A vial of perfume among rosemary and slices of lemon.
Courtesy Further

Three Perfume Brands Transforming Trash into Sweet-Smelling Treasures

Enterprising fragrance companies are making scents from food waste, plant pulp, and depleted vegetable oil.
By Tom Morris
January 23, 2021
1 minute read

From its over-reliance on packaging to its use of harmful chemicals, the beauty industry is long overdue for a rethink on how it can adapt to changing consumer priorities. There are, however, a few whiffs of positive change taking place in the fragrance field, where some enterprising brands are procuring ingredients from a curious source: garbage.

French perfume house Etat Libre d’Orange concocts a scent, aptly called I Am Trash, from old flower petals, used sandalwood chips, and discarded apples. The Los Angeles home fragrance company Further takes a similar approach using depleted vegetable oil, which it collects from local restaurants, distills into biofuel, and converts for a series of products, including a roll-on scent stick. Equally intriguing is LMR Naturals—an arm of the scent conglomerate International Flavors & Fragrances that’s focused on soil management and crop production—which created its Upcycling collection using plant pulp and food scraps. It makes turmeric leaf oil by recovering and distilling the plant’s leaves (which would normally be composted or burned), and a potent cinnamon extract, by combining wastewater from its cinnamon-bark distillation process with cinnamon essential oil. At once admirable and clever, each effort is a spritz in the right direction.