12 Luxe Fragrance Brands That Give You 100% Vegan & Cruelty-Free Perfumesby | September 20, 2019
While mindlessly scrolling through Instagram the other day, I came across a post by an old college acquaintance declaring that she’s turning into a vegan because her love for her pooch made her want to quit eating meat. Later, at a party, a casual conversation quickly heated up after a friend declared his need to embrace veganism: his doctor diagnosed him as Lactose intolerant. While some dismissed his plea for veganism as a Western fad, there were a few who pointed out its benefits, both health and environmental. These are not two isolated cases. If you look around, the world is going vegan.
There are a plethora of vegan restaurants that are dotting the bigger cities, with people being more willing to incorporate this change in their lifestyle. Even vegetarians, like me, understand that it’s the next step towards cutting animal cruelty while also reducing the burden on the environment.
So, despite our resistance to this movement, it is a reality around us. Veganism, however, isn’t restricted to just food or dietary changes. It is a lifestyle choice that requires you to be more attuned to the products you use and be mindful of whether these products can potentially damage the environment and hurt animals in their production. From vegan leather to vegan beauty products, this list is endless.
An important aspect of vegan beauty is vegan perfumes. These avoid the use of animal extracts like milk, honey, leather, and beeswax as well as animal secretions. For instance, civet is extracted from glands of the endangered wildcat and is used as a musk in various perfumes. These natural musk extracts aren’t always mentioned on perfume bottles as companies are legally required to do, making it essential for the wearer to pick brands that support and understand the cause. There are also synthetic alternatives to these natural musks that are often used in commercial, off-the-shelf perfumes. However, the fragrance of these perfumes are not as long-lasting and the elements are often non-biodegradable.
If you’re looking to douse in the scent of vegan perfumes to do your bit for the animals and the planet, glance through our list of 100% vegan perfumes that will give you a whiff of the same.
A family-run perfume business based out of Brighton, UK, Eden Perfumes is your vegan and cruelty-free alternative to popular luxury perfumes. The brand creates ethical perfumes that are long-lasting, affordable and smell absolutely heavenly. They also offer the option of refilling glass perfume bottles at a cheaper price rather than to discard them, thereby cementing their place as one of the most eco-conscious perfume brands.
Our Pick: No.007 Number Seven with notes of neroli, ylang ylang and lemon that remind you of Chanel’s iconic No.5 scent.
High on PETA’s list of cruelty-free brands, New York-based perfumery Le Labo believes that “there are too many bottles of perfume and not enough soulful fragrances”. The niche perfume brand started by Eddie Roschi and Fabrice Penot is known for its demi-bespoke scents that are blended, bottled and personalised at their store. Adding to this customisation is the knowledge that their ingredients are not tested on animals, are 100% vegan and don’t contain parabens or preservatives.
Our Pick: Inspired by the smokey aura of the Marlboro Man is their signature Santal 33 perfume with notes of sandalwood, cedarwood, cardamom, iris, violet, and ambrox.
True to its name, Floral Street offers perfumes that are an explosion of flowers but with a modern twist. For instance, Black Lotus is described as the scent of an English rose in a black leather jacket, while Wild Vanilla is a perfume that enhances the plain vanilla fragrance with a punch of bamboo and sandalwood. While the floral packaging and scent is what attracts the customers to it, the upside is that these perfumes are also made to be vegan and cruelty-free. A London-based perfumery, the brand extends its sustainability ideology to the packaging as well. The brand uses pulp carton packaging that is made from recyclable paper and they also recommend that people repurpose it.
Our pick: Iris Goddess, a poignant perfume with notes of powdery petals and ripe red fruits, blended with lemon zest and red pepper.
An ethical luxury brand, Laboratory Perfumes reinvents old-school scents that evoke nostalgia into unisex, fresh and complex perfumes. The unique formulas are inspired by natural flowers, herbs and aromatic botanicals of Britain, and are formulated by the labs in-house using essential and fragrant oils. The fragrances are skin-kind, free from parabens and made with non-animal-derived ingredients. The brand also produces candles for home made using paraffin wax.
Our Pick: Samphire, a blend of juniper and verbena with lavender, basil and rosemary. It evokes a whiff of coastal air and comes with undertones of white amber and oak moss.
At Clean Reserve, the idea is to layer perfumes both in-person and on paper in order to create your own unique, personalised scent. The brand has sub-divided its perfumes into groups and offers guidelines on how you can pair these fragrances. For instance they recommend using woodier, base-driven fragrances to anchor your scent and using linear perfumes to mix-and-match. When it comes to eco practices, their motto is clear: they want to design fragrances keeping the planet in mind. And that they do with their eco-conscious fragrances that are created only by vendors who use with green manufacturing practices, source responsibly and do not test on animals or use animal products.
