I invite you to watch a YouTube video about natural perfume myths and animal issues in the perfume industry that I made with natural perfumer Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery. Laurie is the newly appointed Director of Animal Conservation at the IPF (International Perfume Foundation) based in Paris. You might learn some new things about natural perfume and about what really goes on in the perfume industry.
Several years ago, I began to look for serious 100% natural perfumes. By far, the best I had found at that time was Strange Invisible Perfumes, based in Los Angeles. I've been in love with their fragrance Atlantic for many years. I was struck by the fact that they kept mentioning that they made natural botanical perfume. I thought--isn't natural perfume "botanical" by default? It turns out that the answer is NO. I soon discovered that other natural perfumers were using cruel, animal-based ingredients such as (what I refer to as) the Terrible Three: civet, castoreum (from beavers) and deer musk, often from endangered deer. For these animals, those ingredients essentially spell pain, suffering and death.
Siberian Deer Musk. Source: DiscoveryMagazine.com
I was very upset that some natural perfumers tout the philosophy of "natural is better". They sell a product that makes you think you are doing something good by choosing "natural". Some of them will not tell you that they are using cruel ingredients. They sometimes use misleading terms like "vintage civet" as though by happenstance they discovered a little stash of civet in a shipwreck. Because of all of the deception, I began to seek out natural perfumers with whom I could have a one-on-one conversation. I sought out Laurie because I remembered reading her article on animal cruelty a few years earlier, and she happened to live in the San Francisco area, as did I.
Civet from Malaysia. Source: DiscoveryMagazine.com
I wanted honesty. Accountability. Integrity. Artistry. Craftsmanship. Responsibility. Sustainability. Having a conscience in the way in which perfumers source their materials. Nobody is perfect, but there are indeed things we can easily do to put a dent in the very serious and very real problem of cruelty in the industry.
If you want to read more about animal musks and cruelty in the industry, click here to read Laurie Stern's own well-researched article, which we briefly mention in the video.
Thank you for reading and watching!