Photos & Words by Elizabeth Stilwell | Styled by Christina De Smet
Usually, when I see the word "parfum" I run the other way. The ingredients "parfum" "perfume" and "fragrance" are fraught with issues. For example, in cosmetics, these words can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 different unlisted ingredients thanks to an antiquated trade-secret law. I dutifully scour labels to avoid "parfum" and its ilk in search of transparency. Call of the Vialed's Parfum Pur is single-handedly rehabilitating the word for me with their natural aromatherapeutic fragrances, sans the dirty ingredients and with plenty of transparency.
Lauren Blevins, the owner/perfumer of this one-woman operation, says, "I've worked product development for multiple beauty brands and was tired of getting bummed out by ingredients, so I decided to cut the chemicals and make a go of something myself." The only way she can be sure all materials are sustainably cultivated, vegan, free of animal testing, pesticide residues, fillers, phthalates, and parabens is to forage the ingredients...herself. If that's not possible, she insists upon familiarity with, and precise testing of, each raw material for identity and purity. The botanicals are acquired seasonally with ecological respect, and the concentrates are suspended in meadowfoam seed oil—not alcohol. Finally, Blevins hand-blends each perfume in BPA-free, refillable, and recyclable glass bottles shipped in biodegradable and compostable materials. You can even send her an old alcohol-based, department store perfume for 25% off your next order, or return your empty Call of the Vialed bottles for $5 off every refill.
All this is well and good, you say, but how does it smell?
Have you ever gotten into an elevator that was empty save for an overpowering perfume cloud left by a previous rider? Yeah, that's not going to happen with natural perfume—it's subtler, reserved for those actually close to your skin. Without chemicals, expect each application to last three hours. If you'd like to reapply during the day, I suggest you choose the 10mL size with a roll on applicator for convenience.
The Parfum Pur scents are Flower, Momentum, Hush, and Dream—each one is unisex and aromatherapeutic. Personally, I love these kinds of complex, botanical scents (and if they enhance my imagination, balance, or concentration as well, all the better). Here's my amateur take on each scent:
Flower: spicy, floral
Momentum: clean, citrusy
Hush: woodsy, herby
Dream: herby, floral
My favorites are Flower and Momentum; Hush is probably the most traditionally masculine scent, but they are all definitely unisex and all delightfully clean. Read the more in-depth profiles here or try each one with a specimen set.
Support the artisanal craft of natural perfumery: enjoy 10% off any purchase with the code VIALEDNOTE (expires 5/31/16). Continue below for a chance to win a full size bottle of Momentum!
Call of the Vialed Giveaway
Sign up for my weekly newsletter below and be entered for a chance to win a full size bottle of Momentum ($80USD value). It will be hand mixed just for you! Winner will be picked April 21, 2016. If you are already a subscriber, you are already entered to win. Open to US and Canadian residents only.