Alcohol replaced vegetable oils in perfumes around the 14th century. It carries the fragrance well and disappears almost instantly when applied to the skin, leaving a fresh sensation.
Where do we get it?
This alcohol is made from organic sugarcane in Brazil. It is denatured (made unfit for consumption) by adding a super-bitter flavouring ingredient. It is safe for the skin, but you will regret it if you try to drink it!
What are the benefits for people and the planet?
Sugarcane cultivation is infamously known for its significant role in the transatlantic slave trade. It is still denounced to this day for its harsh working conditions and its environmental impact. Fighting against obsolete practices, the Brazilian producer who supplies Lush with ethanol is trying to lead their own little revolution.
Organic certified, they also pay attention to the environmental and human impact of each aspect of the cultivation and processing of their sugarcane. For example, a circular zero-waste system is in place. The gas produced during the fermentation of the plant supplies the company with energy, but also 476,000 inhabitants in the surrounding area.
With the principles of sustainability at the heart of their business for more than two decades, they have already seen a marked enhancement in the well-being of workers and farmers, as well as on their lands, with improved biodiversity and better water management in particular.
Learn more about them here.
What are the benefits of denatured alcohol?
- Dilutes and merges essential oils and aromas.
- Preserves perfume blends.
- Helps the fragrance last longer on the skin and diffuse.
As it’s very dangerous for health to drink alcohol in pure, high concentrations and also because its trade is highly taxed, alcohol (also called ethanol) must be denatured to be used in perfumes and cosmetics. The ethanol molecule isn’t changed, but substances are added to make it undrinkable.