Which Eleven Perfumes for Vegans?

  • By: Rena Tatton
  • Date: October 4, 2021
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Eleven perfumes for Vegans

When it comes to choosing a perfume, it can prove to be challenging but when you are a vegan it is even more of a challenge as you have to ensure your scent is animal and cruelty free.

There are more vegans than ever before in the UK. In 2006 there were approximately 150,000 vegans but that number has risen to 540,000 and is still growing according to the Vegan Society.

As a consequence, brands are desperately striving to meet the increasingly eco-friendly demands but as we all know in order to make sure that what you are buying is vegan friendly you have to do your research.

What makes a perfume non-vegan?

If you are a vegan and a perfume lover not only do you have to avoid fragrances with extracts of milk, honey, leather and beeswax but also secretions from animals which are often used as fixatives to make a scent last longer.

It is cruel to make an animal suffer just for the sake of humans smelling good.

One example is Civet which comes from the anal glands of the endangered wild cat found in India and Africa. 

Civet cat

 Even if you research this on a particular brand it does not mean that it will necessarily be listed as one of the ingredients. Companies are not legally obliged to disclose the ingredients used in their scents. This is because they are deemed to be “trade secret formulas” and are exempt. Most commonly used words are fragrance, perfume or parfum on the ingredients list.

Other animals to suffer in the name of creating a fragrance to smell good for humans are:

East Asian musk deer and North American and European beavers, killed for their musk and castoreum

. There is also ambergris extracted from a sperm whale intestines.

Are Synthetic Perfumes any Better?

With more and more people caring about animal welfare some perfumers now use synthetics with a similar sensual, animalistic aroma.

The more commonly used ingredients include civetone, muscone and ambroxide, with synthetic musks being used in approximately 99% of modern perfumes.

The problem with this is although it may be vegan the frequently used polycyclic musks are non-biodegradable petrochemicals and with increased use will affect your body and the environment.

Possible health concerns upon skin absorption include hormone disruption which is linked to breast and prostate cancer, thyroid problems and possible reproductive problems.  They can also trigger allergic reactions although it is also true to say that many natural ingredients can also irritate skin.

Are Vegan Perfumes Natural and Organic?

Not all vegan perfumes are fully natural and free from synthetics but are widely considered safe in small amounts.

The biggest complaint about natural perfumes is that the scent does not linger. There are several vegan perfumes that are 100% and will appeal to men as well as women and, even if you are not vegan, by default they are also cruelty-free so you can wear them guilt-free.

A list of vegan perfumes both 100% and otherwise will appear at the end of this article together with a description of each one for you to consider and perhaps in the future purchase.

Tips for Longer Lasting Perfume

This depends on the concentration for instance Eau de Parfum has a higher concentration of oils and will last longer than the cheaper but weaker Eau de Toilette.

Spray perfume at close range onto key areas of the skin that emit heat for instance the back of your neck, behind your knees and ankles instead of applying to your wrists. Hair and clothing fibres trap perfume, so it is worth misting yourself before going out.

The base notes of any perfume are the ones that stay the longest, so it is important to make sure you are happy with the dominating tops notes as this is the fragrance you smell first.

Eden’s copy of Chanel No.5

Eden Perfumes is certified by the Society, these are cruelty-free scents that are replicas for the classics, minus the parabens, preservatives and animal-derived ingredients, which are replaced with natural essential oils. 

Eden’s copy of Chanel No.5 which is one the most recognisable and timeless scents on the perfumery market has proven to be extremely similar with the same familiar top notes of neroli, ylang ylang and lemon, heart of iris, jasmine and rose and base of patchouli.

 It has been claimed that it would be hard to tell the difference in a scent test. The cost of Eden No.5 is a bargain price which is down to the company which is run by a vegan family from Brighton. The packaging and marketing are not as lavish as the original Chanel No.5 but the focus is on the quality and intensity of the perfume itself. Not only that the slim bottles Eden No.5 comes in are refillable thus helping to do your bit for the environment.

If there is a particular scent you are looking type it into Eden’s website and they will show you a vegan alternative and if they cannot match it, they will take requests.

Valour Absolue - Joie-Eclat.

This is a new vegan range from French Perfume House Valeur Absolue and was founded by a former Elizabeth Arden perfumer who wanted to return to perfumery’s 17th century roots and “bring fragrance and wellbeing back together”.

 Each bottle is lined with semi-precious crystals you can shake up like a snow globe. The scent itself is like a sparkling champagne with top notes of tangerine and pink grapefruit followed by middle notes of tuberose and herby vertiver and will satisfy fans of citrus, floral, woody fragrances.

