Wellness Clean Beauty 9 More Companies Making Luxurious, All-Natural Perfumes By Katherine Martinko Senior Writer University of Toronto Katherine Martinko is a writer and expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto. our editorial process Twitter Twitter Katherine Martinko Updated April 15, 2016 credit: La Bella Figura Share Twitter Pinterest Email Wellness Health & Well-being Clean Beauty Finding out what’s in your lipstick, shampoo, and lotion is getting easier as more consumers demand to know and understand ingredient lists. But perfume and cologne remain the last bastions of opaqueness – the products of a veiled, vague industry in which manufacturers cite “industry secrets” and “proprietary fragrance” as the reason for not revealing what’s actually in their fancy and exorbitantly expensive bottles. That’s a big problem. While rival companies could easily hire a lab to decipher the ingredients and figure out how products are being made, the fact is that conventional perfume-makers hide their ingredients because they don’t want us – the general public – to know what’s inside. Because if we did, and we took the time to decipher those ingredients and understand the implications for our health, we’d never want to touch them again. Fortunately some small companies see this is a fabulous opportunity (which it is). There is now a growing industry of natural, non-toxic, and green perfume companies that are entirely transparent while still offering the luscious scents to which we humans are so attracted. You won’t find these companies at the local department store, so have a peek at the following slideshow to find out what’s happening in the world of natural perfumes. 1 of 9 Strange Invisible Perfumes credit: Strange Invisible Perfumes These high-end perfumes are handcrafted in Venice, California, by Alexandra Balahoutis. The essences are 100% certified organic, biodynamic, and hydro-distilled. The process of hydro-distillation is “a gentle immersion method that captures the complete aromatic profile of a plant, including the fine aroma chemicals that cannot be captured with steam distillation.” The small-size batches are then hand-blended and set into a base of custom-distilled Cognac made from non-GMO, pesticide-free grapes grown in Napa Valley. There is a wide range in price, depending on the size of bottle. 2 of 9 Aftelier Perfumes credit: Aftelier Perfumes Hand-blended in Berkeley, California, by Mandy Aftel, these fragrances are made in small batches using exotic ingredients such as Tahitian gardenia, Madagascar vanilla, 100-year-old cassia bark, and iris-root butter. Aftel eschews all synthetic ingredients, preferring to keep them free from petrochemicals, parabens, and glycols, and staying true to the ancient and rare methods of transforming essences into perfumes. In an interview with the New York Times, Aftel said, “Most people have only ever had the olfactory equivalent of McDonald’s.” It’s no wonder her perfumes come with rave reviews. Aftelier Perfumes are sold exclusively online. They come in liquid and solid forms. 3 of 9 Dasein Fragrances credit: Dasein Dasein makes vegan, cruelty-free fragrances that are also free from parabens. The fragrances are all unisex and there are only four of them, based on the four seasons. With spring approaching, this is certainly one to consider: “Dasein's SPRING unisex fragrance features notes of vetiver, violet, sandalwood, rose, yuzu and black pepper. The blend evokes a sunny spring morning, with a gentle breeze carrying the scent of wet earth, budding flowers and green things to your cute little nose. Prepare to be sprung.” Dasein sells . Regular price per vial is $95, although samples for $5 are available. 4 of 9 Hiram Green credit: Hiram Green - Shangri La perfume Hiram Green started out making perfumes in London, England, where he grew disillusioned with the fact that most scents are made with synthetic ingredients and it is difficult to find anything natural. Relocated to a studio in Gouda, the Netherlands, Green now creates his own handcrafted fragrances in small batches using naturally fragrant materials of all kinds. Hiram Green currently sells 3 perfumes – Voyage, Shangri-La, and Moon Bloom. Voyage is his newest and comes with rave reviews online. Price is $165 for a 50-mL bottle. Tiny samples also available. 5 of 9 Juniper Ridge credit: Juniper Ridge This innovative company takes the perfume industry out of the department store and into the forest: “We formulate Wilderness Perfume by distilling and extracting fragrance from wildflowers, plants, bark, moss, mushrooms, and tree trimmings that we harvest on the trail. We are building a new fragrance grammar of the American West. Nothing smells better than the forest.” Juniper Ridge uses historic perfume-making techniques such as distillation, tincturing, infusion and enfleurage to make its fragrances. The formulas vary year to year, depending on the amount of rainfall, the temperature, exact harvesting location, and season. Backpacker Cologne, $60 for 10 oz. Comes in liquid form, but also available as a beeswax-based ‘trail resin’ cologne in a metal tin ($35 for 15 mL). 6 of 9 Kahina Giving Beauty credit: Kahina Giving Beauty Products made by Kahina Giving Beauty are inspired by Morocco and the exotic ingredients found there. Its Perfume Oils (named after places in Morocco, Essaouira and Fez) are made with ingredients from natural origins, including 88% certified organic ingredients. They are made in the United States, sold in recycled packaging, and come with a stainless steel roller ball applicator. The company guarantees no animal cruelty. Essaouira or Fez Perfume Oils, $78 for 15 mL 7 of 9 By Rosie Jane credit: By Rosie Jane Founded in 2012 by celebrity makeup artist Rosie Jane Johnston, a native Australian now living in Los Angeles, these perfumes are cruelty-free and free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and phosphates. They are blended in small batches using natural essential oils and fragrances and organic ingredients. There are 3 Eau de Parfum fragrances available, as well as rollerball fragrance oils. Eau de Parfum, $49 for 50 mL – The company also offers free international shipping for orders over $50. 8 of 9 La Bella Figura credit: La Bella Figura This Chicago-based company makes perfume fragrances with certified organic, non-GMO ingredients carried in fractionated coconut oil. Everything is free from parabens, nanoparticles, synthetic fragrance, phthalates, animal fat, heavy metals, and mineral oil. La Bella Figura takes ingredients seriously: “We believe that the finest ingredients make the finest products and there is nowhere on earth we won’t go to seek the best. We do not mass manufacture our products, preferring to create every batch by hand with tenderness and craftsmanship we can feel proud of in our Chicago studio.” The company sells perfume oils inspired by places around the world – Istanbul, Paris, Buenos Aires, Positano, Barcelona, and San Miguel. , $90 for .25 fl oz 9 of 9 Vitruvi credit: Vitruvi Vitruvi is a Vancover-based company that sells aromatherapy oils. These oils are meant to be worn on the skin like perfume and are designed strategically “to help solidify rituals and habits through scent association.” Vitruvi’s founders explain more about the power of aromatherapy: “The effects that certain scent molecules have on the receptors on which they are placed explain why we feel more energized after smelling coffee and citrus or more calm after smelling lavender.” The oils are named “sleep, move, focus, energize, balance, detox, headache, go, still, etc.” They cost $38 for 10 mL.