Up until last year, I was still open to using some fragrance oils, but not anymore. I've been making my own beauty and hygiene products at home for awhile now, but only recently started scenting them. I was never too concerned with them smelling like anything other than what I was using. Sure, I would throw in some of my standard essential oils, but that was more for its properties and benefits than smell.
Last year, when I began making products for my family, my interest in smell was piqued. So, I dived deeper into fragrancing. I quickly learned that it's not so easy to find out what makes up a "fragrance". After researching further, I figured out why.
According to the FDA, fragrances fall under the trade secret formula law. This means that manufacturers don't have to disclose the ingredients of their fragrances. In short, you and I will never know exactly what makes up a particular scent. Fragrances can have 100's of ingredients and because of the trade secret law, it's often used as a facade for harmful chemicals and preservatives.
So, why in the world would anyone ever want to use synthetic fragrance or products with synthetic fragrance in them?
Firstly, fragrance oils are much cheaper. Just like with many things harmful to the Earth and its inhabitants, it boils down to money. Synthetic fragrances filled with phthalates that make them last longer, are much cheaper than organic essential oils. Given the choice, I think people would choose to pay a little more now, than pay even more in health bills, pain and suffering later.
There are other alternatives to using synthetic fragrances to add wonderful aromatics to your products. Some of which are absolutes, attars, hydrosols, infusions, extracts and essential oils.
An essential oil is a liquid that is most frequently steam distilled, cold pressed or extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant. Essential oils contain the true essence of the botanical it was derived from and are highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Essential Oils offer a myriad of therapeutic psychological and physical benefits and are great for use in aromatherapy and skin applications when diluted.
A few of my favorites are, chamomile, fennel, frankincense, lavender, lime peel, patchouli, sweet orange...
I will be highlighting these and others in follow up posts.