Why I Ditched Synthetic Fragrances (& Best Natural Perfumes to Use Instead)

Hi my name is Becca and I am a recovering perfume addict 😮 No seriously, I used to have an ENTIRE drawer full of perfumes. I don’t even know how many Bath & Body Works body sprays I had, but you name the scent and it was probably in my drawer! I would spritz myself every single day. But then I started learning more about safer products and researching ingredients. And when I learned that “fragrance” is one of the most harmful ingredients out there, it was a huge wake-up call and a big fat ADIÓS to my stash!


This post contains affiliate links.


The Problem with “Fragrance”

Have you ever been around someone who wore way too much perfume, then you got a headache? Or nauseous? 🙋 That’s because perfumes are basically a chemical cocktail. The term “fragrance” is just an unregulated catch-all term and can be a combination of about 3,000 different chemicals which can be detrimental to our health.

I avoid fragrances like the plague because they are linked to:

  • Endocrine disruption – these chemicals can mimic hormones and therefore alter your hormone levels
  • Nervous system disorders like ADHD
  • Allergic reactions
  • Cancer, more specifically breast cancer because of the endocrine disruptors
  • Birth defects
  • Dizziness, brain fog, migraines, and nausea
  • Respiratory irritation

There are many downsides to using synthetic scents. Fragrances are especially harmful to pregnant women, infants, and children because of how badly they can impact developing bodies. But I believe that everybody should avoid them! Check out the Stink! documentary, it’s really eye-opening.

Other than fragrance, look out for these terms on ingredient labels:

  • Aroma
  • Cologne
  • Eau de parfum
  • Eau de toilette
  • Parfum
  • Perfume
  • Phthalates
  • Musk

Other than perfumes, synthetic fragrances are in about 95% of hair care products out there like shampoos, conditioners, styling sprays, and more. The majority of people are breathing these in and putting them on their bodies every single day because of how prominent they are. These chemicals absorb right into your bloodstream. If you see any of the above on an ingredient label, avoid it.

Green Beauty Ingredient Glossary

My Fave Non-Toxic Perfumes

The good news is that you can still wear perfume! You just have to read the ingredients and buy ones that are naturally produced. I’ll help you out so you can skip the search 😉

Now that I’ve phased out synthetic perfumes, it’s crazy how sensitive I’ve become to fake smells! I just can’t stand them anymore and they are way too strong for me. Natural is the way to go!

My top recommendation is the Good Medicine Beauty Lab’s botanical perfumes. My personal favorite is the scent Moon Shadow which has attars of rose, sandalwood, cinnamon, and clove bud. It smells SO good!

Good Medicine Beauty Lab Perfumes
Photo courtesy of Good Medicine Beauty Lab Perfumes

I can totally stand behind this company and their perfumes because they:

  • Are a women-led, family-owned company
  • Never test on animals
  • Use locally sourced ingredients
  • Are handcrafted in small batches
  • Offer mini sizes so you can try before you buy a full size
  • Use custom blended 100% pure essential oils and attars in artisan alcohol
  • Never use synthetics

Shop Good Medicine Perfumes Here

Other #BeccaApproved Natural Perfumes to Try:

  • Palermo Aromatherapy Oils: Light and delicate oils that aren’t too overpowering; I love Vitality which smells of jasmine, sandalwood, and cardamom
  • Pour le Monde: A certified B Corp that uses all-natural oils; my favorite scent is Envision
  • Sigil Scent: Gender-neutral fine fragrances made with 100% natural plant oils, absolutes, and tinctures

Palermo Natural Perfumes


You definitely don’t need to go and throw out perfumes like I did, but it’s so important that you know what these ingredients really mean and how they affect your health. And now going forward you are more informed!

Also check out my blog post: 5 Essential Tips for Finding *Truly* Natural Perfumes

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these, and if you have, what’s your favorite scent?

Becca Signature

 

 

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Written by: Becca

Becca is a blogger, wife, and dog mom living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having seen firsthand the benefits of switching to a natural lifestyle herself, she's passionate about helping women make the switch to clean beauty products, organic skincare, and a holistic way of life (without the stress of being perfect about it!).

6 comments on “Why I Ditched Synthetic Fragrances (& Best Natural Perfumes to Use Instead)”

  1. Love this. Finding 100% natural perfumes is so hard. There are a lot of brands out there that claim to be “natural” or “organic” but what they mean is they either include *some* real ingredients or they avoid the worst toxins like phthalates and parabens. Actually, in case this is helpful for anyone, this year I opened a store online dedicated to solving exactly this problem. We carry exclusively 100% natural perfumes from some of the finest natural perfumeries around the world (at potionnaturals.com). I started this so people like my mom with chronic illnesses could still enjoy beautiful, luxury perfumes without feeling sick. The feedback has been amazing so far, and it’s so exciting to see natural perfumery become more popular. Here’s to hoping more people learn about it and make the switch!

  2. You have mentioned the perfect problems with “fragrance”. And that too in a very simple language. And this line: ” These chemicals absorb right into your bloodstream.” I didn’t knew it. I thought it is only affecting respiratory system. Thanks for this new information.

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