Words: Lauren Carbran
Sustainable beauty is all the hype – and wherever you are, you can’t miss it. Vegan products? They’re everywhere. Clean beauty? On our hot list. Recyclable packaging? It’s all the rage. But the latest trend sending the fragrance industry into a frenzy is sustainable scents, and whether you’re a newbie to the world of ethical beauty or just like the thought of saving the planet, you can do your bit (and still smell lush)…
With 54% of UK beauty and personal care shoppers researching products online before they buy them, it’s clear we’re hooked by the backstory of our favourite beauty products. And what's certain is we all want to know where the beauty brands stand on sustainable beauty. Do they do their bit to help the environment? Where did the ingredients come from?
'Sustainable brands are on the rise for a number of reasons,' says Nick Gilbert, fragrance expert and Director of fragrance consultancy, Olfiction. 'Firstly, they allow customers to make a positive impact on the environment and secondly, more creators are realising the importance of renewable materials and opting for a constant supply of good quality raw materials.'
And there’s really no better time to start supporting and spritzing sustainable perfumes, especially with The World Economic Forum predicting that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. That shocked us too.
So what exactly are eco-friendly, sustainable scents? Well, they're fragrances that use natural raw materials like essential oils or fruit extractions to create smells instead of synthetic, man-made processes (that imitate natural smells). Synthetic scents are chemically formed from petroleum and let off pollution, which is a no-no if you want to lead an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. But there's so much more to sustainable fragrances - their ingredients are often cultivated from local farms in underprivileged regions of Turkey, Haiti and Sri Lanka. This positive cycle means you can feel completely guilt-free when you buy a sustainable scent - plus, you know where your money is going.
This year saw the ground-breaking launch of Kierin fragrances, the American brand making sustainable the new cool.
‘I hope to elevate the fragrance world’s dialogue,’ says Mona Maine De Biran, co-founder and president of Kierin NYC fragrances. ‘I hope that one day sustainable becomes the status quo. It’s all about having an environmentally conscious mind-set, but we should also be giving back to communities and planting as many trees as we use to make beauty products.'
Bringing a hipster, millennial vibe along with it (which we welcome with open arms), its four unisex fragrances are cruelty-free, vegan, free of parabens and made with recyclable materials, which literally means you can recycle the packaging and the bottles. If you couldn’t love that any more, they’ve even captured the smell of living in New York in each juice. Dreamy.
KIERIN NITRO NOIR
Get ready to have a little flirt with this one. After all, it’s inspired by a date night in The Big Apple, oozing with pink berries, bergamot and patchouli. ‘Nitro Noir eau de parfum is all about making a statement wherever you are,’ says Mona. ‘Maybe you're going out to a bar with friends or meeting someone for the first time. It’s powerful, spicy and empowering, so I love spraying it on my neck and back, so that people can experience the smell from all angles.’ Light, airy with warm undertones, this is as sexy as they come.
KIERIN 10AM FLIRT
What fragrance would you like to wear on a breakfast date? Maybe you’re grabbing a mocha in Central Park or having a boozy breakfast in SoHo, Manhattan. Chances are, you’ll want to smell like this – it’s got notes of fig, fresh gardenia and sandalwood, which smell nothing short of magnetic. ‘10am Flirt eau de parfum is for everyone,’ says Mona. ‘The fig and sandalwood perfectly complement each other, and I can easily wear it every day of the week.’
KIERIN SUNDAY BRUNCH
They’ve created brunch in a bottle. It’s playful, sweet and citrussy, and you’ll drool over the lemon, jasmine and Earl Grey tea. Enough said. 'Sunday Brunch eau de parfum reminds me of having brunch in West Broadway, Manhattan,’ says Mona. ‘My friends and I would adopt a street cafe to socialise in – it became like our living room when we met up.' This scent will make you want to book a flight, grab your squad and take a well-deserved long weekend in New York.
KIERIN SANTAL SKY
Rooftop bar, anyone? Um, yes please. Santal Sky is an intimate evening fragrance that’ll take you high above the jam-packed city lifestyle. Let the wafts of saffron, sandalwood, vetiver and cardamom bring you some inner harmony. It’s soulful, relaxing and calming – and you’ll want to wear it on you all the time. ‘I actually wear Santal Sky to bed. It’s so soothing and a scent of peace,’ says Mona.
THE PERFUME EDIT
In other news, The Perfume Shop also launched an exclusive fragrance collection this year, consisting of three vegan, cruelty-free and recyclable scents.