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The Best Natural Perfume + Fragrance Brands

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Did you know most conventional perfumes and fragrances are toxic and can trigger allergies? In this post we review seven non-toxic, natural perfume brands for women, plus we share how to get samples and where to shop! 

Did you know most conventional perfumes and fragrances are toxic and can trigger allergies? In this post we review seven non-toxic, natural perfume brands for women, plus we share how to get samples and where to shop! 

This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been updated with our new favorite brands.

Welcome back to our Test Drive series, where we try a handful of brands in a category of natural products and compare the real-life results. Today we’re taking natural perfume for a test drive!

Why Use Natural Perfume

We’ve talked a lot on R+R about the dangers of fragrance, that undisclosed mixture of chemicals that’s added to nearly every product on the market, and yet companies don’t have to tell you what’s in it.

But did you know the average fragrance product contains 14 secret chemicals not listed on the label?

And that these unlisted ingredients often include carcinogens, allergens, respiratory irritants, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals and environmental pollutants? (source)

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That’s right, fragrance (which includes perfume and cologne) has been proven to cause headaches, allergies, asthma and respiratory distress; it negatively affects the brain, irritates the skin, harms the reproductive system and can even cause cancer.

But it smells so good, doesn’t it!? I’m the first to admit that when switching over to non-toxic products, I missed perfume the most.

So I was PSYCHED when I learned that there were a handful of brands out there making safe and natural perfumes and disclosing their full ingredients list!

Why use natural perfume or fragrance

What is Natural Perfume?

So you might be wondering what the difference is between synthetic fragrance and natural perfume. And fortunately, the answer couldn’t be simpler.

Natural perfume contains aromatics derived from whole sources in the natural world such as roots, flowers, moss, seashells, and tree resins. Meaning if a natural fragrance is rose, it was made from an actual rose.

Compare the to synthetic perfume, which usually contains aromatics derived from petrochemicals or GMOs (often harmful bacteria), and has no connection to its namesake; meaning when a synthetic fragrance claims to have a rose scent, a rose was likely was not involved in any way. (Note that SOME synthetic fragrances that have been tested can be okay–we’ll come back to this later on!)

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Instead the scent is made from chemicals designed in a lab to mimic the qualities of natural aromas, which makes them last longer.

And while everyone wants their perfume to last, when you consider the long degradation period the chemicals must go through in order to achieve this effect, you quickly realize the fragrance is penetrating your skin for long periods of time, being absorbed into your bloodstream, accumulating in your body and interfering with your system. AND synthetic perfume persists in the environment without breaking down for much longer than natural aromas.

On the flip side, natural perfumes made with pure essential oils stimulate neurochemicals and hormones that balance and regulate the endocrine, immune and nervous system. That’s why sometimes, just the simple act of inhaling an essential oil with sedating or stimulating properties (hello lavender!) can immediately calm you down or make you relax or give you a burst of energy!

Also, a few notes about natural perfume:

  • Natural perfumes generally last about 4 to 6 hours when applied. Mist generously on pulse points, across arms, neck, décolleté, and in your hair to make them last longer and reapply as needed.
  • Natural perfumes wear far more subtly than synthetic fragrances and are greatly influenced by the wearer’s body chemistry. So they’ll smell a little different on each person.
  • Slight variations in color and aroma may occur due to seasonal variations of the natural ingredients, and in fact, natural perfume blends are usually an amber hue, so be careful about staining your clothes. There may also occasionally be traces of natural sediment from the oils visible in the bottles.
  • Most natural perfumes mature over time, and can become richer to the senses, lasting up to 3 years. Avoid storing natural perfumes in extreme heat or cold and keep them away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
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how to make your own DIY natural perfume

How to Make Natural Perfume Spray

At this point, you might be thinking: great, I’ll just make my own own natural perfume.

Here’s my short answer: Don’t bother. Ha, while it is absolutely possible to make a natural perfume with an alcohol base, flowers and essential oils, all of the ones I’ve tried to make myself end up smelling more like cleaning products and last for only a few minutes.

When you consider you’ll need more than essential oils (think hydrosols, concretes, absolutes, resins, etc.), I simply don’t have the tools, resources or skills to make my own.

So, here’s my advice (and this is totally just a matter of preference): buy one. I almost never suggest that option, but when it comes to natural perfume, I think you’ll get the best product and it’s just too difficult to make it right yourself.

If you do want to go the DIY route, I love Plant Therapy–their oils are 100% pure, free from any additives, adulterants, or dilutions. Their essential oils come in varieties like synergies, singles, organic, and pre-diluted roll-ons, and their facility is USDA Certified Organic. Their prices are also super reasonable, plus you can get 10% off your order of $50 or more sitewide with the coupon code ROOT10!

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What is the best Natural Perfume?

Alright, now onto the fun part: the reviews. To put some of the best natural perfumes to the test, I tried out seven of the leading non-toxic perfumes on the market. Check out my results below:

THE BEST NATURAL PERFUME WINNER: SKYLAR PERFUME

The best natural perfume: Skylar

Have you tried any of these natural perfumes? I’d love to hear about your results. Share in the comments below!

Note: perfume and fragrance is such a personal preference and everyone leans toward different aromas, so my picking Skylar as the winner is just based on my preference for light, crisp aromas (my second favorite is Ime). Someone else might prefer something rich and floral (go for Thorn + Bloom or Strange Invisible), while another woman might like something really woodsy and smoky (Vered is for you!).

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where to buy natural perfume

Though I know most people’s go-to beauty store is Sephora, you won’t find any natural perfume options there.

The links listed above will all take you to where you can buy the natural perfumes if you’re interested in trying them out–and almost all of these natural perfume brands sell sampler assortment packs so you can try before you commit to a large bottle.

If not shopping at individual natural perfumier’s websites, I also recommend Amazon or The Detox Market (one of my favorite natural beauty stores where you get 10% off on your first order!).

Wherever you buy your natural perfume, just make sure to read the label fully and if you have questions about the origin of any ingredients, what the blends are made from or if anything is vague, don’t hesitate to reach out to the perfumier directly and ask. A trustworthy brand will have no problem sharing the specifics of what goes into their natural perfume with you. If they won’t tell you, run far away!

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What are your favorite natural perfume brands? Let us know in the comments below! 

Did you know most conventional perfumes and fragrances are toxic and can trigger allergies? In this post we review seven non-toxic, natural perfume brands for women, plus we share how to get samples and where to shop! 

Sharing is caring!

Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I've linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

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5 comments on “The Best Natural Perfume + Fragrance Brands”

  1. I’ve never been much a perfume person, but this post makes me want to try Skylar!

  2. Thank you! I have been looking for a substitute for Light Blue for over a year. Which one would you recommend that is most similar?

    • It’s the best, isn’t it? Well, minus all the toxins 😉 So I didn’t find any that are identical, but Ime Natural’s Flirty was my favorite and probably the closest to it. Hope that helps!

  3. Liked on facebook. I hope to get to try some! I miss smelling good these days! (stopped wearing commercial perfumes)