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Perfume For Your Baby: Would You Use It?


There are a slew of new fragrances on the market for the under two set. I’m not surprised they make it—anyone who’s ever walked into a Baby’s R Us knows there is a whole lot of stuff marketed to new parents that they just don’t need (the first thing that comes to mind, for me, is wipe warmers...). But I am confused as to who would buy it. And why.

Quick quiz: What’s considered one of the best smells in the world so much so that it’s become a huge cliché that complete strangers will walk over to one and smell it?

Answer:  A baby. They just have a good smell all on their own, right? Maybe it’s a mix of the soaps and creams we use on them (which, yes, have fragrance), maybe it’s their brand-new skin, maybe it’s just that they’re just so pure and perfect. Whatever it is, I don’t think it needs to be messed with. At all.

If someone were holding my baby and told me they smelled yummy I wouldn’t want to be like, “Oh, yeah, it’s Dolce & Gabbana’s Eau de Enfant.” (This is a real thing—and it retails for $45.) Can you imagine? What am I, Beyonce? I’m sure some of these fragrances smell great but as a crazy-busy mom who tries to have a life outside of my kids, I am looking for ways to simplify the child-rearing process by cutting out the unnecessary crap and having to spritz my baby before we go out would be an extra step I’m just not interested in taking. Are you?

Is it even healthy to put this stuff on little babies? Should it be soaking into their skin and being inhaled into their little lungs? The Today Show covered this trend recently and their expert, a doc who's writing a book on babies and toxins, said, not surprisingly, the answer is no. Babies shouldn't wear fragrance and neither should their caregivers. But apparently perfuming your baby has been a popular practice in Europe and Latin America for years. One “perfume for baby!” press release I read included this line: “perfuming isn’t just about deodorizing! It creates a bond with baby, and the scent can bring back memories in years to come.” So now I have to breastfeed and spritz my baby in order to have the proper mother-child bond. Ugh.

I used mostly unscented, mostly organic products on my babies (Alex had really bad eczema) and I remember it bothered my mother that they didn’t have that Johnson’s & Johnson’s baby shampoo smell or the baby powder smell (I’ll admit, I do love both of those smells), but it was more important to me that I use products I felt comfortable using. I also used fragrance-free detergent, which meant their clothes didn’t waft Dreft, another baby-smell shortcoming in some people’s eyes. But my babies still smelled really good (as far as I remember). And there are enough creams and lotions and soaps and shampoos that offer enough fragrance that spraying extra just seems like overkill. I’m not saying these perfume products are bad or unhealthy, I’m just…I don’t know. Not sure why they’re necessary I guess. But I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever seen baby perfume? Would you use it on your infant? Let’s discuss!