It’s hard find natural perfumes that last for ages! But we found 10 that are wonderful
By Arwa Lodhi
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.
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 beautifully fresh rose perfume was born in one of Mexico’s most popular, magical locations: Tulum. The Coqui Coqui brand is a favourite with Boho babes who frequent the spectacular shores of this popular destination. But let’s talk about the perfume!
Notes of red rose blossoms are tinged with lemon in this dewy, feminine scent that’s more an everyday perfume than a heady evening scent. Whilst rose based fragrances can lean towards grandmotherliness, this one is a bit soapy, a bit flowery, and totally feminine.
Best described as: Simple, rosy, fresh, light Longevity rating: 8/10
2. Rodin Bis
If you’re looking for natural perfumes that last and are also paraben-free, phthalate-free, silicone-free, sulfate-free and cruelty-free, look no further than Rodin!
Their Bis fragrance opens with refreshing bergamot, lemon and anise before revealing sweeter middle notes of Rose De Mai, jasmine and violet. The base notes of musk, Tonka bean and lavender ensure this perfume never becomes too cloying.
The entire scent is based on concentrated, all natural oils, and only a dab is needed for it to continue delighting you for hours.
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. This all amounts to 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; sandalwood is a memory-booster, health and immunity booster, and relieves high blood pressure, and that patchouli fights depression and is 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: 6/10
Sana Jardin perfumes are enabling the Moroccan women who harvest the flowers that go into the perfumes to upcycle the floral-waste products into hand-crafted candles and orange blossom water. These beautiful by-products then go on sale through their own cooperative, which retains 100 per cent of the revenue.
Best described as: Spicy, feminine 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, which combine to provide a delicate blend that’s reminiscent of the great times we all experience in the summer months – 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
Founded by mother-son team, Baptiste Bouygues and Marie-Lise Jonak, ORMAIE is a luxury fragrance collection made entirely in France from all-natural materials. Our pick is the Les Brumes scent, which was inspired by summers in Tuscany. Unsurprisingly, top notes are comprised of a Tuscan orange, lemon and bergamot, mixed with cardamom, cedar, ginger and mate to create a complex, elegant perfume.
Best described as: Spicy wood Longevity rating: 8/10
8. Lurk NSTV7
Lurk is the brainchild of New Yorker Anne Sanford, who created packaging and beauty products for Anthropologie and other top brands before creating this 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 that combines pink lotus with owyhee, fresh citrus, sandalwood and creamy tuberose to result in a heady, tropical fragrance that evokes evenings on Balinese beaches.
Best described as: Exotic, floral Longevity rating: 9/10
With a name like this, it’s no surprise the grounding fragrance in this blend is amber. But it opens with quite a bit of spice: pink pepper and cardamom, followed by zingy juniper berry. Middle notes are richer tonka bean and cacao. The overall result is like a cup of chamomile tea with a hint of anise. This is an all natural perfume that’s perfect for men and women both.
Best described as: Cozy, cuddly, warm 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, adding up to an intoxicating, complex scent that Eve would have worn in the Garden of Eden, if Moon Bloom was invented then.
Best described as: Sensual white flowers, seductive Longevity rating: 10/10
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