START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

The Toxic Effects of Perfume

Research confirms that many of the ingredients in fragrances are neurotoxins, meaning that they have poisonous effects on the brain and nervous system.  Additional studies link other negative emotional, mental, and physical symptoms to various fragrance ingredients.  Until recently, scientists believed that the brain was protected by an impermeable mechanism known as the “blood-brain barrier.”  This is only partly true.  Recent studies show that this system allows many environmental toxins including those found in perfumes and other scented products access to the delicate brain, and that once found in the brain can take decades to eliminate – decades that can result in substantial damage in the form of inflammation and plaque build up in the brain – two of the precursors to serious brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Some fragrance ingredients disrupt our natural hormonal balance, causing any number of possible emotional concerns, including:  anxiety, mood swings, and depression.  Feeling down?  It could be the scent you’re wearing.  Even if you can’t smell perfumes, you may be suffering ill effects from exposure.

Not all scented products were created equally.  Commercial brands of perfumes and colognes primarily comprise synthetic chemicals.  Even many natural products contain synthetic fragrance ingredients so it’s important to start reading labels on personal care products.  If there’s no ingredient list, the manufacturer may have something to hide.  Also, beware of “fragrance oils” masquerading as essential oils.  The former is synthetic, while the latter are derived from flowers, leaves, and other natural substances.

Shakespeare claimed: “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”  Thanks to today’s chemical industry, that is no longer true.  Worse than that, the potential health effects are anything but sweet.

Resources:  For more information about the studies cited or regarding the toxic ingredients in perfumes, fabric softeners and dryer sheets, and other household and personal care products, consult my book: The Brain Wash: A Powerful, All-Natural Program to Protect Your Brain Against Alzheimer’s, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Parkinson’s and other Diseases.

Read more: Bath & Shower, Beauty, Conscious Consumer, Eco-friendly tips, Hair Care, Health, Health & Safety, Home, Make-Up, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Skin Care, Smart Shopping, , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
8:33PM PDT on Mar 27, 2014

Great article.

6:16AM PDT on Aug 5, 2012

really scary, thank you for sharing.

8:15PM PDT on May 23, 2012

Thanks for sharing, found article very informative.

10:50AM PDT on May 22, 2012

I have to avoid the cleaning products aisle in the grocery store, cannot breathe in a mall, and now shop in the health food stores or on line for natural products. Only a few really natural companies left that make necessities. Aubrey's Organics, Dr Bronner's, and Bi-O-Kleen are the only ones who have resisted being bought out by the big corporations. Hope they continue.

3:40AM PST on Jan 17, 2012

Walking through a department store is now for me a death sentence. I cannot breath, my eyes are starting to itch, follow by a huge migraine that takes days to go away. I hate this industry! What is the point to sacrifice animals in labs to produce a product that still will affect our health? Such a waste of lives, poor creatures :(

7:45PM PST on Jan 12, 2012

I am actually allergic to cologne and perfume. I stop breathing. Anything scented has been banned which lead to me using better products anyway.

11:03AM PDT on Sep 9, 2011

Thanks for sharing the info!

5:09AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

Scary to think how long I've been wearing perfumes and never realized they were harmful.

4:23AM PDT on Jul 3, 2011

good to know

8:41PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

I shared this on my Facebook page. I hope more people will get the message that this stuff is toxic.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Hello I’m ashley connell, I want to say a special thanks to Dr.ezomo for helping me get cured f…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!