Oh, the wonderful world of natural perfume! I can honestly say that natural perfume has brought so much joy, nostalgic bliss, & inspiration into my life over the past year in a way that has brought my sense of self back into focus. Being a mom of a two year old boy with special needs can be truly all-consuming and my foray into the realm of the botanical blends I’ll be reviewing in this post brought a resurgence of what makes me…. “Me” outside of my role as a mom. On top of that, the aromatherapy benefits of various blends have actually helped me to cope with the challenges I’ve faced! 👍🙌
Natural Perfume Journey:
It’s kind of funny because I actually fought natural perfume the longest and hardest throughout my green living journey, which started back in 2008! For the longest time, I used phthalate -free fragrance blends handmade by small, indie shops on Etsy or brands I would find at local craft shows. This is when I moved away from Bath & Body Works type scents (I’ve never been one for classic smelling “perfumes” like Chanel #5 at department stores- those serve to remind me of every teacher I couldn’t stand growing up!) I did find that I LOVE musky scents: white musk, Egyptian musk, Himalayan musk, amber musk… You get the idea. I loved the closeness of perfume oils and the sillage that “fragrance” provides. I could put ONE drop of these blended artificial fragrance oils on and the scent would lost all day long, creating a unique scent with my chemistry.
I thought if it was phthalate free, I didn’t have anything to worry about, right? Well….unfortunately, after doing a lot of research once I became pregnant with my son in 2016, I realized that phthalates are really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to chemicals in artificial fragrance. SO, rather than go into crazy detail about WHY it’s best to stay away from these chemicals (that’s a whole other blog post), I’d rather share about 100% plant-based perfumes that are simply nothing but essential oils blended into a base of alcohol or fractionated coconut oil that changed my whole perception of perfume and how it enhances my life.
I had given up on all perfume while I was pregnant (my already hyper-sensitive nose just couldn’t take it) and for quite some time after I had given birth and was caring for an infant. Twinkle Apothecary is a brand that I heard my friend, @lydiadeliria on Instagram rave and rave about for months (be sure to follow her and her blog at greenisthenewblack.me). I quietly “stalked” 😂 & perused Twinkle’s Instagram for months and months prior to making my first purchase. Lydia, my friend, was kind enough to share some perfume samples with me when we did an in-person swap. At first, I was intrigued, but not won over. Non of the scents resembled the musky scents I was used to. In case you didn’t know, musk can be created synthetically, BUT, if it’s not created synthetically, it actually comes from an animal’s anal glands. Yes, you read that right… Anal glands! The episode I watched on the science Channel when I was 18 (14 years ago!) is CLEAR AS DAY in my mind of the musk secretion & that animal’s butt 🤣. So, unfortunately, musk in the way you remember it, cannot be replicated in a vegan way without using synthetic ingredients. This was hard for me to accept, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make for the welfare of my precious baby boy.
After exploring these samples for a few weeks, I made my first purchase and it still took me some time to find what I really love in natural perfume. It turned out to be scents I would have never imagined reaching for! I used to think I disliked patchouli, for example, so I steered clear of most scents that contained patchouli, until I realized that I may not love patchouli by itself, BUT, when mixed with the right notes, patchouli has become one of my favorite essential oils as a base note! So my advice would be to start your natural perfume journey with an open mind and give it time… There are certain blends I’ve absolutely hated at first sniff and then came to love more and more with each passing day. Still, there are others I disliked right off the bat and continue to dislike. My point is, we may THINK we know what we like or don’t like, but we should still be open to trying new scents and exploring the wide world of perfume the way it was meant to be: sourced from the earth! Natural perfume is an experience that has to be given some time in order to form a true appreciation of it.
What I absolutely love about plant-based perfume is that it not only smells good, it also contains aromatherapy properties that have an amazing ability to add new dimension to our lives in ways that can hardly be described in words. How does aromatherapy work, exactly?
According to aromatherapy practitioners, inhaling essential oil molecules, or absorbing essential oils through the skin topically allow the oil molecules to transmit messages to the limbic system — a brain region responsible for controlling emotions and influencing the nervous system. These messages are believed to affect biological factors such as heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function. In a nutshell: essential oils have the ability to calm our minds, uplift our spirits, give us a grounding sense, and may even have aphrodisiac properties! Topically, essential oils are used for a myriad of symptoms & reasons: pain relief, wound healing, bug bites, cramps, etc.
