The 10 Best Natural Perfumes of 2023

St. Rose Fragrances are our top choice for natural perfumes.

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Natural perfumes in a wood tray on a white background with creams.

Anna-Ok / Getty Images

Perfumes (in Latin per fumus, meaning through smoke) have wafted through history much like their name, cloaked in mystery.

According to non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, most modern perfumes are concoctions made from a stash of around 3,100 stock chemicals. The stinky truth is that a perfume’s ingredients are pretty much a secret, as regulations don’t require disclosure on the labels. As a result, many commercial perfumes may contain toxins such as ethanol, acetone, benzaldehyde, formaldehyde, camphor, and other no-no’s, which can contribute to poor air quality.

An alternative is to switch to perfumes that are conscious of the ingredients used and how they’re sourced. While there is no standard or legal definition of what a natural perfume is, our selection of scents considers transparent and cruelty-free formulations made with exacting standards, using a majority of natural raw materials.

So, surrender your senses to the all-season aromatics of the best natural perfumes.

Best Overall

St. Rose Fragrances

St. Rose Desert Nomad

St. Rose

An ode to the patron saint of gardeners, NY-based perfumery ST. ROSE has created an explosion of blooms in a bottle that meet rigorous standards of safety, sustainability, and transparency, making this brand out top overall pick. The artisanal scent house boasts opulent gender-neutral fragrances with whimsical names such as Desert Nomad and Grand Larceny.

The perfumes are masterful blends of organic sugarcane alcohol with ethically sourced natural ingredients (such as rugged Australian sandalwood), naturally-derived aromatics, and skin-safe synthetics (a small proportion such as vegan musk). The clean formulations are sans toxins such as phenoxyethanol, parabens, phthalates, and artificial colorants.

Leaping-Bunny certified cruelty-free, the collection is composed, bottled, and sent off in FSC-certified boxes. ST. ROSE encourages you to mail them empty bottles in exchange for a $25 credit. If that’s not enough, it gives back to causes through One Tree Planted, 1% for the Planet, and WildArk. The main drawback is the high price tag.

Best Budget

Pacifica Fragrance

Pacifica Perfume


Pacifica’s perfume blends are made with natural and essential oils, and no phthalates, parabens, propylene glycol, or polycyclic musks. The entire company is vegan and cruelty-free, and its perfumes come at a price point that’s hard to beat, even compared to conventional fragrances. However, it does not disclose the exact ingredient list for its fragrance blends.

Pacifica offers a range of scent profiles, although many trend towards the more sweet and fruity side. It also offers several different formats, including body mists, solid perfumes, and spray perfume. The spray perfume comes in glass bottles and an FSC-certified cardboard box, and the company offers a recycling and rewards program for all its products.

Price at time of publish: $22

Best Nourishing Ingredients

Lavanila Fragrance

Lavanila Pure Vanilla Fragrance


Just one wispy whiff of Lavanila’s perfumes and you’re whisked off to a French patisserie. At the heart of Lavanila’s botanical fragrances (named after Madagascar vanilla) is the yummy Vanilla planifolia, with worthy companions such as aromatic coconut or lavender.

The non-toxic perfumes (a heady blend of essential oils, nature-identical oils, and botanical aromas) have a base of organic sugar cane that’s antiseptic and skin-softening. The scents are flush with vitamins, antioxidants, and natural oils. Hypoallergenic, Lavanila has nixed dirty ingredients such as sulfates, parabens phthalates, mineral oils, and synthetic fragrances.

Committed to the environment, the cruelty-free company has partnered with the non-profit Nature Conservancy to plant a tree with each order placed online.

Best Luxury

Strange Invisible Perfumes

Strange Invisible Perfumes Musc Botanique

Strange Invisible Perfumes

We’re dazzled by the nuanced aromas oozing from the wildcrafted essences of cult perfume house, Strange Invisible. Founded by botanical perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis, Strange Invisible embraces natural botanical-based perfumery, steering clear of synthetic ingredients.

