By Liz Bekesz
(Nicole J. Cornella also contributed to this article)
In a modern yet complex world, our choices often multiply like mirrored hallways. Is it best to eat whole wheat, or no wheat? Should you toss your microwave, or hoard your artificial sweetener? Which is the greater evil: organic cheesecake, or conventional apple? (And, is “organic cheesecake” slightly oxymoronic, or just…moronic?)
I’ll take the lesser of any two evils any day – especially if it’s something I use every day. Margo Marrone – pharmacist, homeopath, tireless innovator and daring entrepreneur – has made it easier to do so…at least when it comes to fragrance and beauty! A trendsetter in what is now beauty’s burgeoning green movement, Marrone, along with husband Francesco, opened London’s first Organic Pharmacy in 2002. Created from her desire to heal the mind, body, and skin in a holistic way, the Organic Pharmacy marries innovative 21st century technologies and research with natural, homeopathic remedies. The result: modern and luxurious and products and services that are both holistic, and effective.
Luckily for us, the Organic Pharmacy’s products and treatments have grown to include not only gorgeous make-up (under the Organic Glam moniker), but also a rather exquisite 100% natural and organic fragrance collection with no artificial fragrances, no artificial colors, no phthalates, and no animal ingredients. Housed in scene-stealing art deco-inspired bottles with light-catching, faceted caps and chic little “nametags,” Organic Glam is gorgeously designed, inside and out.
The newest Organic Glam scent, Orange Blossom, is a highly intoxicating and uplifting creation, opening with Brazilian Tangerine, Green Mandarin, and Sweet Orange, then moving to a heart and base of hypnotic Moroccan Neroli; a hint of Rosewood lingers in the warm afterglow. Orange Blossom is sunlit joy…bottled. Could a more perfect fragrance for summer exist? Citron could well qualify: it’s a fresh, breezy open of Italian Lemon and Bergamot, followed by Moroccan Orange Blossom and exotic Ylang Ylang, with a finish of Patchouli and Neroli. Jasmine is also lush and alive, capturing its luscious namesake blooms of spring and summer . It’s an uplifting, heady scent, yet it has elegance and sophistication (plus, a surprising little twist of Bergamot and Sandalwood). Oud is as the best oud should be: immediately intimate and sensual, yet never without a hint of mystery. Oud opens with Moroccan Cedarwood, Indian Oud, Black Pepper, and Cardamom, then delves into the heart of delicate rose before finishing with a base of Sandalwood, Vetiver, and Tonka Bean. Also quite seductive and gorgeous is Oriental Blossom, which invites with citrus notes before moving into a spicy, floral heart of cinnamon, clove, rose, and neroli. Warm, rich notes of Oakmoss, Vetiver, and Pepper mingle with sweet Vanilla and Ylang Ylang, lingering lovingly. Available at New London Pharmacy, 246 8th Avenue (212.243.4987) and online at http://www.theorganicpharmacy.com.
Writer Nicole J. Cornella recommends trying these scents:
Honoré des Prés is the first line of French organic fragrance designed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti, who has designed fragrances for Diptyque and Guerlain. This line is completely natural and certified organic by ECOCERT, which means that the fragrance contains no petrochemical products or synthetic perfumes, and is free of coloring agents and phthalates. One fragrance in particular, Vamp à NY from the I Love NY Collection, comes inspired by none other than the great city of New York – artsy, hipster, Lower East Side NY, to be specific. With head notes of Tuberose and Rum, heart notes of Bourbon Vanilla, and base notes of Benjoin, Perou Balm and Tolu Balm, the combination comes together in a rich, robust “mystical flower” that Olivia has invented. Available online at Spirit Beauty Lounge, http://www.spiritbeautylounge.com.
On a lighter “note” from Honoré des Prés comes Sexy Angelic and the fragrance embodies its name in every sense. This is a girly-girl fragrance inspired by the sweet experience of French marzipan candies, and combines conium flower, angelica seed and calisson. The scent brings forth a soft, baby powder-esque touch that is subtly sweet, with a touch of sass – hence the name. Available online at Spirit Beauty Lounge, http://www.spiritbeautylounge.com.
If you are seeking a lighter fruity and floral scent for the beach this summer, Tsi-La Organics offers USDA-certified organic perfumes and mists with a combination of organic freshness and pure plant botanicals. Tsi-La (which comes from the word “atsilvsgi”, meaning “flower” in Cherokee) is a line developed by classically trained aromatherapists, Natalie Szapowalo and model Annie Morton. They infuse their scents with natural ingredients that are known to arouse the senses, keeping them free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and other harmful ingredients. A new addition to their line of organic scents, Fiori d’Arancio, offers a blend of citrus and sweetness that’s already proven a best-seller; it’s a sheer and flirty scent, yet it’s not overpowering. A combination of orange blossom, tangerine, vanilla, and neroli flower really bring this scent to life. Ideal for everyday wear. Available online at Spirit Beauty Lounge, http://www.spiritbeautylounge.com.