Aftershaves Free From Phthalates and Parabens

Aftershaves Free From Phthalates and Parabens

What Toxic Chemicals Are Common In Fragrances?

There's a short answer and a longer one. The short one is 'in theory, none'.

That's because in the common (and legal) understanding of 'toxic' we're usually talking not about the presence of something that could be toxic, but the concentration of that toxicity.

For example, famously bananas naturally contain toxic radiation, but at levels so low it's not harmful - you likely wouldn't consider a banana toxic.

All of our scents, and the scents of our competitors (unless they're doing something illegal) conform to laws around legal levels of chemical ingredients that protect consumers from toxic exposure.

Atlantic from Thomas Clipper, men's fragrance with neroli and masculine notes, a unique independent aftershave / cologne 

Products that go on your skin are carefully regulated - and rightly so


Great That's Settled.

Wait A Minute, This Article Isn't Finished?

No, sorry. There's a bit more to it than that.

The fact is, regulation and scientific enquiry doesn't always keep pace with product development. That means there are some grey areas. New chemicals that haven't had as long in the market, old ones that are still allowed but perhaps shouldn't be anymore and so on.

And where we see a 'grey area', we tend to err on the side of caution.

Where there's doubt, we keep it clean

Polycyclic Musk (Not Elon's Newest Venture)

For example, when we were developing Atlantic the original formula made use of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (aka polycyclic musk). These are commonly used to add depth and masculinity to fragrances. They’re totally legal and most people think they’re perfectly safe.

But there’s a small worry that they may have adverse effects on marine life. We like marine life, broadly speaking (not jellyfish). So we removed them from the formula, found an alternative and moved on. We think you'll agree that Atlantic remains a fantastic scent without the chemical addition.

Fish don't wear aftershave, but we still love them

Fish don't wear aftershave, but we still love them

What about Phthalates and Parabens?

We thought you'd never ask. In the world of cosmetics and personal care, phthalates and parabens have been widely used as preservatives and plasticizers. We don't use them in any of our scents.

Phthalates are a useful solvent, but they have raised concerns due to their potential health implications. Similarly, parabens, while effective as preservatives, have been the subject of debate over their impact on the body’s hormonal balance. While the scientific community continues to study these effects, we prefer to err on the side of caution.

Our approach allows you to enjoy the luxury of a fragrance that not only smells fantastic, but gives you the peace of mind that comes from adherence to the highest standards of safety.


Nature is brilliant, we're committed to making decisions that protect the environment

When It Comes To Chemicals, The Scent Comes First

While we prioritise the exclusion of certain chemicals, we also recognise the importance of maintaining the integrity and allure of our scents.

For example, in the case of our Polaris fragrance we include a minimal amount of phenoxyethanol—not for its preservative qualities but for its unique contribution to the fragrance’s olfactory profile. Phenoxyethanol offers a subtle hint of rosy freshness, enhancing Polaris’s complex and inviting aroma.

As it doesn't serve any practical preservative purpose we can use phenoxyethanol sparingly, ensuring that it is present only in small percentages that are well within international safety standards. This careful formulation reflects our broader commitment to creating products that are not only effective and delightful but also conscientious and safe.

Our Promise to You

At Thomas Clipper we're not against modern fragrance ingredients. Far from it: where it makes for a better men's fragrance for you and a better environmental impact, we use a blend of the best materials on the market - whether that's natural, naturally inspired and completely new.

But every decision we make in the formulation of our fragrances is guided by our values: craftsmanship, sustainability, and innovation. So our promise to you is a lineup of scents that are not only daring and distinctive but also formulated with your health and the environment in mind.

If that sounds up your street, join us and help support incredible independent scents.

Back to blog

Some of our favourites...

Handmade men's fragrances, available direct in the UK and USA.

As seen in The Guardian, Wallpaper, Monocle. Recommended in British GQ's 'favourite men's fragrances' 7 years running. Read our reviews.

1 of 4