Created in partnership with Lancome Paris

What Does A Truly Sustainable Perfume Look Like?

Sustainability, at this point, is almost second nature, a mindset that’s inextricably linked to every decision, every action — because any change, however small, can make an impact. And that goes for a more conscious beauty routine, which could mean paring back steps or being mindful of ingredients. But what about your fragrance? 
A sustainable perfume is about more than just the bottle sitting on your vanity — it’s really about how the whole package came to be. Responsible sourcing, such as where your favorite perfume brand cultivates its ingredients and the manufacturing process, aka how the juice comes together, are both important factors to consider. There’s currently no blanket definition or accreditation for eco-conscious fragrances, unfortunately, so it really comes down to consumers to do the research and find the brands whose values align with theirs. 
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For French beauty brand Lancôme, the proverbial road to sustainability is paved not with bricks, but with flowers. Roses, to be exact. The brand went beyond simply sourcing its hero ingredient from local (and sometimes international) farmers to creating an eco-conscious haven with fields dedicated to growing roses.      
In 2020, Lancôme bought land in the Grasse region of France, a microclimate between the mountains and the Mediterranean, known worldwide as the home of perfumery. (Google it — you won’t regret falling down a rabbit hole of bloom-filled images of the French countryside.) 
The property, fittingly called Le Domaine de la Rose, is an ecological horticultural site that spans nearly 10 acres and functioned as an organic flower farm for 50 years, making it the perfect location for cultivating organic roses and other fragrant plants commonly featured in perfumes, such as jasmine and lavender. Lancôme’s role as owner and producer of this eco project reflects its long-term commitment to sustainability. And now, the brand also has complete control over ensuring the flowers are grown in a sustainable and organic way. 
The brand’s not just committed to growing organic buds to bottle, but it’s also working hard on fostering an ecosystem that nurtures the birds and the bees, or more specifically, butterflies. The land is a habitat for more than 30 species of birds and butterflies, along with 12 species of bats and eight types of dragonflies. 
Okay, so there’s loads of fauna buzzing about, and the landscape is to die for, but the real star of the show is the Centifolia rose, a flower for which the Grasse region is famous. Also known as the Rose of May, it’s known as the most fragrant rose, maybe ever? And it’s hand-picked once a year in, you guessed it, May. This rose is the central ingredient in Lancôme’s first-ever natural fragrance, Mille et une Roses. The juice is made with 97% natural origins, zero colourants or stabilizers, and the production is certified organic by the EU under the well-recognized ECOCERT certification. 
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This new natural scent is a first for the beauty brand — but certainly not the last. Currently, Lancôme uses 99% organic roses in its skin care and makeup, but in the next three years, they plan to replace its ingredients with 100% organic roses, 60% of which will be grown in France. 
As transportive as Mille et une Roses can be, whisking you away to the south of France with a single spritz, you can also visit the place in real life: Le Domaine de la Rose is opening up to the general public in 2023. Stop by the petal pink Rose House, a renovated version of the Provence-style home on the property, and smell the roses for yourself.

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