January Detox: Clean Fragrance

A lot of people are writing about detoxing in January. Because I’ve been on an anti-inflammatory diet for 8 weeks, there is really nothing to detox from. It’s always dry/sugar-free/wheat-free/plant-rich January around here.

I am continuing to detoxify my beauty routine, however, the last hurrah is fragrance since I object to smelling like a health food shop. I’m a Flowerbomb/White Linen/Fracas girl and wanted to see if I could find some cleaner versions. Since this is a year of being intentional, I researched some fragrances I wanted to try. I was drawn to The Peace Box ($30), which is a collection of seven tester-sized fragrances by The 7 Virtues*, a Canadian company out of Halifax run by entrepreneur Barb Stegemann. I love the company’s mission:

We source fair market natural essential oils from nations rebuilding after war or strife. We are on a mission to ignite a cavalry of businesses to come and do trade with nations rebuilding. Our fragrances are vegan and we do not test on animals. Our fragrances do not contain added parabens and are phthalate free. Our award winning fragrances are made with natural essential oils from Afghanistan, Haiti, The Middle East and Rwanda. Our farmers earn as much as 2.5 times the income of the next crop enabling them to purchase school uniforms for their children and build homes.

The 7 Virtues

The fragrances are lovely: clean, fresh and subtle. They do not give me a headache and I can apply them directly to my skin (most fragrances I wear using that ‘spray into the air and walk into it’ technique, since they bother my skin.) Once you find a scent you love, you can buy travel roller bottles of each for $30 or a full-size spray for $88. Or if you like to blend your own, the Peace Box gives you that ability.

Jasmine Neroli is sweet. This will be my go-to in the spring as I love a floral scent. The Ylang-Ylang and Jasmine give this a sweet scent that almost has a tuberose note to it, like a non-cloying Fracas. I love it.

Scent Type: Powdery Floral

Key Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Orange Blossom (Neroli), Jasmine

Vetiver Elemi. This one surprised me. Elemi is the essential oil I diffuse non-stop. To me, Elemi smells like ginger ale and it reminds me of Joop for Women, which I wore in university (I wear Young Living’s Elemi oil sometimes since I love it so much.) Normally, I don’t like the smell of vetiver, however, as it’s far too earthy for me. But somehow, combining these two elements leads to a grounding, almost chocolaty scent that weirdly reminds me of Thierry Mugler’s Angel. I find I go back to this one a lot.

Scent Type: Earthy Greens & Herbs

Key Notes: Elemi, Geranium, Vetiver

Rose Amber is the closest scent to my beloved Flowerbomb. The rose gives it that powerful floral scent and it’s grounded by the spicier amber. This is probably my favourite scent in the bunch for fall and winter.

Scent Type: Warm Florals

Key Notes: Bergamot, Rose, Amber

Orange Blossom smells like exactly that. It’s sweet and powdery and has a pretty scent like soap. I’ve always loved White Linen for summer and this is a subtle, slightly old-fashioned floral.

Scent Type: Fresh Floral

Key Notes: Mandarin, Orange Blossom (Neroli) , Labdanum

Vanilla Woods has a straight-up vanilla extract top note, but there are smokey woodsy notes beneath that makes this more complex. It reminds me of library in someone’s beautiful home.

Scent Type: Warm & Sweet Gourmands

Key Notes: Pear, Rose, Vanilla

Grapefruit Lime smells exactly like you think it would. I’ve had a citrus allergy since I was a child, so I’m not drawn to citrus scents. But if you love citrus, this has a nice clean scent that reminds me of spring.

Scent Type: Fresh Citrus & Fruits

Key Notes: Sweetie Grapefruit, Green Tea, Cedarwood

Patchouli Citrus is more floral than citrusy. I was worried it might have that health food store smell, but it’s quite sophisticated. Again, I find this more of a candle-scent than something I’d wear, but that’s simply personal preference. It’s a nice fragrance for spring.

Scent Type: Fresh Florals

Key Notes: Cassis, Rose Geranium, Patchouli

In the end, I think I like Vanilla Woods. Rose Amber may be a possibility for the colder months and Jasmine Neroli for the warmer ones. And Vetiver Elemi is so interesting, I might give it a go for the deep winter since it has a bit of a Hygge thing going on. I feel good knowing that these fragrances are not bad for me, and contribute something positive to the planet.

I have wondered if moving to clean beauty makes a difference, but last week I used a hand cream from a spendy European line I used for years. To be clear, the brand has never touted itself as clean beauty but does advertise its natural high quality ingredients and the spa-like experience it provides. The cream was lovely – it smelled heavenly and absorbed easily – but it made my hands itchy and I started to get a sore throat. When I read the ingredients, synthetic fragrance was way up the list. And it contained talc. Thank you, no. Once you adopt clean beauty, it’s hard to go back.

It’s supposed to be freezing in much of North America this weekend and boiling hot in Australia. Stay warm and cool, my friends.


*This is not a sponsored post. I paid retail for my Peace Box. I have included affiliate codes so if you are interested in purchasing this through my link, I receive a small commission.

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