“Fragrance” Stinks!

by Guest Blogger on July 24, 2012 · 54 comments

The ingredient “Fragrance” is not exactly a bed of roses.  Rather, it is a catch-all term for a cocktail consisting of up to hundreds of toxic ingredients.  This dangerous, synthetic cocktail can be found in the majority of the products we use (and trust) on a daily basis.  Ava Anderson, Founder of Ava Anderson Non Toxic, reveals what’s so stinky about fragrance and more importantly – what to look for, what to avoid and healthier alternatives.

What is “fragrance?” More than 95% of the chemicals in synthetic fragrance are derived from petrochemicals.  These chemicals include: benzene derivatives; aldehydes; phthalates; and many other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous system disorders and allergies – some of which are cited on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hazardous waste list.  Can I tempt you with some Eau du Exxon?  I didn’t think so.

Where is it found? In the US, there is one overriding rule for cosmetics and personal care products: manufacturers must list every ingredient on the product or package.  HOWEVER, these manufacturers can legally HIDE hundreds of ingredients in the one word “fragrance” without revealing what those ingredients are.  Seriously, they can conceal as many ingredients as they want behind this one word – it’s referred to as a “trade secret” in the industry.  It’s a loophole big enough to drive a fuel truck though and, actually, it is only a secret to the American public because I can send any product to our chemists who will (for a very modest fee) tell me exactly what is in there.

How do I avoid fragrance?  Many of us work hard to make good choices by eating healthy and exercising. We read nutrition labels, but how many read the labels of our bottles, tubes and jars?   A majority of personal care products for men, women and children contain “fragrance”.  One hundred percent of the ingredients in “fragrance” are absorbed into the bloodstream directly though the skin. My advice? Avoid ALL products with the ingredient “fragrance” on the label; including perfumes, colognes, after-shaves, personal-care products, air fresheners, candles, etc.  However, be careful about fragrance-free or unscented labeled products that use “masking” agents to cover up the original fragrance.  These are doubly toxic and doubly deceiving!

Why should I avoid it?  Environmental Working Group (EWG) researchers found more than 75% of products with the ingredient “fragrance” contained phthalates (THAL ates) which have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts and have been linked to liver and breast cancer.  Additionally, studies by Dr. Philip J. Landrigan of the Mount Sinai Medical Center inNew York, links phthalate exposure with autism, ADHD and neurological disorders.

How did this happen? Many countries have banned phthalates (The European Union, Canada, South Korea, Japan and even China).  The US, however, has not.  Our U.S. government demands a high level of proof of harm that many say is simply impossible to reach.  The EPA is slow to react and has only banned a few chemicals in its history; allowing millions more to be used without safety testing (despite numerous studies that indicate harmful implications).

Bottom line: “Fragrance” is at the top of my “no-no” list.  If manufacturers are not willing to list ALL of their ingredients on the label, it is a deal breaker for me. I hope it is for you, too.

Try Instead: AvaSCENT for a perfume.  We have 3 rollerball essential oil blends – Hope, Love & Joy. I HOPE you will take this message to heart.  Together, we can change our world!  And, for a limited time, you can enter to WIN $320.00 worth of our non-toxic kits for your HOME, BODY, SKIN & BABY.  Enter HERE!

Guest blogger,  Ava Anderson, founded Ava Anderson Non Toxic with the support of her family after learning about the dangers of toxic chemicals in personal care products. Her goal is to share this message in every family room in this country, and provide safe, organic and natural products without harmful chemicals for humans and the environment.  She now has many product categories for men, women and children – avaSKIN, avaBODY, avaHAIR, avaSUN, avaBABY, avaSCENTS, avaFACE and avaHOME!   Learn more about Ava and visit her company online HERE!

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{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria July 24, 2012 at 9:05 am

Thank you for sharing this important message! I’m an Ava consultant and I never get enough – great post.


