The Serious Dangers of Fragrances & How to Protect Yourself

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Have you heard that artificial fragrances can be as bad for you as second hand smoke? It’s true.

Let’s talk about the dangers of fragrances, what you need to know, and what you can do about it.

White bottle spraying substance for dangers of fragrance post

Could your shampoo, perfumes, air fresheners, house cleaners, candles, and dryer sheets really be killing you?

It’s true.

More than that, it’s now being said that Fragrance is the New Second Hand Smoke, due to something called Phthalates (ph-thal-ates)

When I was a young girl, my parents both smoked.  I have distinct memories of asking them to:

  • “PLEASE roll the (car) windows down.
  • “Roll them down MORE please?”
  • I even cut up my mom’s pack of cigarettes once in protest.

The smoke made me feel sick.  Reeeeeeeeally sick.

And it still does to this day.

I also couldn’t stand artificial fragrances.  Whenever I passed through the perfume section of a department store, or went down the cleaning aisle of the grocery store, my head felt terrible. To this day, I try to hold my breath as much as possible in heavily-fragranced public restrooms — it’s not easy!

Anyway, I always felt like artificial fragrances weren’t good for me, but I never knew that they could be as bad as that horribly demonized (and rightfully so) second hand smoke!

Well, turns out, it is.

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What is “Fragrance”?

Fragrance is basically a catch word for all kinds of bad things.  It can be labeled as “fragrance” or “parfum” and the real ingredients don’t need to be disclosed and have not been tested for safety (source).

“Fragrance” can be made up of 1, or 2, or even hundreds of chemicals. In fact, in 2010, there were 3,163 chemicals that could be part of the term “fragrance” on labels in the US. (source)

Up to 75% of the time, when there is a “fragrance” in an ingredient, there are legally hidden phthalates, which is not a good thing. (source)

In addition to phthalates, there also can be other nasty ingredients, including aldehydes, toluenes, and petroleum-derived chemicals that might be best to be avoided.

Let’s find out more what the concerns are with these.

What are Phthalates?

Phthalates (pronounced “THAL ates”) are solvents that are often used in cosmetics because they help fragrances last longer and also help lotions penetrate the skin.

Those are nice benefits, (who wants their perfume not to last as long, right?) but they are known endocrine disruptors that have been linked to:

birth defects
breast cancer (possibly)
infertility (source)
diabetes (source)
obesity (source)
autoimmune disorders (source & source)
and also autism and ADHD from exposure in the womb. (source)

These chemicals also STICK around, meaning they hang around on you and in the environment too. No bueno.

What Is an Endocrine Disruptor?

Your endocrine system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, sex hormones, and more) affect just about everything in your body.  So if you disrupt them, you disrupt everything and that can lead to weight gain, blood sugar issues, and more.

Think about that. What happens when you disrupt your adrenals and thyroid and sex hormones and pituitary gland? Sounds like we have an epidemic of that going on right now.

In fact, did you know that an estimated 20 million people in the US have thyroid disease? (source)

Oh, and they are not regulated in food or personal care products in the U.S.  Nice……

No thanks, I don’t want these things in my products.

Alehydes, Toluenes, and More

Aside from phthalates, there are other troublesome ingredients that can be in artificial fragrances. The list is so plentiful, that to cover all of them would be quite difficult), but I will touch on these others briefly.

Aldehydes are linked to breathing problems, depending on the concentration. Note that the concerns are with levels higher than that which is normal for outdoors, and if one is using products with aldehydes in them, one would think that those levels would be higher. (source)

Toluene (methylbenzene) is linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, irritation (source) It is a neurotoxin and is largely sourced from petroleum crude oil. It can cause damage to the lungs, liver, kidneys, heart, and central nervous system, and can cause headaches, loss of muscle control, brain damage, memory loss, problems with speech, hearing and vision, and even death.

Other synthetic fragrance ingredients that are of notable concern are:

Acetaldehyde, which produces a fruity odor, but is a probable human carcinogen.

Acetonitrile, which can cause weakness, headaches, tremors, numbness, and nausea.

Styrene oxide can cause skin and eye irritation, and in animal studies, it is known to cause depression.

Musk tetralin (AETT) has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor. (source)

White bottle spraying a white substance for dangers of fragrance post

How Long Does It Take for Artificial Fragrances to Degrade?

The answer is–a LONG time.

