The 18 Best Clean Perfumes Worth Adding to Your Rotation
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Read the back of any bottle in your medicine cabinet, and we're betting you'll find the catch-all term "fragrance" listed as one of the first ingredients—with the exception of some of the best clean perfumes. As companies have no legal obligation to disclose the exact combination of components included in their products (often considered proprietary information), it's easy for manufacturers to sneak in a number of undesirable—and potentially harmful—ingredients under the umbrella term. “Fragrance transparency is growing, and consumers are eager to know the stories behind the materials that make their fragrances unique," Donna Ramanauskas, senior perfumer at Agilex Fragrances previously told BAZAAR.com.
Of the possible 3,619 fragrance- and functional-based ingredients listed by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) as of 2022, typical perfume and cologne mixtures can feature up to several hundred different chemicals, many of them synthetic. And, according to a 2018 study, these formulas can also emit the same amount of chemical vapors as petroleum emissions from cars. The vapors—also known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs—react with proteins in our body, which can result in physical immune responses like breathing issues, migraines, hormone disruption, skin irritation, and more, even potentially compounding into long-term health effects.
To add a bit more simplicity to your go-to scent rotation (in a good way), we've pulled together a few of the best clean fragrances editors and shoppers love. Featuring top-rated, 100 percent natural picks to fragrance staples with ingredients you won't need a translator for, these coveted selects are making beauty safer and more enjoyable with their total formula transparency.
Salt Eau de Parfum
If you're a fan of sensual, airy fragrances, you'll love this salty (in the best sense) take on a warm and spicy beach-y scent. And while you'll definitely live in it all summer long, the alluring and subtle scent is ideal year-round.
"Wow, this is a lovely fragrance. Not your typical coconut/sunscreen scent, but still so summery. To me, it smells like fresh, clean skin. It has a powdery floral note but also vanilla and I definitely get the salt as well. It reminds me of a beach bonfire, your skin still warm from a day spent in the sun. I love spraying this after a bath or shower, it just makes me feel comforted and clean." —SarahR3487
While some natural fragrances have a rep for smelling a little too earthy, Madie By Rose Jane reminds us of all the best parts of a beautiful summer day, bottled. The fresh floral notes make its blend light and easy to wear.
"I bought this as a gift for my teenage daughter! I love the way it smells and so does she, and I also appreciate that it’s clean fragrance! I can feel good about letting my daughter wear this!" —j6ward
Missing Person Eau de Parfum
Created by fashion and beauty influencer Chriselle Lim, Phlur's Missing Person Eau de Parfum offers just enough of a scent without smelling overbearing, using notes like skin musk and neroli blossom.
"As I've been going through a transition in my life—I was married for quite some time—and I think one of the hardest things during that time in my life was just that void, like waking up to an empty bed, you know, no one next to me," Lim previously told BAZAAR.com. "I just felt like that warmth was gone, and it took me a while to get used to. So for the very first fragrance, I wanted to capture kind of skin and warmth, and something that just felt really close—almost like second skin. If nude were a scent, it would be Missing Person."
"After watching all of the TikTok’s on this perfume, I absolutely had to try it. I’m a huge sucker for viral products, but am usually disappointed. Not in this case! The perfume smells like when you nestle your face into the neck of the person you love the most, or smelling your S.O.’s hoodie when you miss them—I get the same exact feeling when I smell this! It's light, airy, musky, and powdery, but in the best way possible." —Rio B.
The Scent of Peace Natural
Bond No. 9's Scent of Peace is one of our favorite fragrances of all time, and it's now offered in a gorgeous all-natural version. The perfume itself is crafted with natural and vegan essential oils, plus, the bottle is 100 percent recyclable.
"When I say this turns heads, I’m not lying. Purchased it after getting a sample with another order, and people stopped me to ask what I was wearing. I could smell it on my skin all day! I could purchase this five more times and not get bored with it." —Elena
Natural Talent Perfume
This vegan perfume is often described as "charisma in a bottle," and contains herbaceous notes of apricot, clementine, and iris that leave behind a clean scent that's perfect for everyday wear.
