By Kim Robson:
Recently, a friend gave me a delightful and unexpected gift: a bottle of aromatherapy body spray called “Hippie Bitch”from herbalist .I love the refreshing scent comprised of lavender, lemongrass, geranium, sandalwood and a touch of patchouli. It lasts for only a short while before dispersing, so it’s never too much or too intense.
Traditional perfumes can unintentionally overpower others, triggering potentially dangerous allergic reactions, especially in enclosed spaces such as elevators or offices. They contain toxic ingredients such as coal-based synthetic chemicals, petroleum products, hydrocarbons, solvents, acetone, phthalates, chemical dyes, pesticides; and other carcinogens that have been linked to disruptions in the hormone, endocrin and reproductive systems.
Luckily, there are numerous companies offering all-natural perfumes in a variety of forms: solid, spray, roll-on, eau de toilette, eau de parfum and perfume oils. They are all free of the dangerous ingredients commonly used in conventional perfumes.
—Luxurious solid perfume that comes in a fair-trade carved soapstone box from Agra, India. Made of beeswax, coconut oil, sweet almond oil; and Vitamin E, which serves as a natural preservative. Twelve scents to choose from including amber, vanilla, sandalwood, white lotus and plumeria.
—Ten percent of net profits go to charity. All fragrances are made with certified natural essential oil infused in grain alcohol. The scents are designed to “develop on your skin and respond with your body chemistry, individualizing each experience.”
—Safe, pure ingredients that are certified organic by the USDA. All materials are domestically sourced and certified vegan by PETA. Made in small batches. Minimal packaging is recyclable and comes embedded with flower seeds.
—Handmade perfume oils in a base of organic jojoba oil blended with pure essential oils. No water or alcohol used. Eau de toilette blends signature essential oils with organic U.S.-sourced cane alcohol.
—Themed collections can have a masculine edge, feminine aroma, floral notes or short seasonal offerings. Custom blends available. Small batches. Sweatshop-free products (such as glass bottles made in France, printing and packaging made locally in Vancouver). Waste-reduction programs like refillable containers. Organic and wild-sourced ingredients. No animal testing. Cruelty-free animal ingredients can include beeswax, honey absolute, and beach-harvested ambergris.
— High-quality ingredients internationally sourced: bergamot from Italy, jasmine from India, rose from Morocco. Base is organic sugar cane alcohol distilled in Oregon. Small handmade batches in hand-painted watercolor packaging. Direct-to-consumer model keeps prices down.
The perfumes listed above are available in a variety of prices, and many of these companies offer trial sizes to sample. Of course, youalso can experiment with making your own ! There’s no reason for us lovers of fragrance to settle for spraying dangerous chemicals on our skin.