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).
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.
Bare & Bond offers a letterbox-friendly perfume gift set which 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.
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.
Walden Natural Vegan 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
Indie Small-Batch Vegan Perfumes
Elementary Scents is a company that makes small-batch vegan perfumes, with reusable atomisers. Sold in glass jars with zero waste packaging, the highly concentrated scents are all unisex, created by a couple who use the power of natural ingredients to create bold botanical fragrances, with aromatherapy essential oils. Choose from:
- Lazy Sage (fresh green foliage with smooth floral spice and a hint of fresh citrus). Includes key notes of clary sage, cannabis, ho wood, rose, vetiver, geranium, bergamot, chamomile and lavender.
- Lowbrow Jazz (a sharp burst of spice and earthiness, with fruity incense). Includes notes of galbanum, opopanax resin, cardamom, clove, olibanum, caraway, Sichuan pepper, basil, coriander, cinnamon leaf, bergamot, benzoin resin and vetivet.
- Unscheduled Wander (a warm undertone softened by a hint of fresh flowers). Incudes key notes of guaiac wood, oud, cade, geranium, sandalwood, lavender, patchouli, cedarwood and bergamot.
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.
Vegan Versions of 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.
- 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.
Other Beautiful Botanical Perfumes
These botanical artisan perfumes are made with extracts of plants, resins, plant tinctures and flowers, in glass bottles. with 80% organic ingredients. Choose from:
- Island Muse Natural Botanical Perfume (Sicilian bergamot, sweet blood orange, lemongrass, peach, peppermint, gardenia, lotus and coriander, with a base of vetiver, patchouli vanilla and benzoin
- Birdsong Botanical Artisan Perfume (fresh orange, bergamot, elemi with petitgrain, green tea, crushed peaches, iris root and violets, with a base of sandalwood, amber, vanilla and benzoin
Forest Noir Solid Botanical Perfume opens with basil, lemon and clary sage, and hints of ginger and Scots pine, with vanilla, oakmoss and cedarwood. These solid perfumes are made using a cold extraction method, with organic shea butter and jojoba wax as the base. The flowers are carefully applied to exhale their scent, then changed and recharged with new flowers for 30 days or more, to produce the true scent of the flower.
The perfumes are sold in a container with an eco kraft gift box. Apply to pulse points, wrists, nape of the neck and behind the ears. Keep in a cool place, away from direct sunlight.
Haoma Perfumes are handmade in small batches. No.1 is 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. Also in orange, frankincense,
These pulse point purse sprays are ideal for travel. 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. Choose from:
- English Rose Pulse Point Perfume smells like an English rose garden. Distilled from flowers collected by hand at dawn, 60,000 petals are needed for just one ounce of this scent. In sweet almond and grapeseed oils.
- Buttercup Meadow Pulse Point Perfume (orange blossom, petitgrain)
- Emotional Balance Pulse Point Perfume (fennel, geranium, lavender, bergamot)
- Bottled Sunshine Pulse Point Perfume (lemongrass)
- Tummy Tamer Pulse Point Perfume (peppermint, fennel, grapefruit)