Just like nearly everything else in life, it’s possible to find perfumes that run the entire range from synthetic to organic, harmful to green. It’s possible for perfume fans to be green, but the selections aren’t as clear-cut as it seems. Here’s why.
Organic Might Not Be Better
It’s easy to think that the term “organic” means safe for the environment. Eat organic foods, wear organic clothes, buy organic perfumes. It’s true that these organic perfumes are free of toxic compounds that are harmful to plants and animals, but that doesn’t mean they have no impact. In some cases, these organic perfumes come from extracts from endangered plants. In other cases, the machinery and practices necessary for extracting these compounds causes more damage to the environment than making the synthetic compounds for normal perfumes. Because of this, it may be less harmful to the environment to choose a synthetic perfume that doesn’t contain harmful toxins.
Just because an ingredient in a perfume is synthetic doesn’t mean it’s created in a lab. Some are made completely out of natural materials, called semi-synthetics. Because of their origins in natural materials, they can be better for the environment. Of course, there are completely synthetic perfumes as well.
Look Into Ingredient Lists
If you’re looking at a new perfume and you’re concerned about the ingredients, write them down and research them. Check each ingredient and make sure it isn’t made from an endangered species of plant. Not only does such an ingredient damage the ecosystem where it is being harvested, but anything that relies on the plant suffers as well. One plant dying out can have wide-reaching effects.
Make Your Own Perfume
One alternative to digging into the world of synthetic, semi-synthetic and organic ingredients and perfume research is to make your own perfumes. It’s easy to find oil extracts that come from common, non-threatened plants. Jasmine is one such plant, for an idea. The scent oils you can find range from synthetic fragrances to essential oils diluted for sale as scents. A few fragrant plants and oils can be infused into a delicate and excellent homemade perfume.
Using Essential Oils
What are essential oils? In most cases, an essential oil is an extract from a plant, created through distillation. These oils are volatile and contain the concentrated scent of the plant. Some are excellent for scents, while others have actual medicinal properties. They are far too concentrated to use as perfumes as they are, however, and must be diluted before use.
As long as you can do your research, buying a perfume can be an easy balance between quality perfume and environmentally friendly business. As for creating a perfume of your own, the best one is a balance you strike between easily available ingredients, environmentally safe practices and great fragrances.