I've been making products for 10 years and I've met customers from all over. Many will say to me "I'm allergic to lavender." I am always curious to know if they are actually allergic to lavender essential oil or lavender fragrance oils and trust me, there's a huge difference. Many fail to realize that most products use lavender fragrance not essential oil of lavender. What's the difference you ask, well essentials oils are distilled from the bark, root, leaves and other materials of a plant, shrub or tree. Also, essentials oils are used for aromatherapy because of the ir therapeutic and healing properties. A product that has a "lavender fragrance" or "parfum" is a scent created in a lab using sometimes up to 100+ chemicals to try to mimic the smell of lavender or whatever scent that is chosen to emulate. (strawberries, vanilla, mango etc.) Fragrance or parfum, in most cases, are a lot cheaper that essential oils and they can be used to create scents that nature can't create. For example, there aren't any strawberry or mango essential oils. Wouldn't it be nice if there was? Fragrance oils do not have any therapeutic or healing properties as essentials oils. Many are known to cause allergic reactions, headaches and skin irritations.
Here are some pointers when reading the labels of products to see whether it's made from a natural fragrance or a synthetic scent. There are key words that are used. For example, if a product is using a synthetic scent it's usually listed as "perfume," "parfume" or "fragrance." Naturally scented products usually lists the name of the essential oils being used, for example, lavender essential oil, geranium essential oil, etc. Sometimes companies use both fragrance oils and essentials oils and in that case, both would be listed.
Once you begin to smell the difference between natural & synthetic scents you'll notice a huge difference between the scents. I am always shocked at the difference between the smell of real lavender & the fake one. Sometimes the scents are so completely different I wonder how companies get away with calling the fake version lavender. The downfall (if you would want to call it a downfall) of choosing products using essentials oils is that you may have to give up your favorite synthetic smell like "Black Raspberry" and "Fun Frosted Cranberry" only because there isn't an essential oil for cranberry, coconut or raspberry but on the on the other hand you may find yourself discovering new scents like the essential oil of lemongrass, bergamot, grapefruit & peppermint.
The next time you think you may be allergic to a particular scent or you feel like the smell of a product is giving you a headache, flip it over and read the ingredients, it's probably made with a synthetic fragrance.