I’ll admit it, I’ve been in a natural perfume rut for a while. I still hold preference to my fancy, convenient, chemical-ridden fragrances over so-called “green” ones. I’ve been using most of the leftovers from my not-so-healthy perfume collection (which was actually not a lot anyway) but have been slowly transitioning to more natural options. My problem with natural fragrances is that my nose tends to wrinkle and reject those seriously hippie, overly “herb-y” scents that so many of the greener options I explored seemed to consist of. I was also getting really tired of ordering organic or natural perfumes I thought I’d like only to hate them and collect dust on my dresser. (And yes, I did try out samples too.)
I’d heard of “the healthy fragrance” brand, Lavanila available at my nearby Sephora store to sniff and feel, so I felt more assured of successfully finding a natural fragrance I liked if I could try out a fragrance in-person. I’m glad I did because I think I’ve actually discovered one of the better, semi-natural beauty brands hidden within Sephora.
Lavanila is known for their personal care products fragranced with a base of Madagascar vanilla (called “Lavanila” hence, the brand’s moniker) and layered with unique blends of pure essential oils, nature identical oils*, and botanically derived aromas. The brand’s top seller is their “healthy deodorant”, which has become a cult favorite with Sephora-goers. While not the most natural or organic option on the green beauty market, for what it is, the Lavanila scents are a pretty good stepping stone for those looking to eventually find a more natural perfume.
Trying out all the Lavanila fragrances in-person at Sephora was a great experience for me because I’m very fickle and stubborn with my purchases. I liked that Lavanila products are available in a variety of options: spray bottle, roller-ball, or oil form. I usually prefer my fragrances in the form of a spray bottle but opted to purchase a roller-ball version($19/0.33oz) this time. Besides being great for testing a fragrance out before committing to a larger volume, roller-ball fragrances are especially nice to travel with due to the small size, are easy and mess-free to pack, and should generally last longer as the product is applied directly on the skin/pulse points.
Lavanila products do not contain: Parabens, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Silicones, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oils, Synthetic Dyes, Sulfates, Chemical Sunscreens, or Aluminum.
Since I love fruity, fresh and feminine scents, I was immediately called to Lavanila’s Vanilla-Grapefruit scent. Based on the perfume name, I wasn’t thinking it’d be my favorite as I’m not usually fond of super sweet fragrances. To my surprise, this was love at first sniff: it’s fruity, lightly musky, and very sexy-smelling. The scent is powerful and noticeable but definitely not overbearing. It’s nice to be able to sense the scent throughout the day even as it is fading from it’s original strength. I love that it has a hint of vanilla and cedarwood for a warm musk and combines with notes of grapefruit and lime for a fresh but not sugary blend of fragrance. It is definitely an awakening scent that’s revitalizing and keeps me in a positive, confident mood. This warm fragrance was perfect for summer and will be great for autumn as well.
This lasting property of this perfume was quite good in my experience, though it won’t last you the entire day of course. I’m usually able to get about 4-5 hours of noticeable scent from this perfume before it starts to fade. The best part about roller-ball fragrances is the convenience of stashing the product in your bag for easy, reapplication throughout the day. For me, I liked how this perfume naturally faded into my skin so I don’t find I need to reapply often.
(The EWG’s Skin Deep Database rated this product with a low score of “3”. See the details here.)
I’m definitely considering buying the spray version of Lavanila’s Vanilla-Grapefruit because I’m really enjoying the fragrance, but I may just hold off on the purchase in pursuit of greater, more natural and organic perfume discoveries. There are so many great luxurious, healthy options that I’ve had my eye on…I’ll be sure to share my findings with you very soon.
Ingredients: Alcohol denat. (from Organic sugar cane), Botanical fragrance blend, Deionized water, Lycium barbarum (Goji) powder, Terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu plum) fruit extract, Epilobium angustifolium (Canadian willowherb) extract, Olea europaea (Olive leaf) extract, Alteromonas ferment extract, Chrysanthellum indicum (Chamomile) extract, Oat amino acids, Glycerin (Vegetable), Vanilla planifolia.