Owning birds as pets can be a challenging task, as they’re sensitive to sounds, changes in temperature, and lighting. There are many things to be aware of which can put your bird’s health at risk, like wearing perfume.
It’s not recommended to wear perfume or use strongly scented cosmetics around birds because they have a one-directional respiratory system. It distributes toxic ingredients commonly used in perfume all throughout their bodies and sometimes leads to health problems or even death.
If you’re interested in learning more about wearing cosmetics around birds, and what kind of alternatives you can use to enjoy nice scents without risking the health of your bird, this article is just for you.
In this article..
Why You Shouldn’t Wear Perfume Around Birds
Many perfumes include ingredients that are toxic to humans and birds. However, we can wear perfume with such ingredients without that much of a health risk because perfumes contain just a minuscule amount of toxic chemicals.
Unfortunately, birds weigh much less than we do. For example, parakeets, one of the most popular species kept as pets, weigh about 30 grams (1.05 oz.). That’s over 2,600 times lighter than the average weight of an American male, which is 80 kilograms (197 lb).
The science doesn’t work exactly like that, but it basically means that birds get a thousand-fold bigger dose of toxins compared to humans. Not only that but their respiratory system consists of multiple sacs that are relatively twice as effective in inhaling air as humans’.
Finally, birds have hollow bones, and air travels through them and effectively distributes the contents of the air, including perfume toxins all over birds’ bodies.
These three factors combined make it extremely risky to use perfume and other scented products, including deodorants, aerosols, and candles around birds. However, if you’ve used perfume in another room and keep your distance from the bird, it’s unlikely to harm it.
Safe Scent Alternatives
While it isn’t recommended to use scented products in your house if you have birds, there are many viable alternatives that can fill your environment with pleasant scents without posing any risk to your pet.
- Bird-Safe Air Fresheners
There are several air fresheners that are completely safe to use around birds. One of them is Citrus Magic Air Freshener, which is 100% made of pure citrus oils. Citrus Magic doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals that could hurt your bird and is completely safe to use around it.
Additionally, it lasts up to 4 times longer than your usual aerosol air fresheners, and instantly eliminates unpleasant odors. Finally, it just smells great and you can choose either Fresh Orange or Tropical Citrus Blend smells.
- Essential Oils
You can use essential oils made of plants around your bird without having to worry about harming it. However, synthetic essential oils made of ingredients mimicking the real scent can still be damaging, so make sure to read the ingredient list before buying it.
Also, you should use essential oils as they come, instead of putting them in humidifiers or diffusers. Heated-up essential oils can still be dangerous to the respiratory system of your bird.
The great part about essential oils is that you can use them as perfume, just dab some on your wrists and you’ll be carrying a great scent with you.
One of the best 100% pure essential oil brands is Miyuki. It offers over 25 different scents, including chamomile, frankincense, and myrrh. A 10ml bottle of its essential oil costs about $7.
- Soy Wax/Beeswax Candles
Burning scented candles in the room where you keep your bird is risky. Most scented candles contain multiple ingredients that are toxic to birds. However, you can still burn candles made of 100% natural ingredients, like soybean wax or beeswax.
Candles like that burn cleaner than paraffin counterparts and don’t pose any risk to your bird. However, be sure that such candles don’t include any synthetic scents and are scented with natural essential oils.
If you’re interested in soy candles, we recommend Magnificent 101. This brand offers 10 different blends of scents, like Abundance, consisting of lemon, rosemary, and sandalwood essential oils, and Healing, consisting of palo santo, sandalwood, and lavender oils.
If you’re looking for beeswax candles, we recommend Hyoola. It offers 12 9-inch candles for just $27.99. These 100% natural candles can burn up to 5 hours and are unscented, so you can be sure they’re not going to hurt your bird.
- Simmering Natural Aromatics
If you don’t like candles, another great bird-safe way of making your home smell nice is to simmer natural aromatics like herbs and spices. You can either cook with them or just put them into a pot of water and simmer it on low heat, allowing a pleasant aroma to spread around your home.
Here are some herbs and spices that you can simmer safely around your birds:
|Warm, sweet, clove, nutmeg
|Fresh, peppery & sweet
|Pungent, sharp, floral
|Sweet, aromatic, cool, resinous
|Warm, sweet, aromatic, spicy
|Warm, refreshing, sweet, citrusy
|Warm, earthy, pungent
|Hot, aromatic, peppery-sweet
|Sweet, aromatic, warm, spicy
|Pungent, peppery, minty
|Earthy, subtle, lemony
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
(Q): Can You Wear Perfume Around Cats?
(A): It’s not recommended to wear perfume around cats because some ingredients can cause organ damage or even failure and put your cat’s health at risk. It’s always best to be conservative with the use of scent if you own a cat.
(Q): Can Birds Smell Perfume?
(A): Most bird species don’t have a smell because they lack developed olfactory glands. They use vision and hearing to locate their prey. However, it doesn’t mean that birds aren’t influenced by smells, because inhaling small chemical particles can still have an effect.
Birds can make great pets, so you should refrain from wearing perfume if you want to avoid hurting your little winged friend. We hope this article helped you find viable alternatives so you can still enjoy pleasant scents in your life.