5 Of The Best Sustainable Perfumes To Invest In Now

Elizabeth Bennett

Thanks to the growing number of eco-conscious consumers and the increasing interest in niche perfumery, sustainable fragrances are on the rise. Last year luxury Swiss jeweller Chopard announced their return to perfume with a collection of sustainably sourced scents, and a new breed of brands are proving that green credentials and quality fragrance needn’t be mutually exclusive.

Like many aspects of shopping sustainably, finding a planet-friendly fragrance option can be a minefield. When I spoke to Imelda Burke, founder of London-based e-tailer Content Beauty and Wellbeing, she pointed out that there are two key aspects to consider. "Firstly, think about the packaging," she said. "While fragrances aren’t the biggest culprits when it comes to plastic consumption (they’re often housed in glass), forward-thinking companies are looking for new ways to reduce waste further with recycled and recyclable materials, compostable boxes, and refillable options."

Secondly, it’s important to find out how the liquid itself is created. "Look at how the brand source their ingredients and the production process they use," Burke noted. While we might assume that natural ingredients are better for the environment, Burke said this isn’t the case, especially when you consider the scale of the £30 billion global perfume industry.

"We have taken to using fragrance as an everyday essential product rather than the indulgence it originally was," she explained. "Growing plants to feed the scale of the mainstream perfume industry, if it were to go all natural, would mean converting land we use to grow food to perfume crops – that's not really an ethical or sustainable practice." Her advice? Use solely natural scents sparingly or opt for blends that combine synthetics and naturals in a sustainable way.

Looking to invest in a sustainable scent? Click through for R29's favourites.

Sana Jardin

As a socially conscious luxury fragrance house, Sana Jardin’s Beyond Sustainability Movement is at the heart of everything they do. This zero-waste project empowers low-income women in Morocco through commerce not charity, and prioritises sustainability at every step of the supply chain. They’ve nailed the packaging, too, with the majority of the bottle and box made from recycled materials.

Must Buy: Sana Jardin Berber Blonde , £180 for 100ml, available at Sana Jardin

Created by Carlos Benaim, the man behind bestselling classics including Polo Ralph Lauren, every perfume in this seven-product range is a winner. With sparkling notes of orange blossom, Berber Blonde will transport you to the sun-drenched climes of Morocco – even if you’re on the Central Line.

Clean Reserve

Ticking off three eco-approved boxes in one, it’s no wonder this brand has proved a hit with sustainably minded shoppers. Fragrances are manufactured in a solar-powered factory, housed in a recycled and recyclable bottle, and packaged in compostable cellophane.

Must Buy: Clean Reserve Reserve Rain, £82 for 100ml, available at Space NK

Reserve Rain is truly understated. Inspired by that post-downpour freshness, the blend of cucumber and waterlily is cool and crisp. It's great as an everyday staple or for layering with other scents.

Floral Street

This disruptive London-based fragrance brand has made headlines in the sustainable world for its innovative approach to packaging. Each fragrance is tucked inside a pulp carton with an embossed lid, made from recyclable and biodegradable paper packaging, and held together with a reusable boldly coloured band. This box can be repurposed to house keepsakes or used as a seed tray for plants and herbs.

Must Buy: Floral Street Neon Rose, £55 for 50ml, available at Floral Street

Their speciality is, you guessed it, florals. For a fruity take on rose, try this cocktail of zingy notes including apple blossom, peach nectar and cassis.

Lush

Solid fragrances provide a great green option by reducing water consumption and often using less packaging – and eco-pioneer Lush has an extensive selection. The brand is also committed to supporting the environment across the board with Earth-friendly ingredient sourcing, ethical energy use and campaigning projects.

Must Buy: Lush Vanillary, £9 for 6g, available at Lush

A grown-up take on the classic sweet scent, notes of tonka bean, caramel and jasmine make for a warm fragrance that’s both comforting and long-lasting.

Abel

While it may be Abel’s unusual scents and Instagrammable aesthetic that garnered them a loyal legion of fans, their eco-philosophy is similarly impressive. All their natural ingredients are certified organic and mindfully sourced, while they shun the use of synthetic musk (potentially damaging for our oceans) and use a hibiscus alternative. Plus, for every bottle sold they donate a meal to one child in the developing world, through the charity Mary’s Meals.

Must Buy: Abel Cobalt Amber, £98 for 50ml, available at Content Beauty & Wellbeing

A modern twist on an amber scent with notes of spicy pink pepper and punchy juniper. Sophisticated and sultry, it makes an ideal evening perfume.

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