Promise me you’ll read the ingredients on this pink perfume!

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by Kim Irish, Program Manager

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has partnered with TPR Holdings, LLC, a New York City-based investor and operator in the consumer products industry, to create a perfume called Promise Me.  According to the fragrance’s website, the pink-tinted Promise Me is “The Scent of Inspiration.”  Its neatly packaged bottles and gift sets, with the all-too-familiar Komen ribbon emblazoned on the side, remind us that it’s not just inspiration Komen and TPR Holdings wants – they want us to shop our way to a cure.

Breast Cancer Action, like many of our favorite bloggers, disputes the real value of this type of cause marketing for several reasons.

What’s that, you say?  It seems hypocritical that Susan G. Komen for the Cure would create a perfume that contains potential carcinogens while simultaneously claiming to fight “every minute of every day to finish what we started and achieve our vision of a world without breast cancer”?  That’s what Breast Cancer Action thinks, too. No amount of shopping for pink ribbon products will rid our world of the breast cancer epidemic. We need to change the conversation about breast cancer – to one that focuses on eliminating toxins from the personal care products that we use daily, and where we boldly call out pinkwashers for distracting us from the real work that needs to be done.

11 Comments

  1. Posted June 1, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    This one takes the proverbial cake. Thanks for sharing the ingredients list. How about… “Promise me” to develop some ethical standards about your branding practices and corporate partnerships. Komen’s really gone too far.

  2. Posted June 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    So proud of you for continuing to publish their partnerships. I’ve been shaking my head for a while. ThinkBeforeYouPink is an inspiration. Truly, Truly.

  3. Posted June 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    You’ve really got to hand it to Komen’s PR folks. Pink cars, pink buckets of fried chicken, lawsuits over trademarks and now pinkwashed perfume. What’s their next big move? Certainly nothing that has anything to do with eradicating breast cancer.

  4. Posted June 2, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you for listing the ingrediants. Komen continues to amaze me by how far they will go to sell a product. I posted about this perfume today too… Keep up the good work!

  5. Robyn Ely
    Posted June 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Good girl ! Simply said “One is putting their foot in their mouth.

    Good research I admire you !

  6. bifemmefatale
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Limited evidence of cancer means those chemicals really aren’t much of a cancer risk. Coumarin is rated a 6 because it’s somewhat toxic to the liver and kidneys…in high amounts. Not a perfume spritz’s worth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coumarin#Toxicity_and_use_in_foods.2C_beverages.2C_tobacco.2C_and_cosmetics

  7. Morgan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    The skin deep database probably rates tap water a “5″ – because drinking too much of it can be toxic – and it can cause drowning if inhaled.

    Ingredient alarmism is just another way of marketing organic/natural products – and it’s no more ethical than someone cashing in on peoples altruistic tendencies.

    That said, if you’re buying a product because the company offers a donation, and you don’t find out where the donation is going, how it’s likely to be used (marketing, research etc) and how much of the purchase is donated, it’s very unlikely you’ll get your moneys worth….

  8. Posted June 14, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for raising awareness on this issue. I’m certainly going to do my best to let others know about this. Too many people fall into the trap of green and pink washing. What a shame!

    Peace. ;)

  9. Elizabeth Bugler
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    I would love to host a booth in honor of Breast Cancer Action in my community. Do you have information that I can get out to the public? I would also love to fund raise to donate to Breast Cancer Action.

  10. Posted September 27, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this information. The fact that something is only toxic in large amounts doesn’t mean you can put it in a perfume. We are bombarded with various fragrances every day. It all adds up.

    I also found this in a Komen press release on their perfume: “TPR Holdings, the distributor of the perfume, has assured us that the perfume’s ingredients were analyzed before production and that its ingredients are well within fragrance and cosmetic industry standards as confirmed by the International Fragrance Association.”

    Or said another way, “Don’t worry, the fox is guarding the hen house.”

    It’s a HUGE mistake that the fragrance industry is self-regulating!

  11. Mark
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    It’s also a HUGE mistake that the GOVERNMENT is SELF-REGULATING!!!
    Let’s go after them 1st!!!

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