Allergies come from Allergens (alteration of genes expression)

The fragrances and aromas, whether be natural or synthetic affect virtually all aspects of our lives. Were the fragrances and aromas to disappear, we would find ourselves living a bland, deprived and dimension-less life!  Consider how the scents and aromas contribute to your daily life and enrich the experiences – adding a spark of spirit and memory.

So, what has gone wrong?

The size of today’s fragrance industry is a result of research and development (R&D) activities that generated synthesis of new aroma-chemicals derived from synthetic resources including a vast variety from petrochemicals, resulting in rapid industry growth since 1860. Mainstream perfumery, behind the scenes, has been striving constantly to lower prices and to improve performance of perfumery ingredients, i.e. to make them more stable and last longer.  Before the year 1860 perfumery was mainly natural, using only naturally derived substances. Even today, the practice of Natural Perfumery exhibits subtle interweaving of Art & Science, and this is where Belle’Botanique fills the much-needed gap, and aims to satisfy a growing demand for aesthetically pleasing, safe and natural perfumes.

How this vicious circle of Allergies – Endocrine (Hormonal) Disruption, Contact Dermatitis got intertwined with perfumes and fragrances?

The great cycle of the chemical industry – identification, isolation, laboratory synthesis, large-scale synthesis and commercialization with lower costs and prices – had begun in perfumery and flavor industry after Coumarin was synthesized in 1868.  But to minimize or reduce the impacts of potential toxic chemicals to human health and the environment, was not fully understood and was not taken as a priority while the fragrance and perfume industry kept growing without appropriate regulations and toxicological methods in place.

In this day and age, in a mainstream perfume, a fragrance formula (‘perfume’) may contain up to several hundred or more, synthetic and natural ingredients. There Are More Than 5,000 Chemicals Are Used In Perfumery, Most Of Them Have Not Been Tested or Fully Tested For Toxicity. Contact allergies to fragrance chemicals are among the most common findings in studies of allergy in the general population. Contact allergy to fragrance ingredients (aroma-chemicals) occurs when a susceptible individual has been exposed on the skin to the allergenic chemical, for example through their presence in a cosmetic product. Once a contact allergy has been developed (can happen to anyone), cells capable of recognizing and reacting towards that allergen will always be present in the immune system. An allergy can be a life-long condition, which involves specifically altered reactivity of the immune system and recognition of the fragrance allergen(s) by immune cells.

The best option is to break the cycle of allergy development by reducing and eliminating the exposure to those specific allergens, and improving skin barrier-properties by using good quality natural skincare.

Allergens: Pre-Hapten, Pro-Hapten, Hapten

For most aroma-chemicals, the parent compound is often a very weak allergen. But the same compound can become a potent sensitizer either by oxidation (pre-hapten) or by enzymatic activity in the skin (pro-hapten).

  • Compounds that can be activated to skin sensitizers by enzymatic activity in the skin are called Pro-haptens.
  • A Pre-hapten is a chemical that can be transformed into a hapten outside the skin, mainly by air oxidation. Pre-haptens are activated to skin-sensitizing compounds via the spontaneous oxidation reaction known as autoxidation.

Once a prehaten or a prohaten turns into a hapten, this means that they can provoke an immune reaction in the body by attaching themselves to a carrier protein. Once a hapten is attached to a carrier protein (gene), that creates an alteration of gene expression -allergy!

 26 Most Commonly Known Allergens

7th amendment of Directive 76/768/CEE (directive 2003/15/CE of 02/27/03) or Regulation (EC) n°1223/2009 outlines only 26 allergenic substances. Most of these allergens are isolated compounds, which can be found in natural essential oils. Please understand that Isolated compounds are single odor molecules that can be extracted from natural raw materials or can be synthesized in a lab.

YOU MAY WONDER WHAT ABOUT OTHER 4,000 OR MORE CHEMICALS, WHY THEY HAVE NOT BEEN TESTED OR INCLUDED IN THE ALLERGEN-LIST? Why only these 26 substances are listed as allergens, which are found in natural oils. To give you an example, Linalool is an allergen. Lavender oil (soothing properties are well documented) contains approximately 30% Linalool. You get my point, if you use Lavender oil in your perfume formulation, you can not say that it is allergen-free. Because Lavender oil contains an allergen called Linalool. But, you can use other synthetic chemicals, which have not been fully tested for toxicity without declaring them on the label.

If isolated from natural essential oils, botanical extracts, the parent oil/extract is rarely allergenic. We do not have enough scientific studies on various essential oils/extracts, proving them to be allergenic, but only on the isolated compounds like d-Limonene, which is found in citrus oils and also present in Frankincense oil. From our research we do know that Frankincense oil is not an allergen.

As I mentioned that these Isolates can be synthesized in a lab at a fraction of cost, and the real problem of allergy cycle is there, not in the whole natural oil/botanical. Just one tablespoon of Pure Rose Oil may cost you $300, but you can buy Synthetic version of rose oil in $300/kg.

As per the EU Regulation 1223/2009, Rose oil whether be pure or synthetic, contains allergens such as citronellol, geraniol etc. But, I have not come across any person yet who is allergic to Pure Rose Oil (there may be a few out there). It is my understanding that pure natural oils contain a large number of other compounds, some of them beneficial, which contribute to the overall activity of that natural oil/extract – the Nature’s Chemistry!

Considering All the Above, You Can  Imagine How Important and Valuable It Is To Make A Natural Allergen-Free Perfume! And, that is what we have achieved in ‘Jungle Dew’ Eau de Parfum Spray and ‘ Amyris Vetiver’ Parfum Spray, both are allergen-free. Free from all the 26 allergenic substances listed in the European Regulation (EC) n°1223/2009.

Enjoy the Launch Party!

Thanks & Regards,

Josh Adams aka Manoj