Inspired in equal measures by Shakespeare and the fine art of winemaking, each perfume is made in small batches using hydro-distilled essences from wild and organic plants. They’re further hand-blended and then set in a base of distilled Cognac sourced from a 12th generation master distiller in California, making a decoction blending grapes from Napa and Sonoma Valley.

Aged like fine wine for at least six months, the unfiltered perfume is decanted and bottled, resulting in luxuriously redolent potent potions. Whether you pick from the Zodiac, Signature, or Reserve collection, it’s a priceless whiff of nature in a bottle.

Best for Sensitive Skin

Qet Botanicals

Qet Botanicals Botanical Nectar Suite Sample Kit

Courtesy of Qet Botanicals

If you’re sensitive to allergies triggered by synthetic perfumes, turn to Qēt (keet) Botanicals that formulates 100% natural, alcohol-free nectars from lush, pure organic oils. The handcrafted triple scent suite of Lavender, Jasmine, and Rosewood nectars are made from fresh, non-toxic cruelty-free ingredients that work wonderfully on sensitive skins.

Each is a careful blend of pure oils, balanced with cold-pressed soothing sunflower oil. The generous shelf life of the preservative-free, EWG-verified perfume is thanks to the oxygen-free Italian stainless-steel vats the oils are stored in and the temperature-controlled area the ingredients are preserved in. We can’t get enough of these authentic brews that glide on your skin like a dream, mingling with your natural pheromones.

Price at time of publish: $20

Best Oils

Just the Goods Vegan Perfume + Aromatherapeutic Oils

Just the Goods Vegan Perfume + Aromatherapeutic Oils

Courtesy of Just the Goods

Natural skincare brand Just The Goods goes down to the brass tacks by making simple, affordable, and effective beauty products using plant and mineral-based ingredients. The result is a minimal yet alluring selection of EWG Verified unisex perfume and aromatherapeutic range handcrafted from essential oils, absolutes, and even traditional attars (a type of essential oil).

These pleasing preservative and chemical-free blends come in tiny vials. Reapply frequently, and finish within six months. The indie brand’s products are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free and it’s also a member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. Whether you pick the floral Steamy Dreamy or the herbaceous Eucalyptus Twist, you know you’re smearing on goodness.

Price at time of publish: $8

Best Solid Perfume

Earth Tu Face Perfume Solids

Geranium + Vetiver Perfume

Courtesy of Earth Tu Face

We’re terribly in love with Earth Tu Face’s invigorating botanical pure balms that come in cherished sea shell compacts. The California-based apothecary works with herbalists to create Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free conscious skincare. The company grows its own roses and lavender flowers and also sources ingredients from responsible farmers and producers.

The solid perfumes are available in three scrumptious scents: The magnetic Leaves + Wood, the seductive, Jasmine, and a luscious Geranium + Vetiver. The nourishing base is a combination of beeswax, safflower oil, and Vitamin E from sunflowers. Individually poured into the cases, just a barely-there rub is exhilarating enough. However, vegans may wish to avoid beeswax.

Price at time of publish: $89

Best Packaging

Henry Rose

Henry Rose Jake's House

Courtesy of Henry Rose

Actor Michelle Pfeiffer’s perfumed elixirs come in gorgeously curved 90% recycled glass bottles with contrasting lids made from sustainably sourced soy, in FSC-certified boxes.

Once you get past the elegant imagery, pamper yourself in these delicious scents made from carefully chosen ingredients that have met the company's scrutiny. The perfumes are EWG Verified and Cradle-to-Cradle Certified, upholding strict transparency, health, good manufacturing practices, and sustainability standards.

Henry Rose is committed to research and advocacy regarding chemicals in personal care products, contributing to the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. So, whether you want to enjoy musky Jake’s House or bask in the Patchouli scented wonderland of Last Light, know that you’re drenching yourself in aromas that are uplifting and safe.

