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Scents For Tots: A Bit Of Our Thoughts

Posted by: Shopgirl, on: Wednesday, 26 March 2014

...While it makes complete sense for parents to want only the best for their children, aren’t luxury perfumes for babies just a bit too much?

It’s no big secret that luxury baby products have been recently gaining popularity. In fact, recent market researches show that sales of premium products for children between the ages of 0 and 2 years old has gone up by 8.6% from 2000 to 2012. And predictions only show this number to increase another 7.6% by 2016.

I mean, we already have the $1.5k Bugaboo stroller. Then we have the $300+ Tiffany rattles. We even have the Hermes rocking horse with a “price available on request” deal. As if these luxury items weren’t already worth face-palming about, they give us baby perfumes! The idea’s not just bordering on ridiculous; there are definitely plenty of things about the whole business that would cause anyone to worry.

Just over the last year, we’ve already got several perfume aimed for babies. These range from the Johnson & Johnson bottles to the $58 bottles of Bulgari eau de toilette for toddlers. If you don’t like those, then there’s always a variant available with Burberry. Even Dolce & Gabbana’s jumping into the bandwagon with their own entry of fragrance for babies. Dolce & Gabbana’s even claiming that their particular mixture will “accent” your baby’s natural scent.

Not surprisingly, there are a lot of people feeling incredulous about this whole business. Plenty of media out there are already commenting on the sheer ridiculousness of this trend and voicing pretty reasonable concerns over it.

A major point of contention about the whole thing pretty much lies in the fact that perfumes typically contain plenty of various chemicals that can prove very dangerous to children, especially babies. It would be nice if parents were given the chance to even read what’s in the stuff they’re spritzing their newborns with, but we don’t even have that! It’s all because of some pretty convenient loophole in the US regulations for perfumes: manufacturers don’t have to disclose any of the ingredients they use for their fragrances.

Seriously, that loophole would’ve only been fine before I was even born. You know, that time when alchemists only mixed flower extracts and essential oils to make this stuff? But they haven’t updated the laws governing these sorts of things for a pretty long time, and they’re not showing signs of doing so anytime soon.

In a lab research conducted by scientists back in 2010, all commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and analysed by the Environmental Working Group, 17 popular fragrances were shown to contain an average of 14 unlisted chemicals. Among the chemicals found was diethyl phthalate (DEP), and the Centre for Disease Control’s already get this one linked to various developmental issues in a whopping 97% of US citizens. To further add fuel to the flame, perfumes have always been listed as a substance to avoid because of its potential as an allergen for both adults and babies alike.

Business-wise, baby perfumes could also potentially be a pretty short-sighted decision as well. It’s known that scented baby products have shown to sell well in European countries, but the Australian market has always shied away from such products. All with good reason, too. Think about it: if any one of these new baby fragrances is shown to contain some dangerous chemical or some newly-released eau de toilette for babies starts a trend of rashes, then manufacturers would certainly be at the receiving end not only of unwanted controversy, but also a general reaction of righteous distrust from its consumers.

Good news is that public health groups have already started letting the public know about the many potential dangers of these sorts of products. Just last February, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics started a letter-writing campaign towards Procter & Gamble Co., the distributor of Dolce & Gabbana’s baby perfume, to ask them not to make the product available on American shores.

Heck, they should include Johnson & Johnson’s baby perfume in their line of fire, while they’re at it. Both companies have always been known for their family and health care products anyway.

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