Lifestyle, Perfume, Wellbeing

Veganuary and perfumery

Veganuary; a whole month of inspiring people to try going Vegan for January and possibly beyond. For a variety of ethical and environmental reasons, my wife Emily and I have been enjoying a plant-based diet since the beginning of 2018 and we feel the benefits in many different ways.

In the beauty industry one of the things I find frustrating is the lack of transparency about the ingredients in a product, and this can sometimes lead to scare-mongering and uncertainty.

The truth is that there are not actually many perfumery ingredients that derive from animal products. Besides ingredients like Beeswax Absolute (which has a sweet, honey and slightly tobacco smell), most ingredients that used to come from animals have now been switched to synthetic or “man-made” alternatives. An example is the “Musk” category of fragrance ingredients. Musks – which you will see listed as an ingredient in most famous perfumes – can be described as having a clean, powdery and fresh odour (which is why they are heavily present in detergent fragrances).

Many years ago the musk scent was derived from secretions from the glands of the Civet Cat. Nowadays, thankfully the perfume industry produces its musk ingredients in a laboratory. The reasons for this will have been partly ethical, and also commercial – since the yield from laboratory-produced ingredients is more stable and much higher.

As a vegan, I look out for products that explicitly state they are Vegan on the back of the packaging, but I always ask if I’m unsure. As more and more people opt for a plant-based diet, there has been a greater interest in natural ingredients. This is great, but at the same time it’s important not to deplete our world’s natural resources; this is why it goes beyond following a vegan diet, but more generally how we can carry out perfumery in a sustainable way all the way through the supply chain. I think there will always be a place for science in perfumery. 

As a brand, we are often asked by customers whether our perfumes are vegan – the answer to this is a resounding yes! I often suggest our Oxford fragrance if you are looking for a grounding herbal scent, or Dagian if you are looking for an energetic fragrance bursting with citrus and floral oils. If you would like to be kept up to date with any new creations, you can sign up to our email newsletters here.

I hope that this short blog helps makes any vegans reading this more comfortable. There are some industries where a huge shift is needed in terms of using animal products (e.g. fashion), but thankfully perfumery has made great strides. 

Nic & Emily on their honeymoon in Indonesia