Everything You Need To Know About Natural Fragrances
Everything You Need To Know About Natural Fragrances

Everything You Need To Know About Natural Fragrances

6 minutes read

Did you know liberally dousing yourself with your favourite scent might be doing you more harm than good? With its potentially chemical-loaded ingredients lurking in the air tonight – it might be time to switch to something cleaner. We asked fragrance experts what natural perfume is, the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances and which ones to try so you can wear scents with confidence. 

Has it ever occurred to you that what’s included in your perfume concoctions might cost you your health? Masked under the fancy word ‘fragrance’ can be a cocktail of mystery ingredients. 

More than 95% of ingredients found in perfumes today may include toxic chemicals linked to congenital disabilities, allergies, cancer and a host of other health conditions. Brands get away with this because they are not required to disclose ‘trade secrets.’ 

Luckily, the conversation about what goes into your favourite scents is now becoming more widespread and the best beauty companies are transparent about their ingredients. 

We asked a whole host of fragrance experts what natural perfume is, the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances, and which ones to try so you can wear scents with confidence.

What is a natural fragrance?

IFRA defines natural fragrances as complex compounds derived from the natural aroma extracted from plants without altering the chemical structure. The ingredients found in naturally derived fragrances include essential oils. 

When it comes to beauty, long before the obsession for all things ‘clean’, Clarins was pioneering the use of skin-friendly essential oils, aromatics and botanicals in their fragrances – in effect fragrances that not only make you smell good – but feel great too. 

Clarins’ Training Manager Charlotte McHale advises looking for natural fragrances with the right amount and quality of essential oils.

Beauty Daily Editors also avoid ingredients like styrene and phthalates, it has been found to be an endocrine disruptor – meaning they interrupt the way the body’s hormonal system operates and can affect everything from sperm count to immune function issues. 

McHale advises: “At Clarins, our products are safe for all skin types, and are even pregnancy-approved.”

Natural Fragrances copy

What is the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances?

The most significant difference between synthetic and natural fragrances is how they are created. Synthetic fragrances are derived from laboratory chemicals. The natural ones are made from raw plant materials or animals, including lilac, sandalwood, or deer musk. 

According to the IFRA, over 2,900 fragrances typically contain several hundred toxic substances, most synthetic, leading to long-term health effects when absorbed, inhaled, and ingested daily. So it pays to question your perfume ninja at the department store.

Is natural fragrance safe for skin? 

McHale says natural fragrances, such as Clarins treatment fragrances, are safe for the skin. Not only do they offer uplifting and invigorating scents, but they provide sensory and therapeutic benefits as well.  

“The essential oils within our treatment fragrances are diluted and therefore safe for the skin. Unlike traditional Eau De Parfum or Toilette (where you are discouraged from “breaking” the fragrance), we encourage pressing our treatment fragrances into the skin to reap the skincare benefits and highlight the different notes of the fragrance.”

In addition, the brand only uses alcohol of natural origin (distilled from beetroot and wheat) at very well tolerated concentrations that do not cause any harmful skin reactions. Natural fragrances might not hold longer than your conventional Eau de toilette and Eau De Parfum, but they are kinder to the skin and to the planet. 

“In the beauty industry, alcohol is often used in ethanol form. It is good at distributing scent and instantly evaporates upon application. These things are wonderful for the world of dispersing fragrance, but in skincare, ethanol can sometimes be drying or irritating the skin,” McHale explains.

Mood-boosting natural fragrances

Whether you feel a bit low, or you’re after a  short-term escape, crave relaxation or are just overwhelmed with a ‘corona-coaster’ of emotions, keep scrolling for fragrances to reach for when you need a little pick-me-up. 

1.  Need an energy boost? Try this:

Do you know what smells like a luxurious spa? It’s bottled in Eau Dynamisante. It’s that kind of scent you need when you’re feeling low and need a boost of energy – perfect to have at your desk for the afternoon slump.   

It has a refreshing scent that appeals to both women and men and has loads of skincare benefits that you won’t expect from a fragrance. It leaves the skin scented, toned and hydrated thanks to the aromatic essential oils of lemon, patchouli, petitgrain, and white tea. It also has ginseng that is responsible for boosting energy and revitalising the skin.

Pair this with Eau Dynamisante Moisturising Body Lotion for those days where you feel like having a much-needed luxurious spa treatment anytime, anywhere.

2. After a getaway? Try this:

If you are looking for a quick getaway from the comfort of your home, why not close your eyes and spray away to an enchanting garden field with zesty fruits, fresh flowers on a fine French summer day using the Eau Des Jardins. 

This scent takes you back to nature. It has a sparkling freshness of citrus, a captivating note of wild rose and the smell of comforting wood. They are combined with the skincare benefits of beech and blackcurrant extracts. In particular, sorbier buds used in alternative medicine – are also included in the spritz to enhance skin radiance.

3. To wind down and relax? Try this:

Longing for serenity and a bit of pampering after a long day of work? This natural fragrance has the essential oils of basil, iris, cedarwood and sarsaparilla. These oils promote a feeling of total relaxation while locking in a delicate veil of scented moisture. 

Spray after showering using Relax Bath & Shower Concentrate and  Eau Ressourçante Silky-Smooth Body Cream for that complete indulging me-time moment. Press on the skin to reap the skincare benefits.

4. For peace and harmony? Try this: 

Eau Extraordinaire

For those who seek peace and harmony and would want to reconnect with mother nature, a spritz of  Eau Extraordinaire pre-yoga or pre-meditation is something we’d recommend. This scent would definitely awaken your senses and set the mood. 

Beauty Daily recommends spraying and massaging onto the skin to set the mind and induce you into a meditative state. It has grounding essential oils, like Cedarwood, which help connect to the healing energy of nature and the earth.

This is also a great choice of fragrance for those who are feeling disconnected, unmotivated and lonely. 

It goes hand-in-hand with the Eau Extraordinaire Body Cream. This hydrating, aromatherapy body cream is enriched with aromatic essential oils and plant extracts that soothe the skin, refresh the senses and revive inner strength and vitality with a mood-boosting scent thanks to Jasmine, Patchouli, Red Ginger and a sparkling twist of citrus.

Enjoy your newfound world of natural fragrance. Which spritz will you try? 

Read next: Aromatherapist-Approved Essential Oils To Add To Your Beauty Routine

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