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February 11th 08, 01:44 PM
95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived
from petroleum. It has been estimated that more than 3000 different
chemmcials are used in fragrance production. Do these figures shock
you? Yes, manufacturers are very clever - we see the packaging and the
adverts showing flowers and nature, and we assume (as the manufacturer
intends us to assume) that the fragrance in the product is derived
from nature, but most fragrances are chemically derived. They do not
use essential oils because they are too expensive. They do use
synthetic chemicals because they are cheap.

We are exposed to perfume or fragrance throughout the day. We may not
wear perfume ourselves, but our shampoo, soap, shower gel and
cosmetics are likely to contain synthetic perfumes, unless we look at
the label and shop carefully.

We encounter more smells in our household products - cleaners, washing
powders, polish, air fresheners, etc. If we go out, we experience
these smells on other people and in offices and stores.

Perfume mixes added to products are listed in the ingredients as
'parfum' or 'fragrance' depending on the part of the world you live
in. Even some products that appear to be unperfumed will contain
synthetic perfumes in order to cover an unpleasant odour from one of
the active ingredients, or to ensure that the product always smells
the same. The exact composition of these may vary over time even for
the same product, as the manufacturer adjust the fragrance mix in
relation to variations in the smell of the raw ingredients.

Even some essential oils are not entirely natural, as harsh chemicals
may be used in their extraction process. Chemical solvents such as
hexane and heptane are used to extract the maximum amount of oil from
the plant, so it is important to buy good quality oils from a source
you trust.

Allergies to fragrances are very common. The main organs affected are
the skin and the respiratory system, but neurological damage has also
been reported. Some people feel that

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