Did you know your perfume probably isn't vegan?22nd May 18 | Beauty
Most fragrances contain ingredients that come from animal sources. But there are alternatives, say Katie Wright.
If you’re one of the 168,000 people who took part in Veganuary this year and have subsequently kept up your vegan diet, you’ve probably also cut out animal products from other areas of your life – like leather shoes or cosmetics containing animal-derived ingredients.
But while it’s relatively easy to determine whether your face cream or foundation is vegan certified, there’s one beauty product on your dressing table that you might be surprised to learn almost certainly contains non-vegan elements, and that’s perfume.
Many people presume that nowadays fragrances are created with solely synthetic components, and while it’s true that the industry has been forced to substitute natural ingredients for lab-made ones in a lot of cases due to allergen regulations, most scents do still contain Animal Derived Ingredients (ADI).
Musk, for example, a ‘note’ that’s hugely popular with perfumers, may be derived from the civet (an African wildcat) or musk deer. Ambergris, a product that also lends perfumes a musky tone, originates in sperm whale intestines. Castoreum comes from beavers and has a leathery aroma, plus some perfumes actually use leather, beeswax or honey.
But you wouldn’t necessarily know that, because scent formulas have ‘trade secret’ status so they don’t have to declare ADIs.
The only way to be sure that your fragrance suits your #veganlife choice is to choose one that’s certified vegan.
The good news is that as veganism continues its rapid rise – the latest figures show that were 542,000 vegans in the UK in 2016, up 350% in 10 years – companies are starting to respond to demand for vegan beauty products.
The Perfume Shop has just introduced six vegan perfumes from French brand Valeur Absolue and reports that sales of Stella McCartney Pop ( as you would imagine the designer’s fragrances, like her fashions, are all vegan) have risen by 490% in the last year.
So if you’ve decided to switch your scent to something more animal-friendly, here’s our pick of five of the best vegan perfumes.
1. Valeur Absolue Confiance Eau de Parfum, £59 for 50ml, The Perfume Shop
Our favourite from the Valeur Absolue range is Confiance, that combines the intoxicating spiciness of cinnamon and cloves with the warmth of amber, cedarwood and vanilla.
2. Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum, £125 for 50ml, Selfridges
Famous for causing curious passers-by to stop wearers in their tracks and ask, ‘What is that perfume?’ Santal 33 is a symphony of woody notes bolstered by amber and leather ones, but it’s still 100% vegan. Pricey, but worth it.
3. Floral Street Ylang Ylang Espresso Eau de Parfum, £55 for 50ml
In eco-friendly packaging and entirely vegan, Floral Street perfumes are about as good for the planet as it gets. Ylang Ylang Espresso adds rose, coffee and cocoa to the white flower heart, resulting in a rich floral composition.
Lush Rentless Perfume, £25 for 30ml
Currently Lush’s best-selling vegan perfume, this aromatic blend of zingy grapefruit oil alongside patchouli and sweet tonka bean is delightfully spicy and long-lasting.
5. Eden Perfumes No 7 Eden Number Five, £24 for 50ml
Here’s a handy hack if you can’t bear to part with a classic scent but are committed to veganism: Eden Perfumes creates incredible impressive perfumes ‘inspired by’ famous fragrances. Try Eden Number Five for a vegan-friendly alternative to the iconic French favourite.
© Press Association 2018