Article of Interest: The Surprising Reason Perfume Prices Are Skyrocketing

perfume fragrances tilt hand

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

The Surprising Reason Perfume Prices Are Skyrocketing” by CNN.

Fragrance sales have boomed through the pandemic, fueled by robust demand for higher-priced eau de parfums — perfumes with a higher percentage of fragrance oils that make the scent last longer once applied. Looking at perfumes alone (excluding home scents), sales last year surged 52% over 2020.
In the category, fragrances priced over $175 more than doubled in the number of units sold 2021, the report said.

Fragranced personal care may be problematic for those with chemical intolerance, according to Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“Fragrances applied directly to the skin and the fragranced detergents and fabric softeners used to launder clothing and bedding create invisible clouds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which lie directly in their personal breathing zones and are readily measurable there,” Miller said. “In close quarters, elevators, meeting rooms, and during home quarantines, these exposures can pose a health hazard for others, precipitating asthma, headaches,  confusion, sudden anger, even seizures.”

Miller said people are often unaware of the impact of fragrances, most of which did not exist until after WWll after the increased production of scented personal care products.

“Living in a cloud, customers’ awareness of symptoms resulting from their fragrances decreases,” Miller said. “The more fragrances they use, the less aware they become of any adverse effect. How can they tell if fragrances are making them sick? The only way is to eliminate all fragrances from your life and then test them one by one. Many people are addicted to fragrances and unaware of the adverse effects.”

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

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