How to avoid fragrance

  • Choose soaps, shampoos, deodorants, hand lotions, make up and other personal care and cosmetic products without “fragrance” or “parfum” (perfume) listed in the ingredients. Always read the ingredients.
  • Some products contain low levels of fragrance called a “masking fragrance” or “neutralizing agent.” The levels may be so low that they are not required to be listed in the ingredients, but they can still cause symptoms. Some of these products may even claim to be “unscented.” Contact the manufacturer if you have questions about a product. Masking fragrances are usually added to products made from petrochemicals or animal fats to disguise a basically unpleasant smell, so look for soaps made from vegetable oils and petrochemical-free products.
  • Many types of products that sometimes contain fragrance are not required to list all ingredients. Some are labeled fragrance-free, but otherwise finding fragrance-free brands can be a matter of trial and error.
  • Choose fragrance-free laundry products.
  • Choose fragrance-free dishwashing liquids and other cleaning products.
  • Instead of using “air freshener” deal with the source of the odour and/or improve ventilation. (Opening the windows more often may be all you need to do.)
  • Choose fragrance-free tissues and toilet paper.
  • Don’t use scented candles or reed diffusers.
  • Choose toys, felt-tip pens and other children’s stationery items without fragrance.
  • Some fragrance ingredients are also added to foods as “flavours.” Check ingredient lists.


For people sensitive to natural essential oils (terpenes)

  • Choose personal care and cosmetic products without essential oils. Check the ingredients list.
  • Don’t use essential oil burners, scented candles or reed diffusers made with essential oils.
  • Avoid scented flowers. Flowers with little or no scent include anemones, irises, tulips and many Australian native flowers.

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