Stop Using The F Word

By Carly Farmer |

Stop Using The F Word

In today's modern world, we are surrounded by fragrance and scented products that claim to make our homes and workplaces smell good. 

Products like scented candles, fragranced plugins, bathroom sprays, and dryer sheets have become an integral part of our lives.

However, what many people don't realize is that these synthetic fragrances are not only an evasive force in our surroundings but also contain toxic chemicals that can harm our health.

In this blog post, we will explore the reasons why synthetic fragrance is not good for human health and provide actionable steps to go fragrance-free for the health and benefit of you and your family! 

What Is The “F” Word?

What is the f word?

Today, fragrance is the elephant in the room. “Fragrance” or “parfum” on an ingredient list actually represents a trade secret fragrance recipe that could be made up of not just one or two chemicals, but hundreds of synthetic chemicals.

These chemicals are selected from a reservoir of 5,000 ingredients. And of this large number of ingredients, none of them actually have to be disclosed or tested for safety.

According to an EWG study, 72% of products with the word "fragrance" contain endocrine disrupting chemicals called phthalates. To dig into phthalates, read All About Phthalates + Why You Should Avoid Them

Furthermore, up to 95% of the synthetic chemicals used to make fragrance recipes are actually derived from petrochemicals.

These particular ingredients are known (according to an 1991 EPA analysis) to cause cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders, asthma, and allergies.

To make matters even worse for the unsuspecting public, many products labeled as “unscented” are actually the fragranced product with the addition of another masking fragrance.

Why Synthetic Fragrance is Harmful to Human Health

  • It's a chemical cocktail: Synthetic fragrances are composed of a complex mixture of chemicals, often undisclosed by manufacturers, which creates the "pleasant" scent. These chemicals can include phthalates, formaldehyde, benzene derivatives, and many more harmful chemicals. When used indoors, they can accumulate, leading to poor indoor air quality. When our bodies are exposed to long periods of time (like in our homes every day!) health issues can arise. 
  • Respiratory irritation: Exposure to synthetic fragrance can trigger respiratory problems, especially in individuals with asthma or allergies. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by these fragrances can irritate the respiratory system causing allergies, asthma, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Hormone disruption: Some chemicals in synthetic fragrances, such as phthalates mentioned above, have been linked to hormone disruption in the body. These disruptions can lead to a range of health issues, including reproductive problems, thyroid dysfunction, and even an increased risk of certain cancers.
  • Migraines and headaches: For a large amount of people, exposure to synthetic fragrances can trigger migraines and headaches. Think -- you sit next to someone on a tight airplane with strong scented perfume. Not pleasant, right? You may even get a headache after an hour or so. Strong and lingering scents can overwhelm our senses and lead to extreme discomfort and pain.
  • Skin sensitization: Synthetic fragrances can also cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Prolonged use of scented products can lead to redness, itching, and rashes, particularly for those with sensitive skin.

So What Should You Do?

1. Ditch ALL synthetic fragrances

The first step to safeguarding your health is to eliminate all synthetic fragrance-containing products from your home.

This includes scented candles, plugins, fabric sprays, toilet paper, personal care items, and cleaning products with "fragrance" or "parfum" on the ingredient list. Dispose of them safely by following local disposal guidelines.

This step is tough for many, and switching to a fragrance-free lifestyle isn't always easy at first. However, your body will appreciate it! Read The Emotional Attachment To Fragrance for more (plus tips) on this topic. 

2. Go fragrance-free

Embrace a fragrance-free lifestyle by choosing high-quality fragrance-free alternatives for all your daily products. Look for labels that explicitly state "fragrance-free" or "unscented."

Your body will thank you for the relief from these harmful chemicals.

3. Use only verified organic or DIY your own natural simmer pot 

If you want a little scent, ensure that the essential oils in products are verified as organic and wildcrafted and extracted without solvents, and make sure to use them sparingly.

You can also create a natural scent with a simmer pot! Try one of our favorite simmer pot recipes: just boil these ingredients together, and then simmer in water to freshen the air:
  • Cinnamon sticks and cloves
  • Sliced lemon, rosemary and a splash of vanilla extra
  • Orange, rosemary sprigs and cinnamon sticks
  • Cranberries, cloves and apples

This way, you have control over what scents you introduce into your living spaces.

You CAN Do It! 

Synthetic fragrance has undoubtedly become a pervasive force in our world, but the hidden dangers it poses to human health cannot be overlooked.

By eliminating synthetic fragrance-containing products, you can significantly improve your indoor air quality and safeguard you and your family's health and well-being.

Going fragrance-free may seem challenging at first, but your health and that of your family are well worth the effort.

So, take the step towards a safer and healthier environment today. Your body will thank you for it!

For the love of your health, stop using the F word!