Scent-Free Savvy FAQs

1. What is the difference between fragrance free and unscented?

Unscented does not mean that the product is entirely free of fragrances. Often another fragrance or chemical is added to mask the odor. While the odor may not be completely perceptible, this ingredient can also trigger allergic reactions.

2. Should I purchase only organic and products labeled natural?

Not all organic or natural products are fragrance free. While they may not chemical induced fragrances, they may contain essentials oils or plant based ingredients that will have fragrance.

3. Why do you ask manufacturers to recognize fragrance free consumers?

There is still a great need for a variety of true fragrance free products in the areas of household, health and beauty. There is also a need for products with no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

4. What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

VOCs are gases emitted as chemicals from some solid and liquid products. Please see the article from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Organic Gases (Volatile Organic Compounds – VOCs).

5. Why do you ask retailers to recognize fragrance free consumers?

There is a need for proper merchandising of products so that the fragrance products are not intermingled with the fragrance free or unscented products. After all, for some the challenge is to reach the fragrance free products without getting ill! This then requires us to shop online in order to purchase items that they we’ve used before. There may be other products that we’d like or even prefer, but we can’t reach them without navigating through products that make us sick.

6. Are accommodations in the workplace available for people with fragrance sensitivities?

Please check the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) a free service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy U.S. Department of Labor. See also our Resource page for the JAN Employees with Fragrance Sensitivity article.

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