Upcycled Fragrances: Unique Repurposed Scent Notes

The perfume industry, one of the most ancient sectors in fragrance production, has flourished for millennia. Dating back to ancient times, this industry has continuously evolved, showcasing a longstanding tradition of crafting exquisite scents. According to a study by Research Nester, the Perfume and Fragrance Market is projected to reach USD 70 billion by 2036, having a significant economic impact. However, this billion-dollar industry also contributes to tonnes of waste. The practice of upcycling—repurposing perfumery waste or using reclaimed ingredients—presents a sustainable path forward. Below, we explore how high-end and luxury brands have innovatively used upcycled ingredients from floral waste to fruit waste, to create unique, eco-friendly fragrances, highlighting the creative measures taken to reduce waste.


Where My Heart Beats

In 2023, Gucci, the famous Italian luxury brand under Coty's umbrella, introduced a special upcycled fragrance, "Where My Heart Beats," as part of the Alchemist's Garden Collection. This unique aroma is crafted from sustainable, 100% recycled carbon-captured alcohol, using carbon alcohol sourced from LanzaTech—a company specialising in recycling carbon from industrial energy emissions and a partner of Coty. This initiative aimed to raise awareness about industrial emissions and the importance of sustainability. Through eco-conscious practices, "Where My Heart Beats" represents setting a new standard for environmentally responsible and luxurious fragrances.

(Image credit: Gucci Where My Heart Beats - Alchemist Garden Collection)


I Am Trash

Etat Libre d'Orange, translating to the Orange Free State, is a bold French perfumery brand known for its unique creations. In collaboration with Ogilvy Paris, they launched an upcycled luxury perfume named "I Am Trash," or in French, "Les Fleurs du Déchet," meaning "Flowers of Waste." This fragrance stands out for its composition of zero-waste notes (notes - representing the layers in a perfume), using materials such as exhausted rose petals, upcycled cedarwood, surplus apples, and other leftovers from the perfumery industry. Through this initiative, Etat Libre d'Orange proudly presents the fragrance as "The Most Wanted Scent Made From The Unwanted," highlighting their dedication to crafting beauty from materials that are conventionally overlooked and discarded.

(Image credit: Etat Libre D'Orange - I Am Trash)


The Bee Garden Bottle

The French luxury brand Guerlain, with a rich heritage, marked the 170th anniversary of its iconic Bee Bottle in 2023. Originally introduced in 1853, the Bee Bottle has become a symbol of Guerlain's exquisite craftsmanship. In celebration of this milestone and the brand's history, Guerlain called upon talented artists to create stunning, one-of-a-kind designs for the Bee Bottle. Among these, artist Céline Cléron crafted an exquisite rendition adorned with porcelain flowers, reimagining the traditional Guerlain Bee Bottle. This special edition Bee Garden Bottle housed Guerlain's first-ever upcycled fragrance, featuring floral notes. The creation of this unique scent was in partnership with the sustainable startup OASHE. This exceptional upcycled perfume was made of repurposing elements from Guerlain's other fragrances into a brand new fragrance.

(Image Credit: Guerlain - Bee Bottle Collection)


Far Away Beyond Parfum

Avon, the American-British multinational beauty brand, launched an innovative upcycled fragrance, "Far Away Beyond," in 2021. Touted as a first-of-its-kind, this fragrance was crafted using upcycled vanilla. Made with long-lasting notes from upcycled Madagascan vanilla, it was ethically and locally sourced from the tropical and biodiverse landscapes of Madagascar, a region known for its vanilla produce. The vanilla beans, typically exhausted and destined for waste, were given new life through Avon's sustainable and local community partnerships. "Far Away Beyond" is intricately created with scent notes of pear, jasmine, and the upcycled Madagascan vanilla, creating a unique and sustainable fragrance that shows Avon's commitment to innovation, community support, and environmental responsibility.

(Image Credit: Avon - Far Away Beyond Parfum)


Eau Rose Eau De Parfum

Diptyque, a renowned luxury French fragrance brand known for its exquisite signature candles and fragrances, all crafted with responsibly sourced materials and made in France. As part of their sustainable practices, Diptyque introduced "Eau Rose Eau de Parfum," a unique scent created from upcycled roses. This innovative fragrance uses upcycled extracts of Damascena, also known as Damask Rose, and Centifolia roses. These are infused with firad rose essence, which is derived from upcycling floral water remaining from the initial extraction of the roses. Through this process, Diptyque transforms what would otherwise be discarded into a luxurious and sustainable fragrance.

(Image credit: Diptyque - Eau Rose Eau De Parfum)

It's fascinating to witness the transformative power of upcycling within the fragrance industry, turning unique scents from upcycled items into something extraordinary. These creative and innovative methods showcase how discarded items can find new life as valuable resources. In an industry as large as perfumery, the use of repurposed materials shows the possibilities for sustainability.

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