"This smells like luxurious baby powder to me. It's comforting, fresh, and feels clean and sweet. I did expect a more fruit-forward scent from this but I love the result. In my opinion, this is much more feminine leaning than masculine, but any man interested should still try it, I think everyone would smell amazing in this." —Sydney M.
Florgasm Eau de Parfum
Featuring pink pepper, ylang ylang, grandiflorum jasmine, among other notes, Heretic's Florgasm perfume is ideal for anyone looking for a bright and floral signature scent.
"Gorgeous floral without being that sickly sweet smell that some [fragrances can have]. Love love love it. Doesn't try too hard. It's complex and delicious." —Megan
Classic Eau de Parfum in Pure Soap
Over 2,400 Amazon customers are adding Clean's range of—well, clean—fragrances to their rotations, which are available in up to 16 scent varieties. This Pure Soap version from the brand combines notes like mandarin, jasmine, and sandalwood to boost the power of your favorite in-shower bar soap or body wash.
"Okay. So the smell is amazing. Like clean soap, fresh grass, cucumbers, lilac, lavender, roses and every other fresh flower. Maybe a bit of black pepper. It's like getting out of a shower and being immersed in meadow flowers next to a fresh cut field. That's what I smell like all day. Yeah, I'm a bit obsessed. Scent lasts all day and matures so nicely." —Dell
Cannabis Eau de Parfum
If you're a fan of earthy fragrances with a little kick, consider this semi-spicy number that combines magnolia, patchouli, black pepper, and more.
"I purchased this after buying the oil—just love the way it smells. It does initially feel more masculine, but mellows down to a very subtle and delicious smell. It’s one of my favorites from this brand." —Flowers
Here's a beloved and genderless fragrance from Boy Smells that blends notes of tobacco leaves, oakmoss and smoked leather for a distinctively woody scent.
"I’m absolutely in love with this scent! It’s not something I would normally go for being a little darker and spicy but it’s amazing! With Japanese hinoki woods and earthy spice combined with notes of tobacco leaves, smoked leather—literally enticing! And oak moss yet it gives a hint of sweet as well. It’s very unique and would be a perfect signature scent! This one is a must try!" —Lindsey
Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum
This popular fragrance is hypoallergenic, and made with a combination of sugar cane alcohol and essential oils. As an added bonus, the company helps provide education and healthcare to a sustainable cooperative in Madagascar. Plus, the bottle is just really, really pretty.
"This is such an addictive scent. I am a big fan of Le Labo's Santal 33, but on my skin it was a bit too harsh and pickle-y. Santal vanille is like the younger sister of Santal 33 with the same DNA, but much more soft and rounded. It is everything I have ever wanted in a perfume! I can't stop smelling my wrist after spraying it!! I will continue to repurchase over and over again." —Karenegg
Fog Eau de Parfum
Actress Michelle Pfeiffer's non-toxic fragrance brand Henry Rose is consistently vetted by the Environmental Working Group and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. Henry Rose perfumes, like this popular scent, use a blend of synthetic and plant-based oils, and are available in full-size and travel-friendly versions.
"I typically don't review products—I had to for this one. Upon spritzing this scent from the sample bottle, I was transported to the church of my childhood. It is a mysterious, lingering scent. Like incense and smoke wafting through a cathedral. So nostalgic and pure.I would say if you enjoy woody, smokey, earthy scents—you will adore thisRead more about review stating A religious experience. I immediately purchased the 50 milliliter bottle." —Kelly
Island Vanilla Perfume
For a daily perfume that's not overpowering, consider an inexpensive but high quality option from Pacifica. Each of the brand's fragrances—including this Island Vanilla option—is formulated in small batches using natural, corn-based alcohol, and available to shop in up to nine different scent options.
