Do you have a signature perfume? When I was a teenager, I read this delightful book called “Romancing the Ordinary” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Her vivid, sensual descriptions prompted me to seek my own signature scent. At the time, it was Enjoy by Jean Patou—a complex blend including notes of orange, jasmine, rose, and amber. My first bottle was a gift from my dad, from Saks Fifth Avenue. The second bottle was purchased from a tiny perfumerie in Paris on my 21st birthday.
I still have this second bottle, and it’s more than half full of scent. Why haven’t I finished this bottle? As much as I adore this scent (and the memories associated with it), from around the age of twenty-two I have been on a journey to live a clean, eco-friendly, non-toxic life. It’s horrifying the amount of dangerous chemicals that can be found in traditional perfumes. Petrochemicals that are hormone disruptors? No thanks!!!
Over the years I have tried blending my own essential oils and wearing eco-friendly fragrance oils, but it just isn’t the same. (I can recommend a few blends to those of you who can’t handle even green perfume brands, and want to go the all natural route ).
There is a quote from Mandy Aftel, something like, “Scent has always provided a direct path to the soul, and no one who becomes immersed in it can fail to be pleasurably changed by the experience.” Sometimes, okay rarely, I spritz on a bit of my beloved Enjoy. It does seem to be a direct path to my soul. And yet, the headaches and the knowledge that these harsh chemicals could be damaging my body prevent me from wearing it much. So what’s a gal to do?
Fortunately there are plenty of options for eco-friendly perfumes without harsh chemicals these days. A few brands I have come across are Phlur, Pacifica, Curie, Skylar, and Ellis Brooklyn. I’ve tried many different samples and these brands seem to offer the best selection, and they are committed to using either all natural, or mostly natural AND eco-friendly ingredients and packaging.
My favorite by far is Ellis Brooklyn. I like several of their fragrances, but right now the clear winner is FABLE. Isn’t that a perfect name too? Fable is inspired by the story of Androcles and the Lion (I’m a Leo for the record). It’s a blend of orange blossom, violet, pettigrain, honeysuckle, amber, and cedarwood. https://www.ellisbrooklyn.com/
It isn’t Enjoy, but it is heavenly! It instantly lifts my spirits (that’s an important factor in choosing perfume when one has a melancholic temperament).
“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” —Coco Chanel