While vegan beauty products have been becoming more popular and more accessible, vegan fragrances are harder to come by. At the very least, they’re lesser widely spoken about. Perfumes often include ingredients derived from animals – as well as milk and honey (which are often key to identify in skincare and makeup products), these also include popular scents such as musk, ambergris and civet. Most brands nowadays use synthetics in their fragrances, to imitate the ingredients that create the scents people want but, unfortunately, qualify as a form of animal products/cruelty. These synthetics don’t take anything away from the environment either – but are how perfumeries achieve some of their best fragrances.
It’s not just what’s inside the scent that’s problematic either – if the brand tests on animals, this stops the fragrance from being vegan as well. But lots of brands are flying the flag for vegan scents and we’ve rounded up our favourite fragrances that are cruelty-free for you to feast your…noses…on.
Scent Republik has released a new collection inviting wearers of the fragrances to start on a sensorial journey. Emulating the scent of three prime cities: London, Tokyo and Los Angeles, the perfumes come in an innovative and travel-friendly pen form and are available to buy from on their website and ASOS as of today. Wear “London” and smell of warm oud, woody scents, smoky vanillas and cinnamon; opt for “Tokyo” for the mix of Sakura blossom and the exotic scents of yuzu and mandarin or choose “Los Angeles” for a tropical smell with notes of amber and passionflower.
Mona Maine de Biran created the scents of the brand to represent different stories of urban lifestyle in New York City. Whether you prefer the deeply decadent and sensual scent of Nitro Noir or you’re more of a citrus and cheerful Sunday Brunch type person – there’s a perfume for everyone in this collection. Those after a clean and green scent that’s electric, 10a.m. Flirt is the scent for you – or perhaps you prefer the earthy, spicy tones of Santal Sky. All Kierin NYC fragrances are cruelty-free, toxin-free, vegan and recyclable.
All Jo Loves products are vegan – bar the shampoo and conditioner which contain beeswax. None of the brand’s products are tested on animals. Pictured is Rose Petal 25; the scent of rose petal is significant here as it’s been a favourite floral fragrance of founder Jo Malone’s since she was a child. Merging bergamot, lychee and saffron together with a blend of rose water, Turkish rose and Bulgarian rose, all of the above sits on a bed of Rose de Mai Absolute, Rose Absolute and Ambrette Seed. Timeless yet contemporary, this fragrance also marks 25 years of Jo’s career. Other popular fragrances include the citrus Pomelo and Red Truffle 21 – a fig-scented fragrance – both vegan also.
We love Nirvana Rose’s deep floral scent mixed with geranium and vetvier but Elizabeth & James’ collection also includes the Black, White, Grey, Bourbon and Amethyst scents. All are strong fragrances for the femme fatale, these are also all vegan and cruelty-free. The Black is the bold scent of violet and sandalwood, while Bourbon is a blend of smoky and sweet – or perhaps Amethyst’s tobacco-infused cedar and honeysuckle is a better suit. For those of you looking for softer scents; grey will have you smelling of neroli and lavender and white is a feminine and floral fragrance, with peonies taking centre stage.
A floral-forward fragrance collection, these perfumes are made from sustainably-sourced ingredients and packed in biodegradable packaging, in addition to being cruelty-free and vegan. Electric Rhubarb is a particularly favourite scent with its charming and fun-loving vibe, brought about by white florals, sandalwood and, of course, rhubarb. Elsewhere, Wonderland Peony is a light, fruity floral scent. The sweet floral is mixed with pink berries, violets but also injected with a warmth from its cedarwood notes.
All Miller Harris perfumes are vegan , free from phthalates, artificial colorants, parabens and formaldehydes. The brand uses high levels of natural raw materials and include no animal-derived ingredients whatsoever. Pictured above is the scent LOST in the city – one of our favourite Miller Harris fragrances. With what the brand describes as “head notes” of bergamot zest, angelica seed, blackcurrant; “heart notes” of rhubarb, rose petals, geranium and “lasting impressions” of earl grey tea, crisp amber and musk – this is a perfume you won’t forget.
Le Labo’s website reads that the company believes that “it is more humane to test cosmetics on New Yorkers than on animals.” Vegan and cruelty-free, this stands as one of the core values of the brand. Le Labo’s fine fragrances focus on notes such as vetiver, oud, jasmine, rose, tonka, ylang – the list goes on. Santal 33 remains one of its most popular scents; an addictive fragrance that has the whole world hooked. A mix of cardamon and iris – coupled with spicy, leathery notes achieved by adding cedarwood and sandalwood, it’s no wonder it’s the brand’s number one fragrance.