It’s simple – because synthetic perfumes cause allergic reactions in many, many people.
Some might say, “ahhh, what’s a little sneeze and cough here or there?”, but it’s important to understand the problems that can occur if you are in an allergic state on a continual basis. When an allergic reaction occurs, the immune system upregulates, which means it kicks into high gear. The consequence of this is increased inflammation which leads to a cascade of detrimental effects- this can include pain, fatigue, lowered tolerance to stress, and make you more susceptible to further allergens.
According to Gillian Deacon, author of There’s Lead in you Lipstick, “95% percent of individual perfume ingredients are actually derived from coal tar and petroleum… As the chemicals vaporize, either from misting spritz or as they off-gas from a dab to the skin, they often cause sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. According to the FDA, fragrances are responsible for 30 percent of all allergic reactions” (pg.208). And think – we use these products every single day.
Then there are phthalates, which are known endocrine disrupting chemicals, and are found in nearly every synthetic perfume on the market. These nasties are also “…classified as a toxicological concern with reproductive health hazards” (pg. 210).
So seriously – why take the risk? Just make a solid perfume :).
Solid perfumes are balm-like mixtures of beeswax, jojoba oil and natural plant essences (i.e. essential oils, absolutes and concretes). They can be as beautiful as they are aromatically functional.
Because these are created with only pure ingredients, there is very little chance of allergic reaction – unless of course you are allergic to any of the individual ingredients (i.e. beeswax, jojoba, or one of the specific essential oils such as lavender, orange, neroli etc.)
Another bonus about natural perfumes is they do not have an overpowering scent. That might sound like a detriment to some, but this way you can be sure you are not saturated in an overload of aroma. This contrasts quite differently from synthetic perfumes, which are as tenacious as tar. Granted, there have been a few synthetic scents that I have personally found appealing, but I would not consider using them any more than a few times a year (if that). I usually find myself overwhelmed by the noxious and cloying cloud they create around the well intentioned, though desensitized wearer.
Natural perfume, because it absorbs and dissipates through the day, is both subtle and elegant. A well crafted natural essence is the sort of scent that, as the wearer walks by, people may turn their head to follow that which has piqued their olfactory interest. They get a hint of scent, unlike chemical perfumes which can cause someones head to pull back, because they feel like their nose has been hit with an aromatic assault.
One thing though… in the name of full disclosure, there is one thing most people don’t like about natural perfume – they don’t last as long as their synthetic counterparts; not even close. I agree, wearing off quickly can be a bummer, but truthfully knowing the problems synthetic perfumes can produce, I have adopted the mindset that when I re-apply, it is a beautiful opportunity where I can be mindful & grateful for such natural indulgence.
PS – those beautiful lockets in the photos, you can get them at our Apothecary!
There are 3 ways you can do this:
Flacon de Seduction
Here is a stunningly beautiful floral created by Mandy Aftel you can also try:
6 drops orange flower absolute or essential oil ( aka. neroli)
10 drops tuberose absolute
2 drops black pepper essential oil
4 drops nutmeg essential oil
(from Mandy Aftel’s book: Essence & Alchemy pg. 174 )