The sheer volume of perfumes available these days is mind boggling but perfume in some form has been around for centuries. The word perfume comes from the Latin per fume ‘through smoke’ and its early use was the burning of incense and aromatic herbs in religious ceremonies. The Egyptians were the first to incorporate perfume into their culture and it was one of the first uses they found for glass bottles.
Perfume has moved on a bit since Cleopatra’s time. It could be argued that branding is as important as, or even more important, than the actual smell. According to an article in The Ecologist, up to 97% of the cost of perfume for the consumer could be from marketing, packaging and advertising. We live in an era where we are constantly breathing in chemical compounds from air fresheners, cleaning products and cosmetics. Shouldn’t we be trying to limit the amount of these foreign bodies that we spray so freely on a daily basis?
I’ve been able to sample a few organic perfumes over the last few months. Luckily organic perfumes have improved so much in recent years, they now have more staying power and there’s more choice (although you have to go looking for them, you won’t find them in Boots). Organic perfumes are made with essential oils from flowers and leaves, and the best will only use sustainable ingredients (Sandalwood is a protected species). Embrace by PG Organics is one of my faves. It has a musky but feminine scent of exotic amber with floral notes of iris, neroli, mimosa, rose and yang yang. Certified by Ecocert, 100% of the ingredients are natural and 97% of those are from organic origin.
For lots of choice try Rich Hippie for a wide range of organic perfumes made using traditional methods. They hail from the California, using local organic grapes for the alcohol base. From the racy, sensual scent of Rock Star, to the bohemian waft of Marrakech, there’s something for everybody, plus you can get samples for $15. Closer to home, Jo Wood Organics has a range of four organic eau de toilette scents. My personal favourite is the earthy scent of Usiku, and they come in really pretty bottles.
Also worth looking into are