What Is Fragrance?

Woman smelling lavender flowers

We all love pleasant aromas. Whether it’s that of a flower, an aromatic herb, a perfume, a cream, or even a soap, often our first inclination is to smell. The dictionary defines fragrance as “something compounded to give off a sweet or pleasant odor.” Its composition, however, determines what type of fragrance it is as well as its uses.

Types of Fragrances

Fragrances can be made naturally or synthetically. Natural fragrances contain only components from natural sources, like herbs, flowers, or fruits, using methods like steam distillation.

Synthetic fragrances are formulated to mimic natural fragrances using lab-made ingredients. These fragrances can either be made synthetically very similar in chemical composition to natural fragrances or artificially, meaning its composition is not found in nature.

Types of fragrances information

Can Fragrances Affect Your Skin?

Natural fragrances, like essential oils, are completely safe for skin when diluted or mixed into a product. On the other hand, while synthetic fragrances aren’t necessarily harmful to your skin, it’s important to note that these fragrances can sometimes trigger reactions in some people.

Person spraying perfume on arm

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What type of skin do I have?

  • Is my skin delicate or sensitive?

  • Have I had reactions to any skincare products?

  • Do I have a skin condition? (Psoriasis, eczema, rosacea)

Not everyone will experience sensitivity to synthetic fragrances, however, it’s best that those with delicate skin opt for a more natural alternative.


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