Fragrance in cosmetics

fragrance in cosmetics

I’ve always been obsessed with perfume and I’m slowly building quite a big collection. But I don’t want fragrance anywhere near my face. Here’s why:

Definition of Fragrance

In the beauty world, the word fragrance has two meanings:
1. It is a scent, made of a mixture of essential oils and aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents that you wear on your body to give it a pleasant smell.
2. It is a scent that is added to beauty products to neutralize the odour of the chemicals used in it and give it a nice smell, so that it will be more appealing to customers.

Benefits of fragrances

As stated above, fragrances can be used in cosmetics to cover the unpleasant odour of the substances that make up the product. More importantly, though, they can evoke memories, a sense of joy and well-being, and they can lift your mood (but they can also make you wrinkle your nose), making you choose a particular products over another.

Side effects of fragrances

Fragrance is one of the main causes of allergic reactions and irritations, especially in people with sensitive skin. Fragrances are composed of many different substances, both natural and synthetic (both types can irritate your skin) so it isn’t easy to identify which one (or combination of a few) causes the problem. Fragrances can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion or absorption. Fragrances can trigger the following reactions:
asthma, headaches and nausea;
eye, nose and throat irritation (symptoms include watery eyes, sore throat, cough and sneezing);
skin reactions including Irritant Contact Dermatitis (itchy, scaly skin, or a red rash), Allergic Contact Dermatitis (redness, itching, swelling or hives), Eczema (dry and flaky skin appears over red areas, itching, burning), Hives (red and swollen bumps, may burn, itch or sting)

What does fragrance-free mean?

Nowadays you can find lots of products labelled as fragrance free or unscented. Fragrance-free means that no fragrance has been added to the product. However, every ingredient used in cosmetics has its own odour, which is why you can often still detect a scent.


Fragrance formulas are considered trade secrets, therefore manufactures are only required to state fragrance or perfume on the label and not the whole list of ingredients used to formulate these scents. However, in Europe, fragrance ingredients that are known allergens must be printed on the packaging so that those with allergies can easily avoid them.

Do you like scented cosmetics?

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  1. beautifulwithbrains says

    Dao: thanks. I prefer fragrance-free products too.

    Nikki: you’re welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    jojobs: I’m glad you like the post. I prefer fragrance-free products too although I find it hard to find them here.

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