Andrea July 24, 2012 at 10:15 am

This is such an important issue that so many are unaware of. Ava’s products have changed the lives of my family and my home. I feel so good using products on my daughter that I KNOW will not harm her. I am so grateful for the high quality, affordable alternative to what I call “the junk in an organic suit” out there.


Ron & Lisa July 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Ha – this is soo true Andrea! So many products on store shelves are merely ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing.’ We, too, are equally impressed with this line and I was thrilled to discover the avaScents! HOPE is my personal fav :)


Stretch April 17, 2016 at 11:42 pm

I much prefer infmvoatire articles like this to that high brow literature.


Beth July 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

Another great post by Ava Anderson! Thank you so much for helping to educate the public about this important issue. I used to get headaches very often and when I stopped using products with “Fragrance” on the label they went away! This is serious stuff! Thanks again!


Ron & Lisa July 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Yes Beth! It is so serious and we are thrilled to see it coming to light (finally). There are many people with allergies and MCS now because of the over-exposure to toxic chemicals – especially in fragrances. It has become such a hot topic that even many workplaces are becoming designated ‘fragrance-free’ zones! With cleaner & healthier products…this can change!


Ana July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Thank you Ava for the information regarding “fragrance”. I think some companies may be catching on and using the word “flavor” in personal care products instead of “fragrance”. A friend showed me a “natural” lip balm that had “flavor” as an ingredient. Why can’t companies just be honest?


Jody July 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I’d love to send you samples of the aromatherapy mists I create for my company RubyBlaise Essentials
This is EXACTLY why I started my business in 2007 when my twins were 4 & starting Pre-school where Lysol was sprayed everywhere!! Thanks for sharing about an important subject. Education is key!!


Ron & Lisa July 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Sure Jody – feel free to send samples (our address is at the bottom of this page) and you can find Ava’s address at http://www.AvaAndersonNonToxic.com) Thank you – we look forward to trying them out! Yes…we couldn’t agree more. Education is vital for change!! Keep up the good work.


Julie August 22, 2012 at 11:13 am

I would love to know how to effectively remove Lysol from classrooms?!?!?


Trina August 23, 2012 at 4:51 am

I am an Ava consultant and last year and this year I stock the teacher with our Ava Home line of cleaning products and also our hand sanitizer. At least then I know that when the kids are eating at the table their food isn’t touching nasty chemicals and their hands don’t have alcohol and other toxins from the hand sanitizer. I am going to run a fund raiser for the school this year and get the products in all the classrooms! Check out our site and if you are interested in ordering any products please let me know. We do offer a 30 day money back policy. The classroom will smell like lovely peppermint instead of nasty lysol! http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/TLavoie.


Ana August 23, 2012 at 5:38 am

Along with the Ava cleaning products, I use essential oils. I make my own disinfecting wipes using essential oils. I diffuse a special blend of essential oils known to prevent bugs in the classroom.


Ron & Lisa September 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Hi Julie,
Share this, ‘EWG’s 2012 Guide to Healthy Cleaning’ with your school! Here, you can see all of the chemicals found in Lysol products
: http://www.ewg.org/guides/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=lysol&x=0&y=0&page=1&per_page=15


Lorene October 1, 2012 at 8:59 am

This is a neat summary. Thanks for sahinrg!


Ron & Lisa Beres October 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Thanks for stopping by Lorene! Be green & be healthy!


Elysia July 25, 2012 at 4:31 am

Important information everyone should be aware of! Thanks for helping spread the message.


Ron & Lisa July 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Absolutely Elysia! Best of luck to you :)


Catherine July 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

Most people do not understand why “Fragrance” is bad. Thank you Ava for talking about the issue and explaining exactly what the problem is. Ask yourself what companies are hiding in their products!!! Disclosure of FULL ingredients should be a given and I love that AVA lists ALL the ingredients on her products. Bravo!


