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4 Great Natural Perfumeries

Essential oils and distillers at The Burren Perfumery.

There’s a hint of fall in the air lately, especially in the mornings, and I can’t wait for my favorite season of the year! One thing I tend to change about my beauty routine when cooler weather arrives: I’m more likely to wear fragrance. I’m not sure why, but fall and perfume just seems to work for me. Here are four of my favorite natural and organic perfumers to check out if you’re looking for your new signature scent. Enjoy! —Aleigh


Burren Perfumery. I visited this charming perfumery in Ireland a few years back, and I’m still a fan of their fragrances, which take advantage of the perfumery’s location in The Burren, a region that contains 70% of the country’s wildflower species. To try: Summer Harvest, a great light, floral scent, or Frond, a warmer, more complex scent that blends floral notes with earthy Sandalwood.


Forager. One of my latest Beauty Obsessions, Forager is a new discovery of mine, and I love the simplicity of the each scent (and the gorgeous packaging). These perfumes will look just as good on your vanity as they smell on your wrists. To try: Nectar, a honey/cinnamon/yummy fragrance that has just enough warmth for fall.


Osmia Organics. I’m a fan of this whole product line, but Sarah’s fragrances are interesting and unusual—a great option for people who aren’t typically a fan of perfume or who are looking for something a bit different to add to their fragrance lineup. To try: Juniper Fire, a smoky-sweet scent with notes of cedar, or Trusque, a musky, warm fragrance.


Infusion Organique. Two samples from this company arrived in one of my Goodeboxes, and I’ve been developing quite an attachment to one of the fragrances in particular. To try: Sands of Morocco, a charming, curious mix of lemongrass oil and ylang ylang mixed with sandalwood and oak moss.


(Top image my own; product images via The Burren Perfumery, Forager, Osmia Organics and Infusion Organique)

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Beauty Obsession: Forager Botanicals


When I was a tween, one of my favorite beauty products was perfume. It just seemed so grown up and so glamorous—a spritz of scent on your pulse points. I scoured magazines for the perfect, lush-smelling sample. I haunted the fragrance counters at the mall. If there was a school dance coming up, I spent a lot of time testing to find the perfect scent to wear. My fragrance obsession is one beauty habit that lasted through the years. I still marked special days with special scents—I even bought a perfume on my honeymoon that smelled like my wedding bouquet.

Fast-forward to three or four years ago. After I made the switch to natural and organic beauty, I noticed that I’d become much, much more sensitive to synthetic ingredients—particularly fragrances. If I get into an elevator with a perfumed person (or even just get too close to a perfumed friend or coworker), inevitably I’ll develop a coughing or sneezing fit. Sometimes I even feel like my throat is going to close up. It’s not fun, and at times it can be downright scary. (I am also now officially the annoying person who avoids entire sections of the mall if there are certain smelly stores in that direction. I’m sure you can guess the biggest offenders.)

The other sad result of my new sensitivity is that I don’t use perfume much anymore—only on special occasions, and then only the truly organic fragrances. But I’m drawn to fragrance like a moth to a flame, and I’m always on the hunt for a new one that 1) doesn’t leave me breathless or winded, 2) smells lovely on me, and 3) gets compliments when I wear it.

Read on for details on the newest additions to my fragrance stash, from organic line Forager Botanicals*.


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6 ingredients to avoid during pregnancy

Now that we’ve all had a squeal-fest about Beyonce and her adorable pregnancy, I thought it would be a good time to share a few thoughts on preggo products. (And also one of the cutest maternity videos of all time. You’re welcome.)

Let’s start with the basics. Your OB will probably tell you to stay away from tuna fish, unpasteurized cheese, lunchmeat, sushi, caffeine, alcohol…the list goes on. But he or she probably won’t encourage you to stop washing your hair or putting on lotion just because you’ve got a bun in the oven–and you aren’t going to hear that from me, either.

There are more than enough things to worry about when you’re preggo, but one thing you can easily do for peace of mind is re-evaluate your cosmetics. After all, anything your body absorbs could potentially be absorbed by your little one, too.

Here are the top six ingredients to stay away from:

  • Mercury. It’s been discovered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in quite a few cosmetics…if you can’t eat tuna or raw fish out of concerns about exposure to mercury, you definitely don’t want to be absorbing them through your cosmetics. Sometimes it’s listed as the preservative thimerosal.
  • Lead. In 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics tested 33 popular brands of lipstick and found lead in 61 percent of them. The FDA has verified these findings but hasn’t taken action. Here’s a quote from the story: “Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure, because lead easily crosses the placenta and enters the fetal brain where it can interfere with normal development,” said Dr. Sean Palfrey, a professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston University and the medical director of Boston’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

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