Adriana Ermter chats fragrance, travel and French getaways with Laurie…
Great ideas for green-minded fragrance lovers on your shopping list.
If you have someone on your gift list who steers clear of synthetics and does their best to embrace natural ingredients and essential oils, we’ve got the top natural scents that make for perfect perfume gifts this holiday season:
I’ve long been a fan of Toronto-based Province Apothecary’s beauty treatments (Julie gives a wicked facial) and skincare products (I’m hooked on oil cleansers thanks to the brand). But I hadn’t considered PA’s perfume oils until a reader mentioned a particular love for Province Apothecary Parfum Botanique No. 14.
“Wonderfully weird,” was how the scent was described, so I was obviously intrigued.
I wasn’t disappointed. Notes of wild ylang ylang, Indian cardamom and frankincense make for a spicy and stimulating scent that is definitely not for wallflowers. If that sounds a little to bold for your taste, not to worry. PA offers six different fragrances that are all-natural. This means that they are free of synthetic fragrances and chemicals and use jojoba oil instead of alcohol as a carrier. Bonus: they are also vegan.
Province Apothecary Parfum Botanique No. 14, $46 (10 ml), www.provinceapothecary.com
You’re probably familiar with Lush’s bath and body products (the #bathart on Instagram is awesome), but you may be less familiar with the fact that Lush also offers makeup, henna hair dyes and, yes, perfume too. Sikkim Girls by Lush Gorilla Perfumes is another warm and heady scent—perfect for the holiday season. With notes of frangipani (a rich, white floral), jasmine, vanilla and tuberose, you might think that this is a strictly floral scent. You would be wrong. Sikkim Girls is darkly seductive and lingering.
Lush Gorilla Perfumes Sikkim Girls, $50 (30 ml), www.lush.ca
Saje’s commitment to natural, essential oils makes it a prime shopping source for natural-perfume shopping. Saje’s rollerball perfumes all aim to help the wearer heal and grow both through the fragrance itself, and through the packaging.
You see, each rollerball is actually a gemstone (often believed to have healing properties), that correlates both with the scent and with its intended purpose. For example, the Goddess perfume claims its raison d’etre as fulfillment, aiming to connect the wearer with their inner femininity, to uplift the spirit and to instil happiness.
It comes with a rose quartz rollerball (rose quartz is said to inspire compassion, peace and awareness).
What does it smell like? Soft and sweet pink florals, citrus and vanilla.
Saje Natural Wellness Goddess Perfume Rollerball, $30 (10 ml), www.saje.ca
Give the gift of the cosmos this holiday season with a zodiac-inspired spritz from Venice Beach-based Strange Invisible Perfumes. Founder and perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis created the Zodiac Collection because of her own fascination with astrology.
Made using natural botanicals, each scent corresponds to a astrology sign, though Balahoutis admits that it was her own impressions of each sign that directed the scents. “I see the constellations of the zodiac as a palette of twelve mysterious essences. Like botanical essences, their content is complex and elusive,” she notes.
The gift giving tip is obvious here—give someone their zodiac sign in scent form. Or, take your tip from Balahoutis herself who suggests layering the scents, “we all have more than one sign layered within our personality, much like the layers of a perfume composition”.
I’ll opt for Gemini: The Mastermind—notes of violet and gardenia melt into a dark amber and leather base.
Strange Invisible Zodiac Collection Gemini, $125 (15 ml), www.siperfumes.com
Considered one of the first all-natural fragrance companies, Lavanilla—as the name suggests—is big on vanilla. The ingredient is the starting point for the brand’s skincare and perfume products.
An all-natural sugarcane alcohol base is the foundation for each scent and then botanical and natural ingredients are added. In the case of the Fresh Vanilla Lemon scent, lemon, bamboo and vanilla mingle. The result is a fresher citrusy take on the typical sweet and sultry vanilla essence.
Lavanilla Fresh Vanilla Lemon EDP, $70 (50 ml), www.sephora.com
Let us know—did we miss your favourite natural perfume brand? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter.
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