When I first switched to natural fragrances, a few things happened that surprised me.
1. Synthetics now smell wrong
I remember buying an emergency cleanser when I was on holidays, thinking it was all natural because the packaging looked natural (always a mistake). I used it and was hugely put off by the very synthetic smell. It's crazy how I can now pick synthetics. Natural fragrances smell natural. Synthetics now do not.
2. It takes a week to adapt
Just like it takes a few weeks to get used to natural deodorant, it also takes a few days for your olfactory pathways to make the adjustment to natural fragrance.
Since birth, we've been inundated with fake smells. From baby powder to shampoo and conditioner, to body wash and laundry detergent and washing up liquid. It's all fake, fake, fake, fake, fake. And we've become used to that. So when we suddenly start smelling REAL smells, from actual botanicals, our nose takes a few days to accept this. So while you might not like your new natural, clean perfume from the get go, just give it a few days. In face, smell it every day for 7 days and see how you go. That's why there are 28-30 sprays in each sample bottle of perfume, so you can give them a proper go.
3. Making a straight swap
Have you decided to make the change to natural perfume, and literally expect there to a be a natural scent that you can swap in for your Dior Joy or Armani Si or your Coco Mademoiselle?
There is not.
That's because almost every commercial perfume is made with synthetics. They are made in a lab and there are lots of lab chemicals that there are no natural equivalents of.
Musk, for example, cannot be replicated in a plant. We use something similar to musk (ambrette seed), but if you're expecting that soft muskiness you get at the end of literally every commercial perfume out there (we've smelled them, they all end up the same), it doesn't come from a plant/flower. It used to come from animals, but they hunted the musk deer into extinction so they're not allowed to use that anymore!
So it's now made in a lab and synthetic musks are some of the most harmful endocrine disruptors you can encounter. They're also "persistent" as in, they don't break down when you wash them down the drain. They hang around in the environment, go into the oceans and cause more havoc. They are to be avoided.
There are also some fruit that we can't extract from, but we can create the notes of some of those fruits with other botanicals. Still, you're never going to get an exact match. Your natural clean perfume is going to smell different. Embrace it. Who wants to smell like everyone else anyway?
4. Thinking natural perfume will last as long as a synthetic perfume
Some can, sure. It depends on the notes. The heavier, woodier, smokier clean fragrances will stick around for longer. And we have formulated our clean perfumes with those notes that will make it last for longer.
But some of them will not. This is because the ingredient in synthetic perfumes (literally every perfume on the shelf in department stores and most of Mecca) that make them last longer is phthalates. Lord knows what's going to happen when the European Union bans phthalates, because that is on the cards. It's a major endocrine disruptor and has caused reproductive issues in animals they have tested it on and inhibited the growth of male hormones in animal foetuses they have tested it on. You don't want this stuff on your skin. But it's the ingredient that makes perfume last for a long time. It works like plastic, sticking the scent to your skin.