Since there are so many components to artificial fragrances, it’s impossible to list all of them, but some say that they last about 5 years, while in recent research I found one component lasts up to around 200 years!

Others Sounding the Alarm

I’ve listed common sense links above to all kinds of health issues, but the there are literally studies out there and large agencies concerned about this too. This breast cancer organization has sounded the alarm about toxins and cancer. And there’s information linking toxic fragrances used during pregnancy to autism and more. (source)

Aren’t Natural / Clean Products Safe?

If you’ve been shopping at your local health food store, surely you’re not in danger, right?


I personally have been shocked to see the multitude of companies that are supposed to be “green”, “organic”, or “natural” that have these dangerous artificial fragrances in them. I think you’ll be shocked too.

Here you are, shelling out extra money to get something that you think is clean and non-toxic, but really you are ending up with something that is mucking with your endocrine system big time.

Here is a listing of companies that tout themselves as being “natural”, but some of their products are far from.

Melaleuca (contains “fragrance”)
Mrs. Meyer’s (contains “mixture of natural, high-quality essential oils and safe synthetic fragrance ingredients”)
Babyganics (contains “fragrance” despite having “fragrance-free” on the label).
Nubian Heritage (contains “fragrance”)
(contains “fragrance”)
Alba Botanical
(contains “fragrance”)

Now, I’m not saying that everything these companies make is a problem, but I was personally shocked to see synthetic fragrances in these lines and figured you might be too. Of course, that could change, but I am encouraging you to read the labels and see what really is in your products.

Natural Fragrance MIGHT Not Be Natural After All

I’ll be sharing more about this later, but I have tried many products that said “Essential Oil Blend” or “Essential Oil” on the label, but believe me, something’s not right there.

The scents are WAY too strong. And one company even owned up to me that “Essential Oil Blend” only meant that MOST of the fragrance ingredients were natural–HUH!?!?!?!?

DIY Recipe Concerns

There are loads of recipes on the internet that can help you save money by making things yourself, but some of those have unsavory ingredients too.

Be on the lookout for anything including Dawn Dish Soap (that’s a pretty obvious one to avoid) or the more seemingly natural Fels-Naptha soap.  My mom used that soap a lot when I was young so I picked up a few bars thinking I would do some nice DIY projects, only to find that it contains that mystical “fragrance” too.

Bye-bye Fels.

How to Avoid Toxic Fragrances

So what’s a person to do?

1.  First of all, READ YOUR LABELS.

If the label says “fragrance” or “parfum” contact the manufacturer and find out what that term means in this case.

Make sure you aren’t buying products with phthalates or aldehydes, at the very least.

And even if it clearly says “fragrance-free” on the label, sometimes there still are synthetic fragrances in there. Sadly, misleading marketing is everywhere.

You REALLY need to be a detective here. I once bought a product that had “Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend)” listed on their label. I ended up having heart palpitations in the middle of the night from this product and had to wash my hair out! I contacted the company about this and asked them how that could be and they finally owned up that the “blend” wasn’t entirely essential oils!!

Talk about deceptive marketing!!

2.  Return Products

Return any products containing phthalates, aldehydes, or any of these other problematic ingredients to the store where you bought them.  Tell them that you refuse to poison yourself, your family, and the environment with these toxins.

3.  Read labels and ditch products

Get rid of products like air freshening sprays and gels, scented cleaners (think dish soap, toilet bowl cleaner, window cleaner), laundry detergent and toxic dryer sheets, and personal care products with problematic fragrances. Not only do they likely contain phthalates, but they also contain industrial chemicals that can cause asthma attacks and more.

4.  Choose wisely

Learn to be an ingredient detective and find companies and products that you can trust.

There is more green-washing out there than not, but there are for sure some good companies out there that you can buy from with confidence.

Just be careful as more and more those “good guys” are getting bought up by larger companies without a reputation for “being green”, so you really need to stay on top of things.

What might be “fragrance-free” one day, might not be so the next.

5.  Make your own products

Instead of buying products in the store that likely have questionable ingredients, try your hand at making homemade beauty products. For example, you can learn how to make an essential oil body spray, or a homemade body wash.

However, make sure to only use natural essential oils for your fragrances. Of course, you have to be very very careful to make sure that you are buying pure essential oils (that post shows you how to evaluate companies for purity) since many essential oils on the market have been adulterated.

