Fragrance doesn’t have to be a mystery to be beautiful. A note on ingredients, the beauty of honesty, transparency and inclusiveness….

Before I started LITE+CYCLE and after 10+ years of designing packaging and skimming ingredient lists, I got curious about what was in these mysterious fragrant concoctions. What I soon learned was that they are in fact a mystery to everyone but the perfumer. No one else would or could tell me what was actually making up that scent, and here's why;

The below excerpt is taken directly from the FDA website link here

Labeling Fragrance Ingredients

If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.”

Here’s why: FDA requires the list of ingredients under the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA). This law is not allowed to be used to force a company to tell “trade secrets.” Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, and they are the kinds of cosmetic components that are most likely to be “trade secrets.” To learn more, see the regulation on cosmetic ingredient labeling and the Federal Register notice for this regulation, which addresses “trade secrets” and the FPLA.

I found this quite frustrating, especially because I am so sensitive to fragrance but mostly because the idea of a “trade secret” feels dismissive - I like to know things.

When I created LITE+CYCLE one of the values I wanted to share with you was transparency. In the beauty industry we hear a lot about ingredient transparency these days, but we still see the word “fragrance” and “flavor” listed on most scented products. I am not proclaiming this is a proven harm (although what secret is healthy?), it is simply a norm I choose to challenge. I have eliminated the word “fragrance” from our ingredient panels* and instead listed each and every ingredient.  I did this so that you have all the information you need to make the best choice for you.

On a philosophical and personal note - I demand honesty and full disclosure in both my personal and professional life - because I know first hand that secrets have the power to cause harm to ourselves and those around us. I believe that sharing information is better than hoarding it for maximum power and profit. I believe the more we share and the more honest we are the more inclusive the world will be. The less divided we will feel  the more love we will create. Lastly and most importantly  I respect you, and want you to live a healthy informed life.

And yes I know, maybe its just a perfume - xo Kristi

* full candle fragrance ingredients on the web only for now