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It already allergy season wants to add an irritating dose of synthetic perfume to the mix? The data is adding up on perfume pesky chemicals: According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the fragrance industry uses up to 3,000 ingredients, predominantly synthetic, some 900 of which are identified as toxic. And more and more people are pointing to sensitivity as a cause of migraines and allergy attacks.
Unfortunately, these chemicals aren listed on labels. Case in point? Diethyl phthalate, a reproductive toxin that can affect the development of children. Typically, phthalates are simply referred to as in beauty products. And they so prevalent that repeated studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found phthalates in the urine of nearly every subject they tested.
A safer source for perfume are essential oils derived by chemical free steam distillation, cold pressing or the labor intensive enfleurage method used with delicate jasmine or tuberose flowers. Scents that are created by blending essential oils may not last as long as synthetic perfumes, but they just as sexy and can be applied repeatedly without giving you a chemical headache. Plus, essential oils aren linked to infertility like phthalates. Bonus!
Melange Apothecary in Sherman Oaks, CA offers a range of oils in their blending bar, and some of them are, indeed, synthetic. But pull up a stool to owner Denise Estrada mirror topped blending bar and let her know you only interested in her wide range of natural, essential oils and she break out the good stuff of which is kept in a back case, as it extremely rare (and expensive). Regardless of your choice of scents, prices are ridiculously reasonable: If you in the area, take as long as you like to blend your own signature perfume and she mix it up for you for a mere $18 for one third of an ounce. Or better yes, either online or in person, ask for the a custom perfume blended by our fearless leader Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, which combines base notes of jasmine, mandarine and cypress layered with orange blossom and top notes of pink grapefruit. We all completely obsessed with it and were at a loss to describe the scent until one editor pegged it perfectly: It smells like a picnic in an orange grove after a sunny day at the beach. Or, in a nutshell, it smells like our dream version of California.
Demeter is known for its weirdly one note scents like Grass, Glue and Crayon, but their new limited edition Vintage Naturals collection, made with all natural essential oils and packaged in cartons from recycled materials, is just plain gorgeous. We especially love Geranium, Rosebush and yummy Mimosa, and with half ounce spritzers available for $20 each, we tempted to buy the whole collection since once these scents sell out, they gone.
Honor des Pr is the first line of organic perfumes from Olivia Giacobetti, one of France most famous perfumers. Certified organic by French certification organization ECOCERT, and free of petrochemicals, synthetic perfumes, coloring agents and phthalates, these fresh fragrances are sure to please even the greenest noses. We fell for the cheery, invigorating Bonte Bloom, infused with sunflowers, chamomile, citrus and sage, and were equally enamored of the fresh, pixie light Nu Green Both are super natural, super sophisticated and never irritate sensitive sniffers.
Remember making sun tea as a kid excitement of putting the bags in the clear water, then watching the sun streak the flavor through? Tsi la first USDA certified organic fragrance, Miksaki, gives us that backyard sun kissed sensation with a hint of Provence and a touch of the tropics. The cool blend of lavender, delicious crushed mint, vanilla orchid and delicate neroli nectar is fresh, gorgeous and we say session with our favorite botanical perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis can get a bit pricey. Balahoutis designs unique perfumes for clients in her Venice, Calif., shop at upwards of $1,000 a session. Luckily, the nose behind Strange Invisible Perfumes has launched a ready to wear collection of synthetic free scents for spring. Culled from organic flowers, plants, resins and herbs, Balahoutis trio of scents captures classic top notes rose and gardenia rounds them out with with a base that deep, rich and downright sexy. It impossible to decide between ultra femme Urban Lily, intoxicating Aquarian Roses and the rich, heady, Epic Gardenia three are natural fragrance masterpieces. To choose your favorite, order samples at just $5 a piece. But be forewarned: You fall in love.
Through the month of June get 20% off our exclusive EcoStiletto perfume from Melange Apothecary, also through the end of the month, get 15% off on Strange Invisible Perfumes and 15% off all Honor des Pr fragrances when you read up on this week’s Beauty post!
Demerson and Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff
Spirit Demerson is the President and Founder of Spirit Beauty Lounge, an online boutique specializing in luxury organic beauty and eco lifestyle products. A recovering product junkie, eco activist, former model and beauty school dropout turned Spirit has spent over a decade searching for effective organic beauty products. Frustrated by the less than luxurious selection available at natural foods markets and misleading labels at department stores and drugstores, she sharpened her expertise, spending hours obsessively researching ingredients, often mixing up batches of lotions and potions in her kitchen or importing products and ingredients from around the world to treat the skin conditions of friends and family. In 2007, Spirit began hosting and producing elite Organic Spa Parties in New York City and San Francisco with organic facials, pedicures and cocktails to promote the green and glamorous life. Her Spirit Beauty Lounge webstore was developed of bringing the Organic Spa Party home! Spirit and/or Spirit Beauty Lounge have recently been featured in Natural Solutions, 944, Boho, Family Circle, Vegetarian Times and Lucky magazines.