With the arrival of Spring comes warmer temperatures, longer days, and bright and floral scents! Citrus and floral notes abound, especially in Spring scented candles. The store shelves are full of Lavender, Lemongrass, Sea Salt, Neroli, and coconut scented candles, room sprays, and other scented personal care products.
Are these fresh fragrances safe for your family and friends? Unfortunately, like most traditional candles and personal care products, Spring scented fragrance can contain potentially harmful toxins. We want to give you the rare opportunity to take a look at the ingredient list, so you can decide for yourself if it is something you want the special people in your life to inhale. We're also sharing some tips to help you find a truly non-toxic spring scented candle product.
Want to take a rare look at what is actually in those spring scented products?
Why haven’t you been able to take a peek at the ingredients in most candles and air fresheners? Unfortunately, components that go into giving a candle or any scented product its unique smell are considered a trade secret under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1966, manufacturers do not have to disclose the fragrance ingredients.
Nonetheless, many candle makers rely on synthetic fragrance oils from large suppliers for their products. These fragrances often contain chemicals which are harmful for your health. While candle makers may not disclose this information to their customers, fragrance suppliers are required by OSHA to provide Safety Data Sheets for their ingredients. The data sheets can tell us a lot about the safety of many ingredients.
The Safety of Spring Fragrance Oil Ingredients?
Safety Data Sheets (SDS), also known as the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), includes the properties of each chemical; physical, health, and environmental health hazards of the chemicals; protective measures; and safety procedures for storing and working with the chemicals.
OSHA regulations require laboratories, facilities or shops that use chemicals to have an SDS that is specific to each chemical used in the workplace. They also require the SDS be readily available during each shift to employees in the work area.
Unfortunately, this important safety information does not make it to the consumer purchasing the final product.
White Eucalyptus Fragrance Oil vs. our Lemongrass Eucalyptus Essential Oil Blend
We took a look at the Safety Data Sheet of the White Eucalyptus synthetic fragrance sold by a very major candle ingredient supplier.
This scent is marketed as the perfect self care scent that is infused with natural essential oils:
"Let your worries drift away with White Eucalyptus fragrance oil. This refreshing self-care scent starts with soothing marine and spearmint top notes that interplay with a calming heart of eucalyptus. This fragrance is infused with essential oils, including eucalyptus, spearmint leaf, juniper, nutmeg, lemon, and clove leaf."
The Safety Data Sheet that the end consumer (You!) never get to see, tells a different story.
Contains following warnings:
Harmful if swallowed. Causes skin irritation. May cause an allergic skin reaction. Causes serious eye irritation. Combustible liquid. Very toxic to aquatic life. Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects.
And finally, we get to the disclosed ingredients:
- Benzyl benzoate
- Benzyl acetate
- Linalyl acetate
- Allyl cyclohexanepropionate
- Cyclohexanone, 2-1(1Methylpropyl)-
- Cyclohexanol, 5-Methyl-2-(1-Methylethyl)-
- Acetyl cedrene
- Benzyl salicylate
- Amyl salicylate
- Hexyl cinnamic aldehyde
- ethyl linalool
- alpha-isoMethyl ionone
This fragrance is the perfect example of why we caution to avoid companies that tout their fragrances that are “infused with essential oils.” These manufacturers tend to use a splash of essential oils mixed into their synthetic chemical concoctions. Instead, we recommend companies that use only pure 100% natural essential oils to scent their candles, and other personal care items like bath soaks.
In comparison, our best-selling scent Lemongrass Eucalyptus contains 100% essential oils and we give 100% ingredient transparency directly on the candle label, which is a rarity in the candle industry. Our candle's ingredients include:
- Lemongrass oil: CYMBOPOGON FLEXUOSUS STAPF (steam distilled)
- Eucalyptus oil: EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS (steam distilled)
- Lavender oil: LAVENDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (steam distilled)
Why don't more candle companies and personal care companies use 100% essential oils to scent their products? In short, essential oils are extremely expensive and have a much lighter scent throw than traditional fragrances. Typical product manufactuers are looking to get the strongest scent throw as possible, with the cheapest ingredients possible.
Let's take a look at one more spring fragrance: Grapefruit Mint
This fragrance is also marketed as being infused with natural essential oils. Here are the disclosed ingredients:
- Methyl hydrogenated rosinate
- Linalyl acetate
- Patchouli oil
- alpha Terpineol
- Isobornyl acetate
- Cedarwood oil, Virginian
- Eucalyptus oil
- Cassia oil
- Ethyl vanillin
- Phenylacetaldehyde dimethyl acetal
- Clove leaf oil
- Palo Santo: BURSERA GRAVEOLENS (steam distilled)
- Pink Grapefruit: CITRUS PARADISI (distilled - peel)
- Black Pepper: PIPER NIGRUM
Shopping For Non-Toxic Spring Scents
There are many things to look for when trying to find a truly non-toxic spring candle. However, here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind while shopping:
- Search for transparent companies. Companies that truly care for the health of their customers will disclose, either on the product itself or their website, the ingredients used in their candles and other scented products. If they use the word fragrance in their ingredients, they are not being transparent.
- Be sure a scented product uses pure essential oils, not synthetic fragrances or “essential oil infused” fragrances. Companies who use pure essential oils will gladly disclose this to their customers.
- Avoid candles that use traditional paraffin or soy-based waxes. Both traditional and soy candle wax contain harmful petroleum byproducts. Beeswax is a healthy, natural alternative.
- Check the candle wick. While wicks are required to no longer contain lead cores, many candle makers use paraffin coated cotton wicks. When burnt, these wicks can release trace amounts of harmful byproducts.
- Look for companies with third-party testing and certification that clearly states their products are non-toxic.
Fontana Candle Company for 100% Spring Scents
Luckily for us, spring scents can be easily crafted for enjoyment with pure essential oils. We highly recommend essential oil blends containing lavender oils, lemongrass oils, citrus oils, ylang ylang, and others like geranium and eucalyptus. Until candles and air fresheners are required to have their ingredients disclosed on their labels, the only way to play it safe is with pure essential oils, and with companies that are independently certified as safe and nontoxic through third party verifications like MADE SAFE® and EWG Verified.
At Fontana Candle, we believe the air you breathe should be as safe as the food you eat and the water you drink. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to create truly non-toxic, clean burning candles. We've carefully selected all of the ingredients in our candles and only work with trusted suppliers. Our candles are simple: they're made from hand-poured beeswax and coconut oil, 100% pure essential oils, and wooden wicks. No synthetic fragrances, no petroleum byproducts, and no toxins. Better yet, Fontana candles are the first to be MADE SAFE® certified!
Shop our collection of non-toxic spring candles and essential oil blends to find the perfect scent for your home or gift for a loved one!