Would you like to know where to find sustainable perfumes? Most perfumes sold in shops do not list the ingredients, many contain chemicals and animal ingredients, and often perfumes are over-packaged and over-priced (to pay for hiring celebrities to advertise them). Not everyone wears perfume or cologne. But it’s a very popular gift. So let’s look for some more natural brands from ethical companies.
Never spray perfume near pets or children (air rooms before allowing them back in the room). Avoid perfumes for allergies, asthma, pregnancy & breastfeeding. Keep these perfumes and scents away from direct sunlight.
For best results, apply to damp or hydrated skin (like after a hot shower) and don’t rub in. The most effective pulse points are wrists, inside the elbow, neck, behind the knees or at the cleavage. Store perfumes and colognes away from heat, light and humidity (like bathrooms) to make them last longer.
Ingredients to Avoid in Perfume
- Civet is taken from anal secretions of a cat native to Africa and Asia.
- Musk is taken from anal secretions of the musk deer. If you like this scent, use Dolma’s Vegamusk.
- Ambergris is basically ‘whale poop’. Years ago, it was taken from hunted whales. As whales are still hunted today, it’s a real grey area as to whether whales are harmed. But to be safe, just avoid it.
- Castoreum is taken from anal secretions from beavers, wonderful creatures that like to build dams, and can help stop our towns from flooding. Artificial vanilla (both in perfume and baking) can also be made with this ingredient.
- Hyraceum is made from badger urine.
- Rosewood Oil is from a critically endangered tree from tropical rainforests. If you like this scent, use ho-wood oil instead (the nearest equivalent).
- Chemicals (there are a lot of them in conventional perfumes). Choose scents made with natural grain alcohols and scented with real essential oils. Look for perfumes that list the ingredients.
What’s surprising is how popular some of the most toxic perfumes are. Coco Mademoiselle is one of the world’s most popular scents. Yet it contains chemicals listed as toxic (benzyl salicylate and benzyl alcohol), artificial colours and artificial fragrance – try Eden Perfume Madame Glamour). And Chanel No.5 (the world’s best-selling perfume) contains tree moss and oak moss, both of which may be banned soon in Europe on health grounds (use Eden Perfume’s 007 instead).
Ink & Oceans Perfumes
These are lovely botanical perfumes made from organic vegan ingredients. All made to order, the range includes:
- Birdsong (fresh orange, bergamot and elemi merged with herby petitgrain, grass and green tea, with a heart of crushed peaches, iris root and violets). Base is sandalwood.
- Forest Noir Solid Botanical Perfume opens with basil, lemon and clary sage, and hints of ginger and Scots pine, with vanilla, oakmoss and cedarwood.
Vegan Perfume Gift Sets
Bare & Bond offers a lovely vegan letterbox-friendly perfume gift set and other vegan perfumes. This gift set includes Pink Pepper & Ginger, Signature (sophisticated floral with rose, patchouli and oakmoss) and Red Queen (a spicy incense rose with patchouli and vegan musk). Also offers men’s aftershave gift sets.
Walden Natural Perfumes
Walden Natural Vegan Perfumes (Cheshire) make beautiful perfumes, all named after a phrase from Hendry David Thoreau’s book on simple living. Made with the finest absolutes, resins and essential oils, they are sold in various strengths, with samples and purse sprays. The range includes:
- A Different Drummer opens with a rich blast of tobacco, followed by peppery cedarwood and patchouli, and finishes with creamy hints of amyris, vanilla and tonka bean.
- A Little Star Dust is a sumptuous bouquet of ylang ylang, iris and jasmine, enriched with hints of creamy amyris and exotic tonka bean.
- The Solid Earth opens fresh with bracing petitgrain, followed by a heart of light patchouli oil and black pepper, to finish off with creamy vetiver and amyris.
- See the Moonlight is a chypre fragrance that opens with fresh bergamot, followed by a heart of jasmine and hints of rose. The finish is luxurious sandalwood and exotic ambrette seed.
- Two Eternities is a garland of wild roses, jasmine and iris, floating above a fresh citrus base of mandarin, bergamot and sweet orange.
- A Gentle Rain grows with a blend of oak moss, labdanum and patchouli. The heat that follows is composed of bergamot, smooth orris, sandalwood and timeless rose de mai. With base notes of vetiver, lavender green and clary sage.
