Perfume. A magical word that invokes visions of mystery, adventure and romance.
For thousands of years Mother Nature was the source inspiration and provided materials for perfumers dedicated to creating breathtaking aromas to enrich our senses. It all changed in the mid-1800’s, when scientists began isolating natural ingredients to find cheaper ways to artificially create them in bulk. Synthetic perfumery was born, and boomed to the multi-billion dollar phenomenon that surrounds us today.
Strangely, in a world of growing consumer awareness, the cosmetic industry is self-regulated. It is not required to register its formulations, test results or consumer complaints with either the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or the European Food Safety Authority. Neither are they obliged to print their list of ingredients on containers. By claiming ‘top secret’ formulas, they escape any further investigation. The National Academy of Sciences reports that 95% of chemicals used in fragrances today are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum, including known toxins capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous systems disorders and allergic reactions.
So it is perhaps not surprising more people are seeking a return to quality perfumes made only with pure and natural aromatics. Here on the coast, ex-Terra Sana founder-partner Danny Tracey, and his wife Rebecca have done just that. They have teamed up with award-winning creative guru Nicholas Jennings based in, Aniane, France and created Sharini Parfums Naturels. Their products are 100% natural, and certified organic.
The artisan company has had an intensive investigation of its products and methods, and is recognized by EcoCert, one of the largest organic certification organizations in the world. This guarantees no use of pesticides or insecticides. They produce only 5000 perfume bottles a year.Quality is their by-word. Danny explains, “We use only organically certified essential oils, extremely precious ingredients such as Jasmine flowers, Iris rhizomes dried for three years, and Hibiscus seeds of which 4000 are needed for each bottle. We work with nature, not against it.” Nicholas, who has spent years formulating and developing his exclusive range adds, “I believe that scent has the power to penetrate consciousness with pure pleasure. Unfortunately, modern synthetic perfumes overpower the senses. They have a life force that can only be found in living things.”
For the giant international brands the name of the game is ‘Packaging’. Super-celebrity endorsements; massive television and print advertising, and ever more ornate and expensive bottles and wrappings.
Sharini believes that it’s more important to concentrate on what goes into their eco-friendly containers and onto the skin. They truly believe that luxury doesn’t have to cost the earth.
This post is also available in: Spanish