5 Species Of Animals Which Are On The Red List Is Your Fragrance Sustainable?

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Is Your Fragrance Sustainable?

Perfumery may also seem benign, however ingredients derived from plants and animals can carry critical environmental and ethical charges.

The perfumery may seem like a pretty good company. It’s about its own scent more than others. but as one of the most important global luxury industries, perfume production can have a major impact on certain plants and animals valued for their rare scent profiles. Most body spray formulations are hidden behind one word on fragrance labels, always ‘Perfume’ or ‘Fragrance’, making it complicated for a customer to know if a product is made using ethically sourced ingredients. The sustainability of raw materials used in perfumery has not always been a major topic for shoppers, however environmental awareness of the considerations seems to be growing.

photo via FotoMediamatic defined raw materials used in perfumery are extracted from rare animals and flora.

Most perfumes are created using artificial elements these days, however there has been a resurgence when it comes to using more natural and biological materials, and some perfumes are so called ‘mixed media’ blends that consume synthetics and naturals. products. Although artificial elements are usually cheaper, there are certain merits to natural perfumes that are attracting attention from manufacturers and buyers, including the indisputable fact that they are much less likely to cause allergies, asthma or headaches. however, using herbal elements can also be challenging. Some raw plant substances have been so exploited by fragrance makers and adored by perfumers that they are now threatened with extinction, and the depletion of animal-derived materials raises critical ethical concerns.

The perfume industry is among the largest consumers of valuable oils extracted from plants. although many plants are cultivated specifically to satisfy customer demands, there are some wild flowers that are concentrated in the industry. Almost all of these are highly prized by perfumers due to their rarity, difficulty in harvesting and because they have a distinct aroma profile and add magnificent nuances to body spray formulations.

Sandalwood, which is each used in perfumery and conventional medicine, is one example. it is mainly harvested in India, where it is now essentially extinct in the wild. The Indian government enacted strict regulations on sandalwood harvesting in the sixties, and as a result, production in the country has declined dramatically. however sandalwood is still listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. With sandalwood threatened in the wild, Australia has entered the sandalwood market and is producing the timber sustainably. Eco-friendly body lotion brands consistently emphasize the base of sandalwood if used in their formulations.

although cultivation may offer an alternative choice to unsustainable wild harvesting, it also presents challenges. trees like sandalwood and aquilaria—another tree commonly targeted for building body sprays—turn out to be slow. It takes a long time for them to mature and the maturity is standard for oil extraction. but this capacity for farmers requires a number of years, sometimes up to 10 years, for the return of their investment. And when supply can’t keep up with demand, poachers turn their attention to wild incense wood, especially aquilaria. Aquilaria wood is preferred for agar resin, which forms when the trees are infected with mold. In some circumstances, these poachers are destroying the wild population of the centuries-old bush. In Hong Kong – which translates to fragrant liman or incense in Cantonese – agarwood is close to extinction in the wild with almost all of the older and larger timbers being illegally logged.

“Poachers look for older trees that are naturally contaminated, as they have additional value, so these shrubs will be increasingly threatened,” Gerard McGuirk, director of sales for Asia Plantation Capital in Hong Kong, of which is trying to save timber by helping to run aquilaria plantations, the BBC reported. “Now in Hong Kong, you’d be lucky to find a tree that’s 30 years old.”

in addition to the threats posed to particular flora, there are animal welfare considerations involving odor production. Animal items were slowly disappearing from perfumes in recent years, however some manufacturers, however, unfortunately, use them and the style is really being revived by some manufacturers of fragrance areas of interest. Animal products—including castoreum from beavers, glandular secretions from civet cats, perineal secretions from the endangered musk deer, and ambergris, a substance produced by the use of the digestive system of sperm whales—have historically been used as fixatives in ancient formulas. of perfumes. Fixatives are used to stabilize perfumes and slow evaporation costs. Fragrances such as these derived from musk and civet can now be produced synthetically, however due to the excessive demand for herbal perfumes, some manufacturers have not prioritized the use of synthetic ingredients.