- Castles in the Air is a fresh blend of citrus, with a hint of tropical flowers and lavender.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. Walden
Haoma Organic Eau de Parfum
Haoma No.1 Organic Eau de Parfum is handmade in small batches; a mix of myrrh, geranium, patchouli, frankincense, cedarwood, palmarosa, sweet orange and thyme. Sold in a beautiful violet glass bottle, other scents include Frankincense & Myrrh, Lavender, Orange and Ylang Ylang. The name is a sacred plant in ancient Persian and Zoroastrian culture.
Vegan Designer Perfumes
Eden Perfumes makes vegan versions of designer perfumes (with refills) using plant-based ingredients). Conventional perfumes may contain animal ingredients (civet, musk, ambergris, mink or ambergris from whales). Some contain rosewood oil, from a critically endangered tree. Natural perfumes are made with biodegradable ingredients and tend to charge for the scents, rather than packaging and ads. The range includes:
- No 007 is similar to Chanel No.5 (a top note of ylang ylang, with iris and jasmine).
- Madame Glamour – like orange juice in the warm sunshine with an Eastern hint
- Daisy is like strolling through summer meadows, with gardenia and violet leaf
- Vegan Sii is an Italian-influenced perfume, with cassis, vanilla and rose
- Caroline Carrera is the scent of New York in a bottle – spicy, peppery, green, floral
- Aventis is the most popular men’s fragrance, with woody notes of dry birch.
Perfumes with Reusable Atomisers
Elementary Scents offers unique scents with reusable atomisers, made with natural botanicals (you receive a free A5 art print (on recycled card) with each order. Choose from ‘locally brewed’ craft fragrances in woody, earthy or herb. The range includes:
- Unscheduled Wander is deeply woody, with fresh forest flowers
- Lowbrow Jazz is earthy and slightly fruity
- Lazy Sage is herby with floral spice and citrus
You can also buy a gift set, with smelling strips included.
Dolma Vegan Perfumes
Dolma Perfumes (Nottinghamshire) were developed by a vegan chemist, and offers perfume, eau de parfum, trial packs and gifts. You can also buy reusable tops to use for your next order. And the company sells a nice range of vegan aftershave balms too.
- Amethyst Mist – woody notes of cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver decorated with white floral accents of ylang ylang and heliotrope. Finish of ginger, mandarin, cardamom and clove.
- Anahita is named after a Persian Goddess. It has fruity notes of peach and lemon, a floral heart of carnation and ylang ylang, and spicy notes of sandalwood and cypress.
- Andromeda is a green floral perfume with cyclamen and green crushed leaves, a heart of jasmine and neroli, with deep shades of amber and vegan musk.
- Calista opens with fresh notes of bergamot and lemon, revolves around a rich bouquet of jasmine, geranium and ylang ylang, and melts into sandalwood and amyris. The name is Greek for ‘most beautiful’.
- Compassion has ylang ylang, delicate tones of lemon and ginger, and notes of copaiba, vetiver and amber.
- Cushi B blends cardamom and cinnamon with lime and orange, that rest on a floral heart of geranium, ylang ylang and patchouli (spicy floral)
- Sarabande is a romantic rose perfume with geranium leaves on wood notes of cypress, earthy patchouli and soft amber.
- Vegamusk is a best-selling vegan alternative to animal musk perfume. It has soft notes of jasmine and lily with sandalwood on a bed of honey (not real, it’s a vegan perfume).
- First Rain has a strong mossy wood base with green balsamic notes of galbanum and whispers of jasmine.
- Light Bloom is like sky on a crisp spring morning: white florals, magnolia, lily of the valley and freesia, with top notes of sweet orange and orange blossom.
- Light Velvet is an elegant woody scent with a sweet resinous base of saffron and tonka to spice it up.
- Sun Joy is a modern green floral with woody base and fresh notes of citrus, rose and freesia.
- Freedom has accents of lavender enhanced with crushed mint and layered with cinnamon leaf extract on a wood base of cedarwood, patchouli and vetiver
- Imagine is a dark earthy scent with green violet leaves, juicy pineapple tones and dry ambers.
- Sirius opens on accents of artemisia oil around bergamot and bay laurel tones, with a heart of geranium leaves spiced up by carnation and cinnamon, on a wood base of pine needle, patchouli and amber.
- Kwame means ‘man born on a Saturday’. with refreshing bergamot and lemon splash on a lightly spiced heart of nutmeg. You should not spray aftershave near pets anyway, but don’t wear this one near pets, as nutmeg can be toxic if inhaled.