We are so used to representing to our selves the scents of babies as eminently desirable that the reaction to the idea of perfuming your little bundles of love can be one of incredulity or sarcasm. I remember years ago reading a shopping guide to baby products and encountering the reaction of the author in a brief passage dedicated to baby perfumes. He or she had two main points to make 1) this was an European idea, hence understandably somewhat strange; 2) use perfume only if you think your baby stinks, which was phrased in such a way as to let you feel that you would be a monster to think that babies ever smell. Culturally, we are trained to focus on the cuddly smells of babies and forget about the rest, which nevertheless exists aplenty. Saying - or even thinking - something like "my baby smells" is not easy because it feels judgmental rather than objective.
I would like to say however that perfuming is not just about deodorizing, and therefore the point is moot for me. Perfuming is a gesture of refinement. It adds beauty to the world and will no doubt create a bond with your children, a reservoir of memories into which to tap in the future.
Here is a list of Baby Approved Perfumes if you want to explore this option. Many women also like to use baby fragrances as they are alcohol-free and discreetly scented. In the summer, they are a good solution for the beach. Don't forget too that they make great baby-shower gifts! And why not offer perfume to a baby or a new mom for the Holidays?
Clayeux Eau de Senteur Moi Bébé Bleu & Rose (Aroma Water Me Blue, Pink Baby), from birth
This adorable multiple award-winning duo is kept warm in a protective woolly sock which was meant to embody purity. Both are formulated without alcohol, were clinically tested and can be worn by newborns. Moi Bébé Bleu is a gourmand and floral scent with notes of lemon tree blossom, orange flower and bergamot. Moi Bébé Rose is a fresh white floral scent with notes of iris and jasmine.
Available at bebe-beaute.com for 28,25€ each
Love Chic Baby Coco & Momo, from 6 months
The bottles contain heart glasses.
"Love, Chic Baby for Girls - Coco scent is a soft burst of crisp,, floral freshness that delicately captures the innocence and youthful radiance of little girls. For Girls is formulated with a soft bouquet of Pink Mandarin, Italian Bergamot, Water Lily, Pink Peony, Yellow Freesia, Island Pineapple, and Sheer Rose.
Love, Chic Baby for Boys - Momo combines a soft, refreshing blend of fruits for a light, crisp scent. For Boys is formulated with Mandarin, Orange, Pink Grapefruit, Wild Strawberry, Melon, and Dewberry.
Available at babyoliverboutique.com for $34,50 each.
Nivea Eau de Senteur
A gentle linden blossom scent formulated without alcohol.
Hello Kitty Baby Perfume
A light floral scent formulated without alcohol with notes of raspberry, hazelnut and violet. This perfume was reportedly designed with the idea to enhance rather than to mask the natural scent of your infant. A companion perfume was also created for little girls, Hello Kitty.
Available discounted at garden.co.uk for £12,50
Coslys Eau Fraîche Bébé à l'Abricot (Apricot Baby Fresh Water)
Green mommies will love this one. An eco-certified organic fresh water to refresh and scent your baby. Although it is sold as an apricot perfume, the list of ingredients reveals a 100% natural peach scent plus orange blossom water, rose water, and chamomilla water.
Available at mademoisellebio.com and bebe-beaute.com for 10€
Burberry Baby Touch with (blue) & without alcohol (green)
"For the baby in your family. Baby Touch is a soft belnd of citric fruits, wild mint, rhubarb jelly, orange blossom, jasmine, lily of the valley, tree moss, vanilla, and a drop of milk. Baby Touch is a gentle eau de toilette, alcohol free and hypoallergenic."
Available at uk.burberry.com for £30 each
Bulgari Petits et Mamans (Little Ones and Mommies)
Pictured is the new packaging which includes a game to be played together by, guess who?
A powdery musky floral designed to be worn by children and mothers alike. Respects sensitive skins. The scent features notes of petit grain, mandarin, white peach, iris, vanilla.
Available discounted in the older packaging at fragrancex.com for $36,82
Johnsons Baby Cologne/Colonia (USA)
The perfume is described as "a gentle, fresh fragrance with a pleasant combination of floral and citrus hints. It leaves your baby smelling clean and fresh. This clinically proven mild formula is alcohol free, making it just right for your baby's delicate skin."
$2.99 at drugstore.com
Kaloo Mini Patapouf Dragée & Lilirose, without alcohol
These sets include a cuddly toy called "Patapouf" which contains beads in their bottoms which can be sprayed to diffuse fragrance all day long on the edge of a bed. The scents can be worn of course.
Dragée is a gourmand almond perfume with notes of almond, vanilla, basil, spearmint essence, jasmine, rose, cedar, vanilla absolute, musk. Lilirose is a rose perfume with notes of mandarin, bergamot, rose, jasmine, tea, freesia, musks.
Available at news-parfum.com for 36,50€.
Parfums de Nicolaï Petit Ange (Little Angel)
For mommies for whom the word "niche" means off the beaten path. A fresh eau for children with notes of sweet tangerine rind, lilac and benzoin.
$45 at beautyhabit.com or 17,40€ at shopping-premiereavenue.com
L'Occitane Body & Hair Mom & Baby Water
"The Mom & Baby Water delicately perfumes skin and hair of both baby and mom. This sweet and powdery fragrance, with the scents of sweet almond, tender flowers and butter biscuit, will delight everybody. The alcohol-free, hypoallergenic formula is absolutely gentle on baby's skin. Enriched with naturally derived, moisturising* glycerine, as well as shea extract, it leaves the skin and hair soft and supple."
*Upper layers of the epidermis.
Retails for $32
Thymes Sweetleaf Baby Nursery Diffuser, Mist
Finally, if you'd rather not apply scent onto the skin of your baby, or simply are open to even more options, you can opt for a room fragrance specially created for nurseries and their dwellers.
"With an enchanting scent that is fresh, clean and completely irresistible, Thymes' delicate reed diffuser is a flame-free way to fragrance baby's room. The graceful bamboo reeds gently release the ever-so-light aroma...making baby's special place warm, welcoming and wonderfully scented.
Fragrance: An ever-so-light mist of powdery rose and jasmine with the softest hint of precious sandalwood and amber"
$36 and $16 at thymes.com