You might think that using essential oils is limiting compared to being able to buy Snickerdoodle Cookie scented candies at your local Body Shop, but it’s not.

For an idea of how creative you can be, look at this list of Holiday Essential Oil Blends–perfect for making your home smell festive. You can do similar blends all year round–without toxins.

6. Buy an ionizing purifier

An ionizer air purifier might help you deal with the effects of these fragrances.

A personal ionizer like this one helps deal with the effects of fragrances and addresses VOCs. You can read the reviews to see some examples of how they can work. I personally really like these personal ionizers and am able to offer a nice discount it you would like to try them or anything else that they offer. Just contact me here in the comments area or at adrienne {at} wholenewmom {dot} com for a discount.

You could also put a small area purifier in your location to address fragrance. This purifier is compact and addresses scents well. Again, contact me for savings information.

This larger purifier addresses a room up to 500 feet. It’s so easy to clean–no pricey replacement filters needed!

Green Tech pureair 500 air purifier

Of course, avoidance is the best bet, but sometimes you just can’t avoid this kind of thing easily.

Where to Buy Products Without Artificial Fragrances

Basically, find a company that doesn’t have “fragrance” or “parfum”, or if you really want to use a product that has those ingredients listed on the label, contact the company and do your homework.

Just make sure to read your labels.

AND reading labels might not be enough. Some “natural” products gave our son migraines– and one company even admitted that their labels were not transparent.

I spent a long time searching for a company that I could recommend wholeheartedly and the main one is Beautycounter.

overlay of beautycounter make up products

Beautycounter is transparent about their ingredients and uses no artificial fragrances, no phthalates and no aldehydes.

In my search for companies that I could trust, I found MANY other companies flat out lying about ingredients, including telling lies or making giant semantic leaps about the lingo related to the fragrances in their products. Some of them even have ingredients on their labels that don’t exist!  

Not good.

I don’t want these things in my home or on my body.  And I for sure don’t want them on my kids’ bodies.

Regardless of whether you choose to DIY, or buy products that are transparent like those from Beautycounter, please make a change for health.

Another great company is Pure Haven Essentials.

Pure Haven has no artificial fragrances in their products like their lovely candles, dish soap, Master Blaster (works great as a stain remover and air freshener), laundry detergent, and more.

Ditch the fake fragrances for good.

Your health and your family’s health might truly depend on it.

Did you know about the risks of fragrances and where they lurk? 
Or was this a complete surprise to you?

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  1. This is a very eye opening post. I do appreciated the research you’ve done on our behave. Awareness is the first step to change. Thanks

  2. This is an amazingly helpful article! I used to have persistant headaches and also sensitive skin .. hence I started to use a brand called Samuel Gravan. The brand shops internationally and has certified organic status from both the Australian and the American certification organisations. They do some very luxurious face oils with vetiver and ylang ylang. Also the perfumes are all natural and source a lot of high quality essential oils from India, Sri Lanka, France etc. I recommend the perfume ” Amyris Summer” as this one has jasmine absolute, cardamom, cypress and like 15 other oils that I forgot the name of. As far as I know; the brand also do sample packs of the perfumes that come with each skincare order. Definitely up and coming.

  3. I was just browsing for a window cleaner ! I’m blown away at these Toxins comments. I have this stuff everywhere in my house. I love fir my house to smell clean ! And I love Ba’ath and Body Candles! Quilty! I also clean house and the cleaning stuff is horrible . So many people are Clorox bandits. I definitely need to switch over to all natural fragrances. Please help me get started. I too hate cigarette smoke… same when I was a child. I’m going to make window cleaner !!thanks for your tips and I will continue to follow! Concerned mom!

    1. You are so welcome!! Yes you need to dump all of this stuff. Candles included! Let me know what you are interested in and I will see what I can do!

  4. I am gradually switching over to a chemical free life after discoveribg essential oils this year. I have made my own laundry soap, dishwasher tablets, face and hand wash, face moisturiser and hosehold cleaning spray. There has been a significant improvement this year with my exzema and my husbands asthma. The whole family has had amazing benefits from the use of essential oils.thanks for the post..

    1. Glad to hear it – we all need to get the toxins out. BTW, chemicals are everywhere. It’s the toxins that we need to get rid of. H2O is a chemical technically :).

