How to find perfume for a pregnant woman

Question: I love wearing perfume but have read reports that some perfumes contain up to 400 different chemicals, some of which may have a harmful affect on baby. Where can I find a safe perfume to wear whilst pregnant?

Perfume without parabensChemicals collectively known as Phthalates are a type of plastic used in perfumes to make them last longer and are at the heart of the issue. Not always listed on lists of ingredients, Phthalates are often hidden in catch all terms such as ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’. Presently there is no regulation obliging manufacturers to disclose their full list of ingredients.


Research linking phthalates to infertility in boys and testicular cancer are the key concerns for many pregnant women.


There is no definitive proof that environmental chemicals cause problems in humans. The UK based association, Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) writes on its website: “All scientific reviews to date around the world by key scientific experts and governmental agencies have concluded that DEP (the main phthatlate) is safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products under the current conditions of use.”

Professor Richard Sharpe, of the Medical Research Council’s Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, said to the Scotsman newspaper: “Women could stop using body creams and perfumes. Although we do not have conclusive evidence that they do harm, there are components about which there are question marks; for example it could be certain combinations of chemicals.”

Perfume with fewer chemicals

Pregnant women wishing to apply caution can find perfumes with fewer chemical ingredients using the safe cosmetic database published online by the US-based Environmental Working Group (EWG).

Phthatles free perfumes

Perfumes available in the UK stating that they do not contain phthalates include:

Alquimia make phthalate free perfume in the Pyrenees. Alquimia is available at LoveLuLa. From: £37.50 for 100ml

Florame is a certified organic perfume carrying the Ecocert label and does not contain synthetic colouring agents, ethoxylated emulsifiers, parabens or synthetic fragrances. Fragrances range from neroli orange blossom to vanilla. From: £16.99 for 100ml

Jo Wood fragrances are also certified organic by Ecocert. ‘Amka’ is an uplifting floral and citrus eau de toilette and is 95% organic.

From: £36 for 50ml

Patyka create luxury perfumes in several key fragrances. They are free from phthalates and are certified organic by Ecocert. Patyka scents are available direct or from Puresha. From: £80 for 50ml bottle or £35 for 15ml spray

REN Rose Maya fragrance does not contain synthetic fragrance, phthalates, petrochemicals, sulphate detergents or parabens. From: £39.25 for 50ml

Tsi-La produce natural perfume oils that are free from phthalates, parabens, sulphates and petrochemicals. Tsi-La is available at Puresha. From: £30 for 4ml

(Prices correct at January 2011)


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