What is a natural perfume?
Here we are in the second part of our series on eco-responsible perfume. Our first article was centered around packaging – everything outside of a perfume . This week, we're taking a look at everything inside our favorite fragrances.
To be more precise, we are going to talk about juices, natural or synthetic ingredients, but also allergic reactions. We will see that the ideas received on synthetic ingredients are sometimes far from reality, and that their use generates environmental benefits.
Natural ingredients: great!
Some perfume houses decide to highlight the natural side of their perfumes by focusing on their composition. To be more eco-responsible, perfumers seek to create a clean juice that tries to use as many natural and organic ingredients as possible (on average between 80% and 100% of the active ingredients present in their perfumes are plant-based).
The advantage of using essences of natural and organic ingredients is that there are fewer products that are dangerous for the skin and for the environment: dyes, silicone, phthalates... These elements are not only pollutants and cause a significant risk for nature, but they can also irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions.
For example, most perfume houses prohibit the use of phthalates in their perfume composition. These chemicals are controversial, as some of them are classified as toxic by the European Chemicals Agency. Indeed, certain types of phthalates are suspected of being endocrine disruptors and of being carcinogenic. There may therefore be risks for users, especially pregnant women. Don't worry, we don't use any at Maison Matine!
The link between consumer well-being and environmental protection is apparent and this is very good news! Eco-responsible perfume kills two birds with one stone: it protects us and our beloved little planet.
Natural ingredients: flop!
However, there is a downside to note. This choice of natural ingredients creates an important creative constraint. Indeed, perfumers explain that in traditional perfumery, there are nearly 5000 possible notes for the creation of a perfume. As for 100% natural perfumery, the number of existing notes is only around 500. The field of creative possibilities and olfactory nuances is therefore greatly restricted in natural perfumery.
A second disadvantage of natural ingredients can be their provenance. Indeed, many highly prized scents are often derived from exotic flowers or fruits that are not generally found in France or Europe. An example is coconut: the main producing countries are Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and Brazil. These coconuts experience a long crossing from their country of origin before arriving in the laboratories of European or American perfumers. The long journey of these precious ingredients generates a lot of pollution due to their transport by air, sea, or even road over long distances.
This is why the vast majority of perfume houses, even luxury ones, use synthetic essences to reproduce odors (like the coconut we just mentioned!). This option allows greater creative freedom and has environmental advantages: no more pollution linked to the transport of ingredients of distant origin.
And U.S ?
AtMaison Matine we partly use synthetic essences: there are fewer restrictions when creating the perfume, which is why they are so original. All our perfumes are made in Europe. There is therefore no transport of raw materials over very long distances in order to limit our carbon impact as much as possible. We choose to use organic wheat alcohol, which represents 80% of the total composition of the perfume. The majority of our perfumes therefore contain above all natural ingredients that are respectful of nature and our skin.
It's a good compromise between eco-responsibility and olfactory creativity!
We are still looking for the best solutions to make our perfumes as eco-responsible as possible. We welcome all your advice and ideas on a cleaner scent!
We hope this article has taught you more about the environmental issues of perfume composition.
Next time we meet again for our last part on eco-responsible perfume. We'll talk about vegan perfume, cute little bunnies, and animal protection. Stay tuned!