Ready to Ditch Chemical-Filled Home Fragrances? Try These 3 Non-Toxic Air Freshener & Perfume Products!

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Learn why these are the best non-toxic air freshener and perfume products on the market!

various scents of grow fragrance car fresheners on car console

It’s time to stop smelling toxins. 🧘🏼‍♀️

Don’t let smelly toxins live in your home or on your body. We’ve hand-picked the safest, non-toxic air fresheners and perfume products for you!

As you may have seen, back in January we announced a new non-toxic series! Every week I’m sharing a helpful guide to replacing products in your home with the best non-toxic products on the market.

*I’m neither a scientist nor a doctor. This information is based on my personal experience, research, and opinion. You should always consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your current regimen or if you have questions.

Why skip traditional perfumes and home fragrances?

Close-up of pink wallflower plug-in

The fragrance industry is largely unregulated in the USA, without many safety standards or ingredient transparency requirements, which means companies may manufacture products using harmful chemicals that could have a negative impact on human health and our environment. 😳

Even worse, if it contains less than a certain percentage of a chemical substance, it can legally be listed under ingredients under one umbrella term everyone has heard of: “Fragrances.” Many popular air fresheners, wall plug-ins, wax melts, fragrances, and perfumes people grab off store shelves are filled with toxins, carcinogens, and chemicals that may cause very serious health risks.

Here are some chemicals commonly found in traditional fragrances:

  • 🛑 Benzyl acetate affects the central nervous system and causes eye and respiratory irritations. 
  • 🛑 Formaldehyde – A known carcinogen that can irritate eyes, nose, and throat and is linked to cancers. 
  • 🛑 Methylene chloride a chemical that has been banned in the U.S. due to causing cancer BUT it can still be found in many “fragrances” due to inadequate regulation.
  • 🛑 Musk ketone – Skin irritant, bioaccumulates in people and disrupts hormone balances. 
  • 🛑 Phthalates – Can impact your natural hormones and lead to serious health issues such as lower fertility, development issues, and a higher risk of cancer.
  • 🛑 Styrene – used for the longevity of fragrances and is linked to cancers and damage to the central nervous system. 
  • 🛑 Synthetic Fragrances, “Parfum”, or “Fragrance” – May cause headaches, breathing difficulties, cardiovascular and neurological problems, mucosal irritation, and contact dermatitis. Higher risk of cancer.

*A company may be required to use “fragrance” on their ingredient label even when considered safe, so it’s important to know what a company uses for fragrance to determine safety. If they don’t disclose the information it typically means they contain unsustainable and potentially toxic chemicals.

Below are the BEST non-toxic air freshener and perfume products that are safe for you, your home, and the environment:

graphic of the best fragrances and perfumes

  1. ✅ Homes Palo Santo
  2. ✅ Cars Grow Car Freshener
  3. ✅ Body Rainwater Botanicals Perfume Oil

1. Best for Homes: Palo Santo

hand holding a pack of palo santo sticks in box with orange background

Palo Santo – $10.99

How to save: This product is already competitively priced and will last a long time. You can also opt to Subscribe & Save and score up to 15% OFF repeat deliveries.

Did you know that about 99% of candles in the U.S. emit toxins? Whether burning paraffin (petroleum) or soy-based candles, they could cause damage to your lungs with continuous, year-after-year use. Soybeans are also a large contributor to deforestation. Palo Santo is a toxic-free swap with a high concentration of naturally present limonene and a-terpineol terpenes. They can help regulate immune systems, relieve stress, reduce headaches, and more when burnt.

holding non-toxic fragrance sticks

The Palo Santo I sourced is strictly Bursera Graveolens wood, which is not endangered and does not contribute to deforestation worldwide. They use only sustainable and ethically sourced wood from fallen trees in Ecuador. Palo Santo is 100% biodegradable since it’s one simple ingredient found in nature. Keep in mind that, like candles, Palo Santo should always be used in a well-ventilated space.

Hip Tip: Pair your Palo Santo with a holder to safely burn your sticks. (Mine shown below and above is a candle holder from IKEA).

close up of palo santo in white holder with sticks on table

To recap, here are the top 5 reasons why you should switch to Palo Santo:

  1. ✅ Only one Earth-derived ingredient
  2. ✅ 100% Biodegradable
  3. ✅ Provides numerous health benefits
  4. ✅ Only non-endangered Bursera Graveolens wood is used
  5. ✅ Sustainably & ethically sourced from naturally fallen trees in Ecuador

Want the aesthetic of a candle? Try a clean-burning indoor firepit as an option. It’s not a natural air freshener that will provide a scent, but it can be used to make smores!

