Home Beauty Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here’s what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here’s what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

by белый

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. These concentrations (often achieved through distillation) offer a subtle embodiment (or essence) of a plant's aroma and provide your favorite fragrances with natural notes. "Katharine Hepburn was once quoted about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers saying, 'He gives her class, and she gives him sex appeal.' The dance between naturals and synthetics in perfumery is quite the same: one without the other leaves a fragrance flat, coarse, and without movement or vitality," says Stephen Nilsen, Givaudan's vice president of perfumery. Basically, though essential oils can technically stand-alone, a blend of these natural and manmade elements makes for the best perfumes. "Essential oils capture the unfiltered beauty of nature but lack some of the performance, purity, and refinement of synthetic materials," says Nilsen, noting that essential oils feature in virtually all fragrances.

“What is great about essential oils is that each one has a fragrance on its own—natural scents that are multi-faceted,” says Clement Gavarry, fine fragrance perfumer at Firmenich, one of the fragrance houses that helped create Bella Hadid’s buzzy new perfume line, Ôrəbella. “Working with these formulas is refreshing, in that they respect the natural scents of the natural raw ingredients, so they stay true to their roots.” Essential oils also come with some welcome fringe benefits, such as nourishing skin, enhancing moods, and more. “That’s what I like about working with them: that they have aromatherapeutic benefits that are connected to your emotions and can positively impact how you feel, from relaxed to energized,” says Gavarry.

Of course, these oils are not without their challenges. "They are typically more expensive than synthetics and don't offer the olfactive singularity and long-lasting quality that people expect from contemporary scents," says Nilsen of essential oils. "Additionally, as a natural product, they offer disadvantages associated with most crops such as year-to-year and lot-to-lot variation as well as the challenge of the amount of land needed for cultivation." But essential oils are, well, essential to the majority of your go-to perfumes—and your general fragrance knowledge. As far as some expert-approved fragrance favorites? "Asking a perfumer for a favorite perfume or raw material is like asking a grandparent for their favorite grandchild!" says Nilsen. However, he admits crowd-pleasers like rose and citrus oils are ubiquitous in high-end fragrances. Read on for some of our favorite perfumes formulated using essential oils.

Orebella Salted Muse Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Ulta $72

Ôrəbella's perfumers are alcohol-free and feature bespoke blends of essential oils meant to lift you up and calm you down. "Salted Muse allows you to relax and remember your distinct path," says Fabrice Gibert-Darras, president at Ôrəbella. "Its essential oils include lavender, which promotes relaxation; black paper, which awakens your aura; and vetiver, which delivers calming effects."

Phlur Missing Person Eau de Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Sephora $99

“At Phlur, our perfumers utilize both essential oils and safe synthetics to create our custom scents, taking into account performance, sustainability, availability of essential oil, and cost,” says Chriselle Lim, owner and creative director of Phlur. Missing Person caused a viral stir on social media for its skin-inspired scent, which enhances your own fragrance with the help of bergamot, jasmine, and orange blossom essences.

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The 7 Virtues Santal Vanille Eau de Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Sephora $88

The 7 Virtues brand is built on a commitment to fair-trade, all-natural essential oils. This fan favorite features warming sandalwood, vanilla, and myrrh, the soft scents showcased within a sugar-cane alcohol base.

Snif Natural Talent

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Snif.co $65

“The greatest benefit of essential oils is that they are naturally occurring mixtures that are multifaceted and impart complexity to fragrances,” explains Nilsen. Snif’s Natural Talent centers on an unexpected essential oil: apricot! The sweet scent teams with clementine and iris to brighten up more earthy notes of suede and leathery osmanthus flower.

Prada Infusion dIris Eau de Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Sephora $180

"The ultra precious iris root essential oil known as orris butter, which smells of sweet powder and wet soil, is present in such treasured favorites as Prada Infusion d'Iris," says Nilsen. Another "second-skin" scent, orris root, is blended with neroli (an essential oil derived from bitter orange blossom) and benzoin (a tree sap) for a warm and woodsy fragrance.

DedCool Fragrance 03 Blonde

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Credo Beauty $90

DedCool fragrances are cruelty-free, non-toxic, and bottled using a lengthy list of essential oils. This scent showcases black violet, saffron, and rose, but also includes chamomile flower, carrot root, white and green tea, Ginko, elderflower…we could go on, but suggest you try a spritz for the full effect.

Ceremonia Perfume De La Tierra

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Sephora $69

Bergamot essential oil meets jasmine, vetiver, and violet for a perfume meant to evoke the spirit and vibrancy of the rainforest. The inspired scent is contained in a bottle inspired by Mexican architect Luis Barragán, who also designed the accompanying campaign.

Ôrəbella Window2Soul Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Ulta $72

Another of Ôrəbella's trio of scents, Window2Soul features the brand's signature blend of aromatherapy essential oils and oils meant to moisturize the skin. "Window2Soul connects you with others like a warm embrace thanks to geranium essential oil, which is grounding; a lemon essential oil, which sparks joy; and spearmint essential oil, which is energizing," says Gibert-Darras.

Heretic Florgasm Eau de Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Credo Beauty $165

“I personally love fragrances with the classic head-spinning floralcy of ylang ylang essential oil,” says Nilsen. Along with classics like Chanel No. 5, ylang ylang can be found in contemporary (and all-natural) scents like this floral favorite from Heretic. Tuberose, orange blossom, begamot, and pink pepper can also be sniffed out in this fresh and milky perfume.

5 SENS Catch Feelings Eau de Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Sephora $65

Those who prefer their florals with a hint of musk are bound to catch feelings for this perfume. Sweet rose and ruby grapefruit adorn a woodsy center, making for a romantic, clean, and cruelty-free fragrance that you'll be just fine falling for.

Future Society Solar Canopy Eau de Parfum

Essential oils are at the heart of most modern perfumes. Here's what they lend to a fragrance and a few of our favorite essential oil-based perfumes.

Buy on Nordstrom $98

Future Society is known for its unique approach to perfuming, crafting scents inspired by flowers that have long gone extinct. This fragrance features pistachio, one of the year's favorite gourmands, that's enlivened by damask rose (among the most prized of essential oils), magnolia, and more.

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