Why Be Fragrance Free?

An increasing number of people in our community are harmed by a variety of common chemicals and fragrances, including the scents of deodorant, hair spray, cologne, and even “natural” fragrances and aromatherapy products, such as fragranced essential oils.  Due to allergies, asthma or other chemical sensitivity, they may have difficulty breathing, migraine headaches, flu-like symptoms and more. When we come to the hackathon having used products on our bodies or clothing that include fragrances or chemicals, those who are allergic or sensitive are faced with the choice to stay and get sick, or leave and be excluded.

Please practice with this awareness at the hackathon, and help us make this event accessible to all by coming fragrance free

How to be fragrance free

Important things do:

  • Wear clothes laundered in fragrance-free laundry detergent
  • Avoid laundry softeners such as “Bounce”
  • Use fragrance-free soap, shampoo and hair products
  • Use fragrance-free lotion
  • Avoid cologne, aftershave lotion, and perfume
  • Read the ingredient labels on all products used on your body or clothing
  • Test each product with your nose or ask a friend with a good sense of smell. Many products are mistakenly marked “unscented” or “fragrance-free” (but actually contain masking scents that can be very harmful).
  • Don’t be afraid to trust your naturally occurring pheromones rather than using added-on scents!


Most major brands make a fragrance-free version of their products. If you need inspiration, check out this list we found online! The HackMentalHealth team has found fragrance free products everywhere from Safeway to Rainbow Grocery.