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Is your perfume sustainable? Ethical fragrance brands to know in 2021

A sustainable future has become a necessity. Thanks to global efforts involving environmentalists, progressive governments and NGOs, we are not only becoming more aware of how to protect the planet but taking steps to ensure we walk the talk. From what we eat to how we commute, there is a constant evolution in our lifestyle which is attuned to the needs of eco-friendly living. This change has also been observed within the fashion world where prominent labels such as H&M and Zara are working on ways to reduce the pollution caused by unused clothes. Ethical jewellery brands are creating products from recycled materials and responsibly sourced gemstones, while vegan fashion is seeing a surge in demand.

Not to be left behind, the fragrance industry is witnessing the rise of companies that use natural ingredients in their scents and package their products in recycled material. These ethical fragrance brands are also ensuring that their products are cruelty-free and do not harm animals.

So, if you are thinking about buying a new perfume, how about considering these options?

These ethical fragrance brands will make you smell divine and help contribute to a better environment –

Henry Rose

Ethical fragrance brands you should know about
The brand has been created by Hollywood actress Michelle Pfeiffer in collaboration with perfumers Yves Cassar and Pascal Gaurin. (Image: henryrosefragrance/Facebook)

Created by Hollywood actress Michelle Pfeiffer, the brand has been certified by the Environmental Working Group which approves products if they meet a strict criterion of safety and health standards among which is the non-inclusion of any ingredient mentioned in the group’s ‘Restricted’ and ‘Unacceptable’ lists. Similarly, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has given Henry Rose the Gold standard, an extremely high product sustainability rating granted when a brand meets several environmental parameters, including C2C emissions standards set by the institute.

Made in collaboration with perfumers Yves Cassar and Pascal Gaurin, the products are hypoallergenic, have no known or suspected carcinogens, and are free from formaldehyde, parabens and phthalates. With the first edition launched in 2019, the label has till now produced seven unisex scents. Recyclable boxes and glass bottles are used for packaging, each of which carries complete information about the ingredients used.

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By/ Rosie Jane

Ethical fragrance brands you should know about
The scents are certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny. (Image: byrosiejane/Facebook)

There are six scents marketed under this brand founded by celebrity make-up artist Rosie Jane Johnston in 2010. The fragrances are certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny — a certification provided by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, which comprises eight national animal protection groups. The products are packed in 100 percent eco-friendly recyclable material printed with vegetable-based ink. Botanical and safe synthetic ingredients are used in the scents, all of which are paraben and phthalate free. Hand-mixed in Los Angeles, each scent not only has an eau de parfum version, but also perfume oil, travel spray and body oil.

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Pour le Monde

Pour le Monde perfumes
The company produces three scents. (Image: pourlemondeparfums/Facebook)

Founded in 2013, the company produces three scents — Empower, Envision and Together. All of them are made from 100 percent natural essential oils, with ingredients harvested from around the world. It is the only fragrance maker certified with the Natural Seal of Natural Products Association. The seal is ascribed to products which are not tested on animals, use mostly biodegradable or recycled material in packaging, avoid ingredients with health risks and have at least 95 percent natural ingredients or ingredients from natural sources excluding water. Pour le Monde also has PETA’s cruelty-free and vegan bunny logo, as well as a Leaping Bunny certification. In 2015, the City of New York recognised it as an honouree in its Best for NYC Campaign in the community category in Manhattan.

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Ethical fragrance brands you should know about
Besides fragrances, it also produces lotions, body washes, candles, deodorants and hand sanitisers. (Image: Phlur/Facebook)

Founded in 2016, the Texas-based company is certified by Leaping Bunny and recognised by 1% for the Planet — an international organisation whose members donate more than one percent of their annual revenue towards environmental causes. Phlur is also certified by the non-profit B Lab for meeting environmental standards, accountability and transparency. It has a policy of not using any plant listed as threatened in the Red List of International Union for the Conservation of Nature. All of its products are free of substances like phthalates, phenoxyethanol, parabens and BHT. The fragrances come in opaque bottles made of 20 percent recycled glass. Vegetable-based paints are used, and boxes are 100 percent recycled cardboard. Besides 11 types of fragrances it also produces body washes, lotions, deodorants, candles and hand sanitisers.

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Maison Louis Marie

Maison Louis Marie
All of its products are available in four categories. (Image: MaisonLouisMarie/Facebook)

Maison Louis Marie manufactures everything from eau de parfum to body oil and candles to deodorant in four broad categories — Earthy & Woody, Floral, Fresh and Warm & Spicy. There are more than 10 types of fragrances to choose from, each named either after a prominent member or a place associated with the family. The company is a member of 1% for the Planet, and its products are cruelty free. According to the brand, synthetic ingredients are used to protect against known natural allergens, ensure that endangered plants are not over-harvested, and to avoid animal products. For packaging, 100 percent recyclable boxes and FSC certified paper are used.

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Skylar ethical fragrance brand
Also on our list of ethical fragrance brands is Skylar, which was founded in 2017. (Image: Skylar/Facebook)

Founded in 2017 by Cat Chen, a former employee of actress Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, Skylar products are non-toxic and hypoallergenic. The brand has PETA’s cruelty free and vegan bunny logo and is also certified by Leaping Bunny. It follows a “5-Free Scents” philosophy, meaning that its products don’t contain parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, SLS, and animal-derived ingredients. The packaging is also made of renewable and recyclable materials. Other than perfumes, the brand also sells body washes, body lotions, deodorants, hand creams and hand sanitisers.

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Featured and hero image courtesy of Kailey Sniffin via Unsplash
Is your perfume sustainable? Ethical fragrance brands to know in 2021

Manas Sen Gupta writes at the intersection of tech, entertainment and history. His works have appeared in publications such as The Statesman, Myanmar Matters, Hindustan Times and News18/ETV. In his spare time, Manas loves studying interactive charts and topographic maps. When not doing either, he prefers reading detective fiction. Spring is his favourite season and he can happily eat a bowl of noodles any time of the day.


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