"Organic" and "natural" are terms that get thrown around a lot. They're mentioned in terms of food as well as skincare, makeup, and fragrances. Yes, perfumes can be classified as "natural." A 2010 report from the Environmental Working Group found that some fragrance manufacturers "don't disclose that many scents are actually a complex cocktail of natural essences and synthetic chemicals—often petrochemicals." The reason for the secrecy is a 1973 act that requires companies to list cosmetics ingredients on product labels but leaves out fragrance.
It's a little unsettling to think that some of your favorite scents might contain some not-so-great chemicals, but luckily, there are so many brands out there that are more transparent about their ingredients and are focusing on natural ingredients. These new options make it easier to find something you wouldn't mind spraying on your body every day.
To get an idea of the best fragrances and brands to check out, I polled some of our favorite fashion and beauty tastemakers to see what's in their makeup bags or on their bathroom vanities. Take a look at their recs below.
"My all-time favorite clean fragrance would be Skylar in Capri. It instantly takes me to summers on the beach with sugared-rim sparkling mimosas. It's light and refreshing and great for an everyday fragrance." — Quani Burnett, brand consultant and contributing writer
"For something a bit more sultry, I love Clean Reserve in Skin—think warm and spicy. Salty, sweet, yet sexy. Perfect for date nights or when you want to command the attention wherever you go." — Burnett
"My favorite clean perfume is Sci Fi by Ellis Brooklyn. I love this fragrance because it's the first vanilla-based perfume that I've ever gravitated toward and because it has the warmth but is not too sweet and has some floral elements. It's a cozy but still unique scent to me, like putting on your favorite sweater on a chilly day!" — Melanie Graves, content creator
"Sana Jardin is my favorite perfume brand right now! They are scents with intent—upcycling the floral waste from perfume production to making goods like flower water and candles, which their female harvesters sell for full profits. Clean, sustainable, and socially good! Berber Blonde is the fragrance I've been wearing regularly. It has notes of orange blossom, neroli oil, and musk for a smell that is so fresh, light, and cheerful!" — Kim Seidensticker, content creator
"I love the Myth Hydraparfum because it's a white musk. Musk, for me, is so sensual and alluring. This Hydraparfum is alcohol-free with 100% pure fragrance oil droplets suspended in a moisturizing hyaluronic acid, water-based gel." — Taye Hansberry, content creator
"I love the West Eau de Parfum because it is delicious citrus with a hint of amber. I normally do not gravitate toward citrus or floral scents, but the amber adds a bit of sensuality and grounding to this fragrance." — Hansberry
"Orris Perfumery is a local L.A. fragrance shop, and I wear its limited-edition Vespertine I scent. This scent was created to complement the high-concept dining of chef Jordan Kahn's restaurant, Vespertine. With notes of juniper, shiso leaf, carrot blossom, and palo santo, I get compliments every time I wear this. I love a fragrance with an interesting backstory." — Hansberry
"Desert Blush by Raw Spirit Fragrances has been my absolute favorite natural and clean fragrance to date. It's a beautiful blend of soft woods and floral notes, which makes it an excellent gender-neutral perfume. It feels fresh and natural, like taking a walk through the woods in the summer. I love how subtle it is without being overpowering. Boasting notes of jasmine petals, violet, Australian boronia, cedarwood, and sandalwood, Desert Blush can easily be worn by you and your significant other, and it will smell slightly different on each wearer. I also love that the brand works to create economic opportunities to indigenous and marginalized communities by sourcing natural and unique ingredients from these communities. Now, that's a cause I can certainly get behind!" — Opal Stewart, content creator
"Aesop's Rōzu was an instant winner for me, as it is rose focused but not in the light, obvious way it's normally done. It's got depth, warmth, and woodiness—kind of like lying in a bed of roses but in the middle of a forest. It's so easy to wear and is never overpowering, and I love that it's made (both in visual and scent) for all sexes to enjoy." — Emma Hoareau, content creator and photographer
"I love applying this solid perfume to the pulse of my wrists and the back of my neck for my Friday night date night. It is a slightly more intense, bold scent." — Mandy Madden Kelley, blogger, creative director, and founder of Pagerie
"I've been obsessed with this one for years. I have the lotion and matching candles. It feels more romantic and feminine to me. I love to wear it when I'm feeling sensual." — Stella Simona, co-founder of Amarilo and Haati Chai
"As someone who is quite sensitive to chemicals and air pollutants, my asthma can often be agitated by these factors. I love this perfume oil because it is soft enough to wear every day yet strong enough to feel sensual." — Madden Kelley
"My favorite natural fragrance is Sigil Scent Prima Materia. I love how natural it smells, and the scent lasts all day. I am also obsessed with the packaging and design." — Victoria Sanders, content creator and stylist
"I love scents that feel fresh and clean. Sigil I love because it's unisex—both my husband I use it. The scent puts me in a peaceful mood. — Simona
"It's vegan, nontoxic, paraben-free, etc.! It's a fragrance that's meant to help with stress as well. I absolutely love spraying it before any stress-inducing events. It smells calming and super crisp/clean. I keep the travel size in my purse, so I can spray it wherever and whenever." — Tiffany Wong, content creator
"Originally, I only wore DedCool 01 "Taunt" (which is still a go-to fave), but for the last few months, I've been loving 05 "Spring." The strong notes are a few of my top scents—bergamot (which I use throughout my line, Mara), cedar, and star anise. I love how this fragrance smells like the outdoors with modern femininity." — Allison McNamara, founder of Mara
"If you're looking for the clean-beauty dupe of Santal 33, this one is for you! She's soft and soothing with a tinge of mustiness, and she just smells so good. I love layering this with some of my roll-on fragrances, too." — McNamara
"My favorite clean fragrance is Salt Air from Skylar Fragrances. I love it because it's very fresh with sandalwood notes. I love a scent that smells fresh and woodsy at the same time. I love this brand because you can layer their scents and make your own personal fragrance. Plus, I never have a bad reaction to their fragrances." — Yvette Ward, model and content creator
"What it is: fragrance oil blend made with old-school French perfumery techniques. Why I love it: I absolutely love how fresh, sweet, and slightly herbaceous this perfume smells. I started using it this summer and have gotten so many compliments. And since it's oil based and not alcohol based, I love rubbing a little on the ends of my hair. It's basically the only way we can flirt right now since my face is always covered in a face mask and sunglasses." — Jazmin Alvarez, founder and chief content creator of Pretty Well Beauty
"What it is: an exotic steam-distilled perfume oil made with love in Morocco. Why I love it: This is very light and subtle, which I appreciate. Especially at night when I want to feel extra special, I'll dab on my wrists and behind my ears. The scent is floral and warm with lavender, rose, and geranium, which are some of my favorite smells in the world. I first received this as a gift a couple years ago, and it's been part of my fragrance wardrobe ever since." — Alvarez