On my first trip to London, I had just walked out of the Royal Opera House when I smelled the most exquisite scent wafting out of a boutique door. The fragrance was so tantalizing I actually backtracked my way a few steps and walked inside Penhaligon’s, a maison founded in 1870 and a holder of the Royal Warrant. The lovely associate guided me through several fragrances, such as Halfeti (the exotic oud-jasmine-cypress scent I smelled outside), and the Revenge Of Lady Blanche inspired by a fictional British noble family in the countryside (green floral narcotic with hyacinth). On one wall, 2 framed Royal Warrants in florid cursive do declare that the perfumery supplies scents to Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Charles has been one of the most vocal advocates for environmental causes in the U.K., and Penhaligon likewise is cruelty-free and sources as much natural ingredients as possible. And while his exact fragrance remains under wraps, Princess Diana loved the house’s Bluebell, which is a lovely, shimmering floral hyacinth, lily of the valley, rose, and jasmine. It really seems to capture her pure spirit, and the soul of this very English flower. (While the garden at her former residence Kensington Palace was devoid of flowers while I was there, I can imagine it smelling like this in spring!)
Maybe you feel like embodying one of the young royals occupying Kensington Palace at the moment? Look no further than Kensington Amber: “The warmth and exoticism of cinnamon summon images of the Victorian era of expansion and exploration, while vanilla brings exquisite comfort; a reminder of a bygone luxurious approach to living.” Oh, my God.
Prince Charles is also a fan of another storied British house called Floris, founded in 1730 and still run by the descendants of one Juan Floris. The brand sticks to cruelty-free and ecologically responsible practices, and strives to source natural ingredients from Europe and the U.K. as much as possible to reduce carbon footprint. May I suggest, Bouquet de la Reine—a regal white floral of jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, ylang ylang, rose, oakmoss, sandalwood, and vanilla?
Moving on: whether you’re a royal fan or completely blasé, it’s impossible to deny that the Duchess of Cambridge personified bridal elegance on her wedding day. For the wedding of the century, she chose another British perfume—Illuminum White Gardenia Petals, a refined white floral of gardenia, ylang ylang, jasmine, bergamot, lily, and precious woods. The perfume only consists of 8 natural, highly potent essential oils; there are no colorings added, so what you see is the pure essence of the flowers and botanicals. Sigh.
Speaking of weddings, it is widely known that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose Diptyque to set the olfactory scene for their big day. (But let’s face it—don’t you think Harry was like, “Oh you choose what you love, Meg. This day is all about you“?) But let me put in a word here: Diptyque claims to be all-natural and cruelty-free, when in fact the brand’s costly candles use paraffin wax—a gasoline byproduct that is literally left over after asphalt has been siphoned off. Also, the brand has boutiques in China, which means that its products sold there must undergo animal testing according to its laws. (Seriously ugh.) Therefore we suggest you try something else!! There are so many other great options we promiseeeee!
For example, Meghan has said in interviews that she loves Jo Malone and BVLGARI, neither of which meet our cruelty-free and clean standards…BUT she also has professed a love of Oribe Côte D’Azure Perfume. (fresh lemon, plum, black currant, tuberose, jasmine, sandalwood). It sounds fresh yet intoxicating and glamorous…Oh, my!
Oribe Côte d’Azure . The brand is cruelty-free and parabens-free.
Aren’t you feeling so unspeakably elegant just dreaming of these perfumes? Just me? ;D
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Photo: Peaceful Dumpling; respective brands; Kensington Palace Instagram