Perfume allergy and other fragrance allergies: what you need to know

Sensitive to fragrance? Learn the signs and symptoms of a perfume or fragrance allergy, as well as the benefits of using fragrance free products, here!

Updated 11 April 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time5 minutes

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Key steps 

  1. 1

    If you or someone in your home is having difficulty breathing, seek medical assistance immediately. If you are concerned about your health or any particular symptom, please consult your GP.

  2. 2

    If you or someone you live with is sensitive to fragrance, consider opting for fragrance free products, such as fragrance free detergent, dishwashing liquid, and hand soap.

  3. 3

    Always read the fine print on the label to check for any hidden ingredients.

Perfume or fragrance allergies are something some people suffer from, to varying degrees. One of the only ways to effectively combat fragrance sensitivity in the long run is to steer clear of offending agents, replacing scented goods with quality, fragrance free products. If you’re looking for fragrance free cleaning products, then Neutral 0% may be a good fit for you.

If you have a perfume allergy or sensitive skin, ditch as many scented household and cosmetic products as you dare, replacing them with dermatologically tested and approved fragrance free products. Ensure you choose a brand these products, such as Neutral 0%’s range of fragrance free household and personal products.

Do I have a perfume allergy?

Has your signature scent suddenly given you a rash upon application? Or perhaps you’ve noticed yourself becoming more and more sensitive to fragrance over the years, with exposure to a variety of scented products now making you sneeze. You’re not alone. Fragrance sensitivity issues could be more common than you think.

Scented products include everything from laundry detergent and fabric conditioner to actual perfume, hair shampoo, room sprays, hair gel, and moisturisers.

According to a report by the European Commission, back in 2012, more than 2,500 fragrance ingredients had been listed for use by manufacturers of cosmetics and household materials. As we consumers are continually bombarded with increasingly complex and varied scent agents. So, unfortunately, it’s possible to suddenly develop sensitivity to a product you’ve been happily using for years.

Common signs of fragrance sensitivity or fragrance allergy include:

  • inflamed, red, itching, or burning skin

  • irritated, red, or watery eyes

  • sneezing and/or a runny nose

  • darkened skin

  • dizziness and/or breathing difficulties.

Medical warning: if you or someone in your home is having difficulty breathing, seek medical assistance immediately. If you are concerned about your health or any particular symptom, please consult your GP.

Sensitive to fragrance? Discover fragrance free products

Manufacturers use fragrance to appeal to our noses – scent sells! But clean and fresh scents can be just as inviting as flowery tones or perfumed options.

What smells divine to one person can however make someone else wheeze or develop a nasty rash. While regular brands of washing up liquid, hand soap, and fabric conditioner may smell nice, for those with sensitive skin or a fragrance allergy, perfumed products are simply not worth the discomfort.

If you’ve got sensitive skin or a perfume allergy, the key to successful treatment and prevention of symptoms is total avoidance of the offending ingredients. Thankfully, Neutral 0%’s formulas for instance, are all proven to work.

If you or someone you live with is sensitive to fragrance, take the following steps:

  1. 1

    Replace regular laundry detergent with a fragrance free laundry detergent (always consult the ingredient list first). Neutral 0% offers several products including Neutral 0% Colour Liquid Detergent and Neutral 0% White Liquid Detergent.

  2. 2

    Replace fabric conditioner with a or a dermatologically-tested formula, such as Neutral 0%’s Fabric Conditioner.

  3. 3

    Use sensitive dishwashing liquid and hand soap. Your hands are often where an irritant reaction will strike.

  4. 4

    Consider alternatives for other scented products such as deodorant, hair shampoo, carpet shampoo, shower gel, hairspray, and room deodorisers.

Health Warning

Health warning: If your skin rash is persistent or keeps coming back, be sure to head to your GP. You can be tested for contact allergies.

Clean effectively with fragrance free products

Worried you won’t be able to keep your home (and body) clean and fresh without using the scented stuff? Relax. It’s entirely possible if you use fragrance free products made by a trusted brand, like Neutral 0%. Here are a few tips to help you decide what products to use:

  1. 1

    Check the ingredients list on products to see what fragrances, if any, they use. Any added fragrances must be identified by the word “parfum” so make this something you check for. Also look for any essential oils as they often have a strong smell too.

  2. 2

    Consider essential oils to help make your home smell lovely. Note, some people may still experience an allergic reaction to these, particularly if too much of the oil is used. Use just a couple of drops and make sure the oil is of high quality.

  3. 3

    Read up on DIY home cleaning and deodorising methods that use natural ingredients. Discover how white vinegar, salt, baking soda and lemons can be used to spruce up your home.

For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.

Safety Warning

Safety warning: Always read the fine print on the label of any cleaning product, and test any cleaning product or method in a small area first. Keep out of reach of children.

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