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The fresh scent of.... toxic chemicals?

Everyone likes to smell good but what you think may be a nice scent could be actually doing you harm.

Synthetic fragrances are of concern for a few reasons:
  1. ‘Fragrance’ on an ingredients list could be hiding toxic ingredients. Due to the way some regulations work this term can actually be used for ‘hiding’ synthetic preservatives such as ‘parabens’ and ‘phthalates’ which are potentially carcinogenic and hormone disrupting.
  2. Synthetic scents may contain as many as 200 individual chemicals, up to 95% of which are derived from petroleum and linked to hormone disruption and abnormal cell reproduction. All that just to create a scent which gives a ‘desired scent’.

It is no wonder that synthetic fragrances tend to last for a long time – have you ever found a product buried in a drawer years later and it smells exactly the same as when you bought it? It probably feels the same and is the same colour as well. That is what synthetic colours, scents and preservatives will do, it may last for years but there is no beneficial fresh goodness in the product, it is essentially ‘dead’.

Since I only use natural products I find any synthetic scent overwhelming, even being close to someone wearing strong perfume can give me a headache and I have to give stores selling synthetic products a wide berth at the mall. Synthetic fragrances are known to be a skin irritant and can cause headaches, dizziness and rashes so it is not only yourself who can be impacted but anyone in close proximity.

There is an alternative

You don’t have to go without when avoiding synthetic fragrances, there are lots of options in the market and the wonderful thing about natural scents is that they actually have amazing health benefits for your mind, body and soul. Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years but it is becoming more well known how natural oils impact on our body and emotions. There is great fun to be had blending oils to create the perfect individualised scent just for you and what your body and mind needs. It just goes to show what a gift nature is to us all and how we can heal ourselves through it rather than cause damage with synthetic chemical cocktails.

Remember synthetic fragrances are everywhere, it’s not just perfumes you need to have a good think about, have a smell of your skincare, cleaning products, washing powder, bath and hair care.

Not all ‘natural oils’ are made identical and even in the natural arena there are brands using ‘nature-identical’, ‘fragrant oils’ or poor quality essential oils. You may be thinking how will I know what is good and what isn’t! Here are some tips on how to identify what is natural vs synthetic;

  • Read the ingredients list and avoid any products with the word ‘fragrance’. We have a handy wallet guide of the ten most common 'nasties' which you can use as an easy reference when checking labels.
  • Ask at your local health or organic store for which brands use 100% pure high quality natural oils.
  • Research brands yourself and ask questions, find a brand you can trust.
  • As you start to use more naturally scented products you will find you can more easily identify what is natural and what isn’t. I can now tell most of the time just by the way a product smells.
  • Natural scents will gradually fade or slightly change over time, be wary of scents which don’t change.
Of course we only use natural scents

Our 100% natural range of products are all scented with pure essential oils and extracts. We have just launched our first 100% Natural Perfume ‘Sia’. This beautiful floral roll-on perfume is the perfect alternative to synthetic perfumes and its fresh scent evokes feelings of love and joy.

You will find that the smell of natural perfumes such as ‘Sia’ won’t last as long but the great thing is that as they are natural you can re-apply with as often as you want to without any harm!

Sia 100% Natural Perfume is 9ml and has a RRP of $25.90.

Find out more about why using natural is so important on our here.

Sarah Cowan (Managing Director, The Herb Farm)

February 2016

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