cruelty free

The other day, I was on a perfume shopping site, offering scents with cruelty free musk. And, as I got an email the same day where a consumer asked me whether my scents are "cruelty free", I figured it is time for a post.

Of course, all my fragrances that I sell are cruelty free, meaning not tested on animals, not using animal derived products. It is the law in Europe that cosmetics are not tested on animals; the history of this ban of animal testing for cosmetics in Europe is shown in the picture (larger version here).

So... that's one part of the story. The cosmetic product is not animal tested. Good. But, individual ingredients are tested for toxicity.
Linalool, a common ingredient in perfumes and a major component found in Lavender essential oil, for instance, has been extensively tested and following this link, you may find out that the LD50 of Linalool is 2.79 gr/kg body weight for rats. This means that 50% of all animals in a test died when given 2.79 gr /kg body weight.

I am not an expert, but you safely assume that most chemicals and many essential oils are/were at some point tested on animals.

Rose essential oil for instance has an LD50 (oral) of 2.98 gr/kg body weight (

And in that sense, there is a lot of cruelty.

8 thoughts on “cruelty free”

  • Thank you, Andy! "Kleingedrucktes" matters.

  • Thanks Andy. It can get confusing for the consumers nowadays.

  • Andreas Tauer 13. April 2016 at 9:15

    Totally, Peter
    things got pretty complicated these days .

  • Andreas Tauer 13. April 2016 at 9:15

    Yes Martina
    the small the print, the more important sometimes ;-)

  • Haha, great Picture! actually says: All the dirty work has been done until 2013, so no need for suffering from now on ;-)
    @ peter hurst: that's what marketing is for: consumers confusion.
    But what do we learn from that? Even roses can kill! Thanx for the great post Andy...

  • Andreas Tauer 14. April 2016 at 7:46

    My pleasure, Till. And this would have been the perfect title for this post: Even roses can kill :-)

  • H Andy, thank you for this post. I am becoming increasingly concerned about animal testing. A lot of companies (Estee, L'Oreal, Coty) are not cruelty-free, and that is in part, as you probably know, due to the fact that they sell in China, where products are required to be tested on animals and also some use ingredients that are not cruelty-free. My understanding is that Givaudin is not cruelty-free, so if you are using any ingredients from them, you are not cruelty-free. I have heard from industry insiders that they are likely not collecting animalic notes in a humane manner, I think it was specifically civet. And it is 100% NOT TRUE that natural animalics are not used anymore, as many people believe or assume. Yes it's true that chemicals such as linalool have been historically tested on animals, but I think the question is more about what are the sources of your ingredients? There are a great many essential oils on the market that have never been tested on animals. Many niche houses like to claim that they are using the "finest and rarest of essences" so they ought to know where they came from, for example, their orris butter or their sambac jasmine. Even Guerlain says that their nose "hand selected" their ambergris, so I sure hope he knows who he bought it from. So yes, it's a confusing topic, but then again, not really, if perfumers are truly transparent. This comment is not even directed towards you, but as we all know, there is incredible secrecy in the perfume industry. I am a collector with hundreds of bottles of perfume (far less bottles than some of my collector friends LOL!), but I made a decision that I will no longer support non-transparency and cruelty, so that will save me a lot of money :P There are a great many perfumes out there that are 100% cruelty-free, so at least I won't be totally bored. There are a lot of perfume houses who refuse to give any sort of explanation whatsoever, and I will ban them now, despite that fact that I already own several bottles from them. So I appreciate your willingness to speak on the matter and that fact that you do seem to care about this issue!

    AND coincidentally you will be in San Francisco tonight at Tigerlily Perfumery. I may very well stop by to meet you!

    Also I adore so many of your perfumes. Keep up the good work! AND if it is discovered that you were unaware that any of your ingredients are currently tested on animals, and you actively work to avoid those ingredients or companies/suppliers, there are many people out there such as myself who will appreciate that. A lot of people do have a conscience and are not willing to sacrifice lives, of any living being, for perfume or cosmetics. At the very least, you are clearly not purchasing real animal essences, so thank you for that.

  • Thanks for this post Andy, such an important topic.

    Thanks also to Liz for your comment, you said everything I wanted to say. I too am becoming much more vigilant about purchasing cruelty free.


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