Everyone’s favourite Bruno Mars namedrop, Michelle Pfeiffer, is already beloved for her accomplished acting career. And while you may always know her as Catwoman or Elvira Hancock, Pfeiffer just added perfumer to her resume. The actress turned businessperson recently launched a fragrance line called Henry Rose, named after her children, John Henry and Claudia Rose. But what makes Pfeiffer’s offerings different from all the other perfumes out there? It’s the first fine fragrance to be completely both EWG (Environmental Working Group) Verified™ and Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Gold. In other words, Henry Rose promises complete ingredient transparency, making sure safety is never compromised — which isn’t always the case when it comes to fragrance.
According to EWG president and co-founder Ken Cook, the problem that arises with perfume safety is not necessarily that all fragrances are dangerous, but that lack of required disclosure makes it impossible to know what’s actually in them. “Fragrance is judged harshly on the EWG site because of the lack of transparency. It’s a term that can hide hundreds of ingredients,” Cook tells Forbes.
Pfeiffer says that having children, as well as her dad’s cancer diagnoses, changed the way she began to view what she put on her body. “I began to look for products that were not only healthier but had the same quality that I was used to. I then fell down a rabbit hole looking at different products’ ingredients and quickly realized anything with ‘fragrance’ was flagged as toxic.” In fact, though Pfeiffer loved perfume, she stopped wearing it altogether for 10 years, hoping something safer would eventually be developed in the fine fragrance realm.
In 2010, seeing that very little progress had been made in the space, Pfeiffer began to do some research of her own, approaching brands about possible collaborations. Unfortunately for the actress, it was a tough sell. “I kept hitting dead ends because no one was willing to be transparent with ingredients and I wasn’t willing to put my name and face on something that I wouldn’t use.” Instead, she decided to start (and fund) her own brand. “I set out to see if it was possible to develop a line of fine fragrances proving you don’t need to sacrifice quality and sophistication for safety. And we did it,” writes Pfeiffer on the Henry Rose website.
The line of intriguing sounding Eau de Parfums (Last Light, Torn, Dark is Night, Fog and Jake’s House) retail for $120 each. With descriptions like “passing time through window panes” and “tiptoes circle cracked porcelain” tugging on our olfactory heartstrings, we can’t wait to get a whiff. And in case you were wondering, Henry Rose is environmentally responsible too, with bottles made from 90 per cent recycled glass, as well as being 100 per cent recyclable. Moreover, the caps are “made from sustainably sourced and commercially compostable soy.” As of yet, the fragrances don’t ship to Canada (they’re working on it), but you can bet that once they do, we’ll be hitting Add to Cart.