Leah and I just returned from a trip to Vancouver and Seattle. We met with many of our stores in Vancouver and had a booth at the Whole Foods Pacific Northwest Holiday Show. We had a great time and learned a lot about the natural products industry. Because we live somewhere so isolated we sometimes feel a tad "out of the loop", visiting our west coast stores helps us feel more connected to our stores and the industry. While away, a fascinating study came out by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) about misguided ingredient labeling on colognes and perfumes.
I wrote about this issue in the past, but the study proves that toxic petrochemical fragrances are being secretly used in mainstream products. On our trip, we were very disappointed to see a candle company call the scents in their candles "essential oils." I believe this misrepresentation is unfair to the consumer. Just because a candle says scented with essential oils does not mean it is not blended with dangerous fragrance oils. This company should be required to fully disclose if they use any synthetic scents. The EWG study points out that some of the secret chemicals are known to cause hormone disruption and allergic reactions.
As consumers, we have to be very careful when purchasing products that say essential oils. You can usually tell by the strength of the scent as most essential oils are subtle and smell purer than fragrances. If you're not sure call the company and ask. As good consumers we need to be discerning when purchasing products - it is our responsibility - as you'll see in the study below, manufacturers don't always tell the truth. Read the Report