Eau Natural: How Natural Perfumes Are Changing the Fragrance World
The newest crop of natural fragrances is more subtly layered, longer-lasting, and kinder to the planet than ever before. Learn about the latest eco-developments, and then pluck a scent that's your kind of divine. First and foremost, know that the sourcing process has become much smarter. This means harvesting ingredients sustainably, being mindful of the scarcity or abundance of particular ingredients, and considering workers' rights. "We want to respect nature and the communities workers come from," says Givaudan perfumer Adriana Medina. Synthetic elements can play a part, too: Some are much less depleting than natural alternatives.
They're also made from better bases. Alcohol suspends fragrance oils for an even spritz with every pump. But not all kinds are created equal. Some contain a sugarcane base; the plant is more efficient to grow than corn, another common ingredient (the former can yield more per acre). You can also now find highly concentrated formats, like oils and balms, according to Medina. They fade faster but smell just as amazing.
"Glass is the most common vessel for perfume, as it doesn't react with the ingredients inside," says Mia Davis, director of environmental and social responsibility at Credo Beauty. But the pump isn't recyclable (at least not yet), so be sure to remove it before recycling the bottle. As for outer packaging, compostable materials, soy-based inks, and reusable boxes are on the rise. "And things definitely don't need to be wrapped in plastic," Davis adds. Ahead, discover some of our favorite natural fragrances to scoop up—and spritz on—right now.
Top Picks for Natural Perfumes
- Best Spicy Natural Perfume: Phlur Olmstead & Vaux Eau de Parfum
- Best Earthy Natural Perfume: Henry Rose Fog Eau de Parfum
- Best Citrus Natural Perfume: 7 Virtues Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum
- Best Light Floral Natural Perfume: Heretic Dirty Gardenia Eau de Parfum
- Best Heady Floral Natural Perfume: Maison Sybarite's Bed of Roses