With notes like rose and sandalwood, you might think that all fragrances can be considered natural perfumes—but that's not actually the case. In fact, even the most popular fragrances can be a field day for some not-so-great synthetic ingredients, such as phthalates, which research has found to be hormone disruptors (FYI: the presence of phthalates doesn't even have to be disclosed by perfume brands; they're usually bucketed under the word “fragrance” on the ingredient list). If you wouldn’t want it in your other beauty products, then it shouldn’t be in your fragrance, either.
This, along with the clean-beauty movement at large, has led to a brand-new category of fragrances, which are formulated with botanically derived, non-toxic, and natural ingredients—think essential oils and organic sugar cane alcohol. The beauty brands behind them also offer transparency into what, exactly, is in your bottle. That can make it all the easier to shop for a new summer scent or a unisex fragrance to share with your S.O. With that in mind, scroll ahead for the best natural perfumes to spritz and dab, so you can smell good without compromising your long-term safety.
The brainchild of actress Michelle Pfeiffer and the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—which serves as a clean-beauty watchdog for the industry—this brand prioritizes transparency and safety in fragrance. This natural fragrance in particular is grounded in base notes of vetiver, sandalwood, and musk, but lifted with fresh citrus—for a crisp yet warm scent.
Nothing feels more luxurious than fragrance oils, especially in the form of this uplifting, super-comforting blend of mandarin, tangerine, vanilla, and jasmine. Not only will you feel like you're in a garden, but you can also rest easy knowing that it's cruelty-, phthalate-, and paraben-free.
Not only are Skylar's fragrances vegan and cruelty-free, they're also hypoallergenic, making them ideal for reactive skin types. The blend of bergamot, cardamom, and sandalwood makes for a satisfyingly spicy (but still light) scent. And even the packaging is sustainably made, with the box, bottle, and cap being 100 percent recyclable.
Not satisfied with fragrance alone, Heretic is all about functional fragrances, a.k.a. scents that offer benefits that help calm or relax. This set from the genderless fragrance brand contains a blend of its most soothing perfumes, such as Dirty Grass, which pairs vetiver with lemon. The brand creates all of its scents in small batches with only plant-based ingredients—with the exception of safe synthetics used to replace animal musk where necessary.
New York Times writer Bee Shapiro founded this brand (named for her first daughter, Ellis) when she was on the hunt for clean fragrances while pregnant. This unique fragrance, which features cedarwood and vetiver, has a woody payoff that smells minimalist alone, or enhances other scents when layered.
This clean perfume brand puts their formula at the forefront with this warm, slightly sweet scent. Not only is it cruelty-free and vegan, but it’s also infused with soothing quartz crystals. Best of all: its small, rollerball packaging means you can take it everywhere.
Stay on vacation (mentally, obv) with this fragrance, which blends coconut oil and aquamarine crystals with a tropical lineup of essential oils, including hibiscus, pink pepper, and white orchid. The formula is free of gluten, phthalates, and parabens—and, of course, is cruelty-free and vegan, too.
This fall-inspired fragrance feels both refreshing and earthy, thanks to notes of amber, fig, and gardenia. All of the brand’s formulations are vegan and cruelty-free, as well as free of parabens, BHT, and phthalates.
Lavanila brands itself as “The Healthy Fragrance,” but the brand does so much more: You can find everything from deodorants to body moisturizers infused with their natural and organic ingredients. As the name hints, many of its perfumes include vanilla—but this mash-up with lavender, rose, and violet makes for a soft floral scent that’s totally unique.
This cool-girl brand—which is now led by influencer Chriselle Lim—prides itself on modern scents made with responsibly sourced ingredients. If you can't get enough of musk, consider this comforting scent: with traces of jasmine and orange, it's grounded by white musk and light woods for a complex, moody feel that makes for a killer signature scent.
Okay, patchouli can be polarizing, but that's not the case with this scent, which freshens it up with peony and rose geranium. It reads more sultry than ‘70s, and prioritizes safety with a formula free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, and formaldehydes.
Good Chemistry is a winner if you want high-quality, non-toxic perfumes at an affordable price. Free of phthalates, dyes, parabens, and GMOs, this scent smells like a flirty gourmand, thanks to a combo of amber and vanilla (with a lift from orange blossoms).
While this brand offers everything from detergents to lip balms, don’t sleep on its fragrances, which are non-toxic, genderless, and vegan. This grassy scent smells like you're in a field, thanks to mint, lily, and clove—making it perfect for anyone who wants it to be springtime all year long.
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