When you talk clean beauty, fragrance is sometimes forgiven or forgotten. For one, the bond we have with our signature scent, whatever it may be and whatever it’s made of, can be strong and longstanding. Then there’s the issue of companies not having to disclose what’s in their fragrances (it’s considered proprietary) so the exact make-up is blurry. But as sweet, sensual, and uplifting as perfume is, what we don’t know can actually hurt us as formulas may contain questionable and concerning stuff. Some of the most common offenders: petrochemicals, phthalates (hormone disruptors), animal and animal by-products, Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), artificial dyes, and parabens. Thankfully a bevy of natural and organic brands are not only committed to being transparent with their ingredients, but also putting noteworthy scents into the world to help you round out a more healthy, eco-conscious self-care regimen and keep skin irritation at bay. Here are some of the best trailblazing good-for-you options out there.
Created by Bee Shapiro, a beauty columnist for the New York Times, Peta-certified and sustainably sourced scents from Ellis Brooklyn stand out in the clean scene as elevated and elegant. While Salt is the brand’s latest bright beachy scent, MYTH Eau de Parfum ($100 for 50 ml) is a perfect all-season everyday bouquet, blending jasmine, bergamot, and cedarwood for a finish that’s both warm and fresh.
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CLEAN BEAUTY COLLECTIVE
As its name suggests, Clean has an environmentally-friendly ethos. An OG in the game making simple and safe fragrances since 2003, Clean Beauty Collective's Summer Day ($68 for 60 ml) is just what we need right now. The combo of pear, neroli, florals, vanilla, and coconut water capture summer fun in a spritz.
Created in Harlem, founder Julissa Jose prides herself on putting handcrafted, organic, cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny-certified), unisex scents out in the world—and everything is actually made in Harlem, New York. With Rings of Time ($98 for 50 ml), you’ll feel grounded in the campfire vibes of earthy, woody notes like cypress and cedarwood. Also, a portion of Harlem Botanica proceeds goes to The Headstrong Project, supporting 9/11 veterans and their families.
Phlur makes it easy to experience their vegan, sustainably sourced, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic fragrances. For $18, you can choose three 2 ml samples (from the soft and subtle Hanami to the forest-y freshness of Sandara). Fall in love with one, and you can apply the $18 for a 50 ml full size.
TWO MORE TO NOTE
BY ROSIE JANE
Moving on to the west coast, all of By Rosie Jane fragrances are handmade in Los Angeles with none of the icky stuff plus recyclable packaging. Mother of three, Rosie Jane Johnston, started it all with Leila Lou ($65 for 50 ml), an effortless arrangement of pear, jasmine, and fresh-cut grass (sold!) that the site says feels like the perfect pair of blue jeans (done deal).
CBD fans rejoice: Heretic’s Midnight Toker ($85 for 15 ml) has 150 mg of always calming, full-spectrum CBD oil. As for the gender-neutral scent, there’s spicy nutmeg, vanilla, amber, black pepper, patchouli, sandalwood, and of course cannabis to soothe your senses. It’s all natural, all the way made with botanicals that have been blended in organic sugarcane alcohol.