Cannabis perfume probably sounds like an oxymoron. In the past, even the most ardent cannabis enthusiasts typically tried to avoid smelling like cannabis, at least while out in public. But as the social acceptability of cannabis continues to grow, and stereotypes about “typical cannabis users” are shattered, cannabis fragrances are becoming an increasingly common sight in the beauty world.
Take, for example, Cannabis Santal by Fresh, a $90 cannabis-inspired fragrance that blends subtle hints of the plant with “masculine undertones of sandalwood” for a “breezy unisex fragrance.” Or if you’d prefer to splash out, you could sample the $355 Opus VII by Amouage, which features “an impression of cannabis resin” along with “a hint of ambergris, a terribly enticing note derived from sperm whale secretions.”
There’s certainly no shortage of choices when it comes to choosing a cannabis perfume, but for many people, the question isn’t so much “which one should I buy?” as it is “why on earth would I buy this?” As Alix Tunell wrote for Refinery29, “there’s definitely nothing countercultural about wearing a cannabis fragrance” now that the plant is a darling of Republican senators and a hot topic at Davos. However, if you’re determined to talk yourself into a cannabis-infused fragrance, you might be interested in learning about terpenes.
Terpenes are compounds found in cannabis and other plants. In addition to giving the plant its scent, terpenes also may hold a range of other medicinal benefits. Some of the most common terpenes are myrcene (an herbal-smelling terpene with powerful sedative properties that is also found in mango), pinene (which may be able to help with memory and, as its name suggests, smells a lot like pine needles), and limonene (the same mood-elevating terpene that gives citrus fruits their distinct scents). There are hundreds of other terpenes found in cannabis, each of which has its own distinctive traits and benefits.
Choose The Right Cannabis Perfume
Unfortunately, most cannabis perfumes currently on the market don’t provide a great deal of information on what terpenes they contain. Without knowing exactly what’s in a particular fragrance, it’s difficult to say if the inclusion of cannabis does anything other than make the product more marketable to cannabis-friendly demographics. Always test it on your skin first after sourcing from a reputable supplier.
However, with the stigma of smelling like a cannabis user rapidly fading away, there’s never been a better time to try cannabis perfume, if you’re into that sort of thing.