Zero Waste Natural Perfumes

Is it possible to use natural perfumes and produce as less waste as possible? What can be and what can`t be recycled if we speak about natural fragrances and their packaging? How much waste is really produced during the hand made process of perfume making?

Since the first day my perfumes appeared online I have been dreaming of making zero waste perfumes. What is Zero Waste? It is the possibility to buy a product, use it and produce no waste which means the packaging can be either recycled (such as paper boxes, for example), re-used or re-filled, etc. Zero waste does not mean you have no packagaing, it is not possible with many items, some have to be packaged for safe shipment. If it concerns food, things can be much easier, you simply buy local food. But perfumes as a luxury product sometimes have to be sourced from other countries which is normal. We know how difficult it can be to find your signature scent if it is about natural perfumes.

I would like to provide the first hand information for consumers who are concerned about sustainability, waste and other problems our excessive shopping may have.

First and foremost, you do not need to have twenty perfumes in your collection, even if all of them are natural, vegan and ethically made. There is no sense! I am against collecting beauty products. If I buy something, I simply use it daily or almost daily and enjoy it. If you are on the path of a zero waste life, try to reduce your beauty items, including perfumes. 1-5 perfumes sounds more realistic.

When natural perfumes are created, there can be more waste than you might think: not all suppliers provide eco-friendly packaging and fillers. Although I do my best to find such, this work is a constant daily search. I refuse to use perfumes strips and plastic pipettes because they are useless and produce more waste than actual usefulness. I test all my perfumes on skin and use re-usable pipettes made of glass.

Some packages may get plastic fillers, so please do not be surprised as I explain it on a small note: Although I do my best to provide eco-friendly fillers such as paper and corn based material, it is simply impossible to avoid plastic from suppliers. It would be Greenwashing from my side to throw it away and pretend I am a good perfumer and give you only the best. I re-use it in some packages and ask you to do the same if possible. Re-using things can lead to much more waste in the end!

The most polluting parts of a single perfume are the plastic parts: pumps and caps. Those have to be separated from the bottles using pliers when your perfume bottles are empty.

If it is about extrait de parfum, those contain only the smallest seal made of plastic which is made to protect the contents from air and from spilling. This can be removed by pliers too. The rest of the bottle is made of glass. This means that extrait de parfum flacons in my perfume line produce the least waste. But I strongly recommend to re-use those beautiful French flacons! You can simply pour your favourite oil in which will absorb the leftover of your perfume and use it as body oil. You can also wash it with any soft dish soap and hot water and re-use it for other beauty purposes as well as aromatherapy! If you want to take this flacon with you, you need to fix it with a cord for safety. So flacons are perfect as vanity table bottles.

Other parts: the perfume box is made of recycled paper and is recyclable. The boxes are made from post consumer paper in the EU. Box labels are made of paper. All sample labels are made of paper. All original perfume labels need to be removed as they are made of film. If you would like to get your perfume without a plastic label, simply mention it in the Notes at checkout. Just write Zero Waste! I will simply put a small paper label with a perfume name on the bottom of the flacon. Paper labels on the front side of perfume bottles are not always practical, they will get stained and lose their ink in the end. I recommend the 2nd option above.

If you are on your way to a zero waste life, I highly recommend to invest in extrait de parfum. Being 2-3 times more concentrated, they can be used for many months or even years. Natural perfumes can be stored for years in proper conditions. Flacons produce almost no waste except the tiny seal.

If you have any questions, please check FAQ page or e-mail me using the contact page, I am happy to answer all your questions about my perfumes and recycling.

P.S. The post will be updated in the future if it is necessary. In that case it will be marked as updated.

Kamila AubreComment