  5. Thank you so much for this post. I’m chemically sensitive, but for years I didn’t know why I was so sick almost all the time. Headaches, tiredness, sinusitis, and “brain fog” were frequent symptoms. When I finally realized that chemicals in my environment were making me sick I began the long road to recovery. “Fragrance” is one of my worst offenders. Everyone should stay away from it. And, you’re so right. Many products that are touted as natural are anything but. Mrs. Meyers is one of the worst.

  6. This got me scared! But what if I’m using perfumes like VS? Should I stop it?? Are dehumifiers also unsafe?? My, this got me thinking!

    1. I personally do not use perfumes w/ artificial fragrances. A humidifier (I think you meant humidifier and not dehumidifier, correct?) only puts water in the air so if it is cleaned it shouldn’t put anything else in the air. I personally wear this perfume:

      or only essential oils. I got a nice compliment the other day about what I wear. There are not many, but there are other natural perfumes made only from essential oils on the market. Let me know if you had another concern about the humidifier.

  7. I have had a chemical scent allergy for years and honestly, many people think I’m crazy. They also act put out when I ask them, for my health and so I can participate in activities, to please not wear perfume, hair spray, scented deodorant, hand cream, burn candles, etc…. Especially if we’re in a small room for a class. There are many people that say they can’t avoid everything for they couldn’t live. If I don’t avoid, I get very sick! I pray our country will one day get on board and start protecting it’s population instead of lining the pockets of government officials and CEO’s. Sorry for the vent! :o),

  8. Thank you for your post. My daughter is allergic to life. She avoids as many smells as she can and uses steroid cream all over for the rash. I am trying to move to more eo but the scents of those bother her as well. I have started using Castille body wash and am looking for an oil that is good for the shower and easy on her.

    1. Oh no – sorry the EOs bother her. May I ask what company you are buying them from? Could be there are some artificial things in there?

      So you are looking for just a thing for the shower but you want a cleaner that is an oil but not a soap? Or you want an EO that will work in the shower?

      1. Do terra. I am trying to dechemical my life. I don’t know how to make my own soap, so I purchased castile liquid soap and wanted to put an essential oil in it. Peppermint oil is to hot. Suggestions

        1. Hi there. I would try a few from the companies I work with. They have a 90 day return policy. What oils did she react to?

          doTERRA’s peppermint was found to have ethyl vanillin in it in a 3rd party test from what I have read.

  9. Great information, as usual, Adrienne. I have a friend who is incredibly sensitive to scents. We have had to leave events because of them. I hold my breath if I mistakenly go down an aisle with scented products. Where I live Post Office outlets are mainly in a major drugstore chain.. The outlet seems to always be located in the far back corner of the store – in order that one be “exposed to” the maximum number of products. I try to take a serpentine route but scents seem to be everywhere

    1. Thanks so much! The stores are smart about that kind of thing – they put the staples at the back of the store so you need to be tempted all the way there…..

  10. Hi Adrienne, thank you for this article. I recently started using Nubien Heritage’s bar soaps. Your article prompted me to research the ingredients. The ingredients list reads “natural fragrance and/or essential oil” .From the research I was able to find, “natural fragrance” cannot contain phthalates or petrochemicals. It is made using an isolate that comes from plants only. From what I read, I’m not worried about using a product that contains “natural fragrance and/or essential oil”.

    That being said, I still emailed Nubien Heritage to ask them whether or not the natural fragrance contains phthalates or petrochemicals. I also asked them about their bath oils because it is listed as “fragrance (essential oil blend)”. The way it reads you would assume that the fragrance is made 100% with a blend of essential oils, but I don’t believe it is safe to “assume” anything when it comes to your health.

    Thanks again. I’ll report back what I hear from Nubien regarding their use of fragrance.

    1. Hi Lori – good detective work! I look forward to hearing! I don’t know what to say about natural fragrance. I bet it’s not regulated. 🙂 Way to go!

      1. You have a good point. I hadn’t thought about that. It’s not regulated by the FDA. If there is no governing body regulating it, who’s to say that companies are following the definitions and guidelines set by NPA?

        I wish companies would be more transparent and stop hiding behind “trade secret” loopholes regarding what they have to put on their labels! Until that is changed, consumers can never truly know what’s in a product.

        I’m trying to make more of my personal care products, but making soap seems intimidating to me due to the use of lye.

        I’ll let you know if I hear back from Nubien.

