Some of the animal products potentially used include:
- Ambergris which comes from the stomachs of sperm whales.
- Musk is a secretion that male musk deer spray from a gland near their genitals to attract female deer.
- Civet is a territory-marking scent from civet cats, which they secrete from a sac close to their anus.
- Castoreum is a territory-marking scent from beavers, which they secrete from a sac close to their anus.
- Hyraceum is the dried excrement of the hyrax, an African guinea pig-like animal, and is gathered from the wild by hand.
Of the brands on the table the following sell perfume marketed as vegan:
- Animal Aid shop
- Green Valley Trading Company
- Honesty Cosmetics
Who sells toxic free perfumes?
Toxic chemicals are a notable issue in the perfume sector. As with the use of animal products potentially hazardous chemicals are used in the fragrance part of the perfume making it very difficult for consumers to know exactly what they are spraying on themselves.
We have rated companies on their toxics policies and expect companies to have policies that at least covers the use of use of the following two ingredients:
- Diethyl phthalate, a solvent used to bind together different chemicals within cosmetics and fragrances. It can disrupt hormone production in humans and have a negative impact on organ function. There are currently gaps in the research into further impacts on human health.
- Parabens, a family of preservatives widely used in cosmetics, can mimic oestrogen and act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.
Here's which companies on the table scored a negative mark for their policy (or lack of) on toxics:
The Perfume Shop, Superdrug, Amazon, Boots, Debenhams, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Selfridges, Honesty Cosmetics, Green Valley Trading, shopvegan.co.uk, and veganhealthandbeauty.com.
More on how we rate companies for their toxic chemicals policies >
Who sells organic perfumes?
The following shops featured on the table sell a selection of organic perfumes
- Debenhams stock Aveda (owned by Estée Lauder)
- shopvegan.co.uk, Green Valley Trading Company and veganhealthandbeauty.com stock Florame and Pacifica organic perfumes
- Animal Aid stock Nunyara solid perfumes
Are perfumes tested on animals?
Animal testing is also a big issue in the perfume market. Despite testing on animals for cosmetic purposes being banned in the EU, many companies still test on animals to sell into markets outside the EU e.g. China where animal testing is mandatory.
We would therefore expect all the companies in this market have an animal testing policy.
Here's how the companies scored on Animal Testing (from our table):
Ethical Consumer's best rating: Animal Aid, shopvegan.co.uk, Green Valley Trading Company veganhealthandbeauty.com, Honesty
Ethical Consumer's middle rating: Superdrug, Debenhams
Ethical Consumer's worst rating: Amazon, The Perfume Shop, Boots, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Selfridges