Perfume and Your Health

Individual perfumes often contain a hundred or more ingredients, each of which adds something special to the overall effect. For example, there will be ingredients that provide what are technically known as head or top notes, which have an immediate, rather volatile effect; solid, middle of the range odours, and less volatile, more persistent odours known as the base or lower notes. There are also fixatives - the three main ones used are ambergris, civet and musk - to slow the rate of evaporation and to maintain the quality and character of the fragrance.

Perfumes do not very often produce skin problems but occasionally people find that they are allergic to one particular type of perfume. It is impossible to find out all of the constituents of all the perfumes available (manufacturers are naturally secretive) so if you do develop a rash with a particular type of perfume, try to find another perfume that you like, and that doesn't upset your skin. If you have sensitive skin and find a perfume that suits you, stick with it or at least with that .particular manufacturer.

One last warning: perfumes can cause blotchy sun­ tanning so, if you're going to sunbathe, it is sensible not to put on any perfume.

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