These animal-derived materials are produced in most situations in a cruel manner. Ambergris is the only possible exception – it is usually considered cruelty-free, as it is a type of whale waste and can be found on seashores and oceans after being blown out by whales. Spending it in the US is still illegal, as sperm whales are listed as an endangered species, and the Endangered Species Act prohibits the use of any product from an endangered species, yet it remains harvested in Europe and remains one of the most the important ones. the rarest ingredients in the business today.

however, even with amber, there is a challenge for whaling. Eleonora Scalseggi, co-owner of standard oil business Hermitage Oils, says that in a number of events, her business has been approached using Americans trying to inform large quantities of the best low grade ambers. “Now in my opinion, these are clear signs of ambers coming from poaching,” she says. “Floating amber is found entrapped in extremely small quantities. It is unusual for massive pieces to be found, and even if so, they are never many kilos. For me having many kilos of fresh amber in a single piece in my hand, how many whales have been killed recently. It may actually come from a dead whale stranded on the beach, but the doubt is just too high.”

Secretions from civet cats are a difficult ingredient. In Ethiopia, for example, civets are caught from the wild and kept on domestic farms, a practice that goes back centuries. Animals are usually kept in small cages through which they can rarely move. Cages can be found in dark rooms with no daylight hours or ventilation with a relentless fire source to create a smoky environment – higher temperatures are believed to facilitate moss production. as a result of extreme temperature fluctuations between day and night, stress and painful extraction methods, there is a high mortality rate among captured animals.

Castoreum derived from castor pouches has always been a popular perfume ingredient, especially in high end perfumes. although fashion designer perfumes have replaced it with synthetic parts, the herbal type can also be found in perfumes of interest areas. It was so common in early perfumery and medicinal uses that by the sixteenth century beavers had been hunted to extinction in Scotland. In 2016, the hamster was reintroduced to its plant habitat. it is expensive and virtually impossible to obtain secretions from live beavers, so they must be hunted and killed—and the sacs removed and tinctured—to obtain this flavoring compound.

perhaps, perhaps the most notoriously unethical animal product is deer antler. however the use of moss has decreased, nowadays six subspecies of moss are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and a seventh is listed as IUCN Vulnerable. However, the deer population is declining and the main threat is the illegal extraction of musk for the fragrance business, in addition to medicinal use in Russia, Mongolia and China. Deer moss can also be extracted from live animals, but they are usually killed to get rid of their glands. The musk is taken from male deer, and to find a deer that will produce enough musk to be economical, about 25 g, consultants estimate that three to five deer are killed. Non-target animals are also regularly killed by hunters seeking elk.

Manufacturers of body sprays can steal some routes against durability. Rare raw substances can be sourced sustainably, replaced with different plant oils with identical perfume profiles, altered with artificial alternatives, or avoided altogether when no viable alternatives exist. despite the fact that even some of these alternatives can be complicated. for example, some artificial alternative options are not considered eco-warm, and some vegetable oils are offered under normal names, however extracted from several different plants, making the export certification treatment extremely elaborate.

From the point of view of an environmentally conscious consumer, there is only one technique to ensure that perfumes are sustainable and cruelty-free: evaluate how clear a fragrance company is. While it’s still somewhat of a fad, some small indie brands are starting to pave the way for a more responsible approach to perfume construction and ingredient sourcing, and increasing transparency in the way, as well as a number of businesses well hung for body spray. have also begun to make commitments for sustainability.

You don’t have to stop using perfume if you are an environmentally conscious consumer. reasonably, you should be more careful when you buy your next bottle and look for producers who value nature and whose ethos is not only effective in using ethically sourced raw substances, but also in advertising sustainability in it all trade.

Kamila AbdurashitovaKamila Abdurashitova, also known as Kamila Aubre, is an independent creator and an unbiased perfumer. She has a Masters in Political Science and Associates from Lancaster University. Meanwhile she lives in Belgium and designs natural perfumes and promotes an environmentally conscious approach to beauty and fragrance items.

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