CLEAN + CRUELTY-FREE GUIDE | PERFUMES
Fragrances are not only used to mask unwanted odors. They are used to elicit action, to calm or excite, and to declare an identity - a signature scent. Scents cast spells on us, altering our state of mind with such ease as magic!
Capturing and dispensing scents is an age-old luxury, intimately tied with memory. That one shampoo you smell can take you back decades to your grandmother's house, that sweet aroma of fresh baked bread can draw you in from across the street, and that lovely candle burning in the corner can transport you into a state of contemplative calm.
These unique scents are sorted into categories: floral, woody, fresh, and oriental.
All scents can be divided into these four categories, called the Fragrance Wheel. Most scents fall somewhere in between, a beautiful mix of 2 or more categories, creating sub-groups such as: Floral Oriental, Woody Oriental, Fresh Floral, and so on. Below are the main sub-groups:
- Floral (Floral + Fresh Notes) - Main notes include fresh-cut flowers.
- Soft Floral (Floral Notes) - Main notes include aldehydes and powdery notes.
- Floral Oriental (Floral + Oriental Notes) - Main notes include orange blossom and sweet spices.
- Soft Oriental (Oriental + Floral Notes) - Main notes include incense and amber.
- Oriental (Oriental Notes) - Main notes include oriental resins such as frankincense, and vanilla.
- Woody Oriental (Oriental + Woody Notes) - Main notes include sandalwood and patchouli.
- Woods (Woody Notes) - Main notes include aromatic woods and vetiver.
- Mossy Woods (Woody + Oriental Notes) - Main notes include oakmoss and amber.
- Dry Woods (Woody Notes) - Main notes include dry woods and leather.
- Aromatic Fougère (Fresh Notes) - Main notes include lavender and aromatic herbs. This universal fragrance family includes elements from different families: the freshness from the Citrus family, floral notes of lavender, the spicy-sweetness of a Floral Oriental, the ambery depth of an Oriental and the Mossy Woods warmth of sandalwood and oakmoss.
- Citrus (Woody + Fresh Notes) - Main notes include bergamot and other citrus oils.
- Fruity (Fresh + Floral Notes) - Main notes include berries and other non-citrus fruits.
- Green (Fresh + Floral Notes) - Main notes include galbanum and green notes.
- Water (Fresh + Floral Notes) - Main notes include marine and aquatic notes.
Unfortunately, while past fragrances made simple use of essential oils and distilled alcohol-based concentrates, most scents today - be they for perfumes, candles, home sprays, or otherwise - are created with synthetic fragrance or "parfum" with toxic properties.
Perfume companies sought to use the ingredient terms fragrance and parfum as a way to prevent others from stealing their secret formulas, but in turn it allows them to include whichever mystery chemical they wish to add to their product. Fragrance is usually a catchall term for thousands of chemicals, including phthalates (pronounced "thal-ates"), which are derived from petroleum*. Phthalates are known allergens and hormone disruptors, but are allowed to be included in fragrance along with other petroleum based synthetics. Synthetic fragrance can cause allergic reactions, rashes, headaches, and respiratory problems for many people. That might be why you sneeze incessantly when you walk by that moody teen clothing store at the mall, or your eyes start to itch and head aches while walking through a department store.
But don’t fret! There are more and more perfumes emerging on the scene made with natural ingredients and formulated without synthetics. We've found the best non-toxic + cruelty-free perfumes to keep you smelling divine, without the headaches and the harsh chemicals.
Here are the best of our collection, divided by their main notes.
ETHEREAL BY JOSH ROSEBROOK
A lush, sophisticated fragrance with a modern twist. A balance of femininity and masculinity, it awakens the spirit with warmth and ethereal experience. Delicate, sensual and with a woodsy heart note, it embodies the sweet and earthy in perfect harmony.
ALWAYS LOVED BY MY DAUGHTER FRAGRANCES
For the beautifully complex individual that enjoys the fragrance of sophisticated floral blends. A mixture of Turkish Rose Absolute, Bulgarian Rose Oil and elements of cocoa, cedar and coffee will give you the thrill of romance and permanence.
INNER STRENGTH BY AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES
A natural blend of Clary Sage, Cardamom and Frankincense gives you an uplifting, positive experience. Restore positivity through the demanding and obstreperous times. Perfect for handbags and on-the-go, it’s a perfect essential for wherever you go.
JOYFUL BY MY DAUGHTER FRAGRANCES
Joyful is a fragrant love letter of orange flower, lime blossom, rose, jasmine and creamy sandalwood.
Fresh and floral lovers rejoice!
*FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT INGREDIENTS WE NEVER SUPPORT, USE, OR SELL AT PETIT VOUR, VISIT OUR DIRTY THIRTY INGREDIENTS PAGE.
**ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP DECEMBER 6, 2007
Wow I’m pretty psyched to see this post – until now I thought my only option was to put essential oils on my wrists, and the smell doesn’t even last very long! Next: here’s to hoping these start showing up at dept stores so I can smell before I buy :)