Where did perfumes start?
The first perfumes are thought to have been made back in Ancient Egypt times. In fact it is thought they invented glass for the sole purpose of housing perfume. Originally herbs and the aromatic parts of some trees such as frankincense and myrrh were used to give perfumes their scent. It didn’t take long for people to realise the romantic attraction that perfume was capable of producing and from there it took on a whole new meaning. I strongly believe that there is no reason why modern day perfumes can be of this same quality again, instead of what they have become.
What’s wrong with most commercial perfumes?
These days perfumes have lost their pureness and plant origins. They are made with (often) the cheapest of ingredients. Unfortunately the cheapest ingredients are those that are synthetically made, hence why they can be mass produced and sold for an affordable price.
Many commercial perfumes are made with petrochemicals and phthalates. These substances are known to cause disruptions to our endocrine system (the one controlling our hormones) and cause various forms of cancer. These substances are now being linked to changes in society trends such as puberty happening at younger ages in children, increasing infertility issues in both men and women as well as the drastic rise in asthma cases.
Check your current commercial products today including perfumes, deodorants, hair spray etc and look for ingredients such as ‘perfume’ or ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’. This ‘one’ ingredient can often mask a myriad of other ingredients which companies are allowed to protect the identities of in the name of their trademark smell for their product. Often these hidden ingredients include phthalates and other toxic chemicals that are known to be harmful to the human body.
Perhaps the biggest issue that we have no way of measuring yet is the effect that all these fake perfumes are having on the people around the wearer – this is the new second hand smoke disaster just waiting to explode.
If you would like to join the growing number of people who think we should be able to know all the ingredients in products that we put on or in our bodies or use to clean our homes, please join me and sign this petition about the unknown or ‘secret’ ingredients in our cleaning products.
Why do I use organic natural ingredients as a base?
The alcohol base of the majority of perfumes serves the purpose of carrying the scent of the perfume and readily evaporating to leave no trace on the skin or clothes. It is often colourless and odourless to allow the all important scent to shine through. Alcohol can dry out the skin and it is not an ingredient that I feel safe using around my kids and often if I’m putting on my perfume my daughter will ask for some too and I want to say yes.
I use Organic Witch Hazel in many of my DIY recipes, including as a perfume base. The leaves and bark of the witch hazel tree (above photo) have been used for centuries in ancient medicine to relieve inflammation and sensitive skin. On it’s own it can be used to treat bug bites, reduce puffy eyes and to reduce break-outs in acne- and rosacea-prone skin types. The most common use for Witch Hazel in the modern-day DIY and natural alternative era is as a toner.
As a perfume base it offers a low-odour skin-caring alternative to high alcohol content alternatives. Try it today.
Real smells, not fake ones, please.
Synthetic scents can often cause unwanted reactions such as skin irritation, respiratory issues and other sensitivities as mentioned above. Natural scents, if the company offers proof they are actually the extracts from real plants and haven’t had any toxic ingredients added or used in the distillation process, are the best alternative.
Essential oils, while natural, also have the potential to be dangerous if not used as directed. Some plant species that are therapeutic and safe at low doses become toxic at higher concentrations. Therefore it is best to read the safety information provided with any products you buy and use them as directed. For my perfume recipes I recommend 10 drops of essential oils for every 10mLs of Organic Witch Hazel, but it will be homemade by you, so it is your choice if you would like to use less.
Testing out the right scent for you
If you want the luxury of smelling beautiful along with the health benefits from nature then a natural perfume is the way to go. But which one? I can help you with that – just take my simple quiz and you will find out which scent suits you best.