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Why Michelle Pfeiffer Refused to Wear Perfume Until She Launched Her Own Fragrance Line

When you become a parent, you give a lot of things up: going out at night, clothes that are free off drool and spit-up, and mostly, sleep. Of course, it’s all worth it when you see your little one’s sweet face staring back at you — but there’s no denying parenthood has its a fair share of sacrifices. For actress Michelle Pfeiffer, becoming a mother, included giving up something you might not expect: perfume. 

As she explained in an interview with Elle, “Years ago, when I was a new mom, I got obsessed with ingredients. I started asking, ‘What kind of chemicals am I exposing my kids to?’” She found answering that question particularly tricky when it came to ingredients used in fragrances, which often hide behind vague or dubious terminology. 

So, despite how much she enjoyed wearing her favorite fragrances, Michelle decided to avoid perfumes completely. That is until this year, when she launched Henry Rose, her own fragrance line named after her children’s middle names. The biggest difference between her scents and other fragrances, is they are made without any potentially dangerous ingredients, and the brand is dedicated to being transparent about what is inside each bottle. Plus, they are all unisex! 

The five scents are the first fragrances to be certified by both the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Cradle to Cradle (C2C). The non-profit organizations rigorously test products to ensure safety and sustainability. A press release from the EWG revealed that Henry Rose passed their strict criteria because of not only their safe ingredients, which are all listed on the label, but also because they are produced with the “best manufacturing practices.” As for C2C, they gave the company scores of Gold and Platinum (the two highest ranks) for categories including renewability, social fairness, and material health.

All that said, you’re probably wondering how the fragrances actually smell. Each scent has its own adjective: clean, smooth, sensual, warm, and fresh. Pfeiffer says the “fresh” one, named Fog, smells like “summers in San Francisco” with notes of vetiver wood and soft musk. Another, Jake’s House, is named after and influenced by the “clean” smell of her grandparent’s home, with hints of neroli. 

As you can probably guess, all five scents are inspired by the actress’s favorite people, places, and memories. If you’d like to take a whiff for yourself without paying the $120 for a full bottle, you can test out samples for $20. And even if you’re not a fan of her fragrances or perfume in general, it’s heartwarming to know the whole project stemmed from Pfeiffer’s love for her kids.

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