Home fragrances have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the beautiful aromas and scents emitting feelings of calmness and wellness – as well as making each room smell better. But are some fragrances better than others, and what are the benefits of going natural?
In this article, we’ve compared natural products to synthetic alternatives, outlined the ingredients to avoid, and identified the key benefits of organic fragrances.
What are natural fragrances?
Perhaps the most important question if you’re shopping for home scents, what are natural fragrances?
Well, simply put, a natural fragrance is an aromatic blend of organic ingredients that help to improve the feel and atmosphere of a room. They’re often sold as scented candles, practical mist spray, and natural oils. Your natural fragrance of choice can be used to improve wellness through aromatherapy.
Natural scented candles are crafted from all-natural wax, and typically include a blend of organic essential oils to give you a clean-burn that improves wellness. They’re a popular pick thanks to their incredible practicality – all you need is a candle and matches. It’s important to take great care when choosing candles, though, as some manufacturers include toxic chemicals in both the wax and wick.
Even simpler than lighting a candle, a mist spray can travel with you and be used to give you home, furniture pieces, and clothing items a quick aroma boost – all at the push of a little trigger. Natural sprays are created using a blend of organic oils, which are then refined to give a misty fragrance that adds an instant pop.
Essential oils are perhaps the most popular type of natural home fragrance among people hoping to experience the benefits of aromatherapy. Packaged in a little vial, you only need to add a couple of drops to an oil burner or diffuser, and you’ll instantly fill your room with a beautifully natural scent.
What are synthetic fragrances
In contrast to natural fragrances, synthetic fragrances are created using laboratory-made smells rather than organically occurring aromas. These synthetic room scents are made to replicate traditional smells, and while they often achieve their goal, they’re typically full of harmful chemicals.
Why choose natural fragrances?
When given the choice between natural or synthetic home fragrances, you’re almost-always better off choosing the former. This is because of the presence of plasticizers, carcinogens, and toxic chemicals in many synthetic products, which are often added to extend the shelf life and strengthen the smell.
These noxious inclusions can become seriously unhealthy over time, and in the most severe cases lead to significant physical illness. With this in mind, always keep an eye out for signs that a home fragrance is natural and organic.
What ingredients should you avoid in home fragrances?
When buying home fragrances, it can be easy to get caught up in complicated lingo and unfamiliar language, both of which are tools often employed by brands hoping to hoodwink you into purchasing low-quality or harmful products. With this in mind, try to avoid aromatics that contain:
- Paraffin – while relatively affordable and colourful, paraffin is a harmful bi-product of crude oil. It’s what’s left over when the oil is refined, and can give off toxic fumes when exposed to heat. The chemicals emitted are even linked to cases of cancer.
- Benzene – despite its sweet odour and extreme flammability, both reasons for its presence in many candles, benzene is far from harmless. In fact, as well as being a well-known carcinogen, this toxic chemical is also associated with anaemia and breathing difficulty.
- Phthalates – sometimes added to candles and fragrant oils to improve shelf life and scent strength, phthalates are harmful when heated. The toxic chemical is linked to asthma and respiratory issues, diabetes, and even reproduction, with the fumes particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women.
Instead, when browsing fragrances, keep an eye out for a simple ingredient list that demonstrates an organic approach. For instance, consider those that include floral and fruity essences, naturally occurring essential oils, and clean-burning beeswax.
The benefits of natural fragrances in the home
It might seem as though we’ve already looked at the benefits of natural fragrances, but we’ve barely scratched the surface. To give you even more reasons to go organic, we’ve revealed the main advantages of choosing natural candles, mist sprays, and essential oils.
1. Reduce stress and anxiety levels
Stress and anxiety are likely to affect most of us at some point in our lives, whether through personal experience or via a friend or loved one. And while impossible to combat completely, there are simple ways you can manage the situation.
One straightforward way is through aromatherapy, by purchasing natural home fragrances like candles and essential oils. This is because essential oils like lavender, lemongrass, and rose are proven to relax the nervous system when inhaled. In fact, as well as anxiety, natural fragrances are also known to reduce the impact of mood swings and depression.
2. Improve energy and focus
Natural fragrances like essential oils are proven to boost energy and enhance feelings of focus, including positively impacting memory and creativity. In fact, enjoying the aroma of your favourite smells is widely considered to be a healthy way of making it through a slump, whether you’re tired from exhaustion or boredom.
Certain organic scents are known to reinvigorate and awaken your senses, which can raise focus levels and concentration, and boost overall brain functionality. In turn, this will stimulate your mental faculties and keep you energised throughout the day – or at least long enough to make it over the hump!
3. Relieve pain and speed up recovery
Of course, adding natural fragrances around your home for their aromatherapeutic benefits can’t replace physiotherapy or medical treatment, but they do hold a series of physical advantages.
Most notably, candles and essential oils are known to trigger receptors in the brain that relieve pain and swelling, especially following an operation. This, combined with the mental and stress-reducing benefits of natural fragrances, can help to make recovery that little bit more bearable and manageable.
4. Boost immunity against illness and infection
Other physical benefits of aromatherapy include a boosted immune system, which can help you combat various common bacterial and viral illnesses and infections.
Of course, candles and oils might not necessarily be enough on their own, but they can contribute to improved immune response. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of common essential oils like eucalyptus and ginger, which are both known to fight infection.
5. Improve digestion
Being able to effectively break down food and nutrients is essential in everyday life, so you’ll be pleased to find out that enjoying natural home fragrances can actually aid digestion and prevent indigestion. In fact, they can also curb feelings of hunger!
This is because the aromas released when you light an organic scented candle or set of essential oils trigger the food receptors in your brain, which alert your body to prepare for digestion.
6. Boost your social battery
It might sound peculiar, but having natural fragrances around the home will actually boost your social battery. This is because the aromas emitted can stimulate feelings of agreeableness, trustworthiness, and confidence, which each contribute to improved social experiences.
7. Enhance sleep and relaxation
Finally, and perhaps the most commonly associated benefit of aromatherapy; candles, mist sprays, and essential oils are proven to promote enhanced relaxation, due to the strong relationship between smell and sleep. In fact, research shows that the likes of lavender, rose, and jasmine all hold aromatherapeutic properties.
Quickly and easily create a bedroom environment that’s conducive to high-quality rest with the inclusion of natural fragrances, whether it’s an evening candle or quick burst of your favourite spray. Incidentally, they can also help you to feel perkier and more refreshed when you do awake.
So, that concludes our guide to home fragrances, and why you should opt for natural products. If you’re feeling inspired and looking for extra ways to inject organic additions into your home, explore our selection of environmentally-friendly bedding, or discover even more from our experts over on the Ethical Bedding blog.