If you’re anything like us and have ever gotten a strong whiff of someone’s fragrance and felt immediately dizzy or unwell, we’re here to tell you there’s nothing wrong with you… and everything wrong with the fragrance industry & the regulations surrounding it. From toxic chemicals to hormone disruptive ingredients, your typical perfumes are far from wellness including.
Our aim is not to be fear mongers, but rather to share the truth… the rather harsh truth. Our goal is to convey the facts & figures that awaken you to the realities surrounding fragrance products. Not to scare you, but to educate you & to allow you to make your own, well informed decisions. And let’s not fail to mention that while we are pointing out the toxins & harmful chemicals in typical cosmetic brands, we are simultaneously and equally excited to also share some of our favorite ways to use fragrance, from a natural point of view.
One of the major issues with modern perfumes is that the fragrance industry is largely self regulated. “Fragrance” is really just a general term which indicates that ingredients are not actually disclosed, nor are they required to be disclosed, meaning that the list of ingredients is simply unknown. The world of perfume is clouded in mystery & secrecy as there are almost no regulations when it comes to the ingredients & formulas, thanks to a loophole of exemptions of all fragrances in The Federal Fair Packaging & Labeling Act (FPLA or Act) of 1973.
It’s quite unnerving to discover that a single scent may contain anywhere from 50 to 300 distinct chemicals (2) & on top of that, over 1,200 of the “known” chemicals have been flagged as harmful, or chemicals of concern, including 7 of which are labeled as carcinogens. There are very bleak standards surrounding the regulations of the safety of chemicals & ingredients used in perfumes & fragrances. No state, federal, or global authority even has knowledge of what chemical goes into any given product.
Common toxins to look out for in fragrances:
Phthalates - A huge culprit in hormone disruption, especially testosterone which is of extreme concern to those who are pregnant. Phthalates can lead to developmental disorders in the womb. Phthalates are also linked the hormonal disorder, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which can cause a multitude of different symptoms, including acne, trouble conceiving, and excess facial hair, among others.
Musk Ketone -Another widely common hormone disrupter, this is a synthetic musk that wreaks havoc on the endocrine & biological processes, resulting in potential ovarian disease and other gynecologic risks (3).
Benzyl Acetate - A toxic ingredient recognized for its sweet scent. It’s a multipurpose chemical used as a solvent in resins, plastics, oils, lacquers & polishes. Also known as a carcinogen (3).
Clearly, many of these ingredients & chemicals have been linked to a variety of health concerns. Many studies have classified some of the ingredients used in fragrances as hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, and are even being linked to reproductive malformation & cancer. Like most cosmetic products, perfumes are typically applied directly to the skin and therefore absorbed into the bloodstream, so it’s important to be extra mindful of the impact this can have on your entire system and is wise to take a precautionary approach.
Here at Citrine, we not only do the work by curating products with extreme diligence, we also aim to spread awareness about the potential damages that can be caused by these unregulated products that aren’t making a conscious shift to cleaner, healthier alternative ingredients. The first step is education & awareness. From there, you can make choices that promote your own wellbeing.
For those who are seasoned in natural beauty, this may be a gentle reminder to steer clear of products that aren’t considered clean. For those who are just dipping their toes into this world, let this be the impactful awakening to remind you to honor your body & your well being. While we must always choose the option that brings us the most joy, we invite you to consider & expand on how you harness joy from your sense of smell in your everyday life.
Enough of the reality riffing, let’s get straight into the resolutions. We absolutely love scent, we are all about smelling divine & indulging in the sensual experience of scent. It’s so ironic that we are now living in a world touted with toxins, because all fragrance concepts actually originate from the idea of something natural. They are then turned synthetic, attempting to replicate the delicacy of what is found in Mother Nature.
We are so grateful & appreciative to be able to carry amazing fragrance products that are safe, clean, and created by companies that do their due diligence by sourcing the highest quality ingredients that either come directly from natural sources, and/or are completely nontoxic. Fragrances are inherently natural, so it only makes sense that we use products that honor the natural essence of what scent is. Scent is a powerful tool, and one that we can use to enhance our auras, our confidence, our mood & our overall well being. Below is a list of our favorite natural fragrance picks we think you’ll love too!