For anyone who has been following me for a while on my blog or on Instagram (@completenaturalclarity), you know these past couple of years have been incredibly difficult for me and my family. I needed ALL the aromatherapy I could get! I was very turned off from essential oils after having a bad experience as a doterra rep & watching people make ridiculous & harmful claims about the potential benefits of oils in an attempt to make a sale (a story for a much different day!). Essential oils are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but they’re certainly not a cure-all! They’re simply another tool you can utilize in your self-care routine to enhance your life in positive ways. The fact that these oils happen to double as perfume opens up a whole new world of fun and personal exploration! You can match your perfume to a season, a holiday, time of year, your current mood, or event. The possibilities are ENDLESS!
Twinkle Apothecary is a female-owned, one-woman shop, where each item is handmade by the owner, Stefanie herself! She also makes affordable makeup, skincare, & bodycare options, as well! 🙌 Stefanie has single note perfume options (ie:lavender roll on), aromatherapy blends, a permanent line of perfume with 4-6 notes in each blend, & her Asterisk collection, which is her line of higher-end, multidimensional scents that have more notes, overall, and are very creative! By supporting a brand like Twinkle, you’re enabling a single mom to live her dream come true! This is at the heart of why I love shopping small, supporting & sharing about indie brands! This helps keep us connected as a society, in a world where we are so very disconnected as a whole 🙏.
So let’s get into some Twinkle Apothecary scents! ✨✨✨
Scent Reviews & Descriptions:
I’ve made a list of all of the Twinkle Apothecary scents I’ve tried and followed up my brief reviews with Stefanie’s descriptions of each scent, which are SPOT ON!
Goddess: I would describe Goddess as “modern day hippie” with a bright, uplifting twist. This is the scent that made me fall in love with natural perfume all over again for its aromatherapy benefits and overall Sensory experience. I didn’t think I liked patchouli until I tried Goddess and realized that patchouli is beautiful when paired with the right accompanying notes. The patchouli dry-down is quite strong and long lasting with this particular scent. The citrus top notes paired with the earthy dry down make this a wonderful scent for every season!
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: bright citrus peel
middle notes: grass, sweet tea, slightly rosy
base notes: delicate, dry patchouli
(aromatherapy benefits: balancing, uplifting, energizing)
Nasty Woman: I fell in love with the concept of Nasty Woman, since it’s a blend of grounding essential oils for their aromatherapy benefits and the result is a clean, crisp, refreshing burst of natural goodness to make your day a little bit brighter & calmer. I’ve had quite the year and I found myself reaching for Nasty Woman every single day and keep the roller ball version in my purse at all times. I also gifted this blend to friends who have high stress jobs or are facing trying times! It’s definitely an herbal scent, but that hint of lavender wraps around like a warm embrace and the drydown is earthy goodness to balance it all out. This is definitely an herbal scent, though, that is not what you would imagine “perfume” to smell like, if you are new to the concept of natural perfume. I would highly recommend!
overall impression: fresh, herbaceous, woodsy
top notes: penetratingly fresh frankincense with a small hint of citrus
middle notes: sweet yet cooling herbs, dry earth
base notes: warm woods with slightly smoky undertones
(aromatherapy benefits: calming, cooling, grounding)
Petiller: I absolutely love the concept of Petiller and my friend who grew up in France says it does indeed smell like French perfume! I happen to love all the individual notes of this blend, but put together, it’s just not my favorite 🤷♀️. There was just something missing (it smells lovely on my mom so I gifted it to her!). However, Stefanie released Petillent Fluer from the Perfume Junkie club, which is a combo of Petiller & Florcore with some additional notes & NOW it’s perfection for me! I adore that scent & wear it every day, but I think it’s great that others have the option to sample Petiller & Florcore by itself to see if they like each on its own. I would love to see Petillent Fleur make it to the permanent collection! If you’d like to purchase any of the Perfume Junkie scents without subscribing to the monthly service, you can purchase an individual scent for $25 and write in the notes at checkout which scent you’d like. Here is the link to that page: https://twinkleapothecary.com/collections/perfume/products/perfume-junkie-club
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: crisp yet warm rose
middle notes: sweet powder, smoke, incense
base notes: rich woods
(aromatherapy benefits: grounding, relaxing, aphrodisiac)
Basic: This was one of the first Twinkle fragrances I purchased and I was slightly disappointed with this one, although that’s due to personal preference more than anything. I was hoping for more of a balance between the lavender and orange notes, but all I smell when I apply this (I have it in the roll on and body oil) is straight up orange creamsicle, which isn’t what I was going for. I don’t even reach for this to mix with other fragrances because I’ve been going for more earthy fragrances, but I’ll give that a go, too. I would love to see an option with a stronger emphasis on the lavender to balance out the sweetness and make it a bit more grown up.
