Why I Don’t Use Scentsy or Anything Else With Fragrance.

I must confess, I used to be the girl who had every Yankee Candle in her home – at least one in every room. I was especially drawn to the food smelling candles. I loved Bath and Body Works wallflowers and had those in every room in my house too. Car air fresheners were a must and leaving the house without my perfume on was a tragedy.

I never realized that all those things I was putting in my house and on and in my body were actually causing it harm. I mean really, it’s just a smell right? Wrong.

I was dead wrong. The toxins I was allowing to permeate and pollute the air in my home and car is nauseating to think about now that my knowledge has changed and I am privy to what exactly was (and still is) in those products.

“Education Is Power”

I would love to share this knowledge with you so you can make an educated choice. I would also encourage you not to just take my word for but do your own research as well. Environmental Working Group is a great place to start to learn all about ingredients in products. Also, emailing the companies directly for ingredients lists can be extremely helpful. *A word of caution – if a company will not share ingredients with you that is a HUGE red flag. If a company is not willing to be completely transparent, then they have something to hide. I do not ever patronize companies who aren’t transparent. Mine and my family’s health is at stake. I did email Scentsy on November 27, 2016 for an ingredients list for their products, since they are not listed on their website anywhere, and have had no response.

Wax and Wicks

Before I talk about fragrance I want to talk about wax and wicks in candles. Most candle wax is petroleum based (paraffin is a petroleum by-product.) There is no such thing as “high quality” paraffin. This wax is sourced from the refining of crude oil into gasoline. The petroleum sludge that is then left over is then bleached and deodorized to be used as wax for candles and such. In the refining of this petroleum, the process gives off the same soot as a diesel engine does. This kind of wax, when burned, releases Acetaldehyde (the same toxin Candida Yeast releases when dying off), Formaldehyde (increased risk for allergies and asthma), Toluene (a solvent that attacks the Central Nervous System), Benzene (produced from Toluene and causes fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, and nausea and attention disorders) and Acrolein (an herbicide that can change genetic structures). These are all dangerous toxins. When these are polluting our indoor air they are extremely hazardous to our health. Even the EPA says that if multiple candles are burned in a home the pollution exceeds the safe minimum for indoor air.

Most candle wicks have a lead wire core. When that wick is burned lead is released into the air for us to breathe into our lungs, get on our skin and get in our eyes. According to the EPA’s research, “Candles with lead wicks have the potential to generate indoor airborne lead concentrations of health concern. It is also possible for consumers to unknowingly purchase candles containing lead wick cores and repeatedly expose themselves to harmful amounts of lead through regular candle-burning.” Low level lead exposure, which this would be, can lead to neurobehavioral changes, hypertension, kidney disease, increased depression, phobic anxiety symptoms, mood and personality changes, irritability, aggressiveness, changes in sleep patterns, hyperactivity, learning difficulties, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, & lethargy.

Is the candle really worth it?

Fragrance and the Problem With It

There are 3,100+ registered chemicals that are choices to be used in formulating a fragrance. Did you read that? 3,100 chemicals!

When you see the word fragrance on a label for detergent, soap, perfume, candles, air fresheners, dryer sheets or any product it can often have upwards of 100 of those chemicals in it.  Fragrance is known as a “cluster ingredient” which means that one word name can contain hundreds of chemical components.

These 3,100 chemicals are ultra toxic to the human body. Lots of them are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors (thyroid or hormone issues anyone?), reproductive toxicants, and toxic disinfectants. They have been linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, neurological disorders as well as allergies and eczema. Fragrance is in the top 5 allergens when it comes to ingredients.

According to Therese Kerr fragrance has caused semen quality to drop 40%, genital malformations in babies, 400% increase in miscarriage, PCOS, thyroid problems, infertility, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, early puberty and early menopause. Of course fragrance isn’t the sole contributor to all cases as there are many other known causes but fragrance is a big part of the root cause of these problems. She also says that fragrance can mimic hormones (estrogens) and cause our natural, God given hormones to short circuit. Our bodies store toxins in our fat. Fragrance is a toxin and is stored in our fat. Our brain is at least 60% fat. It makes perfect sense why using fragrance throughout our days can cause neurological and CNS disorders. Fragrance is always absorbed into our bodies at 100% rate.

