What are natural perfumes?

Natural perfumes are created from costly and rare botanical aromatics, essential oils, and absolutes. Our products do not contain: synthetics, fragrance oils, dyes, parabens, phthalates or chemical fragrances. Our fragrance materials are 100% pure and natural.


What is the difference between a natural perfume and a commercial perfume?

Mass produced perfumes include synthetic aroma chemicals. When these perfumes list notes of rose or sandalwood for example, they contain very little or NO actual rose or sandalwood.  They contain notes created from synthetic aroma compounds, often from petrochemicals which can include phthalates SLS, SLES, PEGS, glycols, petrochemicals, dyes, parabens, chemical fixatives and fillers. A lot of these are harmful synthetics, we encourage all of our customers or anyone interested to research these chemicals and the potential risks associated with them very carefully before applying to their skin.


Why are natural perfumes so expensive?

Our perfumes are labor intensive, created by hand in small batches by us, rather than mass produced in factories. Every aspect from creating, formulating, blending, filtering, aging, bottling, labelling, to shipping is done by hand. In addition, the materials used to create our perfumes are very costly.  We also research and develop the use of niche products, particularly products that are unique to Aotearoa.

The raw materials used in natural perfumes are some of the most expensive and luxurious essences available, and large amounts of material are required to extract a small amount of essence. Raw materials can be difficult to procure, and prices fluctuate based on growth and harvest conditions which affect availability.  We spend most of our budget on creating and obtaining these incredible essences.


Why are there sometimes subtle differences in color and scent from batch to batch?

Our perfumes are created by hand in small batches and each batch may contain subtle differences and nuances in the fragrance profile. A natural perfume can be compared to wine in that the raw materials in each batch will be affected by a variety of conditions from growth to harvest to extraction.  A rose grown in India will have a different profile than a rose grown in Bulgaria or Russia or Turkey. Different harvests of the same essential oils produce variations of scent from year to year according to the unique soil conditions and climates.


Do natural perfumes last as long on the skin as synthetic perfumes?

The sillage of a perfume, that is the degree to which a perfume's fragrance lingers in the air when worn, depends on the accords that create the perfume. A base note heavy perfume will last longer than a heart and top note based scent.

Truly natural perfumes do not contain artificial fixatives or ingredients and propellants which give mainstream perfumes an unnaturally long life on the skin. Any perfume that lasts all day most likely contains synthetics. Natural perfumes last for a few hours depending on skin chemistry and need to be reapplied at the wearer's discretion. The perfumes do not radiate the same way a synthetic blend will. They will lay closer to the skin of the individual and be more discreet than commercial perfumes.

Reanointing and reapplying during the day offers a moment to reconnect and renew. Our perfumes are best experienced by applying directly to the skin. They can be experienced individually but also work wonderfully layered together.


Where is the best place to store my perfume?

It is best to store perfumes in a cool, dark place rather than in direct sunlight.


What is the shelf life of natural perfumes?

We say one year, but actually they get even better with age and can last for years. Some batches created back in 2013 are more delicious now than then.

With time, perfumes don't go "bad,” merely the top notes tend to dissipate over time leaving a scent with less sillage than when it was first created.


Are CIRCE perfumes tested on animals?

Our perfumes are tested on people, not animals. Our perfumes are never tested on animals.


Can one have an allergic reaction to natural perfume?

Having an allergy to certain ingredients, perhaps a herb or flower could affect the wearer if the perfumes contain these certain essences. To check if a perfume will cause you a problem, you should conduct a patch test. Place some of the perfume on your inside elbow, cover with a Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If no redness or irritation appears, and if you have no respiratory distress, it is fine to purchase and use. For this reason, we always recommend purchasing our sample packs before ordering a full bottle. Many commercial perfumes contain synthetic molecules and chemicals that can cause allergies. Our perfumes have not been known to cause any reaction in any of our customers.


Why are some of the perfumes coloured?

Many natural essences are brightly colored, just as many flowers are brightly coloured. When working with these botanicals, the perfume takes on its own unique hue. We think this is a wonderful characteristic. If wearing a dark colored perfume, we recommend applying before dressing.




As with any cosmetic, it is wise to patch-test products for sensitivities or allergies before using them freely. If you have any concern about using a product, please speak to your doctor about it prior to use. The safe and proper use of Circe products is the sole responsibility of the user. Circe assumes no responsibility or liability for any condition or reactions that may arise from the direct or indirect use of any of our products, or from any information provided by Circe. Our products are free from parabens, SLS, SLES, PEGS, glycols, petrochemicals and synthetic colors. All our fragrance materials are 100 percent pure and natural.


In an effort to provide the safest products possible, we use only essential oils, absolutes, tinctures, and resins that are considered generally safe for external application by most individuals. We do not use oils that have known toxic effects, photo-sensitizing oils, or oils that are known to exacerbate medical conditions. That said, it is widely recommended that pregnant and nursing women avoid contact with all essential oils, and we cannot guarantee that every essential oil we use will agree with your body chemistry, so please indulge in our perfumes responsibly.


All blends have been made with high quality ingredients and blended as a perfume, which has the highest consistency of

ingredients. It will develop on the skin, natural ingredients are layered very differently to synthetics and will evolve while you are wearing them.


If you have allergies to any essential oils discontinue use, also be careful not to get perfume on delicate fabrics as it can stain.