How to Choose A Non-Toxic Perfume

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Since I was a little girl, my mom has had a long standing relationship with Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist perfume. To this day, when I walk past the fragrance counter in Macy’s, I tend to stop and smell the fragrance simply because it reminds me of home. When my mom wasn’t looking, I’d spritz it on in my desire to feel womanly, sexy and regal.

I’ve yet to find the perfect balance of scent for myself and it worries me OBVs. It’s probably a little ridiculous that I’m obsessing over such a frivolous item of beauty, but I fear that with my allergies, combined with my desire to keep my beauty products natural will hinder me from passing down the same feelings I have towards my mothers’ smell to my daughter.

According the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics a few popular perfume tested for safety contained an average of ten unlisted chemicals each that are associated with allergic reactions like asthma, wheezing, headache and contact dermatitis. Additionally, perfumes tested contain an average of four chemicals known to be endocrine disruptors, which impair normal hormone development and have been linked to a range of health issues including sperm damage, thyroid disruption and cancer.

Scary right? Selecting the right perfume doesn’t have to be.  While I’m still on the hunt I thought it might be nice to share a few tactics for choosing a nontoxic perfume for anyone else looking for a guide.

Let’s get started:
1. Know which ingredients to stay away from 

This is a pretty short list of chemicals to steer clear from in your perfumes but a great kick-starter for identifying potentially hazardous ingredients. Do your best to avoid the following: Camphor, limonene, benzyl acetate, and diethyl phthalate (DEP).
2. Know where to buy (and who to trust)

Not every perfume slapped with a “natural” or “organic” label is truly living up to its hype. I like to browse the isles of Whole Foods for fragrances and oils. Other great places to shop for perfume include Spirit Beauty Lounge and Future Natural which have already done the due diligence to offer truly fantastic scents that live up to their name and provide full disclosure of their ingredients.
3. Know what you like

Before approaching your perfume hunt, know which scents you fancy.  Do you like sweet, tart, woodsy or fruity scents? Knowing this before hand may give you an idea of which types of perfumes or natural fragrances to gravitate towards.

4. Know your price point

Natural and organic perfumes can run the gamut when it comes to price, often ranging from $5 for a simple roll-on oil or $195 for the entire shabang. Understand that price alone won’t determine which perfumes are better than others. Before you set out in your hunt for a scent to make your own set a budget for how much you want to spend.



Do you have a favorite natural scent or oil you absolutely adore?


Love and Beauty,


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One Response to “How to Choose A Non-Toxic Perfume”

  1. keturah says:

    Have you found an organic or natural alternative for Cashmere Mist? I am also in love with Bvulgari and Amor Amor by Cacherel, all of which I donated to get out of my life. Sad but true. Wonder if there is a way to make these with natural oils.

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