Health Is Beauty

Dead of Night Perfume: Helena Christensen’s Oudh-Based Scent is Crazy-Sexy-Earthy

A scent project dreamed up my supermodel Helena Christensen and perfumer Elizabeth Gaynes, deadofnight perfume is one of the most interesting perfumes I’ve ever come across—and I’m a natural fragrance obsessive. The secret is Oudh oil, which is (sustainably) sourced from a tree in the rainforest of Borneo called the Aquilaria. The aromatic resin created from the tree is one of those smells that can rightly be called intoxicating, and the way it absorbs into the skin and changes over time as it melts into your own skin’s chemistry—it’s just olfactory magic and very, very sexy.



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Oudh is mixed with rose and jasmine oils, which bring the scent up into a more mellow register, while sandalwood, amber and white musk bring other dark elements to the fore—these ingredients come from the Balung Plantation, where organic crops are grown specifically for extracting these essential oils.

As it says on the perfumery’s site:

All materials are ethically sourced from a plantation in Borneo dedicated to growing organic crops and promoting sustainable and transparent farming practices as a means to safeguard the region’s people and fragile ecosystems. The fragrance is at the forefront in promoting the necessity of sustainable and ethical standards in the fragrance industry and has focused on harmonizing an enticing scent with an environmental activist undertone.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.