Bad odour can be the biggest turn off of all time—hence perfumes and deodorants are inevitable when it comes to our daily hygiene. Fragrances play a major role in characterizing who we are, but have you ever wondered that these essential oils and perfumes can be as hazardous as leading to abnormal breast growth?

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, lavender oil exposure is associated with abnormal breast growth in young girls.

Previous research has associated breast growth in boys with lavender-containing fragrances. This study is the first to report abnormal breast growth in young girls.

The researchers found that breast growth in young girls and boys resolved after discontinuing lavender-containing fragranced products. They have also determined that certain components of essential oils mimic oestrogen and block testosterone—indicating that essential oils could be a source for the abnormal breast growth observed in these cases.

“It’s also important that physicians are aware that lavender and tea tree oils contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should be considered in the evaluation of premature breast development in young girls and boys, and the swelling of breast tissue in adult men,” said J. Tyler Ramsey, the study’s lead investigator.

“It appears that essential oil products have the potential to cause premature breast growth in young girls and boys, so it may be best to discontinue using them on children,” Ramsey said.

India is the land of exquisite ittar or essential oil extracts, and thanks to our climatic conditions we use perfumes profusely. But awareness is bliss and after this study, we have to be vigilant when it comes to drowning ourselves in the pleasant and soothing aroma of lavender.

So the next time you’re contemplating that bottle of perfume, check the ingredients label—because lavender ain’t your best friend anymore, no matter how hot and sweaty the weather might get!