Clean Fragrances

Perfume can be an enticing sensory soother. But, it’s important to be selective as every product we lather onto our skin absorbs into our bloodstream. Synthetic fragrances have the potential to negatively impact our health. That’s why choosing a clean fragrance brand is essential. 

Studies show the clean fragrance industry is projected to grow by $1.39 billion by 2023. Consumers are obviously becoming more aware of the dangers of synthetic fragrance and want options formulated with transparent clean ingredients. 

I love fine fragrance. So, I set out to find a trustworthy fine fragrance brand that is as good for you as it smells. And after some delightfully aromatic research, I found one. That’s right, uno… un… eins… one.

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”

—Helen Keller

Companies selling perfumes containing synthetic fragrance are crafty little suckers. Their ads trick us into believing we’ll become prettier, sexier and more successful if we spritz ourselves with their poison. According to the National Academy of Sciences, 95 percent of chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). They include carcinogenic benzene derivatives, aldehydes, toluene and other known toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, autism, central nervous system disorders and endocrine disruption.

While other nations have banned as many as 1,400 different chemicals from personal care products, our FDA restricts only 11. Formaldehyde, a carcinogen, is found in US nail polish and banned in the EU. Parabens, linked to reproductive problems, are found in US skincare and haircare and are banned in the EU. Coal tar dyes can be found in Americans’ eyeshadow years after being banned in the Canada and the EU.

Most synthetic perfume labels list three ingredients: water, alcohol and fragrance – with fragrance being a harmfully loaded word. Sadly, US companies are allowed to classify their “fragrance” as a trade secret. This means the FDA can’t require a company to list the ingredients in their scents. Great for brands, not so great for us.

Despite being bad for our health, US companies use synthetic fragrance because it’s cheaper. On the contrary, high quality clean fragrances are often naturally produced with up to 1,000 pounds of hand-picked flowers. Creating clean fragrance is a much more labor intensive, costly, and dare I say artistic craft. The good news is clean fragrances do exist. And they smell just as good, if not better, than their synthetic counterparts.

The Clean Fragrance Brand I Love and Trust

Created by Michelle Pfeiffer, Henry Rose is the first fine fragrance brand to be EWG Verified, meaning they’re free of chemicals of concern and meet strict standards. Henry Rose fragrances are hypoallergenic, paraben-free, phthalate-free, formaldehyde-free and cruelty-free. In addition to fine fragrances, they offer clean fragrance lotions, hand sanitizers, candles and diffuser oils.

Henry Rose Founder, Michelle Pfeiffer

“The mystery of the fragrance industry seems romantic and intriguing until you start asking questions. The truth is, the term “fragrance” is often used as a catch-all for thousands of under-regulated ingredients. Sure, this protects trade secrets, but it leaves everyone else in the dark. I learned this decades ago when I became a mom, and started looking at labels on the products I used. I couldn’t imagine exposing my children to anything potentially toxic on my skin, so I gave up fragrance altogether. But I really missed it and eventually realized that if I wanted a safer, beautiful quality perfume, I would need to create it myself.”

“Yes, you can – and should – dive into every single ingredient we used. Yes, you should experiment with our samples and find which fragrances make you feel your best. We’ve got nothing to hold back, no recipes to protect. If there’s anything I’ve learned through this journey, it’s that real intrigue – the best kind of romance – comes when you have nothing to hide.”

—Michelle Pfeiffer

Founder, Henry Rose

An added bonus is that Henry Rose has admirable sustainability standards. Their bottles are made from 90% recycled glass and are 100% recyclable. Their caps are made from sustainably-sourced and commercially compostable soy. And their boxes are made from recycled corrugated paper and are fully recyclable.

It’s super easy (and fun) to discover your signature Henry Rose scent. Simply complete their fragrance finder questionnaire and they’ll hone-in on the scent that aligns with you. I preferred to sample all nine fragrances before buying a full size bottle, so I ordered the Discovery Set. This way, I could test drive each of them on my skin. And Henry Rose provides a $20 off code with every Discovery Set purchase to apply toward the full size bottle you choose.

My personal favorite Henry Rose fragrances are Windows Down and Queens & Monsters. I’m not exaggerating when I promise that all nine fragrances smell amazing. But, handpicking a fine fragrance that feels right for you is a personal choice. And choosing a clean fine fragrance brand made without harmful synthetic ingredients is a wise one.

Henry Rose Fragrances

Henry Rose Windows Down Fragrance

Windows Down

Citrusy—Bright grapefruit encounters honeyed neroli and soft earl grey tea for a light and floral finish.

Henry Rose Smyth Fragrance


Bright—Crisp green apple is rounded by watery notes and sheer white woods for a bright finish.

Henry Rose Jake's House Fragrance

Jake's House

Clean—Watery clean freshness encounters honeyed neroli for a light and clean musky finish.

Henry Rose Queens & Monsters Fragrance

Queens & Monsters

Rich—The freshness and zest of petitgrain balances the fluid sensuality of sandalwood to create a woody aroma.

Henry Rose Fog Fragrance


Earthy—The lightness of vetiver wood is cut with a soft musk to create a perfectly balanced freshness.

Henry Rose Last Light Fragrance

Last Light

Smooth—Fresh floral notes come together with musk and patchouli to create a smooth woody effect.

Henry Rose Flora Carnivora Fragrance

Flora Carnivora

Floral—Bright orange flower meets soft jasmine, tuberose and earthy vetiver for a floral finish.

Henry Rose Torn Fragrance


Spicy—The richness of vanilla bean blends with the earthiness of vetiver roots for a spicy and floral aroma.

Henry Rose Dark as Night Fragrance

Dark is Night

Sensual—The woodiness of patchouli blends with the richness of vanilla bean for a decadent finish.

Affiliate Note: If you click or purchase through these links, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to publish the blog and pay a little forward to charity. I only feature items I genuinely love and think you will, too.

Read Healthy Home Swaps to learn about my favorite non-toxic household products.

About My Palo Santo Obsession

About My Palo Santo Obsession

The ancient tradition of energy cleansing is on the rise, thanks in part to our current state of affairs. Many newcomers to smudging with Palo Santo are adding it to their wellness regimen. I've been an enthusiastic believer in its cleansing magic for years. If you're...

The Best Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

The Best Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

I’ve spent a significant amount of time reading about the toxic effects of mainstream cleaning products. This inevitably prompted my search for the best non-toxic cleaning products. And after exhaustive research, I discovered healthy home swaps that actually clean...

DIY Candles Anyone Can Make

DIY Candles Anyone Can Make

Few things soothe our senses like the calming glow and aroma of candles. Living with five males, two with tails, I keep candles handy in every room of our home, especially for those times I become overstimulated (every day) and need help channeling calm. If you happen...