Myths About Natural Perfumes


I have heard and read so many myths about natural and botanical (vegan) perfumes that I thought it is time to choose the most interesting ones and bust them. If you know any myths about natural perfumes, I would love to hear them. I will do my best to update the list.

Natural perfumes are a blend of oils, they have no structure and people who create them are simply aromatherapists. Natural perfumes are not appreciated by perfume experts.

Not true. There are many artisan perfumers, if you are looking for a serious all natural sophisticated perfume, there are many gorgeous well structured professionally designed perfumes. Although natural perfumes do have aromatherapy qualities, most of them should not be used as such, because absolutes are not suitable for aromatherapy. The truth about perfume experts and natural perfumes is that they have nothing in common. Conventional (synthetic, man made) perfumes cannot be compared to natural perfumes in any way. But I hope there will be more experienced experts who are specialized on natural/botanical perfumes only. Within a few years, the trends will change.

Only oil based natural perfumes are actually real ones, because alcohol is not good for skin, it is drying and not natural.

Not true. Alcohol is natural in fact. It is used widely in organic skin care as a preservative. But, of course, there are safe doses of it because it can really dry your skin. Alcohol in natural perfumes is an important base, not all raw materials dissolve in oils, I would say most of them dissolve only in alcohol.

Natural perfumes are not long lasting.

Not true. Natural perfumes can last up to 8-10 hours on your skin but they have a close to skin sillage, so they do not bother other people around you. A well made natural perfume has a good structure and proportion of top, heart and base notes. On the other hand, it is also true that some people prefer their perfumes to have  a "loud" sillage because they are used to synthetic perfumes and they get disappointed by naturals. It is important to read as much as possible about natural perfumes before buying them.

Natural perfumes are too expensive and that is explained by trends and a high demand.

Not true. Natural raw materials are much more expensive than synthetic ones, besides almost all natural perfumes are made by artisans which increases the costs. It may be true that some perfumes may look overpriced but, on the other hand, perfumery is art and there is no good or bad price for it. As a perfumer I can say that in fact many natural perfumers do not price their perfumes well, which is sad because professionally made and presented natural perfumes deserve a good price.

Natural perfumes are better for the environment.

Yes and no. There are many natural and unsustainable ingredients which are becoming extinct these days, such as rosewood and sandalwood. Most animal derived ingredients are natural but are not cruelty free, they involve lots of suffering and torture of animals and many consumers have no idea about that. 

Natural perfumes can be made at home.

Yes and no. While you can make simple formulas at home, there is a lot involved in the process of perfume making: from finding unadulterated natural raw materials, finding the right way to handle solid ingredients, to building the structure which will last for hours on your skin and which will also smell good. In fact learning perfumery can take months or even years. I am not exaggerating!

Natural perfumes expire fast so they must be used within a few months.

Not true. Alcohol based as well as oil based perfumes can stay on your shelf in a dark cool place for years and they get even better in scent. It is about storing them in the right conditions. Even dabbing it on your skin out of a bottle will not contaminate it. Alcohol is antiseptic, oils used for perfumes have an almost indefinite shelf life, such as jojoba. 

Natural perfumes can be used by pregnant women.

Not true! I recommend NOT to use even natural perfumes during pregnancy and lactation. There are many essential oils which are not recommended during those periods and because perfumes are complex blends, it is really hard to track each ingredient. What you can do is to use safe essential oils diluted in oil, such as almond or jojoba (10-20%) to achieve a subtle natural scent.


Kamila AubreComment