At a glance
Fragrances have been used as a beauty booster since the days of the ancient Egyptians, when personal scents were made from flowers, fruits, plants and resins. Mass-market fragrance manufacturers have taken that a step further by adding chemical preservatives and petroleum-derived ingredients. Most natural fragrances are scented with essential oils and plant-based ingredients rather than their chemical counterparts.
Aromatherapy products also rely on essential oils and botanicals, but are applied in different ways. Meant to alter one’s sense of being, the scents work both physiologically and psychologically, using the healing properties of a particular oil or plant to fight illness and create a positive mood. Aromatherapy blends often mix essential oils with carrier oils, such as grapeseed, to help them travel faster and make them safer for skin application. Aromatherapy oils and blends can be used in bath oils, inhalants, massage oils and in candles.
Ingredients to look for
Pure essential oils
Spotlight on: Terra Nova Natural Body Care
With eight different types of lotions, perfumes and shower gels, Berkeley, Calif.-based Terra Nova has made natural ingredients and sustainability a priority since it began in 1970. The company’s Organic Oasis line, specifically, contains more than 70 percent organic ingredients.
Terra Nova has also recently reformulated many of its products so that they’re paraben free. Everything is vegan and biodegradable, and packaging is made from easily recyclable PET plastic, glass and cardboard.
Aura Cacia Euphoria Essential Oil: Lifts the spirits with a blend of bergamot, amyris, ginger and ylang ylang.
Terra Firma Eco-Chic Fragrances in Exotic Places: This little roll-on number combines essential oils of spicy vanilla and saffron with non-genetically modified grain alcohol to produce a spicy, exotic scent.
Terra Nova Mimosa Kiss Organic Essential Oil Perfume: Using the premise of aromatherapy, this perfume not only makes you smell good but also makes you feel good. Contains 70 percent organic ingredients, including orange and geranium, romantic vetiver, vanilla and ylang ylang flowers.
Auric Blends Naturals fragrance in Layla: Each one of Auric’s fragrances has a story behind it; Layla was created to mimic a classic Persian love story, with Bulgarian rose, orange flower blossoms, sandalwood and vetiver.
EO Essential Oils Kiss Me Blend: This wearable oil blend brings out romance with a simple combination of essential ylang ylang and cedarwood oils.