincense, and Ylang Ylang are more preferred by men. The examples here are not to say these oils are for women and the others are for men, we just listed the ones that are most popular, but you can choose any oil you love among the hundreds of essential oils available today! And if you want to be unique, you should definitely sample some other essential oils that are not so popular. We promise you there are some wonderful essential oils that most people never heard of, and which have an exquisite aroma. The beauty of essential oils is that every plant that is converted into an essential oil has some health benefits in addition to the beautiful natural scent that you can only get from them and that in itself is a win-win!

Having said that, most genuine essential oils aromas are very mild in their nature since they are directly extracted from plants, trees, roots, and flowers, so any of these can be used by both men and women as their scents are not pungent but rather mild, yet lasting longer than the artificial fragrances. This just shows just how versatile the essential oils can be.

With the holidays coming up you can use that to your advantage to make your own perfumes and candles for your friends and loved ones by combining your own selection of essential oils that match their personality, give it a special name, and voila! You have created a meaningful -UNIQUE gift that is personalized and will leave your friend smelling amazing and feeling special!

If you’re really into DIY and want to take it a step further, you can make beeswax candles with essential oils instead of buying the commercial ones which are full of chemicals, unless they’re made of soy or beeswax.

Here’s an easy homemade candle recipe with essential oils that we tested and love.

Homemade Candle Recipe

You will need  the following:

- 1 pound beeswax,

- ½ cup coconut oil,

- 2 (12-ounce) glass jars,

- cotton wicks,

- essential oils such as the ones listed in our Christmas Candle Bundle, which is very popular during holidays or any essential oils you love. 

- fresh herbs (optional for the aesthetic look), if desired,

- masking tape,

- a tin can (either one 28-ounce or two 15-ounce cans) and

- a small saucepan.

The first thing you want to do is place beeswax into one large can or divide evenly between two smaller cans. Then you can fill a small saucepan with 2 inches of water and place your tin can in the center. Turn the burner to medium-low heat and keep a close eye on your beeswax while it melts.

While you're waiting for the wax to melt, set up your wicks. Take a piece of masking tape and punch a small hole in the center with a sharp knife. Then slide the wick through the hole, center the tape over the top of one of the jars and secure it to both sides.

Once your beeswax has melted, turn off the heat and add your coconut oil. Finally, if you choose to use the Christmas Candle Bundle, add about 10 drops of Cinnamon oil, 10 drops of Geranium oil, and 40 drops of Grapefruit oil oils and stir with a popsicle stick or plastic spoon.

Pour the wax into two 12-ounce glass jars. If desired, wait a few minutes for the wax to set up slightly and submerge a few fresh herbs into the wax to give it a pretty, earthy look. Let your candles cool on the counter (to avoid cracking, do not put your candles in the refrigerator) for 5 or 6 hours before trimming the wicks.

If you are unsure of which oils you want to use to make your own unique scented candles, we offer three different sampler packages that contain 62 essential oils samples in them. You can test out the different oils with the samplers and pick your favorites when you’re done! You can even choose one of the many bundles that we have available for the holiday season. Another option is to create your own blend, just take look at our website to find some inspiration. Each page description for our oils shows which oils blend the best together for therapeutic purposes, and that’s how you can find the perfect blend for yourself or loved ones and friends. We want you to have as many options as possible,  so you shouldn’t settle for the commercial perfumes most people buy, instead, you should create your own perfume to make it as unique as you are.

When creating an essential oil candle, make sure you are using only natural waxes, such as beeswax or soy and always use USDA organic essential oils when creating any type of perfume. Non-organic essential oils come from conventional farms where plants are heavily sprayed with pesticides and other artificial fertilizers, so it’s best to avoid them in order to keep your body and the environment chemical and toxins free!

Please remember to always research the products you want to buy beforehand because you never know how bad some of the commercial products are until you actually read and understand what the ingredients are on those labels.

So hopefully next time when you go shopping you’ll know the meaning of fancy words like “fragrance” and the likes, and steer away from those products for your own well being and will opt for perfumes made with organic essential oils instead. 

References

(1)  https://www.nrdc.org/stories/9-ways-avoid-hormone-disrupting-chemicals

(2)  https://cleanerindoorair.org/publications/pamphlets/why-go-fragrance-free/

(3)  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ffj.1106

(4)  https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/materials/endocrine_disruptors_508.pdf  

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