Best Sets

Heretic Parfum

Heretic Parfum Discovery Set

Heretic Parfum

Masterful in olfactory storytelling, the provocative natural perfume company Heretic makes non-toxic un-gendered scents that are also available in beautiful complimenting discovery sets. The irreverently named fragrances (Think Florgasm, Scandalwood, and Dirty Mango) are available in miniature sets of 12 or four, and even customizable options.

The fragrances are made by hand in their Los Angeles studio by blending highly concentrated natural ingredients such as essential oils and resins extract, mixed in a base of organic non-GMO sugarcane alcohol. The vegan-friendly scents are cruelty-free and contain no phthalates, formaldehyde, synthetic dyes, and paraben. Whether you want to be soothed by CBD or stimulated by a splash of citrus, the sets are an excellent choice to cover every mood.

Best Mission

The 7 Virtues Vanilla Woods Eau de Parfum

The 7 Virtues Vanilla Woods


The 7 Virtues sources its ingredients from places that are enduring or recovering from conflict, as part of its mission to promote peace and support women. For example, the rose and orange blossom essential oils are sourced from Afghanistan, helping farmers avoid participating in the illegal poppy trade for opium. The perfumes use an alcohol base that’s made from UDSA organic sugar, blended with Fair Trade and organic botanicals and oils. The ingredients are phtalate, paraben, and formaldehyde free. 

The company is fully vegan and cruelty free, and is certified by both Leaping Bunny and PETA. The recyclable glass bottles come packaged in FSC-certified paper boxes, which means the fiber is sourced from deforestation-free sources. The company is female founded, and the perfumes themselves are crafted in Canada.

Price at time of publish: $85

Final Verdict

On the scent trail, our pick of best natural perfumes is St. Rose's scrumptious Leaping Bunny certified and 100% vegan perfumes, blending responsibly sourced ingredients with a base of organic sugarcane alcohol. Cheerful and non-compromising, we also love Lavanila’s botanical fragrances that explode with aromas of vanilla.

What You Need to Know About Natural Perfume

Have you ever sneezed up a storm or had a thumping migraine after you spritzed on a conventional scent? That’s because a clandestine cocktail of chemicals goes into the making of most perfume. For decades, there has been little regulation of the fragrance industry in the United States. In fact, the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973 exempts fragrances from listing ingredients on the label, considered a trade secret.

Change is afoot to weed out nasties from cosmetics and perfumes. In 2020, California passed the California Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act banning 24 ingredients including formaldehyde, paraformaldehyde, and methylene glycol from personal care and beauty products at the state level.

How to Choose a Natural Perfume

As a consumer, there are several ways to navigate the confusing universe of green cosmetics.

A good place to start is by checking if the perfumes have been ranked favorably in the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which means products have met stringent health standards and chemical-free benchmarks.

Some of the certifications and programs you can look for that bolster a company’s green credentials include B Corp, 1% for the Planet, Cradle-to-Cradle, Made Safe, Leaping Bunny, FSC, and USDA Organic.

Finally, you should embrace the fragrances you love, because if you don't enjoy wearing a perfume it's not worth buying. If you're not sure what you'll like, consider getting a sampler collection to try on different options. Sampler packs are also nice for people who like to change their personal scent frequently.

If you're crafty, another option to consider making your own DIY perfume with fresh flowers.

Why Trust Treehugger?

At Treehugger, we want you to use scents that scream you and are safe for your skin, kind to the environment, and gentle to animals.

We’ve sniffed through perfume houses that strike the right notes and carefully read ingredients lists, sticking to natural formulations as much as possible. Top of the list are perfumeries that use natural, responsibly sourced ingredients, such as essential oils and botanical extracts. However, some do use skin-safe synthetics, such as vegan musk. We’ve looked for cruelty-free formulations that are gentle on the environment.

Author Neeti Mehra is a luxury-industry veteran who’s also committed to sustainable, slow, and mindful living. She is partial to attars or essential oils distilled from flowers, herbs, and spices, blended together by traditional perfume houses.

View Article Sources
  1. IFRA Guidance to “Green” Fragrance terminology.” The International Fragrance Association.