        1. I agree – it’s a double edged sword. We want to know what is going on so we want regulation, but the bigger the government, the more problems in my opinion. The Nanny State starts doing it’s bad deeds. So I think we have to do our homework. Take care and look forward to hearing from you!

  11. I understand that fragrance can be dangerous. i also somewhat going natural but, what about the b. o. problem, how do you deal with that? Can someone please answer that and not dismiss this question? Thank you.

    1. I don’t exactly know what moderation means but, I will write it again. I understand that fragrance can be dangerous. I understand somewhat about going natural but, what about underarm odor from not using deodorant, how do you deal with that? Please do not dismiss this as a flippant question, I would appreciate an answer. Thank You. Please tell me what moderation means in this context, does it mean clarification?

      1. Hi there. Moderation means I have to approve comments before they show up on the blog :). I just replied to you – let me know :).

    2. You can find a deodorant that works but doesn’t have artificial fragrances. I personally am using the Ava Anderson deodorants and they work great. I used to use Primal Pit Paste. I think the Ava Anderson one works better.

      Is that what you meant?

      **Updated comment. I stopped using and promoting Ava Anderson due to a lot of issues w/ the company including labeling issues and testing that showed that the products didn’t contain what they said that they did. They have rebranded as Pure Haven Essentials but I didn’t move forward with them due to these problems.

      1. Hi Adrienne, Yes, that is what I meant. Thanks for the info. Is this just a site to sell Ava Anderson products, and are they expensive? Would you or anyone know and (this may be a foolish question, please excuse me if it is), do the underarm products come in a spray or a stick? Any info appreciated, Jessie

        1. This is the Ava Anderson catalog.

          They are not very expensive, I don’t think. In fact, I have compared some of their products to other ones of similar quality and they are quite a bit less expensive. It’s not a foolish question at all- they have both a stick and a spray. The stick is much more potent. I used it in the summer but am using the spray now. Let me know if you have any more questions. 🙂

          Updated comment above. I no longer recommend this company’s products.

          1. Hi Adrienne, Thanks for the info. Do you have any affiliation with Ava Anderson or just aware of their products? How did you find out about them? The little I have seen of your website seems very informative and helpful and I do not think you mislead and misinform people. Having said that I am wondering how and where you acquired all the knowledge for this website. Do you have any college or or educational background in these areas? Thank you, Jessie

            1. Hi there. I am a consultant / educator but now they are not a company anymore but they plan to rebrand and be back soon – possibly within a day or two. It was an announcement that came out today. So I am trying to figure out what is going on.

              I mainly became an investigator / advocate mom gradually as all of these things happened to us and I found that the medical community wasn’t serving my family. My background is here.

              Of course, it’s not everything :).

          2. Hi Adrienne, Please keep me posted as to when the company is up and running again and what they have rebrand as since I may want to try the deo. stick. I looked up your background, you should be proud of what you have done.. You are quite an accomplished woman being an consultant/educator., investigator and advocate mom. Good for you!! Thank you for what you are doing!! Jessie

            1. Hi there. The shopping cart is up again. Let me know if I can help with anything at all. You will love the deodorant! Thanks for the kind words!

              Oh, they are rebranding w/ new company expected to be going by 3/1.
              Updated 3/18: I no longer can recommend this company due to the information in the comments above.

  12. I totally get this!!! Last night we were at my son’s Pine Wood Derby for Cub Scouts and the lady sitting behind me was DRENCHED in scent. I thought sure I was going to throw up…it was awful!!!! Some people don’t get how their actions affect others!

    1. That really surprises me. I typically am not around folks w/ tons of perfume / cologne these days, but maybe I’m just not running in the right circles anymore? So sorry!!!! Love the Pine Wood Derbys! 🙂

    1. Yes, there are some perfumes that are made with only essential oils. I have seen a few that claim to be that, but I haven’t looked into their claims. Ava Anderson had some lovely ones but they pulled them from their offerings in order to bring them in house (they are going to have 90+% of their products in house soon) and sadly found out that their supplier was not being honest (or didn’t know?) and there were some synthetic product(s) in it. They offered free replacement products to everyone who bought the perfumes. They should have their new perfumes out soon (I would expect in the next month) and they will be all natural. I’m really looking forward to them! If you are interested I could put you on my mailing list and you’ll see them when they are there.

