There aren’t many truly clean perfumes on the market. There are lots of less-toxic perfumes. And that is wonderful. In fact, on most days (when I do not have my cherished Together on hand) any less-toxic perfume will do. But depending on your criteria, most of the brands on the market may not cut muster when you are looking for a truly toxin-free perfume. Phlur is one of the rare gems among those brands that would make the cut on many green beauty and clean beauty lists. Free of parabens and phthalates and skin irritants, Phlur remains true to its tag line of “Good. Clean. Fun.” But they do use what they identify as “safe synthetics.” Phlur’s website contains detailed ingredient lists concerning the composition of each of their fragrances. You can find it here. While Phlur might not be “all natural,” I feel confident that I am not exposing myself or those around me to harmful and questionable ingredients when using their fragrances. That is, when I can get my hands on a bottle.
When living outside the continental U.S., it can be tricky purchasing liquid beauty products like perfume and lotion. I had had my eye on Phlur’s perfumes for quite some time, but live outside of their delivery zone. Then, in early November 2018, Phlur introduced its first body lotion – Hanami. Serendipitously, I planned to attend a conference that same month at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. For most people, these would be two unrelated events. But as my longtime readers might suspect, for me this was a perfect opportunity to order from a brand that is otherwise inaccessible to me in the Caribbean. So before leaving I ordered Phlur’s new body lotion plus a sample 3-pack of their perfumes and headed off to Atlanta.
Now that I was in the right place delivery was a breeze. The conference was wonderful. And at some point during the week I received a text message alerting me that my order had been delivered. Yay! I picked it up, immediately opened the box and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. Anyone who has ever visited Phlur’s website can tell that the brand takes pride in beautiful design and a clean, simple esthetic. As I discovered when I opened my order, Phlur’s deliberate, clean esthetic extends to its packaging. So does it its quirky sense of humor. Embedded in Phlur’s design esthetic is a touch of whimsy, spread throughout their website and revealed in their packaging – if you happen to read the materials. But I will let you discover that for yourself. Regardless, none of that matters if the product is subpar, no? So let’s get to the main event.
In addition to clean, creative perfume scents, it is always nice when a brand offers a matching lotion or butter. With Hanami being Phlur’s most popular scent it makes sense that they chose it as their first body lotion offering. Guaging from its popularity and description, there was a pretty good chance that I would enjoy the scent too. So, scent un-smelled, I took the plunge and ordered the lotion, only available in its full size, and a sample-sized perfume.
Everything about Hanami screams Springtime. From the light floral scent, to the carefree, soft undertones, this is one of those rare perfumes that is best enjoyed during one season (or maybe two) even though there is really no logical reason to confine any scent you enjoy in his manner. I was glad that I ordered Hanami at the first opportunity that presented itself, but I really wanted to savor it for the slightly warmer weather.
Hanami is perfect for daily use. Ideally, those days would not be part of your workweek. As much as this unique floral fragrance is soft and evokes thoughts of the good life, absent the need for a scent to help you get through the day, this is a more romantic perfume and not the sort of powerful, confidence-boosting scent I want to wear as part of your superhero costume (power suit) in the office or otherwise while climbing the corporate ladder. This may vary, of course, depending on your job, the formality of your office setting and other factors. But for me Hanami is slightly romantic and very distinct; thus, it is more of a weekend perfume, or a scent to wear daily on a warm weather vacation. It is as special as it is subtle; undeniably romantic and definitely something that I want to only remind me of carefree, happy times. No matter how much I enjoy my job, Hanami is special and not what I want to associate with the inevitable day-to-day drudgery of the office.
Hanami has a soft, floral, perfume-like scent. It is one of the most inoffensive perfumes you will ever smell. Phlur describes Hanami as “complex and complete, a reflection of serenity and self.” We all know about the connection between scent and memory. This fragrance is unique such that you will definitely be reminded of the time in your life when you wore it. It instantly takes me back to my conference in Atlanta and everything I did while there, which, fortunately, are good memories. So consider yourself warned.
