From the FDA
Drug by definition:
What about fragrances when they target our brains and brain functions, including moods and perceptions?
From the fragrance industry:
To use fragrance technology to transmit feelings directly to the brain
That sounds a lot like drugs to me!
From the FDA… Is it a drug?
Scent marketers can admit to targeting our brains and emotions with their concoctions, yet neither they nor the businesses they sell their products to are licensed psychiatrists whose services (or drugs) we’ve consented to receive, nor are they licensed to practice medicine or administer drugs to us, nor do they have our informed consent to alter our brains or bodies, and not only that, their “drugs” have not been approved as safe for any segment of the population, by any independent regulatory agency in existence.
The FDA on essential oils as drugs:
Why are other fragrances not regulated as drugs when they are clearly designed to alter our brains?
How are they making sure there are no adverse or negative “cognitive mediation” effects from the products they subject us to?
HINT: They aren’t! So many of us experience cognitive issues and brain fog after inhaling their substances! It is well known that even the best drugs can cause immediate adverse effects in some people. Some drugs cause birth defects in future generations. Who is making sure that these drugs are not harming current and future generations?
The fragrance industry is entirely self regulated.
Breathing is not optional. Our brains are our personal property. They are our body’s control centers. When external agents that include toxic chemicals are used to alter our brains without our informed consent, without our permission, is this not the same as being drugged without consent, or assault when the effects are painful as they are to those of us who get migraines, asthma, and otherwise become disabled by them?
Is It a Cosmetic a Drug or Both?
FDA does not approve cosmetics, although we do approve color additives used in cosmetics. It is the responsibility of cosmetic manufacturers to ensure, before marketing their products, that the products are safe when used as directed in their label or under customary conditions of use.
If fragrances contain ingredients that are also used in registered drugs, but they don’t make claims of acting like drugs, they “merely” have the same effects as the drug ingredients that they contain, does that mean they are or aren’t drugs?
On Mood Altering
(especially of drugs) capable of changing one’s emotional state.
From the fragrance industry:
“They can also contribute to feelings of irritation, stress, depression, and apathy”!
And there’s an “anatomical basis for this”
If exposure to fragrance chemicals affects the limbic system of our brains, and can alter our ability to think and function of our own free will, is that not the same as being drugged?
The FDA and fragrance industry’s own statements show fragrances are drugs!
The brain a part of our body. If a fragrance alters our brain function, it’s a drug!
Usually when we take drugs, they are prescribed by a licensed and trained practitioner, and we do so with informed consent, unlike date rape drugs (and fragrances) which are administered without consent, because someone wants to take advantage of us when we can’t resist. Fragrance chemicals are everywhere now, and avoiding them has become impossible.
Breathing is not optional.
Fragrances are volatile and permeate the air we all have to breathe. Remember how the non-smoking section signs did nothing to stop smoke from entering them. If there are fragrance chemicals in the building, be they for scent marketing, “freshening” the air (to cover up other chemical off-gassing), being worn or otherwise used by building occupants, then the chemicals are moving around everywhere.
These chemicals do not respect personal boundaries, or property lines. Laundry products with fragrance and other chemicals in them are ceaselessly crossing property lines as they are emitted from dryer vents that were designed to emit moisture, not toxic chemicals. Multi-unit building air is also contaminated as the molecules move and infringe on people’s right to enjoy fresh air in their own homes and outdoor spaces.
Clean has no smell.
Marketing manipulation has convinced people that everything has to be fragranced. Cost-cutting has reduced the amount of cleaning staff. Cost-cutting has also meant our products and materials are more toxic than ever before, continually off-gassing harmful chemicals into the air, and the air “freshener” industry conveniently stepped in with products to cover up the stench and deaden our ability to perceive clearly!
When fragrance chemicals are designed to alter our cognitive abilities and are released into the air we have to breathe, shouldn’t the ingredients be independently tested and regulated?
Shouldn’t the concoctions be independently tested and regulated for synergistic effects?
Shouldn’t those who are dispensing them be regulated and be required to get our informed consent before we are subjected to inhaling the
fragrances drugs which are designed to alter our ability to think clearly when used for scent marketing and selling products?
Olfaction Emotion & the Amygdala 2004_hughes(PDF)
“Particular emphasis is placed on the diversity of functions attributed to the amygdala. It’s role in modulating the encoding and retrieval of long-term memory is investigated with reference to lesion, electrophysiological, immediate early gene, and functional imaging studies in both rodents and humans. Additionally, the influence of hormonal modulation and the adrenergic system on emotional memory storage is outlined.”