  13. You should check out Poofy Organics. I have been using them for over 2 years. They are USDA certified organic, made in America by hand, gluten free, they do not use any fragrances or toxic ingredients, and they list all their ingredients. They have over 400+ home and body products for the entire family to use. I have been so impressed with their products I actually became a Poofy Guide, you can learn more about the company and their products here:

    1. Hi Tanya. I did check them out. Thanks. I chose Ava Anderson instead for various reasons. The cost is less, for one thing. Can you tell me if Poofy’s metals are filtered to insure there are no heavy metals in their products? That is one thing that is very important to me.

      Sorry, but I did removed your Direct Sales link as I don’t want my blog to be a platform for others’ businesses. I hope you can understand.

      1. This is the response I got from Poofy Organics regarding the heavy metals question you asked: “We source USDA certified organic ingredients which seriously diminishes any issues like that. (Of course, there’s always those that are naturally occurring in the ground and there is nothing anyone can do about that, unfortunately).” I completely understand that you had to remove the Poofy Organics website link I posted in my previous post, no hard feelings. Curious, do you know how Ava Anderson insures there are no heavy metals in their products?

        Products with USDA certified organics are very important to me. This blog post that the owner and CEO of Poofy Organics, Kristina Gagliardi-Wilson wrote I feel is an important read (it doesn’t have any direct sales links, so hopefully you will keep the link up, as I feel it has a lot of good information for consumers to read and know).. Hopefully, over time more companies will be willing to obtain USDA organic certification, I would love to see that! Here is the link to the article:

        1. Hi Tanya. Thanks for getting back to me. I don’t think that organic practices have anything to do w/ the presence of heavy metals – can you tell me why? I for sure don’t know everything but I know some about heavy metals as we’ve dealt w/ issues regarding them in my family.

          Ava Anderson told me that any iron oxides, etc. are filtered to remove those contaminations. I’m verifying that.

          I have no problem w/ your link to Poofy. And I know that some folks don’t think about it when leaving a Direct Sales link, but I have worked hard to build this blog and it just isn’t right to have it be used as a business builder. I hope you understand.

          As for certification, I think I talked about why I think it’s a catch 22. I’m all for it, but it of course carries w/ it a feeling of complacency on the part of the consumer that really shouldn’t be there as there are so many loopholes.


  14. I have always suffered badly due to smoke and perfumes in EVERYTHING. I am extremely allergic to scents, etc. My whole life I felt like I was the only one who had to constantly hold my breathe around people who thought dowsing in scents was desirable. I break out from any soap or cleaning item with scents in them. For my whole adult life I have had to carefully only use non- scented items. The worst part still is entering a house where people try to hide the natural smells with those scented plug-ins. That is on top of the smell of every cleaning product out there. If everything triggered bad allergy attacks (asthma included) plus rashes in me, I know they can’t be healthy for anyone. Thank you for this post.

    1. The plug ins are terrible! We bought a wood table and chairs from someone who had those (I think?) or just dryer sheet smell. It took a long time for the smell to go away. You are exactly right – those who are affected are like the canary in the coal mine. We are warning others that these things are toxic!

      1. Thank you Adrienne. You used the perfect description to me “We are like the canary in the coal mine” we are here to warn others that all these scented things are very toxic. When I visit family members I have to take my own towels and washcloths, sheets etc. Even thought they know how badly I react to the scented things they still use them thinking they are safe. I can’t even wash dishes at their homes because of the dish soaps they use. If only they would realize how they might be hurting their own children. Thank you so very much for writing this post.

        1. You are so welcome. I’m so sorry you have to take those things. I used to take my own sheet and pillowcase. I don’t seem to need to do that any more. But I haven’t traveled much and mainly it’s been hotels. I wonder if you could choose 1-2 people and share something non toxic with them. That’s one reason I like Ava Anderson so much. Of course there are other companies w/ great products, but they are so built on education – it’s a message more than a product. When I do a class, the people attending end up learning so much about toxins and how to get rid of them.

          You are so right about how they are hurting their children — and others too. Take care and hope to see you around again.

    1. Hi Patricia.

      Ava paid me nothing. This is information I found on the internet. Do you think the information is incorrect?

      1. Ava Anderson just announced that they’re closing their business. They were mislabelling their ingredients and some of their products did contain artificial fragrances or other harmful ingredients that were omitted from the label.

