Making room for natural perfume (Day 175)…


At the beginning of this challenge, I promised my cosmopolitan self that no matter how green I became, no matter how many hippies I befriended, there were three things I’d never, ever do: 1) Let my hair clump into dreadlocks; 2) Wear Birkenstocks; and 3) Smell like patchouli. Not that there’s anything wrong with such things — in fact, Birkenstock has been coming out with some funkier styles and colours these days and if they aren’t worn with socks at least … but I digress:

My forays into perfume began sometime in high school, when I wore these sickly sweet scents from the Body Shop like Mango, Peach and Dewberry. Then I went to summer camp and got turned onto Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflowers. By the time I got to university, I was big into Diesel’s Zero Plus, but the fact that it came in a bottle shaped like a grenade made it problematic every time I tried to fly anywhere. Most recently, my perfumes of choice have been Burberry Brit and Kimono Rose.

But more and more, perfumes began making my nose itch and my sinuses ache, and I wanted something that was a little more natural and didn’t feel like it was eating away at my brain. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of options — most hippie stores just offer various essential oils, which on their own are too strong a fragrance. Thistle reader and entrepreneur Anji Murphy sent me some of the natural perfume sticks she’s been working on and they’re fab, but she has yet to officially put them on the market.

So when I stumbled upon these solid perfumes made in British Columbia by a company called Ganesha’s Garden for under $10, I quickly snapped one up. Listed in the ingredients are nothing more than coconut oil, perfume oil, beeswax, almond oil and vitamin E. They come in hand-carved soapstone boxes, which you can reuse afterwards for earrings, knick-knacks, or even your own homemade perfume.

I chose the Oasis scent, which I found out later is what they describe as “a very sweet, sexy blend of cool, juicy mango and coconut notes softened with vanilla and jasmine, all held together with deep woodsy notes. Totally tropical.” I also recommend Plumeria and White Lotus … not so much the Sandalwood, Patchouli or Green Tea. Unless you’re a capital-H hippie, of course. 🙂

15 Responses to Making room for natural perfume (Day 175)…

  1. Charlene says:

    I would love to get some of these perfumes, but the site is set up for large orders. Where did you find this?

  2. Vanessa says:

    Oh, you’re right Charlene — I got mine at The Big Carrot, a natural foods store in Toronto. I believe they’re at or something, but perhaps you could email the people at GG and ask who they sell to in your area?

  3. Aimee says:

    There is a retailer locator function on their site – and yea! They sell it near me! 🙂

  4. tinybutterfly says:

    Sounds lovely! If you want something to spritz on, you can get a little sprtizer bottle, put vodka in it, and add a few drops of essential oil. I am not sure of proportions, but my friend who makes soaps and lotions told me about this. Enjoy the yummy scent you’ve found. 🙂 P.S. I enjoy reading your blog, though I rarely comment.

  5. Morgan says:

    Hey Vanessa…I thought I would post this awesome animation outlining all the countries and their CO2 output and birth/death rate…it’s pretty incredible!

    Breathing Earth


  6. veronica says:

    Dewberry. I LOVED that scent. It was my body lotion of choice right up until Body Shop discontinued it.

    I haven’t shopped there since. Every now and then I’ll pop into a store to see if they’ve brought it back. You know, as a retro item. At first, when I asked about it the sales people would shake their heads and say how it was the best selling line in Canada but not in the US so that the US marketing heads killed it. Now the sales staff just look at me and say “Duh”. Clearly I’m getting old.

    I’ll give the Ganesha’s Garden a try. It sounds great – except for the container. I’m sick and tired of all these dust collecting tins, and boxes and, and, and. Enough already! Unless you’re willing to take it back or let me bring it to the store for a refill, stop cluttering up my house with these “keepsake” containers.

  7. activistmommy says:

    Those litles boxes are so pretty. I don’t wear perfume but I’m tempted to buy one just for the box. LOL

  8. pat farquharson says:

    I love it; a box to put things in! How very Piglet!

  9. Elise says:

    They look very nice! They aren’t sold anywhere near me, though.

  10. Deb C says:

    Does anyone know of a mail order site? I would LOVE to purchase a couple of these.

  11. Rachel says:

    These are lovely. They aren’t sold anywhere near me, but I found them on

  12. Rachel says:

    For the do-it-yourselfer’s here’s a recipe:

  13. Anya says:

    I’m coming late to this blog entry, but I just wanted to point you towards a guild of natural perfumers. It’s a growing, thriving artform of botanical scents made liquid:

  14. Lisa says:

    Hi: I’m even later. But essential botanicals makes great roll on perfumes called scent. They are made of essential oils and carrier oils. and the greatest thing about them is you can combine different ones together. Available in lots of health food stores.

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