Perfume – An Investigation of Chemicals in 36 Eaux de Toilette and Eaux de Parfum

A Greenpeace publication, Perfume – An Investigation of Chemicals in 36 Eaux de Toilette and Eaux de Parfum, bought out in February 2005, found that wearing perfume exposes us to chemicals that can enter the body, don’t easily break down and may have unwanted health effects. Now, I know that most of the people who follow this blog, don’t even wear perfume because of the debilitating symptoms bought on by just breathing the toxic crap in, let alone marinating in it, but, for them, this publication is a part of the extensively documented proof that shows exactly why our symptoms exist! And for anyone else, with just a thimble of sanity, who reads this will think twice before picking up that designer bottle of scent and spraying themselves with it. Ever. Again. (I can hear the cries of anguish now [haughty tone]: I thought my designer parfum would protect me because of the Elitist Status that I paid X amount of Dollars to be aligned with… I mean, how can Brad Pitt, JLo, Brittany Spears and Kate Moss be so… so ignorant? Is it the Money, or the the International Fragrance Association’s (IFRA) fault for purporting to know and spread this particular-well-advertised truth about fragrance?) Well, fear not, The-Labyrinth is here to tell Brad and Ms Moss the truth. Cause lucky for me and my readers, they just happen to follow this here blog (Somewhere in a multi-coloured-stained-glass window outside of our reality.)!

This executive summary from our friendly lab scientists at Greenpeace:

“The goal of this investigation was to quantify the use of two groups of chemicals – phthalates and synthetic musks – in a random selection of perfume brands. Greenpeace commissioned a laboratory to test 36 brands of eau de toilette and eau de parfum for levels of the two chemical groups. The results confirm that some synthetic musks, most notably the polycyclic musks galaxolide (HHCB) and tonalide (AHTN), and some phthalates, especially diethyl phthalate (DEP), are widely used by the perfume industry. This suggests that regular use of perfumes could substantially contribute to individuals’ daily exposure to these chemicals, some of which have already been recorded as contaminants in blood and breast milk. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence of potential endocrine-disrupting properties for certain musk compounds. In this context, these results reinforce the need for legislation that will drive the replacement of hazardous substances with safer alternatives. The current development of new EU legislation on the manufacture and use of chemicals, known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals), provides the opportunity to set out requirements for such substitution as a vital contribution to protecting the public from exposure to hazardous chemicals.”

You can download the complete document here.

In relation to this very issue, a couple of days ago, I posted here about the time when I first became ill with sensitivities to a plethora of different synthetic chemicals; and how I became first a member, then a volunteer for the Allergy and Environmental Sensitivity Support and Research Association Inc. (AESSRA), and while researching for information about the ingredients in fragrances for a brochure that I was co-writing, I came across Greenpeace’s Investigation into Perfumes. This inspired me in a way that still sits with me today, emanating out vibes of bravery into the core of my very being, because I know that I’m on the right side of right: I know that I’m helping the world with my own personal campaign to educate people about the toxicity of fragrances. I know that these fragrances are toxic because this investigation showed us the ingredients that are inside the fragrances; the same ingredients the manufacturers try to hide from us; the same ingredients that cause me to have to wear a mask; the same ingredients that cause so many others to hide in safety within their homes; the same ingredients that exacerbate many childrens’ (and adults’) asthma; the same ingredients that cause many people headaches, sinus problems, and other symptoms; the same ingredients that, when causing symptoms or exacerbating illness, make people fearful to speak up because when they do, fragrance-loving people single them out as wingers, or take offence because they think the person with the fragrance induced health problem does not like the way they smell. For the people who are not aware, it goes much deeper than just the smell of it; and for the people who can’t fathom, or disbelieve…

Eat this:

On a more serious, much more caring note: I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through. It’s No Fun. If the fragrance wearers who meet me can learn anything from the way I have to live my life now that I’m sensitive to chemicals, then I’m sure they will take preventative measures to protect their health and that of their families; cause just because a movie star advertises it; just because a self-regulating fragrance association says that it’s safe; and just because a lot of the population wear it too, remember this: many people do not wear it because it makes them ill (some of these people, like myself, used to wear it–until they became ill); some of these people can get symptoms just from breathing fragrance in that another person wears into the same room as them; and all of these people would really appreciate it, if you could please stop wearing it. The proof is here, fragrance is toxic…

(If you’d like to join me in cyberactivism, then feel free to repost, reblog this whole page. You don’t need my permission (just this once): my words are your words, take them. Or, if you would love to put an Issuu publication on your blog, like this Greenpeace one, then you need this Plugin (If you’re with WordPress, after downloading the plugin, you need to go to your downloads folder, find the plugin, right click on it, and compress it into a zip folder. Then go to the Plugins tab in your WordPress menu and upload your Plugin, and click activate.) You’ll then need to sign up with Issuu; its free. The next step is to go and find the publication you’d like to show on your blog, find the embed code button, click on it, cut and paste the code into your page’s HTML view, and there you’ll have it, just like mine above. Enjoy, and have fun posting  ♥ ♥)  

More Information

Scents and Indoor Air Pollution: The Lung Association

Scents and Sensitivity: Environmental Health Perspectives

Breast Cancer and The Research into Phthalates and Perfume

20 Children’s Fragrance Brands That Contain Toxic Ingredients 

Skin Deep: Fragrance Toxics

The Best Smell Is No Smell


(Image sourced:


Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Miche

    Thank you for sharing more valuable information. I am also reblogging.


    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      That’s okay. I think this Greenpeace report is very important information to have and to share. The more people who read it, the more who will think twice before spritzing themselves with chemicals. ♥

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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