The tone had been set by initiatives like Michelle Pfeiffer’s brand Henry Rose, a pioneer as regards ingredient transparency, recycled glass bottles, and cradle-to-cradle-certified formulas, and by pH Fragrance, who developed the clean perfumery concept in France. More recently, CK Everyone and My Way by Armani also left their marks on people’s minds with ethical concepts involving natural ingredients, refillable bottles, and quantified and quantifiable targets about the product’s impact. These examples show that perfumery is gradually adopting a new form of creation better in line with the market’s ecoresponsible trends. As an example, three new high-end brands are emerging this fall, and they have a common point: a global strategy for improving the environmental impact of both their juices and containers, including samples. Aemium, Nout, and Obvious have reshaped perfumery to make it match a new idea of luxury.

Aemium: the “luxury of being natural”

Born from Emmanuel Roche’s motivation and the talent of two perfumers at Maison Robertet, Karine Vinchon Spehner and Serge De Oliveira, Aemium has developed a range of high-end perfumes certified natural or organic by Ecocert/Cosmos and containing over 99.9% natural ingredients. They are composed of 13% to 17% 100% natural perfume extracts made in Grasse, 74% organic wheat alcohol, some water, and vitamin E derived from French sunflower to protect formulas from oxidation.

The bottles, whose elegance is inspired from old perfumery, are based on lightened glass and are refillable – and recyclable, of course. The caps are made of aluminium with no plastic insert, so they can also be recycled. Secondary cases traditionally made of cardboard filled with Cellophane were replaced with light wooden boxes derived from poplar groves located in France. Plastic is even banned in sample caps, which are made of cork.

The whole range is made in France. It consists of seven unisex 100 ml fragrances and of a discovery box containing the samples. It offers uncommon original notes – liquorice, almond, pink pepper – and a few bold combinations. The perfumes are available on the online shop, and will soon be in alternative perfume shops for EUR 137 (100 ml bottles).

Obvious: elegance and respect

David Frossard had already created Différentes Latitudes, which launched some of the greatest alternative perfume brands in the 2000s, founded the Liquides perfume bar, and co-founded the brand Liquides Imaginaires. This time, he wanted to provide perfumes with a new vision of olfactory luxury. To him, conveying respect for the living with a range was just obvious.

Here, the juices created by Amélie Bourgeois and Anne-Sophie Behaghel, of Flair Paris, are mostly short, natural formulas with an organic alcohol base. They do not demonize synthesis, provided it is clean. The bottle is made of partly recycled glass with an unscrewable pump for recycling, the cap is made of cork (from offcuts derived from cap productions, and it has no plastic insert, so it can be recycled), serigraphy is based on resin free from any volatile organic compound (VOC), and the case is made of FSC-certified cellophane-free paper.

The range counts seven 100 ml fragrances sold for the recommended retail price of EUR 110 at Liquides and at the Bon Marché department store.

Nout: committed perfumes

Using her ecological awareness and taste for beautiful things, Laurence Lecoq, Nout’s founder, created a range of six luxury Eaux de parfum whose organic and vegan, Cosmos Organic-certified formulas are claimed to be ethically, ecoconsciously sensorial. Composed by nose Laure Jacquet, of Robertet, the juices only contain natural and organic ingredients derived from ethical sourcing to obtain formulas concentrated in essential oils, isolates, and organic wheat alcohol.

The white glass bottles are topped with an SFC/PEFC-certified wooden cap derived from sustainably managed French forests. The whole product can be recycled and is showcased in a pouch made of unbleached, organic recycled cotton.

Here, again, remanence and bold notes are very subtle so they can compete with conventional perfumes with powerful base notes, like cedar, patchouli, tonka bean, and benzoin. Nout perfumes are available on the e-shop and will soon be in a selection of perfume shops, for EUR 155 or EUR 165.

These three new approaches to perfume do present a few variants, but they are all mainly focused on respect, without compromising on an exceptional trail.