What are natural perfumes?
Natural perfumes include perfumes, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, aftershave and fragrances created from pure essential oils, absolutes or concretes and according to traditional French methods of perfumery using tables of notes and blended in alcohol or carrier oil.
Many people think that it is impossible to create a natural and nice perfume only from pure essential oils. This is obviously the message that commercial perfumers try to carry forward to the public. The main reason is that essential oils – particularly precious ones – are very expensive and the commercial houses would not achieve the kind of profit they are used to by using laboratory-reproduced fragrances!
The other reason is that most commercial perfumers are primarily ‘chemists’ who have been trained to ‘sniff’ chemicals and that is why you will often hear that a ‘nose’ can smell up to 4000 different scents. Well, you will find it difficult to find 4000 different types of essential oils and absolutes. Natural perfumers are primarily ‘artists’ who work with at the most 500 essential oils. Of course, you can find several types of one essential depending on the extraction process (solvant, distilled, cold pressed etc.)…
Thus, often those perfumers chemists do not know how to blend essential oils to create perfumes due to their complexity and natural chemical compounds making them more difficult to work with. Besides, Natural perfumes are usually targeted at a ‘niche’ of individuals who can accept to re-train their olfactory functions (their nose) and that Natural perfumes are different, smell different and do not ‘stick’ to your skin for hours unlike synthetic ones.
Natural perfumes also relate to pot-pourris made of natural flowers and essences, personal care products based on natural ingredients such as beeswax and fragrances or fruit extracts and aromas.
The term ‘natural’ means that NO aromachemicals nor synthetic processes have been used in the composition of the fragrance or product. Many food aromas and extracts such as bitter almond are natural. Botanical tinctures from flower petals or leaves are natural. Natural ingredients are usually easily recognised because of their Latin names. If you see any chemical names on your ‘natural’ product label, then you can doubt that the product is entirely natural but most essential oils ‘naturally’ contain chemicals (see list below), however paradoxical this might be.
‘Natural’ is not to be confused with ‘organic’.
Are natural perfumes safe?
Although natural perfumes are usually safe since the quantities of essential oils used are minimal, African Aromatics always recommends to perform a patch test on any new product intended for use on the skin as some allergic reactions deriving from certain essential oils are known. Some essential oils naturally contain allergen ingredients such as Benzyl cinnamate; Benzyl salicylate; Cinnamic aldehyde; Cinnamyl alcohol; Citral; Citronellol; Coumarin; Eugenol; Farnesol; Geraniol; Isoeugenol; Limonene; Linalool… These have been included under an International Common Ingredients Nomenclature (INCI list) and anyone involved with products for the skin must only work within the authorised Percentage per milliliter (ppm).
African Aromatics only uses essential oils sourced from EU approved suppliers and which have gone through the certification and laboratory processes for safe use. We also strive to source our essential oils directly from producers whenever possible and as long as they are in a position to prove that their ingredients have been laboratory-tested for safety. We state the list of our ingredients including those considered allergenic under the INCI and IFRA protocols.
All the perfumes sold at African Aromatics are delivered with a complete safety notice which you should read before use.
When should I use natural perfumes?
Natural perfumes are beautiful and will adjust to your own skin chemistry, providing you a very special journey of the senses. They can be used all day long or for special occasions such an evening out or a wedding. Natural perfumes also have an uplifting or pick me up effect since they are based on ingredients from the Nature.
However, there are occasions when it is not recommended to use natural perfumes:
– Do not use around the eyes and do not use natural perfume to heal a bleeding injury.
– Keep the oils and perfumes away from children.
– Never ingest the perfume. If you incidentally ingest the perfume, swallow several teaspoons of carrier oils (such as olive oil or sunflower oil) and immediately get in touch with your GP or go to your nearest local hospital.
– Perfumes and blends based on angelica, orange, bergamot, lemon, mandarin create photosensitivity. Do not expose to the sun after applying those.
– Pregnant or suckling women should not use concentrated perfumes but rather eau de cologne or light massage oils specially designed in this case.
If you are epileptic or suffer from serious medical conditions, we recommend you consult a professional aromatherapist or your doctor before using any of our perfumes.
If you suffer from respiratory allergies, avoid inhaling the perfumes directly. Wait for the alcohol to dry before sniffing.
BABIES AND INFANTS
Do not use the perfumes on babies or infants or less than 3 years old children.
How long does a natural perfume last on the skin?
Because natural perfumes are created from essential oils and no synthetic or laboratory-reproduced essence is used, the lasting power on the skin is usually shorter than commercial fragrances and you might need to top up more often. However, depending on which oils are used, you will generally smell your perfume for a few hours and experience its development and change onto your skin, offering you a great journey of the senses. It is advised to keep an OPEN MIND about Nature when trying Natural perfumes: do not expect them to smell anything like commercial fragrances!
Since Natural perfumes are made according to the traditional and original French methods i.e. without any aromachemicals or synthetic ingredients, and as they were used mostly on clothes, hair and gloves, it is advised to spray your natural fragrance both on your skin and on your clothes to enjoy its scent longer.
What is the shelf life of a natural perfume?
For shelf longevity, it is recommended to keep your perfume away from light, sunlight or heat. Also make sure the bottle is always well sealed.
If you follow these instructions, you will be able to use your perfume for over 2 years. It is however highly probable that upon this period, your natural perfume smells even better and stronger as it had time to evolve and develop. Natural perfumes have a tendency to become better after a long period of maceration.
Where can I get more information about natural perfumes?
For any further question, please contact us: