The word "fragrance" has become a loaded term, especially among natural product enthusiasts. Products that have a smell must obtain it somehow, and the devil is in the details.
What is the risk in a fragrance? Most fragrances are made of chemicals--or more likely, a combination of many chemicals. Usually, these chemicals are not tested for toxicity, either alone or in their various combinations. They can trigger allergies, migraines, and even asthma symptoms.
As of 2006, Canadian companies are required to state cosmetic ingredients on product labels. While a step in the right direction, these ingredients do not have to disclose everything. Byproducts of certain ingredients, such as the preservative formaldehyde, do not have to be disclosed. Similarly, fragrance recipes are considered proprietary, so the specific chemical combination does not have to be disclosed.
In a few of our products, such as our DMAE Restorative Cream, we have "fragrance" listed on the label. However, a "fragrance" from Life Choice is not the same as a "fragrance" from a generic perfume.
In our case, "fragrance" does not mean a mystery chemical cocktail. In DMAE Restorative Cream, for instance, the lemon fragrance is derived from lemon balm. In ancient times, the herb was used in homes and churches as a sort of potpourri. It also had numerous medicinal properties, prompting physician and alchemist Paracelsus to call it "the elixir of life."
Topically, lemon balm penetrates the skin well and offers protection against UV skin damage. It is also a potent antioxidant. With its dual purpose--a beautiful light scent and a powerful healing agent--we intentionally chose lemon balm for DMAE Cream. We will begin listing this on our labels and advertising in the interest of full transparency.
If the source of a fragrance is not stated, it is always safest to ask. Just because manufacturers do not have to list these details on their labels, it does not mean they should not somehow be made available. At Life Choice, we care about consumer safety, and any reasonable information we can provide for customer education, we will.