With so many fragrance options on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to choose a fragrance that is personally appealing without being commonplace. Add in skin sensitivities, allergies, asthma and a sense of environmental responsibility, and your task becomes exponentially harder.
The vast majority of perfumes and colognes readily available on the market today are made with countless synthetic ingredients with links to a bevy of health and environmental concerns. Luckily, the last decade has seen an unprecedented rise in all-natural fragrance selections. One such fragrance is the debut cologne Atlantis, by established natural grooming company Blu Atlas.
In our Blu Atlas Atlantis cologne review, like all other Blu Atlas products, you’ll see it’s made from clean, all-natural ingredients in the USA, and is cruelty-free and vegan.
Why Natural Fragrances?
Although there are many similarities in the production methods of natural and synthetic fragrances, including the need for a master parfumer’s nose for blending, the main difference is in the quality of ingredients. Synthetic fragrances use artificially created chemicals to replicate natural scents so that they may be acquired more easily and cheaply, which makes them ideal for mass-produced elixirs.
The problem is that those chemicals often include parabens and phthalates, which have been linked to serious health concerns and have a tendency to trigger allergies and skin sensitivities. Furthermore, there is the potential environmental impact of introducing massive amounts of synthetic substances into our water and food supplies.
In contrast, natural fragrances are derived directly from the original source (flora or fauna) and take more time to acquire. Instead of being produced in a lab, natural scents have unique extraction methods that require expertise and skill passed down through generations. These can include concentrating natural plant oils, breaking down resins (just like in preparing incense), and distilling various absolutes and tinctures from naturally occurring aromatics.
The History of Natural Fragrances
Today, we tend to think of all-natural perfumes as being a new thing, because synthetic mass-produced offerings became commonplace in the past century. However, in the history of fragrance, natural ingredients dominated the perfume industry. Ancient Romans, Persians and Arabs all left evidence of a thriving perfume market, as noted in countless religious and historical texts. In fact, the world’s first known chemist was a Mesopotamian woman named Taputti, who laid the foundation for modern scent extractions back in 1200 BCE Babylon.
In 1975, an archeologist by the name of Paolo Rovesti discovered an ancient terracotta distiller and oil decanters in the Indus valley that were carbon dated to the year 3000 BCE. And in 2004, an Italian archaeological team found the earliest known perfume “factory,” proving that fragrances were being produced on an industrial scale in the Bronze Age.
Perfume as an art flourished in Italy during the Renaissance. René le Florentin, the personal parfumer of Catherine de’ Medici (of the famed Medici family of Florence, Italy), later took his creations to France, where the industry spread like wildfire. France soon became known as the perfume epicenter of Europe. Because the production of natural perfumes requires the acquisition of specific, often rare and expensive aromatic items, perfumes became a symbol of wealth and status. It is said that Napoleon Bonaparte had two quarts of violet cologne delivered every week, while his wife used so much musk-based perfume that the scent lingered in her boudoir more than 60 years after her death.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that chemistry gave birth to synthetic fragrances, making cheap, mass-produced perfumes readily available. Synthetic fragrances gave us the industry we have known for the past century, which relies on artificially created parfums that bear little resemblance to the natural ingredients listed in the notes. However, in recent years, discerning fragrance connoisseurs are rediscovering the art of all-natural fragrances, reviving one of the oldest industries in the world.
Highlighting Natural Ingredients in Atlantis
Powerhouse brand Blu Atlas proudly states that their products are vegan, contain no artificial fragrances, and are paraben and phthalate free. They derive their fragrances from all-natural sources. While the fragrance itself is swoon-worthy, it is their commitment to using only high-quality natural ingredients that sets their flagship Atlantis scent apart from its peers.
The top note of Atlantis is a bright, citrusy punch of bergamot that uplifts and energizes. Next, clary sage’s herbaceous quality gives Atlantis a delicately spicy tone, elevating it from ordinary to sophisticated. Lastly, an undercurrent of sweet, earthy and woody patchouli creates a silky blend that complements nearly every individual’s natural skin chemistry, making this cologne smell slightly different on each user. It’s no surprise that Atlantis is quickly making a name for itself in the natural fragrance world.
Written in partnership with The Grooming Playbook.