{eco perfumery} essence + alchemy: 8 sensual, sustainable scents

Friday, March 4, 2016

"scent has a profound impact on our lives. smell is one of our strongest senses with the power to evoke different states of mind, and to change our perceptions." 
lisa hanson

perfumes, like personal style, are such a beautiful expression of self. mandy aftel, renonwned natural perfumer, observed that "aromas can take us anywhere." they serve to comfort + soothe: a deep, bright aroma can uplift + invigorate; a warm, softly aromatic perfume can calm your mood + restore your body's balance.

natural, clean perfumes are created with organic essential oils + plant extractives derived from nature's bounty {flowers, fruits, leaves, roots + more}. most commercial cosmetics + personal care products are made with unsafe petrochemically derived ingredients created in a lab {synthetic fragrances, phthalates + parabens*}. lucky for us, there are lots of sustainable + naturally derived alternatives.

the ingredient lists of eco perfumes often read like a botanist's private journal through a field expedition: notes of birch, amber + pine {those are ingredients worth trying} or cedar, juniper + vetivert {now we're on the right track}. the following bespoke perfumes offer sweet, sensual + downright intoxicating aromas!




{the goods} here are just a few of my favorite eco, artisan perfumes, because the nose knows:

1/ florescent: susannah compton, a self-professed "maker at heart" is the founder + formulator of florescent fragrances, a line of hand-crafted, 100% botanical perfumes made from real flowers, herbs, balsams + spices. susannah is a clean beauty enthusiast who launched florescent in 2015 after working with botanical aromatics for years, blending for therapeutic purposes. eventually she embarked on a personal journey to craft rare botanical essences. sans synthetic fragrance, sans chemical additives + cruelty-free

2/ one seed: seeing a gap in the market for natural perfumery, liz cook decided to yoke her passion for natural health + cosmetics to her passion for entrepreneurial business. liz creates artisanal perfumes made with organic + natural ingredients in the land down under {that's australia!}. she uses plant extracts + essential oils to create original + earthy fragrances, with 10% of profits donated to organizations that help disempowered people throughout the world including australia hope international. one seed offers custom-designed fragrances + aromatherapy blends. organic ingredients, sans synthetics + cruelty-free

3/ lurk: founder + perfumer anne nelson sanford notes that "scent is a really intimate thing. when you have a crush on someone there's this deep affinity for what they smell like. when we use natural elements we're unlocking actual sense memories, rather than approximating through chemistry."* a self-declared tomboy, sanford was always interested in beauty products from a science perspective. sanford was inspired by a passion for sustainable living, eco beauty + the power of essential oils to create . she hand pours and blends her gender-neutral perfumes with organic ingredients. sans synthetics + cruelty-free

4/ kahina giving beauty: pioneering entrepreneur katharine l'heureux has put thought into every aspect of her ethical business, from sustainable sourcing to green formulations and environmentally-responsible packaging since 2008. she is dedicated to protecting the environment + giving back to the indigenous people of morocco who grow, harvest + produce her raw ingredients. kahina's warm + exotic fragrances are made with fair trade ingredients sourced from small family farms + cooperatives {offering marginalized women a means of financial and social independence}. 1% of annual revenue is donated to organizations that directly benefit the women of south morocco. organic ingredients + cruelty-free

5/ skin + bones: crowned the natural "oil mixologer" heidi jenkins considers her work with clean skincare + aromatics a part of the burgeoning safe cosmetics movement. heidi launched skin + bones in 2009 with only a single product, her jojoba-based moisturizer. it has since expanded to include a warm, luxurious parfum. heidi believes what you put on your body should be as pure as what you put in it. learning of the healing powers of essential oils {the skin-restoring benefits + therapeutic properties} + drawing upon traditional native american medicine, heidi created her own potion of nurturing essential oils derived from organic botanicals. organic ingredients, sans alcohol, sans chemicals

6/ french girl: kristeen griffin-grimes describes herself as a musician, a dreamer, a former author, and a "farmer at heart with a vaguely engineer-like mind." she's the creator behind the popular, organic skincare line french girl, founded in 2010. kristeen handcrafts her pure + simple products in seattle, washington from wild-crafted ingredients. organic essential oils are sourced from around the globe including the south of france, north africa, australia + the mediterranean basin. organic ingredients + cruelty-free

7/ ethica: this online ethical retailer has a collection of scintillating scents for eco boys + girls including perfumes from hi wildflowers botanica + williams + murray + soul sunday aromatherapy rollers {all made with botanical ingredients}. all natural, vegan perfumes. ingredients are sourced from companies who use only ethical practices in line with their own. natural ingredients + cruelty-free

8/ olo: self-taught perfumer heather sielaff hand blends and bottles each fragrance to order in portland, oregon. heather started olo in 2009 with only $200 + an assorted collection of essential oils. her talent truly flourished when she harnessed her creative outlet to her own indie startup vision. olo's blends contain locally sourced essential oils, fractioned coconut oil, key accords and absolutes. sans aldehydes, sans alcohol + cruelty-free

{*the skinny} most cosmetics + personal care products are unregulated in the u.s.a., hence manufacturers are allowed to use hazardous chemicals without labeling them as toxic {fragrances, which are used to scent, are neurotoxins + allergens; phthalates like dbp, which are used to hold scent + color, are reproductive and developmental toxicants}. {no more dirty looks}.

essential oils have been used throughout history for their physically + emotionally healing properties {and to tempt would-be lovers: legend has it that cleopatra had the sails of her ship soaked in jasmine to lure mark antony}. essential oils boost immunity, ease tension + headaches, promote focus + relaxation, and even help treat depression + insomnia. join the clean beauty revolution. for more information, read no more dirty looks.


{top image by f+d}

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