Most of you know mainstream perfumes are a serious no, no. Just take a walk through the nearest department store perfume/fragrance section, and you will get knocked over by a serious gust of toxic chemicals. Finding a clean perfume/fragrance has been a journey for me. For starters, there were barely any on the market several years ago, and the ones that were available didn't really seem like a perfume to me. I'm a firm believer that you should't have to sacrifice quality and luxury just because you're “greening” your beauty routine. Can I get an amen?? So after much testing and sampling I'm here to bring you my top faves for natural perfume and fragrance. I'm pretty sure there is something for everyone. Whether you're into spritzers, roll ons or just oils. Before I dive into my faves, let me first explain the toxic perfume/fragrance industry.
I wanted to paint a clear picture of what mainstream perfume/fragrance is all about. Not only will it help you realize the toxic load it brings, but hopefully it will also help you understand the natural perfume/fragrance industry too. I've heard fragrance coined as the new second hand smoke-sounds about right! If you've been away from synthetic perfume/fragrance long enough and then stand next to someone wearing it, you quickly realize your bubble has been invaded.
This is an exert taken from The EWG article, “Not So Sexy.”–
“The average fragrance product tested contained 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label. Among them are chemicals associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions, and many substances that have not been assessed for safety in personal care products.”
I don't know about you but I don't want anything “secret” lurking in my perfume. The article continues by saying marketers call the perfumes floral, musky or exotic, but they're actually toxic chemicals and in some cases petrochemicals. Sounds like a cocktail I want to steer clear of! Have you or someone you've known suffered from headaches, dizziness, vomiting, allergies, joint aches, muscle pain, fatigue, coughing or burning? Well, you may want to tell them to stay off mainstream perfume/fragrance forever, and then see how they feel. The toxic effects on the body are alarming to say the least.
Oh and the FDA isn't looking out for you-sorry. This is an exert taken directly from their website on ingredient labeling:
“If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.”
So there you have it. The fragrance you purchase could have up to 700 chemicals(some even say more). Chemicals that are neurotoxins, carcinogens, hormone disruptors and so much more. The bottom line? Since perfume/fragrance isn't regulated by the government, you must regulate it yourself!
Now that you know the dangerous toxins lurking in your perfume/fragrance, it's time to understand how to determine if a scent is toxic or not. Natural perfumes/fragrances are created using flowers, seeds, herbs, plants, wood, and fruit. Natural fragrances are made by earth, whereas synthetic fragrances are made in a lab. Typically, natural fragrances use either steam distillation, or water for extraction. They are then combined with either an oil, alcohol or combined with a wax to make a solid perfume. Unlike synthetic fragrance that can be toxic, natural perfume/fragrance can actually be very soothing and therapeutic.
What to Look for in a Natural Perfume/Fragrance:
When searching for a natural perfume/fragrance obviously always check the ingredients. Unfortunately, it can be hard to distinguish between natural and synthetic with today's marketing tactics. But here are some tips.
- If an ingredient label says fragrance and does't list the ingredients in parentheses after it, be sure it's full of synthetics. If it does list fragrance or (parfum), but then lists in parentheses the essential oils, it's probably natural. However, be sure that they don't list essential oils in the ingredient labeled followed by “fragrance.” I've seen this happen often lately where companies try to market their product as natural and say they use 70% organic ingredients and then the other 30% is synthetic. Yeah, stinks. That's why its's so important to read your label.
- If you're still unsure, call the company and just ask them if they use synthetics. I've had to do this a dozen times.
- One last way to tell a synthetic is by the sheer smell. After being away from synthetic perfume/fragrance for quite some time, it's usually pretty obvious when a scent is synthetic just by smelling it. Trust me, there's some fragrances you're just not going to get using natural scents.
- One final tip. Although, we're talking about perfume/fragrance in the form of scents we wear, don't be fooled, synthetic fragrance can be found in any beauty product-from skincare to makeup, feminine hygiene products, you name it. Not that you need to live in a bubble, but hello it's important to know the truth.
