Perfumes Are Intoxicating, But Are They Toxic To The Environment?

We don’t give much thought when it comes to spritzing our favourite perfume. A bit of Chanel No. 5 on our wrists, in our hair, and a spritz or two in the air to perk it up, right?

Nothing beats smelling like an intoxicating lavender farm with a hint of lavender extract. While some perfume embodies the best scents of Mother Nature, spraying it into the air as you mist yourself all over can actually be harmful to the environment. Damn.

Scented products like hair spray, air fresheners and perfume actually emit the same amount of chemicals as petrol emissions from cars, although most petrol is burned off as fuel. Oh no!

The case of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in perfumes

Perfumes designed to make you smell like the beauty of Mother Nature actually evaporates into the air and stays there for a long time, so even your neighbour can enjoy the scent. Unfortunately, these perfumes also contain VOCs. VOCs are chemicals and compounds that react to sunlight and chemicals in the atmosphere and eventually leads to ozone pollution.

Most perfumes are derived from petrol-based ingredients

While a rose is actually a rose and smells like one, a rose-scented perfume may be made of something else entirely. Most fragrances are made from petrol-based ingredients like ethanol, synthetic chemicals and phthalates. This explains why some people are allergic to perfumes – the ingredients aren’t kind to the human body either and can cause various health issues like hormone imbalance, and cancer. Yikes!

Plus, when these petrol-based ingredients are released into the environment, they cause the ozone layer to become thinner. This increases our risk of global warming and adds to a higher rate of UV rays penetrating into the earth’s surface.

Should you still use perfume?

There’s no question about it, it’ll be very hard for us to give up our favourite scent, especially when we’re compelled to smell nice. Instead of spritzing perfume into the air, mist the fragrance all over yourself sparingly. Alternatively, you can DIY an eco-friendly mist made of natural ingredients like rosewater, vanilla extract and essential oils. Your DIY fragrance won’t contribute to further air pollution because it’s free of toxins and petrol-based chemicals.

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