2. Best for Cars: Grow Car Freshener

hand holding pack of grow fragrance car fresheners inside of car

Grow Car Freshener – $12 (regularly $16)

How to save: Shipping is free on orders of $60+.

Traditional car fresheners are a major source of chemicals and toxins, but not Grow Fragrance car air fresheners. They come in various natural scents such as Blondewood, Bamboo, Woodland Sage (shown above), Wildflower Rain, Lavender Blossom, Pine Forest, Hibiscus Tea, and Sea Salt Neroli.

Grow uses only certified 100% plant-based ingredients. While many car fresheners don’t disclose their ingredients—including some that claim to be “clean,” “natural,” and “made with essential oils,” you’ll love Grow’s complete transparency. For the natural air freshener itself, Grow uses 25% recycled pre-consumer waste, and it’s 100% biodegradable, so it’s an environmentally friendly choice, too.

hand holding a grow fragrance air freshener hanging from mirror

To recap, here are the top 5 reasons why you should switch to Grow Car Fresheners:

  1. ✅ 100% Biodegradable
  2. ✅ Certified 100% plant-based ingredients
  3. ✅ Certified bio-based ingredients
  4. ✅ No petroleum-based products
  5. ✅ Manufactured in the USA

3. Best for Body: Rainwater Botanicals Perfume Oil

rainwater botanicals perfume oil on white background with spices

Rainwater Botanicals Perfume Oil – $14.20 

How to Save: Follow their shop on Etsy to possibly receive a coupon code or follow on Instagram for possible flash sales.

Personally, I believe that if you’re looking to live a toxic-free lifestyle, perfume is one of those things you don’t necessarily need to find a swap for. Similar to animals, research has shown that if compatible, humans are naturally attracted to a person’s odor and pheromones. The longer you go without perfume, the more you might realize you love your natural scent and that of your partner. And no…I’m not talking about smelling bad body odor but your clean, natural being.

However, if you are still looking for something that makes you feel a little spruced up, Rainwater Botanicals makes a great toxic-free perfume oil that is body- and planet-safe. They source local organic & sustainable ingredients for their essential oils and naturally derived fragrances from plants, waxes, absolutes, and/or extracts. Organic jojoba oil is the only carrier in their perfume oils, so absolutely no artificial preservatives, and actually offers benefits for your skin. Plus, one dab is all you need, so each bottle will last quite a while, making this such an affordable option!

Hands tipping perfume oil bottle on wrist

To recap, here are the top 5 reasons why you should switch to Rainwater Botanicals:

  1. ✅ Local & sustainable organic ingredients
  2. ✅ Organic jojoba oil is the only carrier
  3. ✅ Provides healing benefits (varies depending on the scent)
  4. ✅ Preservative free
  5. ✅ Manufactured in the USA

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 10

  1. Julie

    I love this series! I appreciate all the research you have done to not only ensure these are clean products but that the companies are green as well.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Julie! I’m thrilled to hear you’re getting so much value from our Clean Series! πŸ₯°

  2. TD

    I’ve been dealing with some health issues the last few years and have completely shifted the way I am doing life. Carnivore Diet has helped immensely, but also trying to move to 100% cotton clothes and sheets, no more candles, organic cleaners, being sure to open windows and wear gloves when using chemicals…and spending lots more time in nature. It’s all so much more expensive, but my health has drastically improved. All to say, I am SO appreciative of these posts and look forward to more! Thank you so much, Sara!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you for stopping by to leave such a thoughtful comment, TD! I’m really glad our Clean Series has been helpful to you and you should be so proud of all the amazing changes you’ve already made for yourself. Great work!

  3. Jlubutterfly

    I love these types of posts! I am always looking for cleaner alternatives that work. Thank you

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you’re enjoying this series. πŸ™‚

  4. Carol Potts

    I love this series! It would be nice to see one on yards, garden, and pets. Thank you!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying our Clean Series, Carol! And what a great idea for a future series! I will be sure to pass your request along to the team. πŸ™‚

  5. jamie

    Scent fill is also a great option with all natural choices. They are like “plug-ins” but made with natural ingredients. The only thing I’ve found that doesn’t cause my daughter and me headaches!!!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

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