Fragrance is a pretty big deal to me. My father would travel on business and bring back bottles from the duty free stores to our home in the middle east, where fragrance holds significant cultural clout. My father splashed cologne regularly, and a tiny gilded army of bottles of Arpegé, Dior, and Cacharel stood proudly on my mother's vanity. As wonderful as these olfactory memories and rituals are, the sad thing is that perfume can be toxic, and these bottles contain ingredients like phalates (well documented as a hormone disrupter). There is virtually zero regulation on these things, plus the FDA does not require companies to post all the ingredients on their labels. How does this affect us? On the lighter end of the spectrum, wheezing and headaches can happen, and on the more menacing end, abnormalities in baby development.
Sometimes a bottle of clary sage essential oil doesn't illicit the same thrill as a bottle of Comme des Garcon, but there's good news! The EU cares enough to pose restrictions on beauty manufacturing within its borders, and some companies there go beyond the requirements to produce luxe and eco-friendly options. Case in point: Acorelle.
Born out of southwest France, Acorelle employs established "noses" and perfumers to construct their fragrances. Acorelle functions like an aromatherapy line, but the fragrances are much more complex. I've purchased a few of their sample kits, and the dry down on all of their fragrances is lasting and varied. The one pictured, Vanille Ambreé is my favorite. It's a gourmand scent, but not too juvenile nor sugar-y. At first spritz, it's an oriental concoction with mimosa top notes. The heft of amber, spiked with patchouli is pronounced. Warm and woody but more muted than sandlewood. The earthiness gives way a few hours later to a lasting, milky and comforting scent. It's velvety perfection, and sadly being discontinued. However, Acorelle is coming out with many more new scents (like this pepper one!), which I'm eager to experiment with.
Ingredients: Organic Alcohol 80% vol., water, fragrance.
$25-55 / baudelairsoaps.com or drugstore.com