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: sparkling sweet citrus
middle notes: fresh, herbaceous floral
base notes: creamy vanilla
(aromatherapy benefits: uplifting, refreshing, calming)
Mulholland: Mulholland is the perfect scent for warmer months or for any time of the year when you need a little lift! Mulholland isn’t the longest lasting scent, unfortunately, (it varies with different essential oils), but it is captivatingly beautiful and makes me think of all the gorgeous Springtime smells when taking a stroll. Jasmine is one of, if not my very favorite, florals and it’s perfectly balanced in this scent with just a touch of earthiness! This would be a wonderful fragrance to pair with other scents during the winter, like Beau Spice or Cardigan!
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: clean, bright citrus
middle notes: luscious florals – think orange blossom and honeysuckle
base notes: smooth, rich sandalwood
(aromatherapy benefits: antidepressant, calming, uplifting)
Perfume Junkie Club: The Perfume Junkie club is such a fun idea and I really, truly look forward to seeing & experiencing what Stefanie creates each month! Every single month has been a hit for me and it’s opened me up to a whole new world of fragrance that I otherwise would have never been exposed to. Highly recommend! I’m so excited to see what’s in store for us in the future! Plus, as I mentioned above, Stefanie gives the option to either subscribe monthly, like a usual subscription plan, OR if you read about a particular month’s scent that you just have to have then you can purchase one box for $25 here: https://twinkleapothecary.com/collections/perfume/products/perfume-junkie-club
So far, we’ve had Lavender Latte (roll on-pictured above👆), Amber Spice (solid), Snow Smudge (roll on), Petillent Fleur (spray), & Tuberose Vert (solid). Each of these scents is truly unique and the more I wear each scent, the more I appreciate it. I cherish each and every one of these scents and love to mix and match them with other scents from the permanent line!
Beau Spice: I actually originally ordered Beau Spice as a sample for my husband, thinking it was more of a unisex scent geared towards men, in general. But, as soon as I smelled it, I fell in love with the comforting earthy spice that was unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before in a natural fragrance (or otherwise). It definitely is a unisex scent, but there’s something sensual about it that makes it feel feminine as well. I didn’t think I could love patchouli until I found this scent and realized that patchouli can be so very beautiful when combined with the right balance of scents. I love pairing Beau Spice with vanilla for the colder months of the year (and all year long, as well).
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: warm spice
middle notes: rich incense
base notes: earth, warm wood
(aromatherapy benefits: grounding, centering, calming)
Luscious: Luscious is such a unique floral scent with a hint of spice from the ginger and enough earthiness from the vetiver to keep it balanced and grounded. I love Jasmine and enjoy the intermingling of these other notes, especially when going from one season into another. Luscious just always feels right.
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: sharp fresh spice, heady jasmine
middle notes: sweet caramel, honeyed florals
base notes: cream, sweet earth
(aromatherapy benefits: aphrodisiac, heart opening, grounding)
Bad Hombre: This is my husband’s favorite natural scent! He’s a big fan of vetiver and the vetiver is very apparent in this scent (which is very aptly described online!). I mainly smell a strong burst of citrus with the earthy dry down of vetiver. Vetiver is a bit too woodsy for me, personally, but I still love to use it for its amazing aromatherapy benefits!
