No one expects perfume to come at a price other than the one paid at the cash register. Unfortunately, animal testing is still conducted at companies that produce many well-known brands and scents, sending shudders down the spines of animal rights advocates everywhere. Fortunately, it's a cinch to show your support for the makers of animal-friendly fragrances by purchasing one of their products via a couple of easy channels.
Before we tell you where to pick one up, it's important to know what makes a fragrance animal-friendly in the first place. It's pretty simple and concise -- an animal-friendly or "cruelty-free" fragrance must never have been tested on animals at any point in the creation or manufacturing process. Some vegans also eschew any product that includes any animal-derived ingredient, since they're often obtained in painful ways.
Unfortunately, many people avoid the topic of animal testing because the reality is so jarring. The animals in question are often housed in sub-par and unnatural living conditions. They may be subject to painful tests, such as having substances pumped into their airways or stomachs to test a product's toxicity.
Although many companies still test on animals, more than 1,000 have enacted permanent bans. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has a comprehensive list on their web site, where consumers can search by product type, manufacturer and other options to find an animal-friendly fragrance or other product. The group also boasts a Cruelty-Free Shopping Guide, as well as an iPhone app to help consumers find animal-friendly scents.
Cosmetics giant ULTA also encourages animal-friendly shopping thanks to a search function that allows consumers to look for products using the key "not tested on animals" option.
Once you've identified the brand or specific scent, hit the mall! Many big-name fragrances that don't test on animals, like Prada, Clinique and the Stella McCartney line, are found in department or beauty stores. If you desire a lesser-known scent, visit the maker's Web site and order it that way. Many fragrance sites also offer store locater services. If it makes you too nervous to order a bottle, scent unsmelled, request a couple of samples to be mailed to your home. Most companies will happily oblige, and fluffy bunnies everywhere will thank you for your diligence.