If they are targeting the amygdala and limbic system with secret scent concoctions, could this not have something to do with the rise in amygdala related disorders?
Scents and sensitivity
Subliminal smells can have powerful effects
The findings do, however, demonstrate what might be a powerful method of manipulation. Indeed, Dr Li considers the potential uses to be vast. Business meetings might be made more pleasant by releasing appropriate fragrances into the air in unsmellable amounts. Conversely, fights might be started by putting people in the presence of a faint foul odour. Advertising hoardings might benefit from a little olfactory tweaking and cinema audiences could be reduced to floods of tears at the appropriate moment. The sweet smell of success might, in other words, actually be undetectable.
~ re “Subliminal Smells Can Guide Social Preferences” in Psychological Science (Wen Li, Isabel Moallem, Ken A. Paller, and Jay A. Gottfried, Vol. 18(12), 1044-1049).
Click > economist scentsandsensitivity for PDF
Psychologists must be licensed to practice. If stores, hotels, and other businesses are buying fragrance concoctions from the scent marketing industry to alter our perceptions, they are doing so without a license to practice on us.
Common Scents Marketing ~ Dr John Molot
… A drug is defined as any substance that is intended to affect the structure or function of the body.
These chemicals induce functional changes in the limbic system of our brain, making us feel relaxed and more open to suggestion. The aim of the exposure to specific scents is to achieve immediate behavioural responses – stay, browse, and buy. Our brains are being manipulated to make decisions that we might not otherwise make because we are being exposed to these chemicals. The scent industry has studies showing that using their products increases sales and profits. Are we actually being drugged?
The chemical ingredients used in scented products are proprietary, meaning that we do not have the legal right to know the contents. The scent industry might proclaim that their products are safe but the safety of these chemicals, both individually and in combination, is not well known. In particular, they have potential for neurotoxicity. If they can affect human function, they could also cause side effects, just like any other drug. Many people with chemical sensitivites, asthma, allergies, and migraines react strongly to these scents. Shouldn’t we at least be warned before entering the store that it could be hazardous to our health? …
Other people are required to have licenses to practice influencing our minds and brains.
When they mess up and case adverse health effects, there are repercussions.
What we breathe, we also absorb. What secret chemical blends are we actually absorbing? What other health effects do they have now and on future generations?
Chemicals used in fragrance concoctions have been linked to endocrine disruption, asthma, autism, learning disabilities, migraines, obesity, diabetes, respiratory problems, birth defects, digestive problems, central nervous system impairment, to name a few.
So why are these substances not regulated as drugs when it’s quite clear that they are not only drugs, but are capable of (and deliberately designed to) alter our brain functions, and are probably more harmful to health than cigarettes?
So what standards do apply?
“Perfume is a $6.1 billion industry in the U.S. and $29 billion worldwide. Add to that the billions more spent to create other fragrances used in soaps, lotions, deodorants, detergents and other household products.”
~ January 2015 by a former Republican congressman
The Scent Industry Expands Lobbying Efforts | Hill Climber
Industry Lobby Opposes Disclosure of Fragrance Ingredients
If their products are safe, why are they spending so much $ opposing regulations?
It looks like the EPA had concerns about the safety of fragrance chemicals in pesticides.
There is MORE regulation for the safety of fragrances used in pesticides (cides are designed to kill) than there are for fragrances we are subjected to on a 24/7 basis!
Benzene is used in air “fresheners”
“A 1948 toxicological review of benzene came to the conclusion that there is no safe exposure level”
A Few Other Serious Issues
Neurotoxins: As far back as 1986, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences identified fragrance ingredients as one of six categories of neurotoxins (chemicals that are toxic to the brain) that should be thoroughly investigated for impacts on human health. However, this research has not been demanded or funded. The FDA has taken no action on a petition submitted to the agency in 1999 requesting fragrance components to be listed on labels.
Role of perfumes in pathogenesis of Autism
The highly mutagenic, neurotoxic, and neuromodulatory chemicals found in perfumes are often overlooked and ignored as a result of a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which explicitly exempts fragrance producers from having to disclose perfume ingredients on product labels.
Physicians for Social Responsibility
What are the health hazards of exposure to fragrances in consumer products and cosmetics? How can our regulatory system effectively address such hazards?
