It used to be that perfumes were advertised as a way for women to entice men using alluring scents. These days, it’s more about wearing a yummy smell that you love—and hopefully that your lovers don’t hate. Now that women are wearing scents for themselves, they’re a lot more interesting and diverse, which is usually how it goes when you give people what they want (instead of telling them). Nowhere is this truer than the realm of natural perfumes.
What’s a natural perfume? All those included in this roundup are free from potentially toxic chemicals including, most importantly, phthalates, which are a class of chemicals used in many conventional scents. Several types of phthalates were banned a decade ago in the European Union, since they have been linked to fetal abnormalities, and are usually found in higher concentrations in women’s bodies since we use more beauty products.