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: orange zest, penetrating spice
middle notes: dry roasted coffee bean
base notes: sweet, deep, rich earth
(aromatherapy benefits: mood lifting, relaxing, promotes tranquility)
Dolce vita:I originally thought Dolce Vita would be primarily unisex, but when I tried a sample that a friend gave to me, I immediately fell in love with the clean, crisp burst of lime that settles down into a gorgeous soft dry down of white florals & earth. It’s still a unisex scent and my husband likes this one, too, but the hint of white florals makes the vetiver dreamy (and I’m not normally a fan of vetiver!). I definitely recommend trying at least a sample, you may be more than pleasantly surprised!
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: tart lime
middle notes: sweet, lush white floral
base notes: light woods
(aromatherapy benefits: uplifting, energizing, grounding)
Close: Close was the first sample I ever smelled of Twinkle Apothecary’s line and I knew right away that I liked the way Stefanie thinks! The intermingling of fresh & clean with earthy undertones is truly unique in this scent. I loved white musk in conventional fragrance so while Close isn’t a replacement for a traditional musk scent, it does have a soothing powdery dry-down with a difinitively earthy finish due to the vetiver. I would love a similar take with a milder earthy note, like sandalwood or patchouli. Close starts off fresh & herbal with lavender and citrus that quickly merges with powdery amber to give way to a final dry down of deep earthy vetiver that lingers long after the other notes fade. This is also a great scent to layer with other florals to add some earthy dimension!
Stefanie’s Description: top notes: fresh herbs and citrus
middle notes: sweet powder
base notes: rich, earthy amber, grass
(aromatherapy benefits: grounding, relaxing, comforting)
Asterisk 04 Spray: I’ve always been intrigued by “watery” scents, which usually smell clean & alluring… So, when Stefanie released a scent that she described as water lilies, florals, & earth, I was curious to say the least! Then, I read about the lavender & hint of spice in the middle notes and I knew I had to have it! I absolutely LOVE lavender and spice in perfume (Clove, cinnamon, etc), which is like nostalgia in a bottle for me! Asterisk 04 is what I imagine as the perfect blend for a mermaid in a fairy tale who longs to walk through the woods as a woman. Asterisk 04 isn’t very long-lasting, but it’s definitely beautiful and so artfully created! It starts off a bit sharp with green, herbal notes, with wisps of lavender & geranium, and a soft dry down with hints of earth. It really is refreshing, like freshly falling rain after a long drought!
Stefanie’s Description: a dry-yet-exotic take on herbs and woods, with amber and water blossoms
sweet, sharp, and clean, with a slight hint of fruit
(wild pinyon, laurel leaf, white sage, cognac)
fresh and green herbaceous florals, with a rich honeyed undertone and just a suggestion of spice
(pink lotus, geranium, palo santo, lavender, clove)
deep incense, candle flame, leather, sweet earth and roots
Asterisk 02 Roll On: I’ve been searching for the perfect winter/holiday fragrance and Asterisk 02 is such a unique and beautiful take on this concept! It starts off with a burst of spearmint/mint that fades into the most whimsical, peaceful dry-down of soft woods mingling with tonka bean & that hint of fir that adds a sweetness & depth. I wish it lasted longer on the skin, but such is the nature of certain essential oils. I just keep it in my purse and look forward to re-applying as needed! I hope to own the spray version some day, which is nice to have because you can spray onto hair, scarves, clothes, etc., to help the scent longer for longer.
Stefanie’s Description: A sophisticated take on a soft, sweet winter fragrance.
fresh fir and sweet mint
(organic douglas fir, peppermint, spearmint)
delicate florals and warm spice
(carnation, nutmeg, coffee)
rich, sweet vanilla, tobacco, and smoky cedar wood
(balsam of peru, vanilla, tobacco, cedar wood)
Adore: I believe Adore was one of the first (if not the first) Twinkle Apothecary samples I tried where I instantly fell in love with it. I also learned that Stefanie does any amazing job at describing her scents online (believe me, that’s not always the case when shopping online!). I can smell my wrist and pick up all of the notes from top, middle, to bottom and match them to her description. Adore starts off bright, & cheerful in a sophisticated way and dries down to a creamy, earthy finish from the cedarwood mingling with vanilla. It’s a beautiful blend for any time of year!