Scentsy and Other Companies Who Use Fragrance

Under the FAQ’s on Scentsy’s website it says “… enhance your home with more than 80 fragrances.”  They also say they use both synthetic and naturally derived fragrances. Naturally derived fragrances are things like beaver anal glands for an orange scent. Can you say yum? I really want that floating in my air and lungs. Synthetic, manmade esthers, ketones, lactones, terpenes, bezines, as amines, and aldehydes can be detrimental to long term health. Fragrance has all of these constituents in it.

As I said above, since Scentsy does not share any of their ingredients online, I emailed the company to ask for those ingredients. They have yet to respond.

On their website they talk about using “secret” ingredients. I’m not big on that in this day and age. I understand a proprietary blend where you know the ingredients but you don’t know the amounts but I don’t think it’s ok to have a secret ingredient anymore. It could be anything!

In researching Scentsy’s bar wax, their website says “Scentsy bar wax fragrance contain extremely low levels of non-harmful diethyl phalate (DEP)…” Even at very low levels DEP is a known danger to human development and reproduction, can cause allergies, immunotoxicity and is a known endocrine disruptor. So those little wax melts you have melting in every room of your home, you might want to think about getting rid of them. Trust me, from someone who knows, you don’t want allergies, thyroid problems, or reproductive problems. I have had all of the above and it can be miserable. This toxin DEP is rated number a 3 out of 10 on EWG’s website. It is on the lower end of the scale but in our home we don’t allow anything above a two rating. The more toxins you get out of your home and car the better your health can be. For excellent health it’s important to reduce your toxic load.

Lastly, Scentsy, has a product called Room Sprays that come in a variety of scents. This is what Scentys FAQ’s have to say about their room sprays, “Spray your Room Spray into the center of a well-ventilated room. Make sure you’re familiar with the consumer warning label on the back of the bottle.” There is a warning label on those sprays of course not pictured on the website! You have to buy the bottle to see what it says. With some research (because I refuse to buy it) this is what the label says: EYE IRRITANT – avoid contact with eyes.  If eye contact occurs, rinse with water.  If irritation persists, contact a physician.   Contains fragrance oils that may cause damage.  Do not spray on or permit contact with fabrics, or painted or finished surfaces.  Do no spray in automobiles or in confined areas.

Friends, do we really think this is freshening our air? It’s not. Instead, it is polluting it to dangerously toxic levels.

Don’t be fooled guys. It’s not just Scentsy. Look at your labels. Many products have fragrances in them. Wallflowers, Glade Plug-Ins, detergents, most candles unless they’re organic, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, conditioners, cosmetics, perfumes and lots more. Remember the word fragrance is a cluster ingredient and can mean any of upwards of 3,100 synthetic chemicals are included in that one name.

Become a label reader. Be aware of what you’re using and how you are making a deposit into your health bank account or a withdrawal. Vote with your dollars.

My family and I immediately know when we walk into a home that has synthetic air fresheners because we all start having symptoms of runny noses, headaches, restlessness, irritability, sneezing and more. Let’s clean up our indoor air folks!

I will be following up this post with many ideas on safe, non-toxic alternatives to using fragrance filled, petroleum laden, and lead containing synthetic products in your home.

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  1. What is your opinion about country scent candles? They say they are FDA approved and kosher certified 100% Soy products and use 100% pure essential oils? They also say its chemical and dye free (their waxes r white-ish) i got a couple of their products and it doesn’t seem to bother my asthma like bath n body Works and such does.

