These perfumes are made of air from captured carbon emissions – and they smell amazing

Perfumes‘ appeal rest almost entirely on their ingredients. Seductive jasmine, comforting white musk and zesty citrus notes are just a few of the typical descriptions you often find on the side of a perfume bottle. They sound exotic, sensual and delicious all at once. So, when a perfume proudly claims to be made of captured carbon emissions, it comes as a bit of a surprise to say the least. 

While it may not sound sexy, this new wave of perfumes are not to be snubbed. For starters, you’d never suspect that they contained the unexpected ingredient upon spritzing and secondly, the process is revolutionising the perfume production process to be more sustainable.

In normal perfumes, the main ingredient is ethanol, which amounts to roughly 75% of any given perfume. The perfume oils are dissolved into the ethanol for easy and safe application on the skin, but the problem is that ethanol production relies heavily on fossil fuels and produces a vast amount of carbon dioxide. This new process turns traditional production on its head, collecting carbon dioxide pollution from the air and converting it into alcohols like ethanol using various a natural fermentation process similar to that of conventional alcohol production. 

aircompany / Instagram //

“We saw a unique and critical opportunity for us to use our technology to show how traditional processes and products within the industry can be innovated to create a cleaner future,” says Dr. Stafford Sheehan, Co-Founder and CTO of New York-based Air Company, whose debut fragrance, Air Eau De Parfum, is launching this year. “The ethanol in Air Eau de Parfum is made entirely from carbon dioxide (CO2) without any fossil fuels.”

Air Eau De Parfum could easily be mistaken for one of its high-end, traditional counterpart. Upon first spritz, it smells of orange peel and fig leaves, opening up to reveal notes of jasmine and violet before settling into powdery musk and tobacco. It’s modern in every sense of the word – genderless, sustainable and sophisticated. The packaging is thoughtful (glass bottles, no labels and recycled cardboard boxes) and the ingredients are all synthetic (the brand are hoping to end the stigma surrounding synthetic ingredients by championing them as consciously-sourced, more sustainable alternatives to naturals).