Hanami Lotion smells slightly different than the perfume, but still identical. Like the perfume, in addition to being floral, it is also fresh and perfect for Spring or even Summer. The fragrance dries down fairly quickly and is not overpowering. But it remains distinctly noticeable for a good amount of time. Layered with a spritz or two of the perfume this is a great way to enjoy the Hanami scent throughout the day without overpowering those around you. The lotion is moisturizing in the sense that every lotion is moisturizing, and it eliminates ashiness, but “moisturizing” is not the strongest quality of this product. In fact, one of the reasons this lotion is best for Spring or Summer is because of its dry finish. For that reason I do not love using it as a hand cream – I prefer a little more moisture when it comes to les mains. But as a body lotion it moisturizes the skin, eliminates ashiness and keeps you smelling and feeling good without any greasiness or stickiness. Perfect for warmer and humid weather.
The ingredients list for the lotion reads:
- Organic Aloe barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice,
- Organic Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil,
- Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer,
- Organic Adansonia digitata (Baobab) Oil,
- Glyceryl Oleate Citrate,
- Camellia oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil,
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,
- Chondrus crispus (Irish Moss) Extract,
- Organic Rosa canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil,
- Terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu Plum) Fruit Extract,
- Vegetable Glycerine,
- Hydroxymethoxyphenyl Decanone,
- Pentyylene Glycol,
- Propanediol, and
- Phenethyl Alcohol.
Hanami Body Lotion is the ideal signature scent. Layering the perfume and body lotion is an ideal way to indulge. And if you enjoy, or truth be told need a more relaxing, calming fragrance at work, the unique scent of Hanami may be just what your day calls for.
Your first spritz of Moab smells like a juicy desert fruit. I don’t know what this mysterious fruit would be. But whatever that is, thanks to Moab, we know exactly how it would smell: juicy and hydrating. There is also an unmistakable smokiness and a slight masculine undertone to this perfume. Phlur describes Moab as “an unexpected dry heat that melts into a balanced finish.” This description could not be more perfect. The perfume itself is unmistakably orange in colour, which is neither here nor there. Phlur does not disclose the ingredient that gives Moab its orange hue. But whatever it is, it did not stain my clothing, cause any skin issues or otherwise act differently than the other two perfume samples I purchased. Moab can be worn at work just as easily as it can be worn at play. Moab, while more feminine than masculine, is one of the few natural perfumes I have come across since delving into the world of green beauty that is firmly unisex. The woman who does not want a typically feminine scent, or a scent that is stereotypically masculine either, will love Moab. Just as it is firmly unisex, Moab is truly unique. It is not a dupe for any conventional perfume I have ever come across and lacks the prominent notes that have come to be expected of natural perfumes. In fact, so do Hanami and Améline. Here, we notice the commonality of Phlur’s fragrances; they all excel in their uniqueness.
Améline reminds me of walking into a fancy boutique department store, like Holt Renfrew Oglivy or Bergdorf Goodman. It smells like anonymous department store perfumes you encounter as you navigate the beauty ailes, except that I actually like this scent. Immediaetly after your initial spritz of Améline, fruity notes begin to emerge. As much as Moab lacks traditional feminine notes, Améline fully immerses itself in and embraces them. Further distinguishing itself as the equally, wonderfully scented antithesis of Moab, Améline would be a suitable alternate for some mainstream perfumes. Unfortunately, it has been such a long time since I’ve worn any that I really cannot tell you which ones.
When I first tested Améline I knew that I had found my scent. Not my everyday scent. I am not that extravagant. For someone else, maybe. But I prefer to keep Améline as something special to wear to dinners, date night, birthdays and other joyous, celebratory occasions. My fondness for Améline is as unwavering as it is was instantaneous. Phlur describes Améline as “a thoroughly modern statement of feminine intelligence, grace and glamour.” It is irrefutably floral. But rose would not have been my first guess. Whatever the modern statement it is that Phlur added to traditional rose, it is truly captivating. Given my fondness for rose scents I am not surprised that I was instantly drawn to Améline. Any green beauty aficionado, or new convert, who misses traditional, floral, eau de parfums will find great satisfaction in Améline.
Green, or clean perfumes have come a long way in recent years. Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments section below.