Perfume makers have made it possible to douse yourself in floral, smoky, and spicy scents. But so many fragrances are created artificially, with chemical or synthetic additives that aren’t always kind to the earth. Is it possible to smell fantastic without spritzing formaldehyde?
These four perfumes take a more organic approach, seeking out natural ingredients tapped from sustainable sources. Some of them even come in recyclable packaging, and all of them have an eco-conscious ethos at their core. Check out the aroma notes to see which one best suits your scent profile.
The Clean Reserve line of perfumes claims to be “responsible, recyclable, and reusable from top to bottom” — and it has plenty of eco-friendly features to back that up. Each fragrance is manufactured in solar-powered facilities and packaged in a 100 percent recyclable glass bottle, topped with an oak cap containing wood from responsibly managed forests.
Clean Reserve uses an alcohol derived from corn in its perfumes, as well as other sustainable ingredients. The Citron Fig, for example, includes cardamom from a Guatemalan supplier, who works directly with local farmers, and copaiba oil harvested sustainably through Amazon communities. It’s a $95 scent with top notes of ginger and lemon oil, and dry notes of sandalwood and cedar.
Pacifica is a vegan, cruelty-free beauty brand that you might’ve spied in the aisles of Target. It sells natural skincare and makeup, offering a custom recycling program for all of its products. Customers can simply clean and mail back used containers with a prepaid shipping label, earning 10 loyalty points on every return.
The $22 Tahitian Gardenia spray perfume gives off a sweet, citrusy scent that resembles orange, jasmine, and tea leaves. It’s microbatched in a Portland factory, where Pacifica bottles it with corn-based alcohol and essential oils.
This luxury fragrance brand aims to empower women economically with sustainable business practices that support the indigenous flower harvesters who gather its ingredients. Sana Jardin teaches these women how to create candles and other items, which they can resell for their own revenue. The company also boasts a closed-loop system that composts leftover leaves and stems, and upcycles floral water and wax scraps into new products.
Sana Jardin’s best-seller is the Berber Blonde, which uses orange blossoms and Moroccan neroli oil to conjure a floral, summery scent. Like all of the company’s perfumes, it retails for $225, and contains zero parabens, phthalates, artificial coloring, or formaldehyde.
By Rosie Jane is the work of Rosie Jane Johntson, an LA-based celebrity makeup artist with an eye towards clean, natural ingredients. Her products are cruelty-free and devoid of any parabens, phthalates, BHT, or phenoxyethanol — plus they come in minimal, recyclable packaging. Like Pacifica, the company runs its own give back program that encourages customers to mail back empty bottles. By Rosie Jane will even provide a complimentary new roll-on scent in exchange for four empty containers.
The company creates four scents, all priced at $50 per bottle. The titular “Rosie” conjures notes of red and Moroccan roses with just a hint of vanilla.
More From Green Matters
Susie Faux, creator of the capsule wardrobe in the '70s, talks to Green Matters about the growing relevancy of the minimalist clothing movement she started.
Fast fashion may seem good for your wallet — but it’s bad for the planet.
Vegan leather sounds like an oxymoron — because it is — but it’s also a better alternative to real leather.
Your summer swimwear can be cute and sustainable.