Originally Posted by zztopp
Thanks for the informative comments, Ayala. I find it interesting that the recent article on the Chanel Exclusifs reads like a Creed article, i.e., lots of discussion on "natural ingredients", how expensive they are, and the various stories woven behind the perfumes.
Your nose must have more experience with natural ingredients than many of us here, so perhaps you can tell us whether the typical Chanel, Creed or Serge Lutens fragrance is composed of quality natural ingredients or not.
I will be attending the grand opening event of the Exclusifs at the Chanel boutique in Vancouver, and will let you know what I think about them (and their naturalness) after I smell them.
Most of the Caron and old Guerlain scents (up to Samsara, pretty much) have a very obvious natural presence, and it really "shows". And of course many of the classics from yesteryears, pre the dreadful oakmoss restrictions - i.e. Miss Dior, Eau Sauvage, Femme, and many of the vintages before they sold out to the mass marketing low-quality requirements. I just recently smelled Argepe and I can swear it was reformulated with less natural florals and more synthetic substitutes. It used to be my favourite aldehydic floral, but I don't know that I can enjoy it in its new incarnation.
In some niche houses, I can clearly recognize the presence of naturals and it definitley lends a different quality to the scents.
Most of the perfumes from Miller Harris smell like it has a lot of naturals. Serge Lutens uses many rich resins (i.e.: labdanum) and honey/absolutes absolute, but they are all pumped-up to a new intensity level with synthetics (I suspect in larger doses than most other companies normally use). It really depends on the scent of course (the Clair de Musc is mostly synthetic, while Fleur d'Oranger, Arabie, Cuir Mauresque and others smell like they have a healthy dose of naturals).
The oudh in the Montale line smells very authentic as well, but some scents smell more synthetic (i.e.: the gardenia one).
In Ormonde Jayne I smell more synthetics than in the two other lines mentioned. I think what makes a big difference is that the signature base in her line is very musky (a synthetic musk) and it really gives a more synthetic feeling, even though I am pretty sure she uses a lot of high quality floral essences in her line (the frangipani and champaca notes smell very authentic and true to the real floral absolutes).
From Creed, some are more natural than others, but most of the line smells not any more natural than most of the mainstream perfumes. Not any more than, say, J'Adore (which despite the fact they say there is real jasmine there, it mostly smells synthetic). Tabarome, Angelique Encens and Ambre Canelle struck me as the ones containing more naturals (than, say, Himalaya, Silver Mountain Water and others).
Quite a few of the Diptyques smell like they have lots of naturals (l'Eau in particular) - but some notes are impossible/dangerous to create naturally (i.e.: green figs; they are extremely irritating to the skin in their natural form! One of the few ingredients I actually agree about banning... the milk from the leaves and fruit is used to remove warts in Mediterranean folk medicine, and it's very effective - though terribly burning!).
And most of the Comptoir Sud Pacifique are highly synthetic, though absolutely delicious.
From Frederic Malle - I am certain Carnal Flower has a generous amount of real tuberose absolute (and so does Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse, by the way). But they also use many unusual synthetics of course (for example in En Passant and the musk in Musc Ravageur).