The Best Alcohol Free and Cruelty Free Perfumes

A spritz of perfume makes us feel truly ready for the day. But recently, we’ve taken a step back and noticed how just about every perfume contains alcohol. While we don’t mind a tipple here and there (or a lot more than that!), we know that alcohol in beauty can be harsh on your skin. Not only is it drying and uncomfortable, but it can also enlarge our pores and wreak havoc with blemishes and sensitivity.

There are now alcohol-free perfume brands that promise the same standard of gorgeous fragrances as your traditional perfumes, but without the nasties. Formulated without alcohol, phthalates, and other harsh chemicals, this new breed of clean perfumes is much kinder to your skin and overall health. And being cruelty-free, they’re kinder to our planet too. Keep reading if you want to find the best alcohol free perfume to add to your collection!


Hermetica Sandalsun Eau de Parfum - one hand holds perfume bottle towards wrist of other hand - 670 x 479Hermetica Sandalsun Eau de Parfum - one hand holds perfume bottle towards wrist of other hand - 670 x 479


Why Use an Alcohol-Free and Cruelty-Free Perfume?

Alcohol is found in lots of beauty products, as it helps with absorption and allows products to apply easily. However, alcohol can dry your skin out in the long term and cause a lot of discomfort and irritation. If you have sensitive skin, we recommend cutting out alcohol-based products from your beauty routine. But don’t worry, you can still enjoy your G&T!

Organic alcohol free perfumes can also be worn in the sun without risk of staining the skin as traditional perfumes do. And cruelty-free formulas are much kinder to nature, animals, and the world around us. There are no reasons NOT to make the switch!



What Are the Ingredients to Avoid in Your Perfume?

Alcohol is just one of the many undesirable chemicals that can end up in perfumes. We’ve decoded confusing ingredients lists and set aside the main culprits to avoid if you want to shop clean.

Acetone: When you think of acetone, you probably think of nail polish remover. Not a soul alive likes that telltale smell. Well, Acetone also appears a lot in perfumes and colognes, believe it or not. Acetone has a few long-term side effects (such as dry-mouth and nausea), which can become an issue if inhaled over a long period of time. 

Phthalates: Phthalates are one of the best-known baddies. Included in hundreds of products, Phthalates found in fragrances (particularly DEP), haven’t been proven as dangerous, but have been linked to hormonal disruption. However, this might be enough to make you want to switch when choosing your next fragrance! 

Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in fragrances, but one of the worst. Often included in small amounts (regulated as being ’non-toxic’), Formaldehyde is included as a preservative. Formaldehyde is known for its carcinogenic impurity, so the fact that it is inhaled when spraying a fragrance is somewhat concerning. Formaldehyde can also cause skin irritation, allergies and rashes. 

Limonene: Limonene is a naturally occurring chemical in citrus fruits such as lemons and limes. It’s used a lot for its lemon flavouring and scent in foods, household goods, candles, and fragrances. However, Limonene is also a common irritant. If you’re noticing your skin flaring up or your allergies being worse than normal, then you may want to replace your home fragrances with Llimonene free candles and scents.

Methylene chloride: Being a fairly toxic ingredient, this isn’t one you shouldn’t really be finding often, however sometimes it seems to slip through. Methylene chloride is included in fragrances as a solvent for other ingredients. Concerningly, it is considered a carcinogen and can be toxic for pregnant women as well as causing skin irritation. 

Ethyl acetate and Benzyl acetate: It’s particularly important to avoid nasty chemicals when perfume shopping, as inhaled chemicals can cause serious harm. Ethyl acetate and Benzyl acetate pop up a lot in fragrances, and these two ingredients are most harmful when inhaled, potentially causing eye, skin and throat irritation!

HERMETICA Verticaloud Eau de Parfum - hand reaching for bottle top - 670 x 479HERMETICA Verticaloud Eau de Parfum - hand reaching for bottle top - 670 x 479


Our Favourite Cruelty Free and Alcohol Free Perfumes for Women

Using an alcohol free perfume spray is definitely the way forward if you want to switch to clean beauty. Our clean beauty perfumes are not only cruelty-free and free of alcohol, but they also don’t feature any of the questionable ingredients mentioned above either.

Our favourite cruelty-free and alcohol-free perfumes come from the amazing innovative brand Hermetica, which is completely transforming the beauty world. Hermetica’s alcohol-free molecular perfumes cleverly adapt to your own body chemistry to deliver the perfect scent for you. Being just as long-lasting as your traditional alcohol-infused perfumes, Hermetica fragrances linger and adapt throughout the day with natural ingredients and synthetic molecules. It’s all very clever!


Best for Floral Notes

A smouldering green rose, a chorus of blossoms and a soft water whisper.


Best for Woody Notes

A lazy day in the sun, dreaming under a cedar tree and getting lost in the woods.


Best for Oriental Notes

A sweet, velvety and luxurious resinous amber fragrance. A walk through the desert and an oriental gourmand scent.


Best for Fresh Notes

A musky and green fragrance, tangled vines and untamed foliage, misty streets and rain-soaked pavements.






Looking to find more alcohol free skin care, makeup more? Discover your new favourites in our Clean Beauty guides:




Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty’s highly trained Customer Service team. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.