After learning about the negative health effects linked to chemicals in perfumes, our Director of Operations went on a quest to find the best non-toxic perfumes out there. Here are her reviews of 16 fragrances that smell great (and are good for you too)!
I honestly still can’t decide whether White Vetiver or Golden Neroli is my favorite fragrance by Abel. I decided to go with Golden Neroli, but each fragrance is a beautiful blend of natural and modern, and is worth experiencing! The matcha and neroli top notes blend with citrus and floral heart notes, and deeper vanilla and sandalwood base notes to produce a scent that is both floral and earthy.
Abel: Uses 100% natural ingredients that evolve with the natural chemistry of your skin. Full ingredient lists for each scent are transparently shown on their website. Abel also has a give back partnership with Mary’s Meals, and for every bottle of fragrance sold, donate’s one meal to a child in need.
This delicious combination of orange, lime, and sandalwood notes are actually a renaissance of the popular LURK fragrance BS003. I found BS004 to be crisp, light, and fruity, without feeling syrupy or boring.
LURK: All fragrances are created with 100% pure essential oils with no additives, synthetics, compounds, fixatives, preservatives, GMO’s, phthalates, or parabens. Their packaging is made of recycled materials, is recyclable, and reusable.
Mai’s top notes of citrus, bergamot, orange and spices are immediately apparent, and fade into the rose and geranium heart notes. The vetiver and cedar base keeps this from getting too sweet — it’s described as a refreshing and energizing morning walk in the Mediterranean!
Splash of Scent: Their perfumes are made primarily of organic, and if not available, natural ingredients. Non-toxic, no phthalates, and no parabens.
This fragrance starts out fresh and citrusy with bergamot and orange top notes, with a sweet cashmere and vanilla base that blends beautifully with the green tea and freesia mid notes. The mix of citrus with sweet makes SciFi perfect to wear day or night.
Ellis Brooklyn: Phthalates-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free, eco-friendly (they use responsible sourcing and partner with sustainable businesses). They also use recycled, lead-free glass and FSC-certified, Green Seal certified paper stock for their packaging, and offset their carbon footprint through carbon-neutral shipping.
I am obsessed with this fragrance — if you love Santal 33 by Le Labo, you will love Alitura Presence. It’s a soft, warm scent that sticks around throughout the day – its leather base blending beautifully with floral and cedar notes.
Alitura: Cruelty free, vegan, and free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dye, gluten, mineral oil, and silicone. Alitura is devoted to providing the highest quality, with ingredients that are anti-laboratory, anti-GMO and anti-chemicals.
This is a beautiful woodsy scent, with a combination of citrus, cypress, sage, honey, and botanical musk. It smells very fresh, and wears well over time.
Strange Invisible: Crafted from authentic botanical essences with no synthetic chemicals in any products. All oils are sourced sustainably. Their packaging is made with paper manufactured using biofuel with pulp from sustainably managed forests.
This is for the girl who loves roses! Rosie is a lovely blend of rose top notes and musky base notes for added depth. It’s a simple fragrance, but not boring. The combination of musk with the sweeter rose blends well with your natural scent and develops into a clean fragrance.
by rosie jane: Free from parabens, phthalates, BHT, and phenoxyethanol. Vegan and cruelty free. Packaged in 100% eco-friendly materials.
Dasein has a fragrance for each season (literally), and it just so happened that my favorite season and favorite scent went hand-in-hand. Autumn has notes of amber, incense, cedar, coffee, and cinnamon bark. I could really smell the cinnamon come through and it felt like the perfect fragrance for a crisp day spent snuggled up in a blanket, reading by a fire.
Dasein: Paraben, glycol, and cruelty free. The fragrances include raw materials sourced from around the globe including: natural essential oils and absolutes, precise co2 extractions, and modern aroma molecules and isolates.
I tried out Ritual not expecting to like it if we are being honest. I swiftly changed my mind. This is a warm fragrance, and you can smell the cinnamon leaf immediately. After a few hours the cinnamon, neroli, and patchouli blend together beautifully and the smell becomes a very clean one.
Smoke Perfume: Use ethically sourced, all-natural ingredients, with sustainable packaging.
If you are looking for a soft, subtle, and completely lovely fragrance, then this is a great option. Monoï reminds me of a cool breeze at the very beginning of summer. It’s floral, but with the slightest hint of coconut to keep it warm. There is a slight, “green” scent that balances out the coconut beautifully, and keeps the overall fragrance complex.
MCMC: Phthalate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, vegan, and not tested on animals.
As the temperatures dropped, I found myself pulled toward the dark and smoky Hepcat (though I can already tell that Hanami will be my summer fave!) PHLUR describes Hepcat as being inspired by the jazz aficionados of the 40’s and 50’s, and one sniff of the saffron, black vetiver, tobacco, and oud notes will make it perfectly clear why.
PHLUR: Hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, vegan, sustainably sourced, and packaged with recycled materials. Phlur never uses parabens, phthalates, BHT, phenoxyethanol, or nitro musks. They also encourage volunteerism and regularly hold all-team service days at their base in Austin, TX.
This is a really beautiful citrus scent, with mint heart notes, and a deeper woodsy base. You can spray this fragrance liberally without worrying it will be overpowering. Pour Le Monde designs each fragrance to release its different notes as your body temperature warms the fragrance up, which allows the perfume to evolve and stay with you through the day!
Pour Le Monde: Pour Le Monde fragrances are 100% natural and are free of harmful chemicals such as phthalates, dyes, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, and petrochemicals. They use a corn-based alcohol and essential oils and that are extracted using a steam distillation technique.
I loved this scent. It is complex, exotic, and once I spritzed it on, it warmed up to a beautiful, warm honey scent (probably due to the beeswax notes). As it wears, it slightly changes, but stays true to its initial impression. Hyde was runner up — this fragrance is rich and opulent, and made quite an impression on me!
Hiram Green: Deeply complex fragrances made exclusively from natural materials.
Dreamer is a playful, fruity, feminine fragrance. I could immediately smell the fig and stone fruits, but after wearing for a while I began to smell more of the orange blossom. This is the perfect perfume if you enjoy sweet fragrances that aren’t cloying or overly sweet.
One Seed Perfumes: Uses all-natural ingredients with at least 80% organic content, and all of their products are gentle on skin and the environment. Packaging is minimal, and all of it is recyclable or reusable.
Perfect for anyone who loves deeper sandalwood fragrances, and wants their perfume to double as aromatherapy! I could only very lightly smell the ginger lily that blends with the sandalwood base notes, and actually ended up sleeping in this fragrance a few nights. Floracopeia describes this fragrance as “an aromatic masterpiece” and as sandalwood is a mild sedative, it certainly did the job!
Floracopeia: Uses only natural essential oils. Full ingredient lists are available on their website.
This fragrance is absolutely beautiful. It has a faint coconut scent, with hints of vanilla, and spiced by coriander.
Honore des Pres: 100% natural and vegan. Uses no synthetic fragrances, added coloring, phlalates, or other additives known to be aggressive to the skin.
Images via Abel, LURK, Splash of Scent, Ellis Brooklyn, Alitura, Strange Invisible, by rosie jane, Dasein, Smoke Perfume, MCMC, PHLUR, One Seed Perfumes, Hiram Green, Pour Le Monde, Floracopeia, Honore des Pres