        1. Hello Sandra.

          My understanding is that they are closing due to wanting it not to be a family business anymore. The company will still be there w/ the same products and message. Having an ingredient missing from a label is not why they are making this change. I have seen the same thing at Costco with Kirkland products. As for the artificial fragrances, they found that and gave out free replacements to everyone that purchased. The products were made at an outside firm and they are bringing them in house now. What “harmful ingredients” are you referring to? I have not seen anything about that. Perhaps you were misinformed. Thanks.

          1. What I read directly from the company states that AANT is closed. There are some people who worked for AANT who want to rebrand and start their own MLM. If these are the same people who stood behind mislabelling ingredients like emulsifiers and (or completely lying about the ingredients that were in the dishsoap), then I’m not going to trust this new company either.

            There are companies out there that are producing safe products, I find it extremely irresponsible for you to talk about the dangers of these frangrance but then send unsuspecting victims to buy products from a greenwashing company (that technically no longer exists).

            1. Hello again, Sandra.

              This is direct from AANT:

              ” this management team is now in the process of securing financing with the intent to continue the great opportunity you have all experienced over the past 6 years under a new brand.”

              Again, my understanding is that there was the omission of an emulsifier in about 7 products, which, while a problem, isn’t something that hasn’t happened before with all kinds of companies. As for the dish soap, I am looking into that, but again, if a company isn’t making the product themselves, and they are being lied to by the manufacturer, then how can you fault them? I am sure you have seen other companies find out the hard way that there were ingredients in their products that they didn’t know about — including pharmaceutical companies where the possible outcomes were much more potentially dire.

              As for what you heard, I have the email from the company and am happy to send you whatever you would like, and or I can print it here.

              As for your accusing me of being irresponsible, I am working with the company and figuring out what the future holds. As you can imagine, this has been a very busy day for me. I am on calls about Ava Anderson and am managing my family and household and other things and am in no way trying to mislead anyone. Are you saying that b/c I still had a link on my site to Ava Anderson while I am trying to figure this all out (they have told us that they hope to have the new site up and running within a day or two) is me making my readers “victims”? I disagree.

              I also think the classifying any Ava Anderson customers as “victims” is inaccurate, I think. I also don’t think that Ava Anderson was “greenwashing.” Of course, I could be wrong, but it seems to me that AANT was the victim here – that outside manufacturers weren’t doing their jobs properly. With my not being at the company, all I can go by is what I hear and what I find out w/ my own research, but I have seen them replace products at their expense and I don’t see anything besides the fragrance issue that would be classified as “greenwashing.”

              If you have more concerns I am happy to address them as I am able. I will say that it seems odd to me that Poofy Organics reps (as yourself) continue to come to my blog and Facebook page and use accusatory language. I am merely someone who is trying to encourage people to use natural products as much as possible so that they can be healthier. I think your company has the same mission, correct? If it is found that Ava Anderson did untoward things knowingly, then shame on them, but I would think that if Poofy were ever found to have done a similar thing that people would not accuse you of being irresponsible, but would give you grace as you sorted out the best thing to do and the right direction to go. Thanks again. If you have more things you could like clarified please let me know. I will do my best.

          2. The proof is all over the internet. Many people from the start of AANT had offered to help with their formulations, Told them that the ingredients labels were not “right”. The owners continued to look the other way. Accusing me of being a Poofy rep is quite presumptuous considering I never mentioned that company and I live in Europe. For Americans I would suggest buying Bubble & Bee or Earth Mama Angel Baby.

            1. Hi again, Sandra. I am not trying to defend AANT. I am a rep who is trying to not jump to conclusions and am taking them at their word and trying to sift through what I am reading.

              I’m unclear what proof you are referring to. I am telling you what I am reading and hearing. I have been on conference calls about this and am aware of the ingredient issues. Apart from Jess at Ecofriendlymama, I don’t know whom you are talking about who offered them help, so please let me know. I have found them to be a company that has been helpful and has responded to my concerns so I can’t speak to the issue you mention as I was not there, but again, I am not saying they weren’t at fault.

              As for you, I wasn’t accusing you of being a Poofy rep, but are you? Since your language sounds like the other Poofy reps I have read / dialogued with I just had a hunch and did a quick internet search and found this (Facebook link to “poofy by Sandra” page that later was gone from Facebook)

              and then this, so I guess it is you since this Sandra is a Poofy rep and is in Europe. If I am mistaken, then I gladly own that. It was an honest mistake.

