Is Your Perfume Vegan-Friendly?

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Is perfume vegan? The answer to this question is not as easy as it may seem. The use of animal by-products in the fragrance field has existed for decades.  It has been widely popular till the 1970’s, when it was restricted by law in several countries. Some of the most frequent animal ingredients include Civet Musk, Deer Musk, Ambergris and Castoreum Oil. Many reports proved that animals are trapped, killed, and farmed in small cages for years to harvest these ‘fixative’ ingredients. 

A ban to protect the wildlife

Many countries enacted different measures. For example, the CITES convention in the U.S. urges its contractors to “take immediate action in order to reduce demonstrably the illegal trade in musk deriving from wild musk deer”. Even if such provisions limit the trade of items like Deer Musk or Castoreum Oil, there is no guarantee that perfume companies completely ditched these ingredients, since there has been no ban so far. It is true that animal-by products became inconveniently expensive, and are often replaced by synthetic alternatives, but a few luxury companies may still use them in their formulations. Sometimes it is not even possible to spot such ingredients in the perfume INCI, as they are simply reported as ‘fragrance’.

Are natural perfumes vegan?

‘Natural’ does not automatically mean ‘vegan’. As a matter of fact, in the world of perfumery, many natural and artisanal brands often state that they only use animal-derived musks so to avoid any synthetic material. Hence, it is crucial for ethical consumers to thoroughly read the company’s philosophy and engagements before buying fragrances or raw materials for DIY.

So, which are the best vegan perfumes?

The number of guilt-free perfume brands is constantly growing. Here is a short list you may want to check out: 

  1. Lolita Lempicka (France): if you are keen on artistic perfume bottles, you may opt for this brand. 
  2. Eden Perfume (UK): refillable high-quality perfumes for every taste. They are the pioneers of vegan perfumery.
  3. 100Bon (France) offers refillable organic perfumes and colognes. You can even make your personalised perfume when visiting their French ateliers.
  4. Sabé Masson (France) produces alcohol-free niche fragrances. Both solid and spray version are long-lasting. Vegan perfumes are listed on their website.
  5. Floral Street is a new London-based brand, proposing award-winning floral perfumes in seductive bottles. 
Valentina Nieddu
Valentina Nieddu
Valentina Nieddu is a Communication Specialist based in Italy. She graduated from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) in Languages for Communication in International Enterprises, with a case study about sustainable business in Europe. Valentina has been vegan since 2010, when she was only 15 years old. As a professional in the communication field, she has always tried to inform people about the reasons supporting the vegan choice, using reliable sources. In particular, she aims at telling stories about people giving their positive and personal contribution to the animal cause, so that they can inspire others. That is why she joined The Vegan Review in March 2020.