    • Jennifer

      Hi Patricia,
      Any “scented” candles are a not something I use. They are scented with fragrance which is what this article speaks strongly against. Furthermore, if they’re soy-based, chances are they are GMO soy and also not good to use. As far as the “100% essential oils” that honestly would mean nothing to me. Being a Certified Essential Oil Coach I know the importance of using essential oils that are either certified organic or wild-crafted using superior growing, testing and harvesting protocols. There are only a select few companies that do this when it comes to essential oils. We have used this brand, which meets all those criteria, for 5 years and stand behind their oils and company processes 100%. I also wanted to mention that FDA Approval means nothing in my opinion. In fact, it can often tell me it’s something to steer clear from. The FDA approves many things that are detrimental to our health like natural flavors which are a combination of up to 1000 chemicals including GMO substances. They do the same with fragrance which is also a conglomeration of nasty chemicals that I speak about in this article. They have approved putting propylene glycol in foods which is also known as anti-freeze. I could go on and on. So needless to say the FDA stamp of approval is not validating. If you want to use candles, use a beeswax version and if you want a scent then put some fresh, wildcrafted 100% pure essential oils in an ultrasonic diffuser and your health with thank you. Even if your asthma isn’t affected by these scented candles other parts of your body are (even if you can’t feel it. Thanks for reaching out!

      • Do you know much about Young Living essential oils? I have been using them for about a year now and they appear to be everything you describe although I am taking someone else’s word for it because I do not know how to read labels :-\

        • Jennifer

          Hi Shelly,
          I do know a good amount about Young Living Oils as well as doTERRA and a few other companies. It’s really important if you are using essential oils that you educate yourself about them and learn to understand their labels and chemistry as well as some other really important factors. True essential oils are very potent and should always be used with education and safety. That’s one of the things we prioritize in the FeastingOnJoy Oils family. We always make sure that our team is educated and knows how to use their essential oils safely and effectively.

          (I have a post scheduled on this very soon) When choosing a brand of oils there are several factors to consider. I won’t get into them all here because they will be in the blog post. As a Certified Essential Oil Coach, I don’t ever purchase oils that don’t meet all of the requirements I will share in that post. A few of the factors are that every single essential oil is grown indigenously. That means that it only grows in its natural environment and is not farmed un-naturally or without sustainability. The second major factor is that the plants are grown and harvested by knowledgeable farmers who know the exact times to plant, harvest and distill the plant matter. This can come down to a matter of hours to get the best potency from a plant’s oils. Another important item to consider is the testing that the company does on the plants AND oils. Do they test the soil, the water, the plant, the oil, the bottles? If not, the finished product could be riddled with synthetics, GMO’s, pesticides, herbicides, molds, funguses and heavy metals. Furthermore, is the company willing to share those results with its consumers openly? Transparency is VITAL! Does the company use third party testing to ensure that every single batch of oil is truly pure? Another important point is about when a company uses brokers – or a middleman. If and when a company uses these the bottom line is the profit margin, not the quality of the oil. Quantity is prioritized over quality. This causes many problems in the effectiveness and safety of the essential oil that goes to consumers. There are many other things to consider which I can’t get into now. Stay tuned for the blog post on this. Be sure you are subscribed so you will get notified.

  2. This is excellent and hits on so many issues with fragrance toxicity. Too many people believe its not doing them harm because they are having no immediate adverse event. Instead of thinking about that high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease they suffer from.

    • Jennifer

      So true Sherrie!

    • Yes, I hate when people say things like “Well I’ve used it all my life and it hasn’t hurt me”
      I’m just thinking, “How do you know you don’t have cancer or something manifesting in your body?! Just because they are fine right now, they think it’s fine forever. 😮

  3. Thank you for writing this. I developed a chronic blood cancer that causes high blood histamine among other things causing me to be allergic to the modern world. Chemicals and fragrances cause reactions that impact me for days afterwards. Migraines, brain fog, swelling of body allover causing horrible muscle and joint pains, extreme fatigue, asthma and hay fever like symptoms. I am due to fragrances and chemicals quite limited where I can go. Wearing a carbon filter mask helps some but many chemicals can be absorbed through our skin too.
    I am blessed by family and a few friends that get it and have gone to extra measures to make their homes safer for me and have quit using fragrances and chemical cleaning products and switching to natural products. I would love that to become the norm in our world!

