Gift the gift of scent to everyone on your holiday list this year, but do it sustainably and with clean, ethical fragrances from these beloved perfume brands.
There’s never been a better time to love fragrance. The clean perfume industry is making cruelty-free and sustainable scents as accessible as the long-time industry leaders loaded with harmful synthetics, which is why these make perfect holiday gifts.
Do your friends, family, and loved ones a favor by helping them break their synthetic fragrance addiction. Once they put their noses to cleaner fragrances that are free from harmful chemicals, they’ll never go back.
Clean gender-inclusive fragrances
The clean fragrance industry is helping to pioneer a long-overdue norm: gender inclusivity. What does “smell like a woman” or “smell like a man” even mean? Smell like a human, or a flower, or a bark with a little help from nature in these perfect gender-inclusive clean fragrances that are a fit for anyone who loves cruelty-free and clean fragrances.
1. Phlur, Hanami
Phlur takes every stereotype about fragrance and blends them into one with Hanami. It’s both floral and woody, opening with ripe fig and floral middle notes to a sandalwood and musk that is both grounding and elevating. The clean fragrance brand calls it a “deeply personal, inimitable scent,” that is both “sweet and spicy, clean and creamy, familiar and thrilling.”
Phlur uses organic sugarcane as its alcohol base and responsibly sources its ingredients, especially the sandalwood in this scent, which it sources lab-grown to be most ethical. “Prized for its distinctive scent, natural Indian Sandalwood has sadly been overharvested to the point of near extinction,” the company says. “For this reason, we use lab-developed scent molecules that are indistinguishable from natural sandalwood, and are safe for skin and the environment.”
2. Aesop, Marrakech Intense Eau de Parfum
It can be tough to break our scent habits; the olfactory system is so tightly linked to memory and emotion, that we can feel strange in a new fragrance. Aesop’s Marrakech Intense Eau de Parfum may just do away with that issue, though. Spicy, warm, and earthy, this transportive scent delivers a raw, unorthodox fragrance that’s floral, spiced, and woody. Top notes of bergamot, neroli, and jasmine settle into middle notes of rose, cardamom, and patchouli, and leave you fully sated in bottom notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, and clove.
As a certified B Corp, Aesop takes sustainability seriously from sourcing to packaging. All of its products, including the parfum, are vegan and never tested on animals.
3. Ralph Lauren, Polo Earth Eau de Toilette
With its first gender-inclusive clean fragrance, Ralph Lauren continues its sustainability and inclusivity efforts. The botanical top notes include bergamot, Italian green mandarin, and lavender, middle notes of Turkish rose and sage heart; and base notes of Haitian vetiver and bourbon geranium from Madagascar.
The Polo Earth fragrance comes in a refillable bottle made from 20 percent post-consumer recycled glass, weighing 30 percent less than Ralph Lauren’s other fragrances. The cartons are made from 55 percent recycled materials and contain no outer cellophane wrapping to reduce plastic waste.
4. Clean Beauty Collective, Rain Eau de Parfum
Let this clean scent reminiscent of a fresh spring rain reset your concepts of fragrance and gender as it bathes you in a mix of luxe dewy melon, water lily, and musk for a soft, calm olfactory experience.
Everything the Clean Beauty Collective makes is rooted in its commitment to clean ingredients without sacrificing quality. It vets all of its ingredients, whether natural or synthetic, and all packaging is sustainably sourced and produced. The collective says you can rest assured knowing that Clean Beauty Collective “makes the simple, trusted, and conscious choice every step of the way.”
5. Heretic, Dirty Vanilla
This earthy and woody fragrance gives a whole new meaning to vanilla, proving it’s anything but bland. Sandalwood and coriander help bring out the complex and deep notes, dare we call it the spice of vanilla, to showcase its sophisticated and velvety warmth. Heretic says the scent is meant to deepen “both sensuality and self-love.”
Like all of Heretic’s fragrances, Dirty Vanilla is vegan and cruelty-free and made with natural, non-toxic ingredients. It’s free from parabens, formaldehyde, and synthetic dyes. The brand says its handcrafted and natural perfumes all surpass industry standards of “clean” fragrance.
6. Le Labo – All Scents
The very definition of fragrance, Le Labo is a beloved clean fragrance brand that’s always been gender-inclusive since launching in 2006. Its scents are all vegan and cruelty-free as well as free from parabens and phthalates. Everything is Prop 65 compliant, meaning all of its fragrances are free from chemicals known to cause cancer.
We love Oud 27—it’s like warm summer nights in a bottle. Agarwood, cedar atlas, incense, patchouli, black pepper, safran, and gaïac comingle in perfect fragrant harmony to deliver a scent you’ll never want to wash off.
7. 7 Virtues, Vetiver Elemi
Vetiver is one of the most transcendent fragrances. It cuts through the noise and takes you straight to the earth, re-establishing that critical connection too often overlooked. This earthy, green, and herby scent from 7 Virtues marries elemi, soft tropical geranium, and rich, deep vetiver for a warm and sensual blend.
Ethically sourced and fair trade ingredients in every bottle help to support growers devastated by war or strife. Its vetiver in this blend helps growers in Haiti impacted by the 2010 hurricane, making this an easy choice for doing good while smelling good. All of 7 Virtues fragrances are made without phthalates, parabens, sulfates, formaldehyde, and UV inhibitors. All formulations are Leaping Bunny certified, cruelty-free, and vegan. The company says transparency is key, and its mantra is as timeless as its scents: “make perfume, not war.”
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