In celebration of planet-friendly perfumes, Torey Cassidy suggests six sustainable fragrances you should have on your radar.
The beauty industry’s journey to become sustainable has its consumers to thank for it. We as individuals have the power to demand change and it all begins with our daily routines. So, what’s in yours?
As scent is so personal, we emotionally purchase, checking out with the fragrance that connects us to a time, a place or a memory and consequently overlooking any eco-conscious effort. In his book, "How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market," Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman states that 95% of purchasing decisions are driven by unconscious urges, the most influential being emotion. But we must do better, and we can, if we actively choose to.
What exactly makes a fragrance sustainable?
There are three main questions to ask. Are they cruelty-free, socially fair and eco-friendly?
"Fragrances must meet strict requirements regarding starting ingredients, solvents, preservatives and manufacturing processes," states The Soil Association. We should also ensure that "there is no additional waste in manufacturing, that minimal packaging and recycled content is used," as well as double-checking that marketing claims have been verified and approved.
Lisa Oxenham, Marie Claire Style and Beauty Director says "being cruelty-free, environmentally-friendly and fair trade should be a given but there are many brands now that are taking ethical fragrance creation a step further by giving back to nature, reducing pollution and helping communities."
Start your sustainable fragrance journey with these six scents…
Bio Scents Bergamot & Sweet Orange Body Oil, 100ml, £20
This award-winning sustainable fragrance is made with 100% pure and organic essential oils derived from the surface of fresh Bergamot fruits and Oranges. It has no perfumes, water or chemical substances. The calming scent works to improve your mood and reduce anxiety while it's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties help to balance complexion and boost glow. Packaged in glass bottles with bamboo caps, Bio Scents offers refills to reduce waste.
Authentic Beauty Concept Eau de Toilette, 50ml, £50
The namesake Eau de Toilette is Authentic Beauty Concept’s first foray outside of the haircare category. The fresh and feminine sustainable fragrance is bottled in 25% recycled glass and packaged in a climate-neutral box, which supports the NGO, Plastic Bank; a social enterprise committed to stopping ocean plastic. All ingredients are sourced through the Sustainable Guar Initiative (empowering women with training and nutrition), while the scent is formulated using natural methods like surrounding plant ingredients with ultrasound waves to pulverise them into concentrates, the gentlest way to do so. Notes include white peony, rose, freesia blossom, violet, creamy musk’s, soft woods and finished with accents of fresh cut leaves.
Art de Parfum Sea Foam, 50ml, £114
This beachy scent, composed by niche fragrance house Art de Parfum, is completely cruelty-free, not using any GMO-related products, endangered raw materials or containing any nanoparticles. Rich in natural oils, essences and absolutes with alcohol reaped from organic beetroot, the notes include crisp citrus, seaweed, bergamot, and peppery bay leaf. The 100% recycled glass bottle comes packaged in an EU-made, linen-covered cardboard that's biodegradable. Simply spritz all over to transport yourself to a fresh, grassy and salty seaside.
Floral Street Electric Rhubarb, 50ml, £60
Sustainability is at the heart of Floral Street’s ethos. All products are vegan and cruelty-free, certified by PETA. Electric Rhubarb is a sustainable fragrance containing raw materials that can be traced back to their original source. Packed inside a biodegradable carton that can either be composted or repurposed, the notes include Australian sandalwood, English rhubarb, island gardenia, frangipani and jasmine sambac. Floral Street Founder, Michelle Feeney says, “We have proven that you can have fine fragrance, beautiful packaging, and long-lasting scents, all created in a considered way. We are a transparent, sustainable brand, from the ingredients right through to the finished product."
ishga Uplifting Body Spray, 100ml, £45
A fresh, aromatherapy-based medley of stimulating oils created to restore the body and calm the mind. This sustainable fragrance includes notes of lemongrass, rose, geranium, mandarin, bergamot and sandalwood. ishga’s scientists use a tailor-made, natural method to formulate the Uplifting Body Oil, combined with their robust antioxidant seaweed extract, the vegan-friendly, certified organic fragrance can also be used as a pillow mist and on pulse points to reduce stress and uplift spirits.
The Body Shop White Musk, 30ml, £22
The eighties are back and in the form of a 100% recyclable bottle. The Body Shop's White Musk sustainable fragrance was radical in the decade, being one of the originators in replacing animal-acquired musk with cruelty-free synthetic musk and is now back for a reboot. Combined with notes of jasmine and lily, the supercharged fragrance is packed with a powerful sensuality that you can spritz daily guilt-free.
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Torey Cassidy is the Beauty Producer and Junior Beauty Writer at Marie Claire UK. Whether it's organising a cover shoot or writing about the latest beauty products, no one day in the role is the same, and she loves the chaos of it all.
Hailing from Dublin, she spent much of her childhood in the Irish countryside but craved the hustle and bustle of city life, so, packed her bags and moved to London in 2017 to study Fashion Journalism at the University of the Arts London. Throughout this time, she interned everywhere she could, from magazines to assisting stylists on set, probably spreading herself a little too thin but lapping up every opportunity.
Finishing her degree as a Covid graduate in 2020, she then took on the bold life of a freelancer. From producing shoots for John Lewis & Partners to assisting stylists with music videos and campaigns before landing her dream role at Marie Claire, almost a year later.
When not navigating a career, Torey can be found at the pub with friends debating the quality of a pint of Guinness, flogging her vintage finds on Depop or most likely on TikTok. She is obsessed with TikTok.
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