The term "fear-mongering" is nowadays instantly brought up soon as there's an attempt to discuss the health repercussions of petrochemical derivatives, pesticides, and artificial fragrances. Whilst the dose makes the poison, I have witnessed and experienced first-hand drastic changes in my overall health and well-being by removing artificial perfumes and steering clear of BPAs, and other environmental pollutants.
My stance is very simple: why use artificial fragrance in my products when I can create something with natural components? Nature has provided us with remarkable resources and treasures and I founded Vered Organic Botanicals to honor and nurture that heritage. Science is now catching up on the pivotal role of smell in our health and how specific scents can alter our brain chemistry. It's the only one of our five senses that can attain the limbic system of our brain, and studies are underway confirming the relationship of scent with mood and memory. Experiments conducted by universities and institutes have shown that the smell of a pungent rose can boost memory. I wrote about the limbic system (here), I also encourage you to listen to this recent Andrew Huberman podcast featuring Dr Noam Sobel explaining chemical communication through the sense of smell; how sensing odorants and chemicals in our environment impacts human behavior, cognition, social connections, and hormones. Link (here).
It's science, literally.
Subsequently, if scents can impact our brain and body, it makes utter sense that artificial scents will impact them differently from natural ones.
"Fragrance" is such a catchall term where a striking lack of transparency prevails, thus leading to massive confusion. It is often synonymous with synthetic fragrances. Unless the company/manufacturer states 100% natural fragrance, consumers can easily be misled into thinking they bought a "natural" product. In the world of perfumery, and under the guise of "trade secret", companies are allowed to use the term "fragrance" without further details, but there's a lack of raw material transparency and barely any info on the potential risks linked to the accumulation of phthalates, synthetic musks and chemical sensitizers which are fragrance compounds. Fragrances (both natural and synthetic) are volatile and reactive chemical species, however, levels of inflammatory biomarkers have shown to be significant in synthetic fragrances, compared to essential oils. The ubiquitous presence of artificial fragrance in cosmetics, cleaning supplies, air fresheners, candles, and other products that we're in daily contact with are something to keep in consideration when suffering from allergies or dealing with a compromised immune system.
This study on the impact of artificial fragrance in personal care products and health risks concludes as follows: "In addition, hundreds of undisclosed fragrance-related chemicals in product formulations of PCHPs can trigger or intensify episodic and chronic symptoms of allergies, headaches, and cardiovascular diseases in sensitive organisms. In worse cases, fragrance chemicals interfere with the neuroendocrine-immune axis promoting cancer and developmental problems. Constant surveillance and analysis of fragrance chemicals in PCHPs and their formula components are critical."
The Guardian did an article back in 2019 on the use of fragrance in public spaces and the need for clear labeling, meanwhile the latest publications acknowledge that fragrance sensitivity is triggering migraines, causing allergy-like symptoms and respiratory issues. An ever-growing amount of airports, hospitals, and public spaces have incorporated a "perfume-free" policy. If there were limited hazards linked to artificial fragrances, it would not be necessary to implement those policies, would it be? It's a question we leave hanging in the air, but at Vered Organic Botanicals, we opt for 100% natural fragrance. Nothing else.
What is a natural fragrance?
Ingredients that stem solely from natural origins. In our case: a blend of pure, organic, and therapeutic-grade essential oils and botanical extracts. That's it.
My perfumes are made with the highest quality, organic, ethically sourced, 100% pure essential oils, CO2 extracts and absolutes, that are hand blended into a base of USDA organic jojoba oil and organic grape alcohol. They’re free of synthetic fragrances, colors, pesticides, and GMOs. I strictly avoid any oils that are diluted and synthetically engineered. All vegan, and never tested on animals.
As a trained and experienced aromatherapist, I know how potent essential oils and their components are, and how beneficial they are to our well-being when aptly used and formulated. I've written an extensive article about essential oils and their properties (here). The possibilities to create exquisite perfumes with them are endless, but of course, it requires time, dedication, and expertise - and not all cosmetics companies are willing to invest in that.
All in all, I encourage each and everyone to exert their critical thinking, confront various sources and inform themselves. I feel the need to highlight that alternatives exist in case you make the switch from artificial perfumes to natural ones. I made that decision for myself over 30 years ago and I never looked back since. The feeling of plenitude and relief I feel using Signature Scent is incomparable.
If you have any questions regarding our artisanal perfumes, ask away or order our sample sizes to find which one appeals to you the most.