Eau Natural: How Natural Perfumes Are Changing the Fragrance World

Plus, a few of our favorite earth-friendly scents to shop right now.

spring perfumes
Photo: Paola + Murray

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

01 of 05


bottle of Phlur Olmstead & Vaux Eau de Parfum
Courtesy of Credo Beauty

White ginger and shiso leaf energize this perfume from Phlur. It's named after the landscape architects of New York City's Central Park—and $5 of each purchase goes to the land's conservancy.

Shop Now: Phlur Olmstead & Vaux Eau de Parfum, $96, credobeauty.com.

02 of 05


Henry Rose Fog Eau de Parfum bottle
Courtesy of Henry Rose

Henry Rose's fragrance "Fog," a blend of warm sandalwood and faintly sweet magnolia, is forest-bathing in a bottle. You can also compost the cap.

Shop Now: Henry Rose Fog Eau de Parfum, $120, henryrose.com.

03 of 05


7 Virtues Orange Blossom Eau de ParfumX
Courtesy of Sephora

The blend of ethically sourced tangerine, mandarin, and jasmine in 7 Virtues Orange Blossom eau de parfum will wake up your senses with every waft.

Shop Now: 7 Virtues Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum, $79, sephora.com.

04 of 05

Light Floral

Heretic Dirty Gardenia Eau de Parfum
Courtesy of Heretic Parfum

Heretic's upcoming release, Dirty Gardenia, captures the essence of its namesake blossom, and comes in a chic and sturdy black box.

Shop Now: Heretic Dirty Gardenia Eau de Parfum, $165, hereticparfum.com.

05 of 05

Heady Floral

Maison Sybarite's Bed of Roses
Courtesy of Maison Sybarite

Across the garden, Maison Sybarite's Bed of Roses blooms with heady bergamot and patchouli, and has a water (not alcohol) base.

Shop Now: Maison Sybarite's Bed of Roses, $185, us.maison-sybarite.com.

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