Perfumes that not only please your olfactory senses but create a more elated state of being, Valeur Absolue fragrances are based on principles of lithotherapy to create a more positive impact on the wearer. Inside these luxe perfume bottles are semi-precious crystals that are said to have an impact on the scent and the wearer in turn. Manufactured in Grasse, France (home of the perfumes), their products are free of CMR (carcinogenic-mutagenic-reprotoxic), PCM, chemical UV filters, phthalates, heavy metals, dyes and parabens.
Our Pick: Enriched with semi-precious citrine stones and citrus and woody notes, the Joie-Eclat is a vegan perfume by the brand that is known for its energising properties.
Inspired by the world of botany is the completely organic luxury perfume brand, Prosody London. Comprising twelve lush scents, these are handcrafted using the finest essential oils with key elements like honey, rose, neroli etc. This England-based brand is highly committed to sustainability and believes that one should only create products that are clean, safe, and can be made without disturbing or compromising the environment. Made using the finest natural ingredients (non-GMO), their products, both fragrances and wax, are completely organic (certified by Soil Association).
Our Pick: Rose Rondeaux is a fruity and woody fragrance with top notes of raspberry and bergamot. This organic scent is perfect for the romantic soul.
A family-owned business started by British chemist Jim Payne in 1982, Dolma was one of the early adopters of vegan perfumes. All the fragrances are made using sustainably sourced products (the essential oils particularly) and are paraben free. While, the packaging might be fairly basic, the scents are pricey primarily because of their unique blend of perfume compounds and ability to last through the day. Pick from aquatic, citrus, floral, fruity, spicy and woody fragrances or invest in their variety box with 12 scents for women.
Our Pick: Experience fruity notes of peach and Sicilian lemon in Dolma’s Anahita perfume that adds a twist with it’s spicy clove notes and sandalwood finish.
D.S & Durga
Drawing upon the nostalgia around smells is New York-based niche perfume label, D.S & Durga. Started by David Moltz and his wife, Kavi, the brand started as a leisure activity that transformed into a full-fledged fragrance business. Each of their perfumes boasts of unique combinations and are often inspired by art or music. A 100% vegan perfume brand, their chic packaging is designed to be foam-free and is made using recyclable paper.
Our Pick: For a little desi inspiration turn to Radio Bombay, a fragrance that is inspired by the radio playing ragas in the Bandra heat. The notes are musk, cream, peach, cocoa, and cedar.
In 1996, Brook Harvey-Taylor started making essential oil- based scents in her kitchen, and over the years has grown into one of the most recognisable players in the vegan and cruelty-free fragrance sphere. Easy to identify because of their attractive packaging, Pacifica creates some fun and brilliant scents available in traditional spray bottles, roll-ons and solid perfumes. The brand also offers an interesting recycling programme where they provide customers with prepaid shipping labels for them to return the empty cosmetic bottles. Dedicated to making the world a more sustainable one, with a dash of fun in it, Pacifica is your go-to brand for strong, eco perfumes. PS: Did we mention that they also make hemp-infused cosmetics like balms, mascara, wipes and eye shadows?
Our Pick: Inspired by the festival of colours in Nepal is Pacifica’s Himalayan Patchouli Berry Spray with notes of grapefruit, white patchouli, sugar and geranium.
Co-founded by Eugene Au and Emrys Au, Auphorie is an independent luxury perfume house that makes scents in small batches using the finest natural extracts and innovative raw ingredients. It is a philanthropic and conscious brand that strongly upholds the flag for animal cruelty-free products as well as eco-friendly ones. The beautifully designed packaging and unique combination of Eastern and Western olfactory influences make the brand an interesting choice.
Our Pick: A part of their heritage collection, Ryukyu is a fragrance inspired by the history, culture and geodiversity of Okinawa island in Japan. The tropical scent is a juicy cocktail of pineapple, mango and local citrus fruit, Shikwasu.
Tsi La Organics
Keep your beauty arsenal vegan and green with Tsi La Organics, a USDA-certified organic perfume brand that creates fragrances using super-fruit and phytonutrient infused materials. At Tsi La Organics, perfumes are handmade in small batches and fortified with all-natural ingredients, phytonutrients, antioxidants, essential oils and plant sterols. Tuberose, jasmine, orange, rose, tangerines and lemongrass are only some of the ingredients in their endless list of natural ingredients, and are used in interesting and unique combinations.
Our Pick: Ilang Ilang is a unisex perfume that uses sugared citrus fruits and luscious Tahitian vanilla orchids to create a tropical scent.
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