NATURAL VS. SYNTHETIC PERFUME
We'll be the first to admit commercial perfume can smell mind-blowingly good! And in its humble beginnings, the perfume industry started innocently enough with local, small-scale production. It wasn't until consumer demand for mass-produced perfume exploded in the last half of the 20th century that chemical intervention was deemed necessary to ensure consistant quality and a long 'shelf life'. The biproduct of a global perfume industry now worth over 40 billion annually, is the commercial perfumes we buy are now almost 100% synthetic.
What does it mean for us as consumers? And our bodies? As the largest organ in the body and part of our detoxification system, our skin naturally absorbs up to 60% of what we put onto it. This is why the ingredients in our perfumes, matter. So if you’re making the switch to clean beauty, you may just want to overhaul your perfume collection too.
How bad for can it really be?
While some commercial perfumes contain small amounts of natural essences (and are often cheekily highlighted in the promotion of the perfume as a ‘natural’ option), the rest of the formula contains a host of synthetic chemicals and additives that we’ll likely never find out about. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that the majority of a perfume, cologne or body spray’s content is made up of potentially hazardous chemicals.
If you’re scratching your head wondering how, with a booming wellness industry and trends towards transparency, this is going unchecked? We’re all thinking it too.
The answer is in a perfectly concocted industry loophole. Perfume companies are required to list the ingredients. However the ingredient listed as ‘fragrance’ is the secret container that holds any number of undisclosed ingredients. Up to 34 in some cases, as tested and found in commercial perfumes. Perfume companies are allowed to withhold the ingredients of the ‘fragrance’ so as not to give away the trade secrets. If it all sounds very mysterious and secretive, it is, and it’s how the cosmetic industry keeps us in the dark. It is safe to assume that unless a perfume is labelled ‘organic’ or ‘100%’ natural, it contains a veritable cocktail of chemicals that you probably don’t want near your skin.
What are these chemicals and why should we avoid them?
Some of the common ingredients that would grace the list (if they were truly transparent), are petrochemicals, parabens, phthalates and known hormone disruptors, all of which can accumulate in human tissue. One common example, Diethyl Phthalate, is a chemical known to disrupt sperm production. Many of the chemicals are known to be harmful to our health but equally as many have not been studied or tested for potentially harmful effects.
But take heart, friend! It is a truly amazing time to be making the switch to natural skincare and beauty. Thanks to the clean beauty movement, we are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to incredible natural perfume brands available.
How to choose a natural / organic perfume
For a perfume to be classified as ‘organic’, it must contain a minimum of 80% organic ingredients. Organic perfumes are produced on a smaller scale so the process is more refined and meticulous. Organic ingredients cost more, and can be anywhere from double to twenty times the price of synthetic ingredients, according to organic perfume manufacturer One Seed.
Organic perfumes typically contain a plant based oils (including essential oils), distilled water and natural alcohol. Essential oils can have amazing benefits for physical and mental health. They can elevate your mood or soothe and calm. They’re better for our health and the planet. One of the concerns we hear often for those thinking about making the switch, is about quality.
You’re ready to make the move over to natural skincare but don’t want to compromise on the quality of your favourite mainstream products. We understand! And we promise, there is zero compromise when it comes to the natural perfume on offer.
One Seed Organic Perfumes are hand-crafted in Australia, each scent has its own unique story and inspiration. They’re 100% natural and 80% certified organic ingredients. One Seed perfumes have a depth and complexity of scent that unfolds naturally over time spent on each individual’s skin. In this way, you truly are getting a bespoke perfume.
IME natural perfume are inspired by the nine muses of Greek mythology - designed to ‘inspire and guide those who seek radiance’. Choose your muse and let the 100% natural botanical ingredients do the rest.
Van Der Faun Organic uses 100% certified organic ingredients and natural essential oils to formulate rich lavish scents with a timeless appeal. Made with love by an artisan family of a mother and two daughters.
Indah meaning [ beautiful ] in Indonesian, is freshingly minimalistic perfume. Hand-crafted by Cert. Aromatherapist Teisha Lowry, using the most premium and powerful ingredients on earth that are 100% natural and Certified Organic and vegan wherever possible.
words | Sophie Parslow