"I ordered the French Lilac and the Moonray Blossom. I am not a perfume/fragrance expert but I do know what I like and I positively love these fragrances, They are subtle and not overpowering (you could survive an elevator ride with someone wearing one of these scents). I am especially fond of the French Lilac as I grew up in an area of the country where lilacs grow freely, and this perfume smells exactly like those bushes. The Moonray has a light vanilla scent. I will be buying these again. The product touches all the bases for me: cruelty-free, vegan, and so on." —Missy
After just a single sniff, you'll probably ask yourself why it took so long to add this popular perfume oil to your beauty rotation. Stash it in a purse of gym bag and reapply whenever you're in need of a pick-me-up.
"I fell in love with the scent years ago at a spa. I immediately recognized it and was transported to a tropical destination I took for an anniversary. I was so happy to find this again at Anthropologie! I keep the roller in my purse and the perfume at home along with the body wash in the shower. It's a favorite find!" —Sheilarenee
This unique fragrance not only smells of bergamot, cilantro, green cardamon, and more, but also aims to minimize stress and induce a sense of calm for its wearer—talk about bang for your buck.
"This is my signature scent! I get stopped all the time, and especially at work, people will [tell me] multiple times how much they like it. It's interesting how [the fragrance] pairs differently with everyone, and sometimes I even feel like it smells different on me from day-to-day. It has a woodsy, coconut smell that is so restorative and calming. I love it and have purchased the fragrance three times." —Stephanie
No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume Oil
If you prefer a more subtle—but still impactful—scent experience, reach for this popular roll-on perfume oil from Maison Louis Marie instead of a spray.
"This perfume oil lasts well, smells heavenly and has easily recyclable packaging. What else could you ask for?" —Alyssa
11 11 Eau de Parfum
This nose-pleasing clean perfume from Lake & Skye is ideal for those who enjoy the smell of fresh air or freshly-washed linen (so, everyone).
"Such a beautiful scent—perfect for an everyday pick me up. Love it because it is so unique, light and fresh." —Cintia
Fragrance 03 Blonde: Black Violet/Saffron
This black violet, saffron, and rose-scented perfume is a robust fragrance with plenty of depth, and uses earth-friendly packing to minimize its environmental impact.
"Long lasting and smells fresh and sweet. Light and not overwhelming. Makes a subtle statement." —Shira B.
Each of Skylar's fragrances are non-toxic, clean, and hypoallergenic. Feeling non-committal? This sample kit of five individual scents makes it easy to test out each of the best-sellers, and since it also includes a $90 gift card, you can stock up on your favorite once you've finished the set.
"This is an absolutely wonderful way to help a new customer find the perfect scent or scents for them! I didn’t have a clue where to start, the scent experience has been wonderful! I easily found the scents I love and the ones that aren’t for me! On top of that you get the gift card to buy your favorite scent! Brilliant! Very pleased, thank you!!" —Sarah M.
What makes a fragrance formula clean?
Quality, plant-based essential oils used as fragrance can be extremely beneficial for your skin, but they can also be irritants—and therefore considered toxic—at certain levels. How the essential oil is processed also matters. A number of beauty retailers, like Follain, Credo, and Sephora monitor the levels and quality of essential oils in the beauty products they stock to ensure safety, but it is important for consumers to know the risks when buying direct from independent or conventional essential oil brands.
How can I ensure I'm using a clean, non-toxic perfume?
Take a closer look the list of ingredients used in your favorite fragrances, along with the sourcing process of any essential oils that are included in their formulas. Are the blends considered natural and organic? Are the listed ingredients farmed responsibly? It can also be helpful to cross reference primary ingredients found in perfumes with a reputable third party, like the Environmental Working Group.
Why trust Harper's BAZAAR?
For more than 150 years, Harper’s BAZAAR has been the preeminent fashion and beauty resource for women at every age. We cover what’s new and what’s next in beauty by working with the world’s leading authorities in dermatology, plastic surgery, cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and fragrance. Every story we publish has been thoroughly researched and vetted by our team of beauty editors and industry experts.
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