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Beauty Brands Turn Towards Making Eco-Friendly Fragrances

By Maressa Brown

For a while now, it's been pretty easy to find makeup with sustainable, non-toxic, eco-friendly, or even vegan and gluten-free ingredients. Sure, you may have to go to Whole Foods to have a really amazing selection, but even big department stores like Nordstrom or mall staples like Sephora have started carrying greener beauty products. At the same time, it can feel far more challenging find a perfume that's made with earth-friendly ingredients and packaging and developed with sustainability-certified processes. Thankfully, it seems as though the tide is turning on this front, according to a new report on Glossy.co

Until now, one of the major reasons that perfume manufacturers haven't been especially motivated to lean into green-friendly ingredients and practices is that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't require that they explicitly list everything that goes into a fragrance.

Under the the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), the FDA does require ingredients on a perfume's packaging, sure. But there's also a hitch: Companies aren't force to share "trade secrets." According to the FDA's site, "Fragrance and flavor formulas are complex mixtures of many different natural and synthetic chemical ingredients, and they are the kinds of cosmetic components that are most likely to be 'trade secrets.'"

So, any questionable ingredients could be easily tossed under this umbrella, and consumers would be none the wiser, right?  

The thing is we are getting wise to this loophole, and savvy companies are happy to provide more information. For instance, Swiss jeweler Chopard, along with Livia Firth, founder of Eco-Age, recently announced that they'll launch unisex fragrances made from sustainable ingredients. And other high-end companies like Goop and Comme des Garçons have emphasized sustainability and transparency with their fragrances, as well.