Discerning what fragrance is conscious to your needs as well as earth's needs can be pretty tricky. Trying to navigate green labels can feel like a maze of misinformation. Natural ingredients, essential oils, non-toxic fragrance - what's it all mean? The good news: we've got the navigation down to a science. The bad: determining the most environmentally conscious blend of fragrance isn't always clear cut.
Many consumers assume that 100% natural ingredients mean the most environmentally conscious ingredients. Well, that's not exactly the truth.
Let's consider, for instance, sandalwood. Sandalwood is one of the most popular aromatic notes used to fragrance candles. A sandalwood tree requires 30 years of growth before the essential oil can be harvested, and the tree must be chopped down to support this harvesting process. Often, sandalwood trees are not sustainably farmed or replanted after being harvested, leading to deforestation and long-term soil erosion. Demand for sandalwood oil would likely result in the extinction of these trees had the fragrance industry not developed synthetically derived materials to supplement and replace natural sandalwood oils.
Another fragrance misnomer surrounds cruelty free and vegan candles. For most fragrances, it is impossible to sustain 100% essential oils and remain a vegan product. A number of commonly used fragrance materials are derived from animals, and often require that the animal be killed, or otherwise harmed, to extract the material. For example, natural musk is extracted by killing a musk deer. After, this deer's musk gland is cut off to dry and prepare for extraction.
The fragrance industry has developed and evolved to now rely upon synthetic materials to replace such animal derivatives and protect these species.
So what about essential oils? Well, this, too, is a complex issue. Many plants produce toxins as their natural defense mechanism against insects and other predators. An essential oil is a highly concentrated extraction derived from a plant and includes a high concentration of many naturally occurring toxins that are present.
Often the most sustainable solution when it comes to fragrance ingredients is actually a synthetic material.
At NOTES®, we aren't afraid to break the status quo. We believe that intentional and thoughtful fragrance requires research - a lot of it. And with that in mind, we've crafted a conscious combination of essential oils and high-quality synthetic ingredients where necessary. We also use a responsible blend free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, or other toxic ingredients. So, you can rest assured the fragrance you receive from a NOTES® candle is safe for both people and the planet, no maze required.