Stefanie’s description: overall impression: warm like a hug, sweet, earthy
top notes: sweet powder, citrus
middle notes: robust warm floral
base notes: smoke, wood, cream
(aromatherapy benefits: heart opening, aphrodisiac, grounding)
Smudge: I think everyone could use some Smudge in their life! Despite the fact that Smudge is one of the blends that doesn’t last very long. I spray or apply it (I got the sample size and my mom actually ordered the spray she loved it so much!) and both options are wonderful for “in the moment” occasions for keeping in your purse, as needed, because the actual scent dissipates very quickly. This is just the nature of different essential oils, though. Some just last longer than others. This doesn’t take away from their various aromatherapy properties, though. Smudge Snow (pictured above ☝️) from Perfume Junkie club is another take on this concept and it lasts an incredibly long time!
Stefanie’s description: BANISH. BAD. VIBES.
Smudge is a former seasonal/fall fragrance that became a daily essential and is now a part of the permanent collection! A refreshing, herbal blend of sweet orange, rosemary, clary sage, and ceremonial grade white sage essential oils to clear your energy field and raise your vibrations.”
Last but, not least, I want to share my newest Twinkle additions! Stefanie releases some LE, seasonal scents throughout the year and she’s given the option to purchase roll ons or spray versions of a few of these scents. I read the description for Flutter & had to have it!
Flutter: I can’t stop sniffing this seemingly simple blend of cardamom, rose, jasmine, & sandalwood! It’s gorgeous, sensual, and wakes me up in all the right ways! This scent just inspires me to create, explore, love without fear, and to simply LIVE. this is one of the retired scents that can be purchased here: https://twinkleapothecary.com/collections/perfume/products/retired-fragrances-made-to-order
Dope Queen: is a multipurpose herbal blend that can be purchased as a roll on perfume OR as a balm (as pictured above). Stefanie designed Dope Queen to address a variety of issues: anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, & other symptoms a person may be experiencing who is ill or undergoing cancer treatment. Cannabis, one of the main ingredients in Dope Queen is an incredibly expensive essential oil, which has all the medicinal benefits of cannabis/marijuana without getting you high. It can be applied topically to address headaches, pain, bug bites, wounds, or it can be inhaled to help with anxiety & nausea. It’s definitely an herbal scent where the cannabis is strong at first, but it mellows quickly into a softer green blend with notes of ginger, mint, lavender, & basil. All of the oils in this blend are wonderful for inflammation! I love that there’s also the option for the balm, which can be used as a lip balm (which I love!), or rubbed on the temples or back of neck for tension headaches. I’m very prone to tension headaches & migraines and I’ve found this blend to be helpful to me. I keep the balm in my purse at all times! And I have the roller ball, as well, that I keep by my night stand.
Stefanie’s Description: A mix of mint, rosemary, lavender, ginger, basil, coriander, and cannabis – heavy on the green – this scent is fresh, balancing, clean, calming… and we hope a source of comfort for anyone who’s trying to navigate whatever life throws at them with humor and grace.This mellow, soothing scent is full of healing herbs that can help reduce nausea, headaches, and anxiety, so it’s perfect for anyone undergoing medical treatments that may affect their sense of smell and cause upset stomach.”
Twinkle Apothecary is a brand that I’ve fallen hard for and I feel that it has SO much to offer! I’m still subscribed to the Perfume Junkie club & truly look forward to the creations Stefanie has in store for us in the future! I have never been more creative with mixing and matching my perfume before and now that I’ve started, this whole journey has re-awakened an internal spark in me that I thought had long been snuffed out by life… Life is HARD, there’s no way around it, but life also has the potential to be BEAUTIFUL by adding little bits of joy to your everyday routine. Perfume is just one way to add more joy and spice into your life! You never know where a scent might take you or what it may unfold within you… Until you try it and open yourself to the possibility inherent within!
More Twinkle Posts to come as I slowly add more and more to my ever growing collection. Each scent can be purchased as a 1.7ml sample ($8), a 5ml roll on ($20), or a 15ml Spray ($50-60) at twinkleapothecary.com I purchased each of these scents with my own money, however, my opinions are always my own (I happen to be quite an opinionated person)! Any clickable links in this post have my referral link, which saves you $5 off your first order & shipping is free on any order over $10! Purchasing through my link helps me to write more reviews for you & saves you $$$! 💞✨💞
I hope you’ve found this post helpful and can add a little bit more joy into your life with the help of natural perfume and all its plant-based magic!
Love & Light, 💖✨
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