Our guest author today teaches us about organic perfume. Personally, I detest most perfume because they have a faint undertone of chemicals. Her description of some of these organic goodies just might make me change my mind. Vanilla … yum.
Perfume is big business. A spritz of a top scent can make you feel glamorous, fresh and ready to face the world. We all have our favourites, and brands make millions from their fragrance lines, but what are we actually paying for?
An article in The Ecologist revealed that up to 97% of the cost to the customer of branded perfume comes from marketing, packaging and advertising. With those beautiful bottles and highly styled ads in the glossy magazines, this is no surprise. What’s more, two thirds of the ingredients in modern fragrances are synthetically derived from synthetic oils and chemical compounds including benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol and ethanol. Even for the non-chemists among us that doesn’t sound very appealing to spray freely.
The alternative to synthetic fragrances is to go organic. Perfume was around long before manmade chemical compounds. In fact, the word perfume comes from the latin per fume, meaning ‘through smoke’. Very early uses of perfume included the burning of incense and aromatic herbs in Egyptian religious ceremonies.
Organic perfume has always been available in modern times, but the choice was extremely limited and it tended to wear off quickly. Now there is far more choice available to the conscientious consumer in search of organic alternatives. Made from the essential oils from flowers and leaves, organic fragrances are healthy for body and planet. The best will only use sustainable ingredients too; sandalwood, for example, is a protected species.
Jo Wood Organics has a range of four eau de toilette fragrances, each certified by ECOCERT. My favourite is ‘Usiku’, an earthy, warm fragrance. Usiku means ‘night’ in Swahili, a name which suits it well as the sensual fragrance it is. Made from a blend of rosemary, spicy cardamom, hot ginger and sweet vanilla, all of Jo Wood Organics fragrances are available online and in various boutiques across the world.
Rich Hippie creates 100% natural, organic perfumes in California. With names like ‘Bliss’, ‘Devotion’ and ‘The Kiss’ these are hedonistic fragrances for people who love a healthy body and healthy mind. The company uses extracts from organically farmed plants and flowers from all corners of the world including Davana from India, Rose from Bulgaria and Turkey, Vanilla from Madagascar, Citrus from Brazil, spices from east African and Orris from Albania. Moreover, they use organic alcohol made from organic grapes grown in the great wine regions of California.
Bach Flower Remedies have been making natural potions for more than 70 years with the aim of helping emotional imbalances. Bach sells a range of fragrances from organic flower essences, such as the ‘Presence de Bach’ which features top notes of Vervain and Clematis, over base notes of Pine, Oak and Crab Apple.
Whichever organic fragrance you go for you can be rest assured that the smell you carry around with you all day every day is natural, harmless and well worth the money.
Emma Waight is a PhD retail researcher and freelance fashion and trend writer for clothes.org.uk