Natural Fragrances – More Available & Affordable Than Ever RSS

Posted May 2016

The Natural Personal Care Market is growing at 10% annually, which is much faster than the overall personal care category. With that growth comes an increased demand for natural fragrances. The result: The range of natural fragrance options has expanded and the cost is coming down.

To Manage Expectations

There are still limitations when it comes to what variants can be sustainably sourced in natural fragrances. Jack Corley, President of Natural Fragrances with Custom Essence, explained that “musk” (which is in many fine fragrances) is derived from the Tibetan musk deer, an animal that is now endangered and protected.

On the flip side, most of the fruity, woody, herbal and floral notes that we see in fine fragrances can be accomplished in a natural fragrance.

At the beginning of the “natural movement”, natural fragrances consisted primarily of expensive essential oils such as lavender and rose – and the cost was typically in the $75 per pound range. Today, by incorporating other natural ingredients, fragrances houses are able to market a broad selection of natural fragrances in the $18-$25 per pound range.

Manufacturing of Natural Fragrance

There are a few ways that a natural fragrance can be compounded. On the one hand, perfumers can use pure essential oils. However, for a more complex fragrance, natural blends are made with a combination of essential oils, vegetable oils and natural isolates.

Natural isolates are single odor molecules that are extracted from natural raw materials using distillation techniques. They are often obtained from botanicals such as rose, mint and citrus. According to the Natural Perfumers Guild, these isolated aromatics can add unique character and lift to natural perfumes.

What is the benefit of compounding a natural fragrance using several ingredients over just using pure essential oils? In addition to a significant price difference, using a natural blend of botanical ingredients allows the perfumer to create a much more dynamic fragrance.

Natural Fragrance Labeling

There is no official governing body overseeing the world of natural fragrances – so that presents a challenge for Brands who want to make sure their consumers know and can trust that their fragrance is natural. Here are two ways Brands can list natural fragrances to help communicate that:

  • List all ingredients that make up the fragrance: Some Brands want to be completely transparent and list every ingredient. This allows the word “Fragrance” to be left out of the ingredient list. For example, Origins Clear Improvement Bar Soap lists the essential oils used in the bar and does not list the word “Fragrance”.

  • List the word “Fragrance” with an asterisk: Many times a natural fragrance is a blend of numerous ingredients and all cannot fit on the space available on the package. Therefore, another option is to use the word ”*Fragrance” or the word “*Parfume” in the inci ingredient list with an asterisk. Outside the inci list, the Brand can explain that their fragrance is derived entirely from botanical ingredients and that it is 100% natural.

As an alternative to these two options, Brands can do what Tom’s Of Maine does, which is to just list “Natural Fragrance” on the package and explain the ingredient breakdown on their website.

Bradford has years of experience in sourcing natural fragrances – so we are well qualified to help you find the perfect natural fragrance for your next project. For more information, please contact Bradford at