    • Jennifer

      Hi Deb, I am so sorry about your blood cancer and your intense sensitivities to fragrance. It truly is a toxin. Have you looked into Dr. Pompa’s or Dr. Todd Watt’s work? They dive deep into repairing a person’s cells. I wonder if repairing your cells would help with the high blood histamine and chronic blood cancer? What a blessing that your family is supportive and understanding! That makes all the difference in the world. I would also love it to become the norm is our society! Maybe someday!

  4. So very true – it is great to see a well written article about this. And the added trouble with fragrance and the chemicals is it affects those around you. Those sprays don’t stay in your house, they are on you and can harm the people you come in contact with every day. People with allergies, breathing troubles and MCS all suffer from contact with fragrance on others – standing in line, in waiting rooms, on public transportation, etc. You, your family and your pets are healthier without them. Clean has no smell and can’t be reproduced in a candle or spray.

    • Jennifer

      Yes! Clean has no smell. You are so right Raya! Hopefully someday more and more people will understand the problem with synthetic fragrance and the chemicals in our world and we can move to a cleaner, safer existence.

      • I wonder if anyone else has noticed Febreeze and ozium make their lips tingle? I can spray the smallest amount, keeping my mouth closed, walk out of the room without breathing, and within seconds my lips are tingling. This is a BAD sign.

  5. what about soy candles??

    • Jennifer

      Hi Joe, Great question! Soy is not my first choice for a candle either. Soy candles (even 100% pure) still have to be manufactured with some parrafin. Some soy candles have more than others. Plus, soy is a genetically modified crop. My motto is that we vote with our dollars and if we purchase a GMO product we are only encouraging the manufacturers to make more. Plus, since it is GMO, it will be getting in your air and in turn into your lungs. It’s really not a good choice. My number one choice is a beeswax candle.

  6. This is super informative.
    Thanks for posting.
    Our world today is so polluted by fragrance chemicals!!

    It’s hard to find a safe bathroom to use with out risking getting sprayed by a fragrance emitting device on the wall.
    And the toxic mix of super strong irritant chemicals that exude from neighbors home dryers vents is overwhelming!!

    As cigarette consumption has decreased so has the production and marketing of these fragrance products.

    Companies must have venues to push their fragrant chemicals onto the unsuspecting consumer.
    How they get away with such false advertising ….using termed like Freshness, and removes odors is criminal!
    Cancer rates, Autismn, Asthma, all on the rise in the last decades…

    We are not powerless.
    We need to stop buying the hyped educate, and inform and lobby for truth in labeling.

    Essential Oils are not he answer either. They contain terpenes, and also create formaldehyde in the air.

    Thanks for this great article!

    • Jennifer

      Hi Liz, You’re welcome! I remember recently when I was in a dressing room at a store and they were literally pumping perfume through the vents right above me. It was awful! I got out of there quickly. The sad part is that I got home and the clothing I purchased still smelled like the nasty fragrance. I wrote the company. Hopefully, they stop! I would like to comment on what you said about essential oils too. The change I would make to your statement is “LOW Quality” essential oils are not the answer. They are just as harmful as chemicals because they are filled with synthetics which cause damage in our bodies. However, high quality, wild-crafted, filler free, chemical free, contaminant free essential oils can be amazing for scents and for healing benefits. Indeed, essential oils DO contain terpenes but they are God-made not man made and there is a HUGE difference in how our body processes them. In an extremely high ozonated area, like where a factory is present and there’s extremely high heat or a lot of vehicular traffic, limonene can produce some formaldehyde. However, these highly ozonated areas are not the norm at all so there is really not an alarm. It’s also good to know that the more house plants you have the more they can process things like formaldehyde out of your home air as well. Personally, I’d be more concerned about the paint, furniture, carpet, etc in my house off-gassing formaldehyde than an essential oil. Thanks for your comment. I love to hear from my readers!



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Jennifer | Feasting On Joy

Hi! I’m Jennifer

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