Perfume with a conscience | Sali Hughes

The lavish, throwaway packaging that comes with luxury scent is on its way out

There are interesting developments around sustainability in perfumery and it’s high time. For years, I’ve felt a free pass is given to perfume, as though lavish single-use bottles and excessive outer packaging are an implicit right of the luxury perfumer. But with privilege should come greater responsibility and an obligation to innovate. Some notable houses, from Tom Ford and Chanel, to Penhaligon’s and Guerlain, are stepping up with refillable and recyclable bottles, and, in Guerlain’s case, meticulous practices in ingredient provenance.

The eco-conscious bottle for Acqua di Parma’s newest launch, Colonia Futura, was two years in planning. Made from partly recycled glass and topped with a recycled and recyclable plastic cap, the entire bottle is divisible for straightforward sorting into recycling. It’s also labelled with scrap dust from marble quarries before being packed in FSC-certified cardboard. But the smell, of course, is paramount. Made from more than 99% natural ingredients, the perfume has the brand’s signature freshness – grassy, vibrant, but smart and expensive-smelling with a price tag to match (£73.80 for 50ml). It’s gender-neutral, but I suspect the fanbase will skew towards masculine (it’s a little Chanel Pour Monsieur, to my nose, which is never bad).

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