Unlike food and drugs, no regulatory agency monitors the ingredients of cosmetics, nor is it even law for cosmetic companies to disclose their secret ingredients. That means when you pick up a bottle of fresh-smelling scent, you could be putting almost anything on your wrists and neck. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group recently published a report which disclosed that 12 out of 17 popular perfumes—including Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and Calvin Klein Eternity—had hormone-disrupting chemicals and contained on average 10 chemical sensitizers that can cause allergic reactions.
Safer alternatives include Oklahoma-based Skin & Bones, a unisex product that acts as a facial and hand moisturizer, perfume and hair product. Founder Heidi Jenkins created Skin & Bones out of a variety of essential oils, including jojoba, myrrh and ylang ylang. It comes in violet glass bottles (best for preserving the plants’ benefits) that the company will refill. Skin & Bones sells online at
Organic Beauty Now for $40.
New York perfumer Amanda Walker, a vegan and raw food advocate, founded
A Perfume Organic after becoming convinced of the necessity for safer perfumes while herself working in the beauty industry. She makes her signature perfume, Green, from rose oils, black truffles, chamomile, citrus, West Coast herbs and ylang ylang. Her concoctions use entirely organic botanicals, hand-poured in small batches, and sell online at Spirit Beauty Lounge for $65.
And finally, Caitlin Davies started Intentions Perfumery in Boise, Idaho to create perfumes that smell good and are good for you. Every season, Davies offers a set of new creations, in addition to custom blends. This summer, Mystic and Mirage are among some of the scents she offers; Mystic blends honeysuckle and white musk, while Mirage mixes vanilla with grapefruit, green peppercorns, cardamom and clove. Her new spring line will start selling on her Etsy shop in the next few months; she also takes special orders on her website.