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arcania apothecary

Our View on Animal Testing

Using animals to test ingredients or finished products within the cosmetic industry is a practice we firmly stand against at Arcania Apothecary and is among one of the most controversial areas of animal testing around the globe.

Despite animal testing being banned in the UK in 1998 and across the EU in 2013, it does still occur in other parts of the world. The sad reality is that any ingredient from Lavender to Capric/Caprlyic Triglyceride (fractioned coconut oil) will most likely have been tested in this way at some point.

Although it may be that here in the UK we have brought in a law to protect animals from cosmetics testing, it should be noted that products which are classed as both medical and cosmetic are essentially exempt from these rules, one example that springs to mind being the wrinkle treatment, Botulinum Toxin, or ‘Botox’ as it’s more commonly known.

In order to be confident that we do not come into contact with any animal-tested ingredients, Arcania Apothecary aims to use suppliers that can confirm the materials we purchase have not been tested on animals since 1998. This is in fitting with our mission to create each and every product with the same focus on efficacy, kindness, and creativity.

Arcania Apothecary is equally concerned with the use of animal ingredients in cosmetics; we believe this is wholly unnecessary with the wealth of botanically derived ingredients that can be used as alternatives. The power of plants is irrefutable. Botanical substances are esteemed for their effectiveness and healing properties which, if exploited appropriately, can work wonders for all things health, beauty, and wellbeing.

While we are committed to the avoidance of animal ingredients, as a rule, ethically-sourced beeswax is an ingredient we cherish. Understanding our responsibility to animal welfare, it is, therefore, our policy to source only the most ethically produced, highest grade botanicals. The beeswax we use is organic and we are completely satisfied the source meets our standards in every way.

Should you wish to collaborate with us, we welcome any questions or queries you may have on this important subject and we thoroughly look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Choosing Organic

It is concerning that marketing and advertising campaigns have made many of us numb to the word ‘organic’. Having lost touch with its true meaning, we see it at best, as an opportunity to purchase a clear conscience and at worst, standing for ‘expensive veg’.

Many products sold as organic are misleading, the organic content is diluted, compromising the contents promise to function as an organic product. Naturally the word ‘Organic’ leads us to believe we will reap the benefits, when we are in fact receiving a watered down version, with the only benefit being received by the company producing these products with an increased price tag.

We think it is about time we remember the reason why we are attracted to the word organic. It was the environmentalists, once thought of as fanatics, who were screaming for organic principles. They wanted us to realise the value of protecting our environment and be respectful of nature, 30 years before it was profitable.

Since the industrial revolution our modern economic forces and governments have legitimised and promoted the dis-respect of our ecosystems, biodiversity and habitats. In the name of modernisation we have become detached, seeing ourselves and our needs superior to what was once understood as our Mother Earth.

Still today our innovation represents the exploitation and destruction of life around us to a degree greater than ever before.

We believe organic principals should represent one small step toward our return of respect and sensitivity to nurturing all life and its eco systems.


Bespoke Fragrances

My relationship with natural perfumery is organically developing all of the time through a sensitive, privileged and exciting journey of discovery and anticipation.

Essential oils, absolutes, concretes and resins are the botanical essences that make the perfumer’s vision into a reality.

Bespoke Fragrance by Richard Howard, Managing Director of Arcania Apothecary

Their chemistry is built upon the infinite complexity of nature’s design and as Paracelsus described it… Spiritus vitae (life spirit) and quinta essentia (spark of divinity) is within.

We too share with all life on earth this original spark within. Through the window of pure plant essences we can recognise our own connection and deepen our relationship with humility and gratitude.

Through our sense of smell natural perfumes can interact with our subconscious, transcending a language defined by words, triggering memories, emotions and sensual impulses.

Mindful of this, the perfumer’s journey is guided by respect for the plant essences produced and the person experiencing them. There is no compromising in this process… yet within the art form, the science and adventure is endless.

By Richard Howard

Richard Howard Managing Director at Arcania Apothecary, Wells, Somerset

Our Ethos

Always innovating

We’ve been challenging industry standards for over 25 years and continue to do so as we innovate in the areas of cosmetic formulation, manufacturing, packaging and distribution. We’re proud to be one of the first companies in the UK to break through the restrictive boundaries of the cosmetic industry and question standard beauty myths.

This ethos of innovation supports us in delivering consistently high quality products, encouraging environmental sustainability and care for all the people in our supply chain. We love to reflect, envision and push the boundaries of our sector, in the pursuit of purer, cleaner and more vibrant formulations and methodology.


We deeply respect our planet and orient ourselves in service of its diverse, interwoven ecosystems. As a result we aim for true sustainability in all our practices, and are committed to recognising and eliminating anything from our practice that causes harm to all living beings and the planet. 

Wherever possible, we source natural botanical materials that are free of pesticides and grow our own specialist collection of plants. We strive to eliminate our use of single-use plastic, stand against animal testing and have clear targets for using 100% renewable energy in our manufacturing process, currently the only UK manufacturer with complete biofuel systems saving up to 120 tonnes of carbon emission otherwise going into the atmosphere. 


To us, true beauty nurtures a person’s whole being. We see the body as an incredible system, with a natural capacity to heal, renew and care for itself. We believe that synthetic chemical additives in body-care products unnecessarily burden the body and interfere with its natural processes.

With this in mind, we’re committed to developing healthy, safe and kind alternatives to the chemicals and artificial substances commonly used in formulating cosmetic products. We’re always trialling and testing our formulations on naturopaths, aromatherapists, homeopaths, hair and beauty experts and, of course, our friends and family. 

Our suppliers meet strict criteria for ethical trading in terms of human resource and environmentally conscious land management. Our close-knit team supports clients and each other with precision, flexibility, generosity and patience. 


Our care and passion for the planet and its people inspires the way we develop, formulate, manufacture and package our products. For over 25 years we’ve been leading innovation with trend-setting formulations driven by our in-house creative team, including biochemists, five accomplished cosmetic chemists and a master perfumer.

Manufacturing with integrity and efficiency, we produce our products  with sensitivity to the ingredients, ensuring optimum efficacy and quality, also avoiding the need for more toxic preservative systems. 

Always aiming to exceed our customer expectations, we constantly update our progressive formulas based upon cutting-edge science and our commitment to quality, innovation and beauty. 

“​​I am blessed and grateful to be surrounded by incredible people, who help me every day to bring this mission statement to life. Thank you.”


  • Richard Howard

Our Unique Service

New Product Development (NPD)

  • Fragrance Expertise: Innovators and leaders specialising in natural perfumery
  • Progressive formulators specialising in the latest Bio Technology science
  • Product idea generation, stimulating brand concept
  • EU product safety assessments (CPRS) including guidance conforming to legislations world wide
  • Product development with the aim to support specific claims

The Fragrance Room


  • Specialist manufacturing infrastructure supporting emerging brands within the market
  • Product manufacture supporting and engineering the scale up process to 1000kg batches
  • Complete logistic services; from product compounding to the finished pack ready for distribution

The Vessel

Resourcing, Advice and Support

  • Regulatory expertise and support
  • Packaging
  • Copy writing