Fragrance

By Jacqueline Jameson

The people have spoken, we want organic! We eat organic food and wear organic clothes, and we want to put good things on our skin. As it has become most fashionable, we read the word “organic” everywhere. It gets the press. With more companies on the organic wagon, consumers have more options. The gap between of having to choose between sophisticated and organic is getting smaller.

Hoorah! The magic of the market has brought us organic fragrances. Organic fragrances have none of the synthetics or chemicals that cause some people worry about what is being absorbed by their body. They are a solace for people sensitive or allergic to synthetics common in many fragrances and beauty products. Conscientious shoppers buy organic because they want support companies that are proactive with the environment. Some people simply want to wear pure essences. This is all great, but what does an organic label mean and why is it different from natural?

The term organic refers to the way the ingredients are grown and processed. “Organic” is regulated by the USDA so we know exactly what companies mean when they use the word or slap the organic logo on the package. The term “organic” differs from “natural”, “eco” and other terms which are not regulated by the FDA and have no real definition. They require further investigation on the consumer’s part to figure out what they mean. More on these at a later time. There are four classifications of “Organic” labeling of products:

• “100% Certified Organic” labels products with 100% certified organic ingredients and can use the organic logo.

• “Certified Organic” labels products with at least 95% organic ingredients (the other 5% is also regulated). These products can use the organic logo.

• “Made with Organic Ingredients” graces the package of products containing between 70% and 94% organic ingredients. The other ingredients are limited.

• A product containing less than 70% organic ingredients can specify which ingredients are organic, but the product can’t be labeled organic. The other ingredients are limited.

Now for the good stuff…

Red Flower launched three 100% Organic fragrances this summer. This delightful trio is created only from flower, leaf and bark distillations and Certified Organic grain alcohol. First there is Champa. A blend of eight flower essences, the most prominent scent is the Champa flower. Long sacred in India, the Champa tree is grown near the gates of temples and women tuck the buds into their hair. The second organic fragrance, Ambrette, is a light, spicy, rosey floral carried on frankincense, patchouli and the musky hibiscus seed called Ambrette. Guiac, my favorite of the three organic perfumes, immediately transported me to Spain. Memories flowed of ancient Andalucian courtyards filled with orange trees, roses, hand-hewn timbers and spiced night air. At first, Guiac has a strong bright grapefruit note is supported by the slightest Damask rose, followed quickly with a hit of pine-like resin. A long woodsy finish trails off into the forest, warmed with the scent of tobacco and a suggestion of clove. Guiac is unusual, complex, warm and perfect for fall. All are available in a 15 ML concentrate or a 10 ML travel roll-on. The box is 80% recycled paper produced and printed at a100% wind-powered plant in USA. www.redflower.com

Aubrey Organics has been making organic personal care products since 1967. Always at the forefront of organics, in 1994, they were the first cosmetic manufacturer to become a Certified Organic processor. Their line of Certified Organic (95% Organic) fragrances launched in 2006. You won’t find any animal extracts or synthetics in their Eau de Parfums made only from Certified Organic alcohol and organic essential oils. Take your pick from a range of six different scents: Spring Floral, Light Citrus Floral, Ocean Waters, Musk, Angelica, and Jade Spice. My favorite, Jade Spice, is earthy and spicy and has a woody warmth that comes through on a base of cedarwood. Spicy middle notes of black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon then bring us to a light basil mandarin finish. This scent mingles well with falling leaves. www.aubrey-organics.com

Tsi-La Organics makes six organic Eau de Parfums produced in small batches. The clear glass bottles bear the dancing silhouettes of herbs and flowers. Owners Annie Morton and Natalie Szapowalo, concerned about the easily absorbed chemicals present in traditional cosmetics and fragrances, created Tsi-la. The scents are created from 100% USDA Certified Organic alcohol, fine essential oils and botanical distillations. There are no synthetic fragrances or artificial colors. My favorite is the luscious Fiori d’Arancio, which has sweet bright notes of orange blossoms, tangerine, and neroli flowers in a caramelized base of vanilla orchids and honey. It’s fresh, tempting and seductive. Tsi-la’s fragrances are available in a full size 50 ML or in a 4 ML minis so why not try a few? The Eau de Parfum Collection has four 4 ML bottles: Fleur Savage, Kesu, Llang Llang and Kizes. The perfumes come in a sophisticated black box, Tsi-La’s signature packaging. www.tsilaorganics.com

Are you on the lookout for new organic fragrances? Keep an eye on Vert, an Eco-Chic Beauty Boutique in Los Angeles. Former celebrity make-up artist Renata Helfaman created the boutique to be a one-stop shop for natural and organic beauty products. When she decided to only use natural and organic products herself, she found them spread out at different retailers. “I couldn’t believe that there were these amazing products but there was no home for them!” So, in October 2007, Vert was born to be a home for the best luxury organic and natural beauty products. Renata says, “I really know a fragrance is natural when we’re in the store all day and we never get a headache.” Vert’s website will have online shopping in November, 2008. www.vertlosangeles.com

Originally published October 2008
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