fragrance vs. perfume

Fragrance vs. Perfume 

Who doesn’t love a fragrance or perfume that transports us to the serenity of an English garden? Or conjures images of gorgeous beaches? 

When I lived in Paris I loved going to Galeries Lafayette and smelling all the glorious new perfumes. Later I realized that the majority of the so called “perfumes” were actually made in a lab and not from a flower.


First, what is a perfume and who created the first? The Egyptians created the first perfumes for use in religious ceremonies and for the body.

A perfume, according to the Oxford dictionary “A fragrant  liquid typically made from essential oils extracted from flowers and spices, used to impart a pleasant smell to one’s body or clothes“. This to me is the perfect definition. The words chemical, synthetics or manmade do not exist. A perfume is intimate and personal; an aroma that conjures pleasant memories. A perfume is an image and creation that lingers once you leave the room.

Our perfume flourish is essential oils infused in organic sunflower seed oil, and not in an alcohol or chemical.


A Fragrance is a sweet aroma. A conventional fragrance or perfume contains chemicals derived from petroleum that is linked to environmental health effects. Over eight hundred million pounds of chemicals are used each year to make fragrances. These ingredients or components of the average fragrance or perfume are considered to be the most prominent toxins to the environment.

The chemicals are the reason that a lab made fragrance will stay on your skin and in your body longer.

“Fragrances, because they evaporate and we inhale them, need more rigorous evaluation,” says President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and pollution policy advisor for Environmental Defense. “We don’t know what the effects might be because cosmetic ingredients don’t need to be tested for safety before marketing.”

Indeed as long as a decade ago, several ingredients used in fragrances were the subject of an investigation by the US National Academy of Sciences which labeled them as being on a par with insecticides and solvents in terms of the damage they could do to us.

Up to 100 chemicals may be used in an average fragrance, most of which are petro-chemicals i.e. derivatives of the petroleum industry with many suspected to be harmful. In 2004, Pat Thomas from the ‘Ecologist’ magazine analyzed a typical and well selling fragrance product, listing the ingredients and possible effects of the chemicals used. There is wide cause for concern as to the health of those who use them. Studies have shown that the synthetic fragrant chemicals are being found in breast milk, with one comparison study measuring levels as having increased fivefold in the last ten years alone. 

So the next time you traipse through a boutique or your favorite department store, think twice before spraying. Choose instead an organic blend made from true ingredients, true beauty: HollyBeth Organics