What do you mean by Vegan Perfume?
October 30th, 2020

What do you mean by Vegan Perfume?

How can a perfume be vegan? 


Did you know that "musk" originally came from the secretions of a male musk deer? It's actually a quite an unpleasant smell, but is totally animalistic and what we think of as sexy, which is why we often want to smell "musky" to make us attractive to the opposite sex. It also makes the fragrance last longer.

Unfortunately they hunted the musk deer into almost extinction, so no company is allowed to do that anymore! 

At Recreation, we don't believe in using animal parts to make us feel beautiful. We think you can be beautiful without resorting to exploiting animals in some way. 

Here are some other ingredients that come from animals which are used in perfumery - note we do NOT use these in Recreation Vegan perfumes. 

Ambergris: Ambergris is a wax-like pathological growth found in the stomach and intestines of about one in a hundred sperm whales, and also in the pygmy sperm whale. It is still very much used in natural and synthetic perfumes today. In the past, the whales were caught and killed to get access to this ingredient, these days it is collected from the ocean, once the whales have passed it through their system and they excrete it. 

Castorueum: This comes from beavers and is used to create a leather scent. Castoreum comes from the castor sacs of the beaver between the pelvis and the base of the tail. The beaver must be killed to harvest the castor sacs, which are filled with thick paste that are left to dry in the sun and emit that leathery smell. 

Civet: This is a small cat-like animal native to Asia and Africa. Civet musk fragrance is the anal glandular secretion produced by both sexes of civet. These days civets are farmed for importation to western countries for their renowned anal secretions. It is, shall we say, rather unlikely these animals are kept in humane conditions while they live in a cage and have their secretions collected every day. 

Hyraceum: This is also called “Africa stone”. It comes from the petrified and rocklike excreta of the rock hyrax, which is a medium sized mammal that looks like a big guinea pig. Their faecal deposits dry in the sun and then once cracked open emit an oil that smells "dirty" and is used with perfumes that may be too sweet. Noice.

A note on musk

Clearly as you can see from the above list, musk is one of the hardest scents to replicate with plant-based ingredients and it's one of the most popular. 

We do not use synthetic musks at all at Recreation because they are some of the most harmful chemicals which can cause all sorts of things and have been linked to endrocrine disruption and some cancers. 

At Recreation we use Ambrette Seed with a number of other woods and florals to recreate a musky note. 

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