The Dangers of Fragrance


There are many chemicals in our daily lives that can be harmful, but few of them are as dangerous as fragnance. The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) work together to test the safety of fragrances. IFRA standards are the basis for the industry’s safety system. RIFM has been conducting research on fragrance materials for over 50 years. These institutes develop safety profiles of fragrance ingredients and determine how much of each ingredient is harmful to human health.

Contemporary perfumes contain between ten to eighty ingredients, including essential oils derived from natural aromatic plants. Perfumers also use synthetic aromatic compounds categorized by structural groups. Fixatives, natural and synthetic, help increase the scent strength and stability. During the production process, the perfume oil is dissolved in solvents, most commonly 98% ethanol and 2% water. The finished perfume can range from eighty to one hundred and fifty milliliters in volume.

One study from the 1980s suggested that women wearing a fragrance can evoke negative reactions in men when in a professional context. In the study, men rated female job applicants less attractive than their unscented confederates. When these men were paired with other positive non-verbal cues, their impressions of these women were negatively affected. These findings suggest that women can be seduced based on the smell of a perfume.

Humans perceive scent as a sensory reward and are motivated to apply it frequently. The pleasure they receive from a fragrance may also help people improve their social status and attract attractive people. The benefits of a perfume are often derived from a combination of these two factors. It is important to note that human psychology has only begun to understand how the brain perceives fragrance. It is still very early in the field, but studies like this are advancing our understanding of the neuroscience of perfume.

The Fruity family of fragrances is comprised of natural fruit and flower aromas. They are lively and fresh and remind us of fresh orchards, or ice-cold beverages. They also touch the heart and open up the appetite. This is an extremely popular fragrance family. Whether it is a fresh fragrance or a gourmand scent, it will surely please any type of person. So, choose a scent according to your taste.

In the eighteenth century, fragrance was a symbol of social status. The higher a person’s social status, the better scented they were. A French perfumer proposed that different classes be scented differently. The rich and powerful wore royal perfume. The middle class wore bourgeois fragrances. By the nineteenth century, men and women wore perfume as a sign of their social status. Eventually, the aristocracy was expected to wear a different fragrance everyday.