              I like the ingredients of the companies you recommend, but I really want performing products so I am on a hunt for sure :). I loved the AANT products for the most part. This is very tough.

  15. The products I make to sell at farmers markets and crafts show are all phthalate free, and all of my suppliers sell phthalate free fragrances. . You are misleading customers with these generalizations. On the other hand, most of the research I have done on essential oils indicates to me that they are very easy to abuse, and cause severe allergic reactions when not diluted to less than .05 percent (for most kinds – it’s even less for some), yet there is little policing by the FDA of those women who are selling home-made cures, The bottom line is that everyone should educate themselves on hazardous chemicals in foods and products. The fact is, no lotion can be sold without some sort of fungus inhibitor. Lotion will mold within a week. If people don’t want chemicals, they can use olive oil for lotion. I make lye soap with no chemical additives or dyes, and with either essential oils or fragrance oils, at the rate recommended by the International Fragrance Association, I’ve sold a lot of soap and not yet one complaint of an allergic reaction.

    1. Hi Patricia.

      How am I misleading customers with this information? Can you tell me exactly what you think I wrote that is incorrect? Please show me where your research is. I have not seen anything of the sort about essential oils needing to be diluted to .05 percent but I am open to learning more.

      As for fungus inhibitor, you are correct and also incorrect. I think that depends where you are selling it, correct?

      It sounds to me that you think I was saying that everyone would have an allergic reaction to artificial fragrances, but I never said that. Please let me know what you are claiming is wrong with the post. Thank you.

    2. Patricia I think you totally misunderstood the point to this article. It wasn’t to mislead or trash anyone else – it was to make people aware. I totally agree with you that there’s lots of bloggers out there promoting misuse of things like essential oils. But how is that argument proving a point that this post is misleading people? All it does is lay out the facts – and cite sources – about how some fragrances can be dangerous. Personally, I wouldn’t trust an industry “association” to know which fragrances are safe or not – those associations exist to make sure their industry isn’t tarnished. I personally use EWG’s directory and guides when checking ingredients, along with other sources.

      Adrienne is doing exactly what you said:
      “The bottom line is that everyone should educate themselves on hazardous chemicals in foods and products.”
      But I think it sounds like no matter what she said, how many sources she cites, you would still attack her for it without looking at the evidence. All she’s doing is helping people disseminate the information and linking them to the sources so they can make their own informed decisions.

      Also, I’ve made and purchased plenty of lotions without a “fungus inhibitor” and none have ever molded. Not sure where you going with that point either.

    3. Hi again, Patricia. I should add that I only highlighted those companies b/c they make some pretty bold marketing claims that a lot of people buy into and then end up being taken for a ride. Otherwise I wouldn’t have done it but I think what they are doing deserves to be highlighted. As for essential oils, I agree that many are advocating using too many of them and I think people should be more cautious. That being said, there isn’t any oversight of cosmetics either. I think that the FDA has a lot of problems. I hope that clarifies things. Thanks.

  16. I have been making my own personal products for some time, and am so happy that I did. Thanks for sharing your own issues. Posted on Facebook.

  17. I stopped using fragrance and deodorant years ago and after a year of detoxing my body has finally started to balanced out. I use essential oils at times but mostly just stay all natural. Now when I do come across someone using perfume my body can’t even stand it. Great post!

    1. Wow. Do you think it was all / mostly the issues of what you were using? Did you change anything else? I can’t stand perfume either. I hope the word gets out and people wake up to what we are doing to ourselves and to our planet.

      1. I think it was a combination of what I was using and eating at the time. I’m now living a very plant powered lifestyle and I feel that has been a BIG help. I agree with you, slowly but surely we will get there, people are beginning to open up to alternatives and posts/ websites like these are leading the way <3

        1. I’m so glad to hear it. We’ve done a lot too – I was never using many toxins in the home — just dishwasher detergent mainly. Not anymore! Thanks for the encouragement!

            1. I’m using a bunch of natural products I have leftover….Tropical Traditions (a little pricey), Biokleen (doesn’t work as well) and Trader Joes (just OK). My favorite is Ava Anderson’s, but the company doesn’t have it in the shopping cart now and they are going through a lot – reorganizing and rebranding. They said they should have them available soon for a bit.

              I am watching to see what is going on with them b/c it’s complicated and I have to make sure that I am still confident in their products, but you are welcome to check their things out here:

              When they have the dishwasher detergent back I think it will be at 40% off.