It’s hard find natural perfumes that last for ages! But we found 10 that are absolutely wonderful
By Diane Small
Fragrance is surprisingly powerful – from the candle you light when entertaining to the bubble bath you soak in after a long, hard day, natural perfumes can change our moods, spark a memory and even help us fall asleep.
Given the potential power of scent, it seems rather sad that most perfumes are packed with harmful chemicals, such as cancer-causing phthalates, irritating aldehydes and other synthetic chemicals.
Luckily, more perfumes are being created from 100% pure, natural, vegan-friendly oils today more than ever before, and some brands are even ensuring their manufacturing processes are eco-friendly and ethical, too.
It’s good to know, but it’s still really difficult to choose the perfect personal fragrance, especially since many natural perfumes, no matter how pleasant at first, tend to fade away quickly.
Why Perfumes Do – Or Don’t – Last
Perfumers call the ingredients used to make a scent last “fixatives.” Whether synthetic or natural, perfume fixatives hold a scent together and keep it from fading away once the liquid evaporates on the skin.
There are some organic ingredients, such as frankincense, benzoin, myrrh and Peru balsam, which delay scent loss though their molecular structure, and it’s these ingredients that generally comprise natural perfumes that last.
Vetiver and oak moss are other plant based fixatives that evaporate slowly themselves, but don’t affect the evaporation rate of other ingredients. Consequently, these types of base notes tend to make their presence known long after the middle and top notes fade.
But just because a perfume is natural doesn’t mean it’s ethical: vegans may be appalled to learn their favourite scents may have not only been tested on animals, but could contain animal ingredients, too. Musk, ambergris and castoreum are pheromone-rich fixatives that may be non-toxic, but they’re highly cruel as well.
Musk was originally derived from the sexual glands of the Himalayan musk deer, but is now often harvested from the civet cat instead. Ambergris, on the other hand, is a solid, waxy substance of a dull grey or blackish colour produced in the digestive system of sperm whales, and castoreum is an oil produced by the castor sacs beavers have between their genitals and their anus. All of these fixatives involve cruelty to animals, and so obviously, perfumes that use them are not included in our list of 10 Natural Perfumes That Last for Ages. And we recommend that you never contribute to animal cruelty by buying them!
All of them boast completely different scent profiles, which we’ve tried to describe to the best of our ability to help you make a great choice.
10 Natural Perfumes That Last For Ages
This is quite a unique scent, and reminds us of the crisp, colourful vibes of fall. Apparently it was inspired by the cowboy bars of the high desert, and the main notes of black pepper, clove and tobacco reflect this. This eau de parfum by Los Feliz Botanicals also features rose and geranium to soften the scent a bit.
Best described as: Spicy, earthy, autumnal Longevity rating: 9/10
This all natural perfume oil smells as soft and gentle as a baby. That’s thanks to its powdery, tea rose notes, offset by some exotic sandalwood.
Babies are definitely the theme of this fragrance, as it was apparently created as an ultra-subtle blend for new mothers and mothers-to-be. Over time, it became so popular that its makers, Ajne, decided to include it in their main range of perfume offerings.
The genuine seven-carat amethyst roller ball that you apply this scent with is said to enhance the chakra balancing energy of the plant oils the perfume also contains. Amethyst is also believed to ward off negativity, and help still the mind.
Best described as: Luxurious, powdery, mature, unique Longevity rating: 10/10
Our selection from the Goddess Line is their Lakshmi perfume. With its notes of sandalwood, frankincense and amber, mixed with sweet almond oil and patchouli, it’s one of the headiest natural perfumes that last. It has a somewhat musky scent which lasts all day.
The vegan-friendly, all natural brand strongly believes that by using certain scents, they can change moods. For example, they say amber can draw away negative energy, and sandalwood boosts health, memory and immunity. Patchouli helps fight depression and is also an aphrodisiac.
Think about what you need in your life, then purchase the most promising scent. It’s worth a try, and in any case, you’ll smell wonderful!
Best described as: Hippy, heady, musky Longevity: 7/10
This Vibe Perfume Oil by Lina Hansen was inspired by the exotic spirit and warm deserts of the Arabian peninsula. Rich oud, agarwood, black pepper, and cardamom conspire to create an atmosphere of romance, mystery and wealth.
This alcohol free perfume is based on non-GMO, plant-based oils that make this one of the natural perfumes that last the longest.
Best described as: Spicy, exotic and warm Longevity rating: 10/10
American Perfumer Amanda Walker’s small batch, botanical blends are always super desirable, and “Mejica,” might be the sexiest of her five USDA certified-organic scents. It’s a delicious, warming blend of three vanillas, rare resins, and spices, and was inspired by travelling.
Top notes include thick, pulpy vanilla, fading into autumnal spices, like cardamom and cinnamon, and ending in rich resin. Not only does this scent offer an adult version of vanilla and spice, but the petite bottle looks wonderful on any bathroom shelf. And best of all, the flower seed-embedded box can be planted to create a fragrant surprise in the spring!
Best described as: Oriental Longevity rating: 6/10
Spring is the inspiration for this feminine, floral perfume. It boasts elements of fresh-cut grass and sweet pear. These green notes combine to provide a delicate blend that’s reminiscent of the great times we all experience in the summer – and miss dearly in the winter! But what really stands out here is exotic jasmine. If you’re a fan of the flower, you’ll love this one!
Best described as: Sweetly floral Longevity rating: 10/10
8. Lurk NSTV7
Lurk is the brainchild of New Yorker Anne Sanford. She’s best known for creating packaging and beauty products for Anthropologie and other top brands. She decided to create her own unique fragrance collection. So no surprise that everything about Lurk – from its minimalist bottle design to Arabian themed scents – simply oozes ‘cool’.
The brand’s rather cryptically named NSTV7 an essential-oil-based scent. It combines rare pink lotus with owyhee, fresh citrus, sandalwood and creamy tuberose. The end result is a heady, tropical fragrance that evokes evenings on Balinese beaches.
Best described as: Exotic, floral Longevity rating: 9/10
Sometimes, only a strong, feminine floral scent will do, and this one is purely for femmes fatales. Moon Bloom is a powerful blend of rich, pure oils, including tuberose absolute, jasmine absolute and ylang ylang, along with further hints of coconut, leafy greens and tropical spices. It all adds up to an intoxicating, complex scent that Eve would have worn in the Garden of Eden, if Moon Bloom had been invented then.
Best described as: Sensual white flowers, seductive Longevity rating: 10/10
Frankincense and patchouli are the soothing basis of this luxurious fragrance. Grapefruit, poppy and cloves are present to lift your spirits, too.
Though this is defined for reducing stress, it’s a gorgeous perfume to wear any time. It’s got a bit of a Boho, hippy vibe and is another of those natural perfumes that last for hours. It’s also 100% cruelty free and vegan friendly.
Best described as: Cozy, cuddly, warm Longevity rating: 9/10