Shopping for that perfect gift? You might want to think twice before purchasing perfumes, colognes and scented personal care products – unless of course you have a maliciously secret vendetta for that special someone because it turns out that those beautiful bottles of aromatic “pleasure” can actually be containers of poison. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) explains:
“When you see ‘fragrance’ on a personal care product’s label, read it as ‘hidden chemicals.’ A major loophole in FDA’s federal law lets manufacturers of products like shampoo, lotion, and body wash include nearly any ingredient in their products under the name ‘fragrance’ without actually listing the chemical.
Companies that manufacture personal care products are required by law to list the ingredients they use, but fragrances and trade-secret formulas are exempt.”
An analysis of the chemical contents of products reveals that the innocuous-looking ‘fragrance’ often contains chemicals linked to negative health effects. Phthalates, used to make fragrances last longer, are associated [with] damage to the male reproductive system, and artificial musks accumulate in our bodies and can be found in breast milk. Some artificial musks are even linked to cancer.
And if you’ve got asthma, watch out — fragrance formulas are considered to be among the top 5 known allergens, and can trigger asthma attacks.
The same kinds of chemicals are often used for fragrances in cleaning products, scented candles, and air fresheners. To avoid those unpleasant side effects, choose fragrance-free products, but beware labels that say ‘unscented.’ It may only mean that the manufacturer has added yet another fragrance to mask the original odor.”1
Everyone loves a beautiful fragrance, so choose products that use essential oils and isolates from natural raw materials for scents. Here are some ideas for natural room scents:
A wonderful holiday room scent and decoration is to push whole cloves into an orange in a creative design, then hang it in the center of a room, using a decorative ribbon. Allow it to infuse the room with luscious holiday spice aroma.
Simmer the following: 1 cinnamon stick, several whole cloves, and dried or fresh orange peel, covered with water. Get creative and make your own combinations. You can use a mini slow cooker or the stovetop, but be cautious with the latter – if the water runs out, the pleasant aroma will quickly lead to noxious smoke and even fire!