It also has an extract from the immortelle flower which is known for naturally stimulating the production of endorphins.  The scent is not too heavy when on but hangs around in a natural, subtle way for hours. There are no chemical filters in this perfume, and it is also available as a candle.

Abel Green Cedar

The Abel range of perfumes are completely eco-friendly but expensive. Smoky scent Green Cedar is created from a mix of two sustainable, wild-harvested cedars from the Texan forests and Moroccan mountains and is sweetened by a touch of magnolia.  It is a unisex fragrance and is long lasting.

 The reason it is so expensive is because Abel, founded by a New Zealander in her own frustrating struggle to find a natural perfume, uses only the finest ingredients from the most ethical of suppliers.

 They use a plant-derived musk taken from the seeds of hisbicus flowers which, though superior in terms of fragrance, health and eco-impact costs five to ten times more than synthetics. It is definitely a worthwhile purchase and lasts for months.

Just one spray of this Eau de Parfum gives off and intense aroma.  In addition to this for every bottle that is sold the company donates a meal to a financially disadvantaged child through the charity Mary’s Meals so if you were to indulge yourself in  purchasing a bottle at least you could do it conscience-free.

Prosody London – Jacinth Jonquil

This is the latest luxury perfume brand and the majority of its range is 100% organic. The finest essential oils take the credit for the twelve scents which vary from rich, dewy rose to delicate, honeyed neroli and they are all handmade in England.

One of the most popular scents is Jacinth Jonquil with its aroma of blooming hyacinths and exotic ylang ylang and juniper berries. A couple of sprays lasts all day.

 It is presented in 10ml spray bottles and is easy to carry around in your handbag and they are packaged in square cream boxes decorated with a floral printed roundel, an ideal gift for someone or simply for yourself.

Le Labo – Santal 33

Santal 33 by Le Labo is a firm favourite. It has a sandalwood fragrance and could be described as aged leather.  It is smoky and more traditionally masculine although the perfumer who created it reports a 50/50 gender split in its buyers. 

The hip spray bottle promotes Scandi-style minimalism with its cream label and typewriter font and can be personalised with your name.  This scent is expensive but effective and will last all day.  Santa 33 also comes in roll-on and solid form and although all Le Labo’s perfumes are free from phthalates and parabens, they do contain a small amount of synthetic musk.

Dolma – Women’s Vegan Perfume Box Set.

Dolma’s range is certified by both the Vegan Society and Cruelty-Free International. Made sustainably sourced essential oils, these fragrances are all paraben and palm-oil free although synthetic musks are used to hold the scent.

 Finding a new scent can be challenging but this chocolate box style set offers twelve miniature vials all with different scents to try. 

Dolma’s scents become much more warming and attractive once on the skin and they stay with you all day and night.  It is a great set for you to discover which scents you like the best and once you have decided you can buy the bigger version of that scent knowing you are not paying for the packaging but purely for the fragrance.

Lush Amelie Mae Perfume

This very girly scent was made by perfumer Simon Constantine who had already named a fragrance after his eldest daughter Imogen Rose.

 Amelie Mae was the youngest daughter and when asked what she would like the scent to smell like she replied raspberries, roses and lavender which is what this scent smells of.

It is a soft candied fragrance though ylang ylang oil gives it an added depth and the raspberries have a tart rather than cloying scent.  The lavender strengthens on the skin and has been described as a good stress reliever.   The aroma of this fragrance does not last long and you would need to top it up several times in the day.

Benecos Roll On Fragrance – Heaven Can Wait

This is a combination of cinnamon and orange and has citrus top notes to lift your mood and assist in relieving tiredness. 

It feels fresh and light enough to wear when the sun is shining. It has a vanilla base, anchored by a heart of earthy sandalwood and a hint of jasmine. This is also one that will need topped up during the day. It is a roll-on and can be used discreetly wherever you may be.

 It is certified natural by strict German cosmetics regulator BDIH which demands that all ingredients come from a plant or mineral source and be organically grown wherever possible.

Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom Spray Perfume

This fragrance is more suited to the younger fragrance addicts. It is an ode to the”sun, surf and flora of southern Californian beaches” and is made with natural essential oils and pure corn-sourced alcohol.

 It has a tangy lemon aroma that mellows into a honeyed blossom and a slightly herby saltiness to it.  It is not a long-lasting fragrance, but it is free from parabens, sulphates and petroleum although it is likely to feature synthetic musks. It comes in a clear bottle with a gold spray top and is great to take for a day on the beach.

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