Cindy July 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Another great blog from Ava! I love how clear she lays out the issue and tells you how you can solve it. When I first made the switch to organic products it was hard to not have strong fragrance in EVERYTHING. Now that my olfactory has had a chance to recover from the assaults of fragrance, I notice natural fragrance/scents a lot easier and enjoy them even more than before.


Ron & Lisa July 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Isn’t that true Cindy?! I (Lisa) noticed the same thing. Most people who do use synthetic, chemical-laden perfumes find that they are constantly having to add more to notice the smell. This is b/c of exactly what you say above – the nerves become deadened and interfere with our ability to smell. Less really is more!


Anna July 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Thank you all for “spreading the message”. Everyday we touch hundreds of people who have no idea of the toxins that are in their products. Together we will make a difference!


Ron & Lisa July 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Amen to that Anna!


Jena July 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Wow! I had no idea first how bad parfumes are for you (obvi they contain alcohol, but I had no idea what else) and second I feel cheatted to know (or not know) what really could be in so many of my products. Fragrance isn’t just an issue of smell but it’s hiding so many toxins. This is so incredibly scary! Thanks Ava for doing all of this research and educating.


Yvonne July 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

So thankful to have Ava’s products in my life!! Will all the other junk out there it’s nic to finally have a 100% pure and affordable alternative !! Thank you Ava


Jo July 27, 2012 at 5:04 am

I personally do NOT buy anything with the word “fragrance” in the ingredients on my poducts. If the company does not list EVERY ingredient in it, I no longer use it!!! It is a RED FLAG to me that they have something to hide!!! Thank you Ava Anderson for your passion to educate the consumer, and share what you are learning to help us make better choices for ourselves and our families! I have been using your products and you have shown that the toxic chemical are NOT needed for a products to be effective. Your products actually work BETTER than what I was using before. Keep up the great work you are doing! Thank you Ron and Lisa for having Ava as a guest on your Blog. Love your blog!


Ron & Lisa July 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Thank you Jo! Keep up the great work yourself – you are setting such a great example to those around you by your actions!!


ERIN July 27, 2012 at 5:04 am

Good morning, Ron & Lisa! Thank you for partnering with Ava again to share such an important message! I learn something new every time she shares. It’s a shame that we can’t even trust mainstream fragrance free or unscented products; I did not know that “masking” frequently takes place. It just goes to show that, once you find a truly safe company like Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, stick with them for EVERYTHING! I commend their efforts to TRULY look out for the consumer’s safety while producing great products. Ava mention the avaSCENTS her blog…I used Estee Lauder’s Beautiful for over 20 years before discovering her line of essential oil blends. If anyone needs to know, JOY smells just like it and the best part of all is that it makes me MORE beautiful than ever before.:) Thank you, Ava!


Ron & Lisa July 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Hi Erin~
Thanks for sharing your feedback. Ironically, I (Lisa) used that same ‘fragrance’ many years ago…before I knew any better. But, as Maya Angelou says “When you know better, you do better!” I LOVE the avaScents as well.


Trina July 27, 2012 at 5:50 am

Another informative article to help everyone become more aware of the dangers that lurk in our products. I could never use perfumes/scents due to my allergies, asthma and constant headaches that would occur. I CAN use Ava’s line without any problems so had to be the chemicals in the other products that gave me such grief. One dab of HOPE or LOVE(can’t choose a favorite) and it lasts all day long. You will not have to reapply. it is great to know I am using the safest scent on the market. I have also used it along with the Ava Toner as a deodorant/Anti. No Aluminum for this girl! Also use the Ava Conditioner(half dollar amount) as my dryer sheet. Put it on a clean cloth and add a dab of Scent and it works amazing! Can’t say enough about these products and how they have changed my life! Keep up the great work Ron, Lisa and Ava!!


Ron & Lisa July 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Thanks Trina – love your creative tips & suggestions with multi-use of the products. I tried the toner also as a deodorant the other day – just lovely!