EWG’s FRAGRANCE Score = 8 (7-10 = High hazard)
Prenatal exposure to common household chemicals linked with substantial drop in child IQ
“While avoiding all phthalates in the United States is for now impossible, the researchers recommend that pregnant women take steps to limit exposure by not microwaving food in plastics, avoiding scented products as much as possible, including air fresheners, and dryer sheets, and not using recyclable plastics labeled as 3, 6, or 7.”
Did you know some fragrance chemicals have narcotic effects? And that they can be addictive?
Intoxicating fragrance: Jasmine as valium substitute
Instead of a sleeping pill or a mood enhancer, a nose full of jasmine from Gardenia jasminoides could also help, according to researchers in Germany. They have discovered that the two fragrances Vertacetal-coeur (VC) and the chemical variation (PI24513) have the same molecular mechanism of action and are as strong as the commonly prescribed barbiturates or propofol.
… Via the air breathed in, the scent molecules go from the lungs into the blood and then transmitted from there to the brain. Electrophysiological measurements of neurons in the brain areas responsible for the sleep-wake cycle showed that the GABA-effect on those nerve cells active in sleep was enhanced by the fragrances.
“something that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning is…”
“Scent affects mood and scent affects emotion,” says Kevin Bradford, a marketing professor at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. “It works without you having the opportunity to filter it. To me, that is extremely unethical.”
According to Aradhna Krishna, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, scent marketing falls into the category of sensory marketing. In her book, Customer Sense: How the 5 Senses Influence Buying Behavior, she defines sensory marketing as “marketing that engages the consumer’s senses and affects their perception, judgment and behaviour.”
The Canadian Marketing Association’s code of ethics states that marketers must not knowingly mislead consumers. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission says it is unethical to transmit information below the consumer’s threshold of awareness. According to Bradford, “scent could be introduced to the environment at a level lower than what consumers could possibly detect, and it would still affect their emotions. Consumers should be able to detect the things that are influencing them.”
From the fragrance industry:
Given the information we have, shouldn’t this stuff be regulated at least as much as drugs are?
And if aromatherapy oils are considered drugs, then aromatic substances released into the air to affect our brains and emotions to make us shop more should certainly be regulated as drugs!
Not that I think for a minute that the FDA does an adequate job regulating drugs. Drugs which are by and large made of chemicals. Drugs which have caused countless deaths because the pharmaceutical (chemical) industry has hidden research showing adverse health effects. Drugs that are made of chemicals known to cause adverse health effects.
Phthalates, for instance, in addition to being in food packaging, toys, and many fragrances and fragranced products (including everyday personal care, laundry and cleaning products) are also used in drugs, supplements, and medical supplies.
This has to stop!
Not only are people becoming disabled and developing chronic health conditions from these products, the health and well-being of future generations is at stake.
In the meantime…
Until these substances are regulated the way they should be, (and the toxic ingredients removed from use) if we don’t want to be subjected to unauthorized drugging, cognitive impairments, and other disabling effects these chemicals cause, where exactly do we go to breathe fragrance-free air, buy fragrance-free food or clothing, or find anything else really, that hasn’t been contaminated with fragrance chemicals?
We are exposed to fragrances everywhere now. They have been added to so many products and places that they are impossible to escape, even when cloistered in a bubble, as almost everything we bring into the bubble has been contaminated by 2nd or 3rd hand fragrance residues from somewhere along the supply chain.
Instead of regulations that protect industry profits, we need regulations that protect our health, our environment, and the health of future generations.
Let’s make it happen! For us and for future generations!
We all need clean, drug and pollution free air to breathe.
Updated in 2018 to add:
The original post was written before the entire world was saturated with Essential Oils, and before so many of us were having adverse effects from them.
The distinction between chemical or artificial fragrances and others was included then because it was so rare to encounter EOs or natural perfumes then.
Essential oils are NOT fragrance-free, and they are not appropriate to use in places where other people could be harmed by them.
Some EOs also have strong medicinal effects, and it’s not cool to impose your medicines or drugs on others.
Updated in 2019 to add that this happened in early 2018:
What is the fragrance industry up to, and why should anyone trust that they have our health and well-being in mind?
They don’t make public any of the research they do on how they manipulate our brains.
They are self-regulated and spend a great deal of money lobbying to remain that way, and they are now joined at the hip with the pesticide industry, who has for years insured that their so-called inert ingredients remain secrets, despite research showing that the inerts can make a pesticide 1000 times more toxic than the so-called active ingredient(s) alone.
Both the fragrance and the pesticide industries are responsible for causing all kinds of misery and harm, including death.
What a shame that manufactured greed has taken over so many areas of our lives, that lives are no longer important to them.