Nantucket Natural Oils, The Fragrance Bar, was established in 1983 when John Harding discovered he has the one-in-a-million olfactory equivalent of perfect pitch. His first store, named "ESSENSE", opened on Newbury Street in Boston and in Edgartown on Marthas Vineyard in the early 80's. For the past 18 years, 1991 to present, he has moved his primary location to the charming island of Nantucket, known among other images, the famous whaling center producing ambergris oil, first used in perfumery. He's been sniffing his way to sweet success in the perfume industry ever since.
Frustrated by the high alcohol content and short shelf life of most designer scents, the effusive Harding set out to create his own fragrance formula.

There are three words out there that people associate with perfumes: sneezing, headaches and allergies.Most department store colognes and pure perfumes are made with 80 to 94% alcohol, the guilty ingredient that causes those adverse reactions.

John Harding's perfumes are made with natural oils and oils alone. After the island-based Nantucket Natural Oils boutique took off, the brand expanded nationwide and now has set up shops in Kenmore Square( Boston ), and in Newburyport.

Chanel No 5™? Check. Clinique Happy™? Check. Discontinued favorites from the '80s? Check.The Fragrance Bar stocks more than 1000 alcohol-free versions of brand-name potions ( by law scents cannot be patented). And they all cost $45 for a quarter-ounce, including Joy™, typically sold at hundreds of dollars per ounce.

A series of house blends and a Nantucket line of fragrances is also on hand, but if none of these appeals to your perfume ideal, create your own. We will guide you through a mixing process that includes hundreds of scents and learning to identify nuances between, say, lilac, lotus and lily of the valley.

The best part? Where alcohol-based perfumes oxidize and need to be replaced every few months John Harding's oil-only blends will last for years.