Most perfume fragrances are synthetic and often made from toxic petrochemicals derived from crude oil. There are more earth friendly alternatives and it’s easy to make your own natural perfume too!
Personally, I love the scent of a good perfume; but I’ve met many people during my life that not only don’t like it, but it can trigger a very adverse physical reaction. My mother, someone who loved quality perfumes, became very sensitive to artificial fragrances as her kidneys started failing.. and it turns out for very good reason.
The first completely synthetic perfume was unleashed on the market in the 1920’s – it was Chanel No. 5. Its success heralded the dawn of a new era in the perfume industry and most major labels abandoned more traditional and natural fragrance ingredients for the synthetics.
Many perfumes are cocktails of poisons.. it really is that simple. While labeling regulations may require manufacturers to list ingredients, that requirement goes as far as the term “fragrance”. In many countries, manufacturers are permitted not to specify what the fragrance is made up of as it’s a trade secret. And that’s where the really nasty stuff lurks.
A fragrance may be made up of dozens, sometimes over hundred different chemicals – and according to a National Academy of Sciences study from a couple of decades ago; up to 95% of these fragrance chemicals are petrochemicals – derived from crude oil.
So there’s the crude oil factor – and we all know the impact of oil production on the environment; but the petrochemicals the oil is transformed into used by the fragrance industry are even more frightening; particularly the phthalates. Many have been shown in studies to cause serious health problems, mutations and death in animals. Fragrances are even listed on the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences as an indoor pollutant.
What we apply to our skins is our personal choice – but the wider environmental issue comes into play when you consider what happens with these products. Most of them are washed off meaning that they are discharged into aquatic enironments – ultimately our streams, rivers and other waterways.
Earth friendly, natural perfumes
Nature has provided us with an abundance of beautiful scents – Jasmine, ylang ylang, rose geranium, tea rose to name a few and all available as essential oils. If you’re sensitive about animal products, there’s even vegan perfumes available that don’t make use of animal musk or whale ambergis; but rather just natural bases of essential plant oils and natural preservatives.
Make your own natural perfumes
Get creative, save money and make your own earth friendly perfumes! Here’s a basic recipe.
You’ll need a small dark glass bottle for storing your fragrance creation is as sunlight will quickly kill the scent if you store it in clear glass.
Your favorite essential oil/s
2 1/2 oz of Vodka
2 tablespoons of Distilled Water
It will take a little experimentation to achieve the right potency to suit your tastes; so start out with a single essential oil for practice – perhaps 4-8 drops. The general process is:
Add the essential oil to the vodka, stirring slowly until the oil is fully mixed in; then let sit for 2 days. After this time, add the distilled water, slowly stirring it through; then let it sit another couple of days; longer for a more potent mix. Done!
Don’t forget to write down the essential oils and numbers of drops you use in each batch while refining your own natural perfume blend!