Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic Fragrances: I Smell Danger

Synthetic Fragrances: I Smell Danger

What is the first thing you do when you try a new moisturizer or lipstick? You smear it on the top of your hand and then you smell it. At this moment, you are not much different from a glue sniffer: substances that make cosmetics smell attractive are very similar to those that send addicts on their chemical trips. synthetic fragrances

Skin Eats, Too – Do You Know

It seems to be vitally important for us to use cosmetic products that smell nice, and this is quite understandable:  beauty products make us look and feel better. Even people who admit to having sensitive skin would choose a lotion that had a barely noticeable scent over a completely unscented formulation that smelled like beeswax,  green tea, and sunflower oil combined, no matter how beneficial these substances are were for human skin. (synthetic fragrances )


When we smell an odor, a complex process begins in the brain. The Roman philosopher Lucretius said that different odors are created by molecules of various shapes and sizes. As we inhale fragrance molecules, they trigger a complex chain of reactions. There are many theories about how our nos decode scents, and there is no theory that explains olfactory perception completely. While the human tongue can distinguish only five distinct tastes, the nose can recognize hundreds of substances, even their microscopic quantities. (synthetic fragrances )

what is fragrance, and why is it so important to us?

So what is fragrance, and why is it so important to us? Odorant (fragrant) molecules dissolved in the air cause a certain sensation. This is a complex process: First, the molecule triggers receptors in the nose. After that, the limbic system, a part of the brain that governs emotional responses, decodes the information. That is why messages sent by odor molecules are powerful mood enhancers. It is no secret that certain odors can evoke distant memories, raise spirits, soothe jagged nerves, and even boost self-confidence. (synthetic fragrances )

For most people, the process of smelling gives little information about the ingredients of a particular scent. Most of us think, What the heck, one spray won’t hurt! The same with food: we may diligently cook organic vegetable meals at home, but sometimes we need to “recharge the batteries” with a chocolate milkshake or a burger. In one meal, we consume a hefty dose of FD&C colors and preservatives. One slip and a week’s worth of pure and clean eating go down the drain! (synthetic fragrances )

This is when technology comes into play. While perfume makers hire famous “noses” to create perfume compositions, mass production of artificial fragrances relies heavily on smelling machines, or  “electronic noses” that use chemical sensors to produce a fingerprint of any scent. It is now possible to dissect any natural scent and recreate it using synthetic fragrances. While advocates of synthetic skincare insist that everything comes from nature and nothing is created via alchemy, in the case of serious fragrance synthesizing, it’s simply not true. Today, the chemical industry can recreate any scent known to man, including dirt, earth, leather, snow, or freshly cut grass and all of them can be surprisingly beautiful when mixed in the right proportions with floral and wood notes.

It is now possible to dissect any natural scent and recreate it using synthetic fragrances. Every year, fragrance compositions are becoming more and more complicated. More and more products become heavily scented: laundry detergents, dryer sheets, cosmetics, stationery, candles, and pet products come in a variety of “naturally inspired  scents.”

Even baby toys are now infused with lavender and vanilla. To meet these needs, hundreds of new fragrant chemicals are being developed. Of the more than 5,000 materials currently available for use in fragrances, only 1,300 or so were tested for safety. Many of them are known fragrance sensitizers that have to be used in microscopic doses, if at all. Bear in mind, that these synthetic fragrance molecules are programmed to turn on switches in our brains!

Scientists believe that the ubiquitous nature of synthetic fragrance in modern society, coupled with the growing number of fragrance products for children and men, likely contributes to the sharp increase in allergies and respiratory illnesses. (synthetic fragrances )

Smart manufacturers rarely disclose the full list of ingredients that go into a fragrant composition Fragrance formulas are considered trade secrets, and manufacturers do not have to tell anyone including health authorities, what is in those formulas. However, many manufacturers attempt to list a least some ingredients.

For example, a full list of ingredients of the average musk body mist reads like a huge list of synthetic and organic fragrance ingredients plus a “secret” fragrance, which most likely contains synthetic musk that has a strong potential for triggering adverse effects in sensitive people. (synthetic fragrances )

There are plenty of organically derived fragrance ingredients used to enhance and enrich existing trademark compositions. All of the following naturally occurring fragrance ingredients are capable o causing allergic dermatitis and rhinitis: citronellol  (found in citronella essential oil), linalool  ( floral, slightly spicy odor chemical found in many plants, including mint, scented herbs, and eve birch), geraniol (a fragrant component occurring in geranium, lemon, and many other essential oils) farnesol (found in citronella,  neroli,  cyclamen,  lemongrass,  tuberose,  rose, balsam,  and tolu) cinnamon (a flavor component in the essential oil of cinnamon), and eugenol (extracted from spice such as clove oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and bay leaf).

what does science say?

A typical perfume contains a mixture of fragrance chemicals (often between 50 and 100) produced from coal tar and petroleum distillates or plants and herbs. In terms of “greenness,” the fragrance industry is unique: scented, natural, and synthetic ingredients can be equally harmful. But while organically derived aromatic alcohols can irritate the skin, make you sneeze, or trigger existing eczema or asthma, benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phenols, phthalates, and many other fragrant toxins are capable of inflicting cancer, birth defects, and central systema nervosum disorders. These substances can get into the body by being absorbed through the skin and when inhaled. (synthetic fragrances )

Studies constantly reveal new irritating fragrance ingredients. Some of the oldest known toxic synthetic fragrances are nitro musks, such as musk ambrette, musk xylene, and musk ketone. In clinical studies dating back to the 1980s, musk ambrette has caused eczema, jawline dermatitis, acute contact dermatitis, and chronic actinic dermatitis (Wojnarowska, Calnan 1986). The use of nitro musks in cosmetics has been banned, but synthetic musks are still found in musk-scented incense candles and may be lurking under the vague name “fragrance” in popular scented products.

Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene  carboxaldehyde (also known as  Lyral) is the most allergic fragrance chemical currently used.  It caused contact dermatitis and eczema in 79 percent of participants in a recent study. Lyral irritated the skin of even healthy people who were not prone to allergies (Baxter et al. 2003). Lyral is currently listed as an allergen but is contained in many of the popular fragrances as well as every other deodorant on the drugstore shelf. (synthetic fragrances )

Benzyl alcohol, an aromatic substance naturally found in essential oils including jasmine, hyacinth, and ylang-ylang,  may cause various toxic effects,  such as respiratory failure,  very low blood pressure, convulsions, and paralysis. However, to cause real damage, it has to be used in high concentrations. Benzyl alcohol was used up to 0.9 percent as a preservative in neonatal medications but after sixteen newborns died of acute toxic poisoning in 1982, benzyl alcohol was banned for use as a preservative. In spite of this, as a fragrance ingredient, and possibly a preservative, it is currently used in popular moisturizers, facial cleansers, aftershaves, and baby wipes and lotions. (synthetic fragrances )

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This post contains the content of book The Green Beauty Guide below is the link of the complete book The Green Beauty Guide