Annie July 27, 2012 at 5:51 am

This is such an important discussion for us all to be having. As someone with asthma and many allergies, perfumes and fragrances make it very difficult for me to breathe. I appreciate all the research and hard work you are doing at Ava Anderson, and for an alternative to toxic fragrances with your “Ava Scent!”


Kami July 27, 2012 at 7:10 am

Great article! Thank you for sharing this important message. I have had the opportunity to try avaSCENTS, and am thrilled to report that they are wonderful! No more headaches for me. Ava’s “JOY” is my favorite one.


Heather July 27, 2012 at 8:02 am

What a great article! I’m so glad you are getting the word out. People just don’t know about this issue. I’m so glad we’ve gotten the toxic products out of our house and use only Ava Anderson. They all work great, and I know my children will be safer because of it.


Tracie July 27, 2012 at 8:33 am

I am so happy that companies like Ava Anderson Non-toxic have come up with a safe alternative to these chemcial-laden fragrances. I want to smell nice without getting a squirt of toxins at the same time. Keep up the great work, Ava!


Amy Vanderbroek July 27, 2012 at 9:30 am

Great article! I think I would rather smell natural then smelling fake and synthetic. I love that Ava’s products don’t smell over powering either.


Ron & Lisa July 27, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Agree Amy! They are not over powering. I ‘LOVE’ the all. They give me ‘HOPE’ and I am so ‘JOY’ ful to have discovered these natural scents (yes, puns are intended)!


Stephanie July 27, 2012 at 10:20 am

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this info. I was introduced to Ava’s products in March and I love them. You can still smell great without the “fragrance.” Since switching products for myself and my family, I can hardly stand the smell of synthetic fragrances. It is overwhelming to me! Thank you for sharing this valuable information from such an intelligent and inspirational young woman.


Ron & Lisa July 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Thanks Stephanie. It really is so true. The strong (chemical) smells become so overpowering after you awaken to the fact that we just don’t need them. Nature created the perfect scents in the form of plants & essential oils already!


Jennifer July 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

great article! I have a hard time hugging some of my friends because their perfume rubs off on me and then I can’t get away from it. I love, love the AvaScent Hope!


Ron & Lisa July 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Ditto, ditto, ditto Jennifer :) All are great, but HOPE is my favorite of the avaScents!


Shelby July 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Thank you so much for this fantastic article! I will be sharing it with friends. It is so important for people to understand what “fragrance” really could be hiding! It reminds me of the vague words “flavors” or “spices” on food ingredient labels. If they don’t want to tell you exactly what it is (and be proud of using it in their product), than I certainly don’t want it!


Elizabeth July 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Love that this info is getting out there to more people! It saddens me that marketing of products persuades a consumer so much that they don’t even consider ingredients and the harm. Love love Ava products and the Ava scents work awesome as deodorant!!


Nancy July 29, 2012 at 3:36 pm

After reading Toxic Beauty (after being at an Ava Anderson party) I have made major changes to what I purchase and I try to encourage my friends to do the same. I have grandchildren and friends who have skin sensitivities issues like eczema and find by using Ava products with NO harmful chemicals their skin problems are gone or greatly improved! Thank you Ava for helping to educate and make consumers aware!


Christy July 31, 2012 at 11:36 am

Bravo Ava! Preach it sister! EVERYONE needs to know this!!!!!! Thank you again for all the work you do to educate unknowing consumers. I really love your products and your health message…the whole package! You’re really making a difference in the lives of others and our world.


Melyssa August 4, 2012 at 8:19 am

Great article! I haven’t worn any scent in years, because I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t essentially poison. I bought Ava’s Love last month, and I love it! It is now my signature scent. :)


Ron & Lisa August 8, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Nice – thanks for sharing Melyssa! I was in the same boat. It was so great to discover these non-toxic scents :)


Betty Remy August 17, 2012 at 11:33 am

never use but love to try it thank you Betty


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