One last tidbit. Natural perfumes/fragrance don't last as long as their synthetic perfumes, so you will need to reapply throughout the day. A fair trade in my opinion compared to using synthetics. Now that you know the basics of natural perfume/fragrance, let's dig into some of my faves!
I was so excited to come across this botanical based perfume 6 months ago. I had seen rave reviews and knew I had to try it. Well, let's just say I'm hooked. From the chic packaging, to the pretty scents, their fragrances evoke a sense of what I was missing when I switched from synthetic perfumes. But let's be real, they had me at spritzer. Yeah, you heard me. There perfumes come in either a spritzer or roll on. I had longed for a spritzer, but found it was hard to find in the natural fragrance world. There's something about feeling all girly when being able to spritz a perfume on yourself. I'm partial to the scent Sundays, but I've smelled Gateaux and Pretty Bird, and they're all tantalizing. Oh and if you're unsure of which scent, they sell all three in samples to try before buying! $49-$79
I'm a fan of anything they sell-it's all so good. Their creations are made using plant alchemy. Their fragrances are completely refreshing and mood lifting, which is what they're meant to do. They have a variety of moods to choose from. Whether you want to feel more energized, more centered, relaxed, etc. They also have many different forms of perfume/fragrance. From mists, serums, roll ons and perfumes-you can find something just for you. I have an Aura mist in Infinite Love that I spray around me several times a day. It helps to attract love and affection. I also love their anointing oils. They come in a roll on and I'm addicted to the scent Radiant Energy. It seriously has helped ease my nausea in my pregnancy. Their Transformative Perfumes are a fave as well. I have the scent in Inspired Action. Their anointing oils seemed to last the longest on me, compared with any natural fragrance I've used. Trust me, you won't be disappointed! $30-$45
True Botanicals is unique in that their perfume comes in a solid. Their packaging is ultra sleek and chic and oozes luxury. It's comes in a silver compact that you lift up and rub on. They offer three scents: Noble Citrus, Noble Floral and Noble Woods. I'm a sucker for their Noble Woods, but they're all scrumptious. The Noble Woods has Vetiver, Amber, and Labdanum-let's just say anything with amber gets me every time. Solids from what I've read typically last longer than liquid perfumes. They also interact with your own skin to reveal an even more complex scent. Plus, traveling with a solid is so nice! You don't have to worry about spillage or leaks at all. My hubs LOVES the Noble Woods on me! $95
Oh, I have a serious crush on these perfumes. They were one of the first natural perfume/fragrances on the scene that reminded me of what a perfume should be like. Chic, luxe, and delicious smelling. Best part of all? There is a scent for everyone. Many scents can be worn by both men and women. I'm partial to the RSW 005-a mix of warm sandalwood, earthy rose, and finished with a crisp citrus. Besides perfume oils, they also have EAU DE TOILETTE-spritzer perfumes. I love their mission-“LURK was created to develop luxury perfumes for the modern organic lifestyle.” Well, they've done it and I'm hooked! Best part?! LURK is offering 20% off now through the end of June. Use coupon code- GurlGoneGreen20 and get your shop on!! $58-72
Love Potion by Tata Harper is a fun flirty fragrance. It comes in a sleek spritzer that screams old hollywood. It's a blend of ten of the world’s most potent aphrodisiac essential oils. My hubs also loves this one. I think it may have something to do with the name! If you're searching for a better perfume/fragrance alternative for you daughter, niece or any younger gal in your life- this is it. Anything Tata Harper makes is luxurious and her perfume is no exception. $80
Well, that sums up my very LONG post on my top natural perfume/fragrances. I hope it helps you to choose a quality perfume/fragrance the next time you're shopping! Also, head to my Instagram for some giveaways of my faves. What's your fave natural perfume/fragrance? XO