Let's discuss the differences between "fragrance" and pure plant extracts. There is indeed a vast difference in many ways. Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on the back of a product bottle and seen the word “fragrance” or “parfum”? These two words run rampant in the self care, beauty and even home goods industry. And what about plant extracts? These are often known as “essential oils” which are the potent extracts from a plant composed of a complex mixture of chemicals from its origin. But what are the differences and why should you avoid "fragrance"? Read on to find out more!

To sum up how we rate the two ingredients: 

Fragrance = thumbs down
Essential Oils = thumbs up!


How they affect our HEALTH: 

Fragrance: These volatile compounds are synthetic, and pose very high risks to our health in its entirety. The list of relatable illnesses to fragrance is staggering in numbers and statistics. Everything from allergies, dermatitis, respiratory problems, reproductive and even neurological effects have direct correlation to fragrances. This is because fragrances are often composed of a chemical cocktail that isn't regulated by any cosmetics legislation. Many of these are endocrin disruptors, which imped themselves into tour bodies, staying and accumulating in fatty tissues, and eventually messing with our DNA! It has been reported the 95% of the chemicals that make up “fragrance” are derived from petroleum and in our minds, this sounds like poison... 

Essential Oils: Unlike fragrances, essential oils are actually healing to our bodies. You can even take it a step further to say that they are good for us body, mind and spirit. Since essential oils are of the earth, our bodies accept and recognize these pure plant extracts without hesitation and allow its natural yet potent properties to do the healing work they were naturally designed to do. The use of essential oils goes back centuries, and were used in medicinal practices, beauty rituals and meditation. When essential oils are used in skincare products, for example, each of those oils had a much bigger purpose than masking chemical scents. These oils actually treat, and heal the skin—and as an added bonus, happen to smell wonderful! 

How they affect the PLANET: 

Fragrance: These are volatile compounds so they are easily and always dispersed into the air around us, whether indoors or outdoors. (Read this article here about how to keep your indoor air quality pure.) Have you ever walked into a store and immediately been turned off by the strong, pungent fragrance lingering inside? What’s more is these awful nose-turning fragrances get funneled through the ventilation system and eventually end up outside. When fragrance-riddled products need water for their performance such as a facial cleanser or laundry detergent, the synthetic compound of fragrance gets washed right back into that water supply which harms animals, humans and the planet as a whole. 

Essential Oils: Many essential oils come from natural harvest processes that are using sustainable farming practices. This is amazing for the health of the planet. It affects everything from the quality of soil, water and air. Plants naturally attract bees, butterflies and other creatures such as birds that help pollinate the planet. It is the quintessential process of life! Plus, essential oils don't cause harm when released into the atmosphere, get washed into water or fill our indoor spaces. 

Where are they FOUND: 

Fragrances: These compounds were developed in labs to cover up the smell of unhealthy chemicals in products. You can find fragrance almost anywhere, but one of the most common and toxic is in perfume. Companies don't have to list what's in their fragrances, due to trade secret laws, so they can contain chemicals that are already banned in the U.S. and Canada. Those chemicals can cause harmful side effects, in both the short and long-term. Fragrance is also lurking heavily within shampoo, conditioner, hair care products, cleansers, masks, skin care products, makeup, candles, laundry detergent, soaps, potpourri and more. The list is endless! It can even cover up unhealthy cigarette smoke, mold and off-gassing of synthetic objects and material such as carpeting. 

Essential Oils: These pure plant extracts originate from plants such as flowers and herbs found obviously in nature. You can find these essential oils used in high quality natural and non-toxic self-care, beauty and household products—just take a look at the labels! 

Overall it is indeed obvious to see how choosing nontoxic products are healing and effective in so many ways! The wonderful aromas we obtain out of beauty lotions and potions can actually be life changing to our bodies as well as the planet. What could be better than that? In our eyes as Eco Divas, it is a win-win! That's why Eco Diva only carries products with natural, botanical fragrances, based in essential oils. Tell us, how have you been affected by fragrance? Do you notice a difference using plant derived products?

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