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“Heretic is known for their high-end, clean fragrances that last. Reviewers love that this scent improves after it dries, and changes depending on who’s wearing it.” -Healthline


If you’ve shopped for cosmetics recently, you know clean beauty has taken the industry by storm. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate the term, but, for beauty moguls out there, “clean” typically means a product is made without certain potentially harmful ingredients, like parabens, formaldehyde, talc, and fragrance. If you take a hard look at most of the beauty products you own, you’ll likely find that almost all of them has the word "fragrance" or "perfume" listed on its ingredients list.

The International Fragrance Association lists 2,947 possible fragrance ingredients, almost all contain hundreds of chemicals, most of them synthetic. According to research, some fragrances can trigger adverse health effects such as migraines, respiratory issues, and skin problems, among others. Many traditional fragrances also contain phthalates, which a 2016 study found may cause birth defects in males. So where does that leave perfumes and fragrances? Trade magazine BusinessWire reports that, between 2019 and 2023, the clean fragrance industry is projected to grow by $1.39 billion. This shows that consumers are looking for transparent fragrances made with minimal ingredients. Read on to find out what constitutes a clean perfume, plus which scents you should try this year. (see full list HERE)


You may have noticed that, on most perfume labels, the ingredients are just water, alcohol and “fragrance.” This is because companies can classify these as “trade secrets,” so the FDA can’t require a company to list the exact ingredients that comprise their scents. This is good for brands, but not so good for consumers who want to know what they’re putting on their bodies. So what is a clean or non-toxic fragrance? “[They’re scents with] ingredients that will not cause skin or photo-sensitivity,” says Ginger King, a cosmetic chemist. But keep in mind that even plant-based fragrances (also known as essential oils) may cause a reaction even though they’re natural. Skin sensitivity is very personal, and just because you’re not sensitized to a particular ingredient today, it doesn’t mean you won’t be tomorrow. Overall, you’re aiming for perfumes that are sulfate-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, and made with organic ingredients that are typically kinder to your skin. Thankfully, most clean fragrance brands will clearly list all their ingredients.


Heretic is known for their high-end, clean fragrances that last. Dirty Lemon is a popular scent with notes of lemon peel extract, bergamot, and sandalwood. Reviewers love that this scent improves after it dries, and that it changes depending on who’s wearing it.