April 15, 2019 Stink!

Beyoncé fragrance tests positive for banned chemicals

We sent Beyoncé’s signature scent “Heat” to a lab for chemical analysis and we were surprised that it tested positive for both chemicals recently banned in sunscreen by Hawaii and Key West, Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. It also contains galaxolide and diethyl phthalate. Nothing against Beyoncé; we doubt she’s aware of what’s in her product.

“celebrities probably don’t know, in most cases, about the product they’re endorsing”

Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder, Seventh Generation

Beyoncé “Heat” is described as having “top notes of vanillamagnolianeroli and peach; middle notes of almond macaroonhoneysuckle and musk; and base notes with “a warm and sexy dry-down” of giant sequoia milkwoodtonka bean and amber.” But there seems to be a disconnect between the fragrance’s exotic “notes” and the actual chemicals identified through chemical analysis. The fragrance industry is opposed to full ingredient disclosure because it would change consumer perception of its products. Here are the top 20 chemical ingredients in Beyoncé “Heat.”

Not so sexy, huh? No wonder the fragrance industry has been fighting to keep its ingredients secret for decades. The former President of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) told us that ”the position of the industry is that ingredient disclosure, formula disclosure is not feasible for supporting our business model” but Seventh Generation co-founder Jeffrey Hollender offered a different perspective: “If you have an ingredient or a chemical in your product that a consumer can google and find out that it is toxic or carcinogenic, well, you don’t want to have to tell people that that chemical is in there.”

It’s time to close the fragrance labeling loophole. Consumers have a right to know what’s in the products they buy. We understand that ingredient disclosure may embarrass the fragrance industry but there’s a solution to that: use better ingredients!

“the perfume industry is still trying to maintain a mystique because fragrances have always had a certain allure of mystery and romance and creativity about it, and by transforming it into a chemical company with ingredient disclosure, that mystique is gone.”

Steve Herman, FDU Professor, Fragrance Consultant

To learn more about fragrance, check out the award-winning documentary“Stink! on Netflix.

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