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Are All Those Artificial Fragrances Getting Up Your Nose?


Natural background of fallen petals of Yellow roses



It has been many years since we have written about artificial fragrances.

Time for an update!

Do you suffer from frequent headaches, allergies and stomach problems? Millions live with chronic pain and discomfort of different symptoms, often being dependent on medications to get through the day.

Your doctor may never have told you that your mystery symptoms may be as simple as a reaction to all the chemicals in your home. Yes, perfumes and other artificial fragrances trigger migraines, sinus issues, respiratory problems, rashes, nausea and even visual disturbances in a large number of people.

Synthetic fragrance affects air quality for those sharing the space

  • If you care about those around you, then refrain from using artificial fragrances.
  • If you are on the receiving end, then those around you should respect that they are causing you discomfort and suffering - and also refrain from using artificial fragrances. 

Unfortunately, there are many who might not realise or choose to ignore that they are the reason others suffer. There are still many who just carry on wearing products that are filled with artificial fragrances: perfume, scent, fabric softener, hair products and deodorants.

Many people suffer from an actual condition known as chemical sensitivity.

MCS or multiple chemical sensitivity is a disorder where people develop extreme reactions to chemicals and other irritants in the environment, often affecting their multiple organ systems. The consequences can vary from mild and immediate to delayed and chronic (and everything in between). While there is no cure for this damaging condition, a sufferer’s quality of life can be improved by the reduction of all environmental and other toxins in their everyday life and surroundings.

Removing all products with fragrance as an ingredient will immediately improve air quality in your home

These products include:


Those scented candles with artificial fragrances are also a big problem to your health and will pollute your room air as the candles themselves are often made of paraffin (an unhealthy petroleum by-product) and synthetic scent which is toxic. Toxins such as acetone, benzene, toluene and soot are emitted causing a grey sooty residue that lands are surfaces in the home.

With synthetic oils you probably will get a stronger scent but you’re also releasing formaldehyde and other lung irritating chemicals into the air. There are side effects to be aware of from scented candles, symptoms including a lack of concentration, irritability, headaches and allergies. If you blow your nose, you might even find such grey sooty particles in your tissue. Don’t take the risk of poisoning your family with these scented candles especially if you are a regular user of candles.


Dryer sheets are designed to stay on clothing for a long period of time and slowly release their chemicals throughout the day and night, which leads to prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals. Today, many people think that hanging clothes out to dry in the sun is old-fashioned and inconvenient but feeling your clothes are cleaner when using dryer sheets with their chemical fragrance is an advertiser’s myth.

The sun’s rays act as totally natural and efficient disinfectants – killing germs, bacteria and dust mites that might have survived the washing process. Using a dryer may be faster and more convenient, but if you’re using toxic dryer sheets, you are going to add to toxins in your air and your home. A more natural alternative is the use of wool dryer balls.


The two most popular types of air fresheners are spray deodorizers (released into the air in a burst) and solid forms (releasing scents continuously). The toxic chemicals released by air fresheners – especially with pine, orange and lemon scents – are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are well-proven toxins and linked to a range of conditions when being inhaled (even in low concentrations) over a long period of time.

Chemicals include benzene (petroleum-derived chemical linked to leukemia); xylene (linked to nausea and sick building syndrome as well as liver and kidney damage); phenol (which can cause kidney, respiratory, neurological and skin problems); naphthalene (a suspected carcinogen) and formaldehyde (a colorless, unstable gas which can cause coughing, a sore throat, and respiratory and eye problems). Formaldehyde has been linked to cancer, particularly in the nasal cavity.

Look for cleaner versions of air fresheners in non-aerosol canisters with words such as “Biodegradable”, “Plant-based”, “Formulated without synthetic fragrance”, “Hypoallergenic” and “Contains no formaldehyde/phthalates” -- or consider making your own natural version.

You will need: a clean, empty spray bottle; 1 tablespoon baking soda; 2 cups distilled water; and 10 drops essential oil. Measure the baking soda into a bowl and add the essential oil. Using a fork, mix the oil into the baking soda before adding the mixture to the spray bottle (with the help of a funnel) and topping off with the distilled water. Shake before using.

For bathroom odors, a simple lit match often does the trick!


Instead of purchasing pot pourri with added artificial fragrances, choose a pretty container and fill it with dried rose petals, pine cones or lavender florets. Pour 5 to 6 drops of an essential oil blend of your choice and place in your bathroom, kitchen or other rooms in your home.


Benzaldehyde is found in perfume and hairspray and can irritate throat, eyes, lungs, mouth, skin and cause stomach pains and kidney damage. Other products include fragrance sprays, scented hand and bodywash, and even shampoos and conditioners. Apart from making a concerted effort to change your fragrance habits, keep your home fully aired by opening doors and windows even during the colder winter months. The air inside a home can often be more toxic than the outdoors.

Artificial fragrance is now the new secondhand smoke

Sadly, the immediate and long-term effects of synthetic fragrance exposure can be very hazardous to our health as well as the health of the people and the pets who share the air with us. Don't fall into the advertisers' marketing trap of thinking that your home, your clothes, your body, your furniture and fittings, your bedding and even the interiors of your motor vehicles need to have that artificial scent added to them.

A genuine and authentic plant derived, unadulterated essential oil or an organic, wild crafted scent oil are the perfect historical fragrances. Unfortunately, since World War II, inexpensive, synthetic chemicals have been used to produce fragrances that are used everywhere and in everything - while being so toxic.

Many are spending 24 hours a day living in an artificial bubble of synthetic fragrance. 

But you can find out lots of information about scent here including all aspects of our sense of smell.

In the meantime, our own all-natural Lavender Oil is a firm favorite!  Sometimes, when new users have been so used to strong, synthetic commercial fragrances, they find it quite a change, but it does not take long to grow to love this oil and its beautiful aroma.