Why should you care about fragrance?
Most conventional perfume and beauty products contain fragrance, which is highly toxic. Fragrance is linked to an abundance of serious health risks, including but not limited to: kidney, reproductive and nervous system harm, and endocrine disruption, which has been linked to cancer.
What is endocrine disruption, you ask?
The Hormone Health Network does a great job of explaining what ‘endocrine disrupting chemicals’ are and how they affect the female body:
“Some EDCs act like “hormone mimics” and trick our body into thinking that they are hormones, while other EDCs block natural hormones from doing their job. Other EDCs can increase or decrease the levels of hormones in our blood by affecting how they are made, broken down, or stored in our body. Finally, other EDCs can change how sensitive our bodies are to different hormones.
EDCs can disrupt many different hormones, which is why they have been linked to numerous adverse human health outcomes including alterations in sperm quality and fertility, abnormalities in sex organs, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, certain cancers, respiratory problems, metabolic issues, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular problems, growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more.”
The single word ‘fragrance’ can sound harmless, and is often sandwiched on the label of your beloved beauty product between other ingredients you can’t pronounce. What’s important to note is that manufacturers are not required to list their fragrance ingredients on product labels. Therefore, the single word “fragrance” is used on the label to hide a cocktail of more than 100 toxic chemicals. This is because fragrances are technically considered to be “trade secrets.”
What kind of cocktail is this?
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) lists over 3,000 materials that are reported as being used in fragrance compounds, and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics breaks down some of those materials to help us understand what they are, and what they do.
Don’t fret, we have some good news.
Albeit, you might have to cut ties with your favorite Target candle if you chose to eliminate fragrance from your life; there are other alternatives to perfume, candles and room spray that still smell delightful… just without harmful toxins. We’ve tested many different brands, and one of our favorite ADD TO CART’s these days has been Adoratherapy.
CEO of AdoraTherapy, Laura McCann, shares her journey of breaking up with perfume, and how this incredible line was started:
“One of my earliest scent memories was on my first trip to Paris in the 70’s when I was a child. My grandfather had a friend who owned a perfume store near the Place de L’Opera. This store was magical, filled with boxes and bottles, a duty free mecca. I’d watch my grandparents stock up on brand name perfumes like Chanel, Dior, and Guerlain, to bring home as gifts. As we were leaving, I was gifted too: a bag with dozens of tiny perfume samples. What an imprint. I started wearing perfume before I even wore a bra.
When I worked in NYC in the fashion industry part of my job was to do trend research and spend time in all of the department stores. Back then, when you entered Bergdorf Goodman or Saks Fifth Avenue you walked through the makeup and perfume sections. It was common to find someone spritzing perfume to get you to try a new brand or scent. I’d walk through and immediately start sneezing and wheezing.
In my forties, I started to experience health issues. At first it was migraines, then seizures. After that my health continued to deteriorate as my constant state of flight or fight manifested in serious ways, I was diagnosed with Habba Syndrome, a gallbladder problem so unknown I was featured on an episode of Mystery Diagnosis. Although I had always eaten well, and taken good care of myself, I had not managed my stress and it was taking its toll. It was time to start my “clean journey”. This meant understanding labels, ingredients and my own role and choices to heal myself. Changing my eating habits was somewhat easy. My doctor had told me to stop wearing perfume. I figured, what’s the big deal? Leaving my perfume behind was one of the last steps on this journey and how I came to co-found Adoratherapy.
When I started to do some research I found out that the ingredients in my perfume were not helping. What were the “fragrance” or “parfum” on the label of my beauty products and fancy designer fragrances? I had no idea! Why? Because the chemicals that fragrance companies use are not disclosed. At first I thought it made sense. Clearly if they told us what their secret recipes were they could be copied, right? But this was actually not the reason why ingredients weren’t disclosed. The real reason is that it is not a requirement. Plain and simple. The fragrance industry is self-regulated with no federal or state guidelines of any kind to dictate the safety of fragrance chemicals nor the disclosure of fragrance ingredients to manufacturers, regulatory agencies or consumers. Well then. Why is this a problem? Well there is more and more scientific evidence that links the most common fragrance chemicals to cancer, endocrine disruption, asthma and other health concerns as well as water and air pollution. My love affair with perfume was over.
Our mission at AdoraTherapy has always been clear. Transformation! Our aromatherapy perfumes lift and shift your mood in the moment, allowing you to tap into your best self. When we have the presence of mind and heart to be more adoring and compassionate with ourselves, this very feeling cascades into the world and all we touch within it. As we individually transform into the best version of ourselves we weave a new tapestry for humankind, ultimately elevating our collective consciousness.
Q: Can you talk on the therapeutic elements of the oils you use in your products? How effective are they for stress-reducing, clarity, rejuvenation, and mental health?
When the ingredients are organic, bio-dynamic and we respect the earth, the farmers and sustainably source, we can create products that truly heal. To truly heal we need to look at the whole person and explore the many moods they want to have and which ingredients provide these mood benefits. If you blend oils together you can create a wonderful mood range from focused & energetic to balanced and centered, relaxed and clear to open hearted and grateful.
But as perfumers first and aromatherapists second, we can’t just focus on ingredients. Our products must smell amazing too. We need to hit all the scent families from citrus, to florals, to spicy and woodsy. To create essential oil perfumes that smell great and are uplifting you need training, a nose and talent. That is where Adora comes in. Formally trained as an aromatherapist and a healer, she creates each blend from a place that is truly inspired. By building our formulas like perfume with top, middle and base notes we have created something truly unique. To make this even more challenging and honor our commitment to breathtaking we decided to not use alcohol or synthetic fragrance of any kind.
There is a powerful connection between olfaction and the limbic center of our brain, which regulates our physiology including mood, memory and emotion. When we breathe in essential oil blends made with pure plant aromas, we can literally transform how we feel in the moment, positively shifting ourselves, our relationships, and ultimately the world around us.”
If you haven’t tried AdoraTherapy products yet, we highly recommend it. One of our favorites is the Serene Room Boost Spray… it’s so refreshing, yet calming!
How do you feel about ‘fragrance’ now? We’re confident you won’t be worried about who ‘fragrance’ is hanging out with after your breakup, since you’ll have moved onto much better, healthier relationships.