What Are Phthalates And How Are They Used In Fragrance Oils?

‘Phthalates’ is the name of a group of chemicals that have multiple uses. Within the group, there are different types of phthalates that are used for different purposes, one of which is commonly used in fragrance oils. Products that include phthalates are increasingly becoming a concern to consumers due to certain types within the group being labeled as potentially having negative effects on human health.  The particular type of phthalates creating this concern is typically used as ‘plasticizers,’ which allow plastic products to become flexible without compromising their strength. This type of phthalate is not the same as those that are used in creating fragrance oils. Phthalates used in fragrance oils, known as DEP (Diethyl Phthalate), are solvents used to extend the aromatic strength of the candle fragrance oil. DEP has been found to be non-toxic in skin products and candles if used at safe levels (IFRA – Background Paper – Phthalates – Final 12.2007).

Phthalates have the same stigma as snakes. Some of them are poisonous and some of them are harmless. However, because they are all ususally labeled and grouped together as 'phthalates' (or 'snakes'), people generally want to avoid them altogether. (We apologize if we offend any snake enthusiasts. We just needed to use them as analogy.)

While it is true there are phthalates which can be safely used in making fragrance oils, we have most of our fragrances specially formulated to be phthalate-free. This eliminates any concern from the effects of phthalates in our fragrance oils.