Pumpkin Spice and everything not so nice?
When you love Fall as much as we do, it is easy to get caught up in the Pumpkin Spice craze. But we want you to think again when it comes to that Pumpkin Spice fragrance candle. You are probably aware that it is not actually made of Pumpkin, but have you ever had the opportunity to take a look at the ingredient list?
We are sure you haven’t because manufacturers don’t have to tell you what chemicals are used to create a fragrance. Because the 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.
How are we able to catch a glimpse at some of these fragrance chemicals?
We took a look at the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) of the Pumpkin Chai fragrance, sold by CandleScience, a leading candle ingredients supplier in the United States
What is a Safety Data Sheet, exactly?
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.
The Disclosed Ingredients
- Benzyl benzoate
- Ethyl maltol
- Ethyl vanillin
- Benzenemethanol, 4-Methoxy-,Acetate
It is important to remember that fragrance manufacturers do not have to disclose all of their ingredients. The SDS sheet could only be showing us a portion of the chemicals in this fragrance.
This SDS sheet carries the warning: "very toxic to aquatic life. Toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects."
You have to have a chemistry degree to understand these ingredients, but here are some of our favorite takeaways:
- Benzyl Benzoate is also used to treat lice and scabies infections.
- Ethyl vanillin and Maltol are synthetic flavoring agents.
After taking a look at this ingredient list, we would understand if you don’t feel as warm and comfortable as you did before with your Pumpkin Spice candle. Unfortunately there is no way to make a pumpkin scented candle without using synthetic ingredients. We wish there was a pumpkin essential oil, but there isn't.
So, what do we recommend for a safe swap?
Essential Oils for 100% Natural Fall Scents
There are many things to look for when trying to find a truly non-toxic fall candle. It is important to remember that there is no natural way to make a Pumpkin candle. However, you still have natural options with many essential oils. For Fall, we highly recommend essential oil blends containing cinnamon oils, clove oils, and other spices. 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 verification like MADE SAFE® and EWG Verified.
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 fall and winter holiday candles to find the perfect scent for your home or gift for a loved one!