When I was 13 I had a friend called Noeleen. Noeleen was very into scent, we would head to the local supermarket and she would have us sniff at every deodorant and shampoo, analyzing as a wine enthusiast might tackle a wine sampling. I’m sure Noeleen went on to become the type of woman who was very aware of her scent, and the effect it had on others. I bet she had a signature scent or two, maybe even a different scent for every season.
But I was never that kind of girl. I was happy to go along with the shampoo sniffing, but I was generally quite easy-going about such “girly” things. I had a few fragrances I’d been given, borrowed or bought(for under the 2 euro mark) over the years, that had fallen into my favour. One of these perfumes was Gaultier2, a gift given a decade or so ago. I loved that fragrance and everyone else seemed to love it on me.
A little while ago, I ran out of Gaultier2. I was gifted some money for Christmas and decided, finally, an excuse to splurge on Gaultier2! But I quickly found it had been discontinued, and now cost much more than my budget could allow. I started searching for alternatives and this peaked a new interest in fragrances.
Then, at some stage during my research, I had a realisation…
“Wait, what about perfume?”
Shouldn’t I ensure any perfume I buy is not tested on animals?! So I googled vegan perfumes and discovered articles like 5 Icky Animal Odors That Are Prized By Perfumers. It turns out that not only was my precious Gaultier2 likely not vegan, it may not have even met most vegetarians standards. Gaultier2′s notes are Vanilla, Amber and Musk. Musk is obtained from the solitary and “very shy” musk deer, a deer which is now an endangered species due to poaching for use in the perfume and Chinese medicine trades. It takes the death of around 160 deer to produce 1 kg of the musk used in perfumery, and other animals such as giant panda are also killed indiscriminately as they get caught in the traps intended for musk deer. 1
Some of the animal ingredients used in perfume don’t necessarily cause any harm to animals. Ambergris for instance is found lying on beaches and its use brings no harm to the sperm whales that produce it. But unfortunately most designer perfumes do not list their ingredients fully nor specifically enough to know whether they involve animal cruelty in the process of obtaining or testing them. For instance musk can also be vegetal or synthetic, so simply listing musk as an ingredient does not tell us how the musk was obtained.
On the front of this new information, I decided I needed to look for perfumes that openly declare themselves vegan. That was when I discovered Eden Perfumes in Brighton, who are luckily UK based, which meant I could use parcel motel to get a delivery to Ireland for less than 5 euro.
Eden Perfumes is a natural perfume company that offers vegan, cruelty free alternatives to your favourite scents. That’s right, they create dupes of the most popular designer fragrances, which are cruelty free and cost considerably less than the original.
What more can we ask for?! Well, this is my 100% honest review of this fantastic companies offerings.
Eden Perfumes Review
I decided to buy 3 somewhat contrasting perfumes as a gift set: I bought No. 43, the Hypnotic Poison alternative, as it is one of my 3 favourite scents. I chose No. 310, a dupe of Marc Jacobs’ Decadence, largely because it had the words “sweet” “spicey” and “smokey” in the description (you can tell I’m a perfume expert). And lastly No. 418, equivalent to Estee Lauders’ Beautiful, was selected on the back of excellent reviews which made it sound like something I would never choose. It was basically chosen for contrast in an attempt to push my tastes beyond their comfort zone.
The package arrived in 8 days, which was pretty good considering I ordered on New Years Eve. The gift box doesn’t look very luxurious but the simplicity has it’s own charm. The choice of packaging is part of Eden Perfumes mission to make their products as affordable as possible, and I’m totally on board with it!
In my excitement I made the mistake of trying all three perfumes at once…this is something I now have the wisdom to advise against, no matter how impatient you are.
Overall I felt the perfumes matched in scent very well. Eden do advise that they may not be an exact match, and I did feel there was a very slight difference in No. 43, which I couldn’t quite put my finger on. No. 310 was a nice surprise, it was sweeter than I expected and D said it was his favourite of the three. I definitely think they pulled off the plum in this one, which is apparently a hard note to get right. And No. 418 smelled just as it did when I sampled the real deal, a very powdery floral heavy hitter.
For me the one thing that could be a potential con of these perfumes, depending on your priorities, is the fact that they are natural. I did not feel the perfumes met their original counterparts in terms of sillage and longevity, and my understanding is that this is likely due to the lack of synthetic chemicals used in designer perfumes to give them that edge. They are by no means weak though, and do perform respectably in these regards, perhaps surpassing an Eau De Toilette equivalent of the original. I find I like to apply these perfumes to the skin morning and mid afternoon to make them last all day. The longevity is better on clothes, it is still easily apparent the next day, while only subtly detectable on the skin the next morning. For many people this would be considered very good longevity even when compared against designer fragrances. So it depends on your taste and how the perfume reacts on your skin. For me, it was less power than I expected from an Eau De Parfum, having only had experience with designer fragrances.
I can definitely see myself ordering more from Eden Perfumes in the future, the Hypnotic Poison dupe is my absolute favourite and I’ve worn it for the last week straight. I’m strongly considering ordering their “amber, musk and vanilla” which may satiate my appetite for Gaultier2. I would encourage any vegans, perfume fans, people who want to avoid unnecessary animal cruelty, or to avoid the use of synthetic chemicals, to please give Eden Perfumes a try. Many people have been blown away by the quality of their products and there is so much to choose from, with over 200 fragrances on offer.
I will continue to test and review different vegan perfumes as honestly and fairly as I can, so if you’ve managed to read this entire article, please do check back for more!