A rose may be a rose, but that rose-like fragrance in your perfume may be something else entirely. “Fragrance” is a generic term which can be concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients, the blend of which is almost always kept hidden from the consumer as they are considered trade secrets.
Makers of popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays market their scents with terms like “floral,” “exotic,” or “musky,” but they don’t disclose that many scents are actually a complex cocktail of natural essences and synthetic chemicals – often petrochemicals. Laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and analyzed by Environmental Working Group revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 name brand fragrance products.
The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.
Whether you are looking for a sweet-smelling perfume, a musky scented candle or a fruity bath bomb, exercise your smart beauty options. Look for products with complete ingredient lists, avoid anything with the generic term “fragrance” (unless you are certain that the product is phthalate free).