Q: I'm trying to find a perfume for my mum who's extremely allergic to many things, including tree sap, pectin, perfume, gum, wax and many more. She's able to wear natural essential oils but finds the carrier oils often cause a reaction.
Can you suggest anything I can get for her to try as she would love to be able to wear perfume again? She has found skincare that works for her but never a scent.
Alison: You're right to be concerned about fragrance, because both natural and chemical extracts go into the making of a perfume. What's difficult too is that the ingredients listing on perfumes often won't show up every single ingredient and it will just list them all as 'perfume'.
Your Mum is correct in using essential oils as an alternative. I would, however, suggest she trys Philosophy Grace Fragrance which isn't a plant-based formula so it may work better for her. Many people have actually found that they can wear fragrance again because synthetic alternatives don't contain any of the plant-based oils.
Wearing a pure oil directly on the skin without a carrier oil is difficult. If she's got any pure oils at home that she knows don't cause her any irritation, she could try blending a few together herself into a water spritzer container which would then dilute them. Then she can use it as a body spray when she comes out of the shower or bath.
It may take a little practise to get the right fragrance so she could just try a few drops of a couple of oils at first to see which she likes, leave them for a little while to make sure they're blended and then keep a note of which ones she likes and the quantities of each. Keep the quantity of oil the same when you dilute it. Each time you then use the spritzer, remember to shake it up a little as the oils will have separated from the water.