Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1

    Default natural vs synthetic

    I was reading a couple of other creed threads and in speaking of the signifigance of natural vs synthetic didn't see what the guy at Neiman Marcus told me today.

    According to him, natural ingredients are too volatile and smell very different on different people or smell different according to what you've eaten or something whereas synthetic, he says, smells the same on everybody and he said chanel #5 was a big hit because it was the 1st synthetic and smelled the same on everyone.

    He said naturals can really go "off" on you depending on circumstances.

  2. #2

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    The guy needs to desperately update his knowledge. It's not like all synthetic fragrances smell exactly the same on everyone. As far as I'm aware, it should be about on par with naturals when it comes to skin reaction.
    "Perfume is the dream that carries me."

    There is always the sky to look at

  3. #3

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    This is a *very* complex issue to dissect in a few lines here.

    Just a note: Chanel #5 is certainly not the first synthetic, it's just the best-seller in that context and the best-known one, hence the reference.
    Jicky is considered the first revolutionary "synthetic" using 3 new components not harvested from natural sources for the first time in a mix (vanillin, coumarin, linalool), although it too is not exactly the first one either (but it's the oldest one still availble, so that might make it first in people's minds)

    Admittedly synthetics are massively used in today's perfumes and the result is that most things smell recognisable on numerous people. The slight variations are not so significant, yet they might exist. Many perfum experts insist on that.

    Naturals are of course more multi-nuanced substances themselves, often containing lots of molecules with varying components dependent on harvest, time of picking, distillation/extraction process, interaction with other notes etc. etc.
    As a result batches of the same perfume using natural ingredients might smell different, so not only dependent on personal chemistry (which *IMHO* is grossly overrated anyway, except if one is using some drug for medical issues, hormonal imbalances or a very specific diet) but dependent on the conditions of the ingredient itself.

    I suggest you take a look here :

    http://naturalperfumery.com/

    Anya is a natural perfumer and very knowledgable on the subject.

    The same goes for Ayala, member here.
    Last edited by helg; 9th August 2006 at 02:35 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    ^Thanks for that link, and that good post!

  5. #5

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    Natural aromachemicals are chemicals.
    Synthetic aromachemicals are chemicals.

    Chemicals are chemicals.

    Natural essential oils and other extracts will be more complex than single-molecule synthetics, since those substances contain multiple chemicals.. sometimes even dozens. And there are a number of synthetics that mimic natural scents, but have properties that make them suited to different uses in perfumery.. more potency, for instance, or longer evaporation times. But it would be wrong to assume that natural and synthetic chemicals belong to two distinctly different groups with different common characteristics.

    Of course, some people would tell you that natural essences carry the "healing life energy" of the original plant, or something like that. I got nothin' to say to that.. nothin' polite, anyway.

  6. #6

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    yes, thanks!

    btw I have an "organic" horror story.

    I used to really like MOP [Modern Organic Producs I think is stands for] "Glisten" hairspray. I had no idea what it did for my hair but I loved the smell cause it smelled just like fruit loops only more natural. Just delicious.

    On ebay someone was selling like 9 of the bottles for the price of about 1. I snapped it up it arrived but had "turned". Fruit Loops became something like rubbing alcohol mixed with nailpolish remover with a very strong note of pencil shavings. Really horriffic! I told my salon friend about this and he told me the MOP products go "off". I should have made a no pun intended stink and gotten my money refunded, but I wasn't as savvy about Ebay as I am now.

    [Which is to say, if you have problems on ebay complain via paypal. The seller will lose the money on his next transaction and get bad feedback so usually they will agree to refund for stuff.]

    Interesting to learn about how batches can vary, makes perfect sense.
    Last edited by supermarky; 10th August 2006 at 09:30 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    Quote Originally Posted by supermarky
    I was reading a couple of other creed threads and in speaking of the signifigance of natural vs synthetic didn't see what the guy at Neiman Marcus told me today.

    According to him, natural ingredients are too volatile and smell very different on different people or smell different according to what you've eaten or something whereas synthetic, he says, smells the same on everybody and he said chanel #5 was a big hit because it was the 1st synthetic and smelled the same on everyone.

    He said naturals can really go "off" on you depending on circumstances.
    First of all, as some mentioned before, the abovementioned Creed sales person needs to upgrade his/her knowledge ASAP. Here are a few important points to break his/her "myths":

    1) The genius of No. 5 is that it was one of the first fragrances that did not try to mimic fowers, but was meant to smell "like a woman". Instead of smelling of a particular flower or a floral bouquet, it offered women, for the first time, a man-made sohpistication.

    2) No. 5 is not the first synthetic fragrance, but it's the first one to use aldehydes, Which are the top notes that create the "oily" and "skin like" feminine feel in this particular scent (along with the floral notes and the civet, of course).

    3) No. 5 has probably far more natural ingredients than any Creed I ever smelled had. Creed perfumes are expensive for reasons that are unknown to me. Using naturals isn't one of them - as they use just as much or even less than many perfumes in a lower price range (Tabu, for instance, which sells for about $10 in drugstores, has far more naturals than any Creed I ever smelled, and more naturals than many niche houses' fragrances I have tried). I wish not to offend any Creed fans (I myself am a huge fan of their Spring Flower, by the way), I am just trying to set the records straight.

    4) The volatility of natural aromatics varies tremendously; Volatility, by the way, is the evaporation rate of a scent molecules. This is the factor that determines whether or not a scent is a top, middle or base notes. Natural aromatics can last anywhere between a few minutes (i.e. some of the citrus oils) and a few days or weeks or months (for instance: patchouli and many animal substances last for many weeks on a scent stripe).

    5) As for interaction with the skin/body chemistry: Chanel's No. 5 smells differently on different people. And so do many perfumes on the market. Most of the best perfumes on the market have at least 80% of natural substances in them, and that helps them to be more dynamic, and not smell static when applied to the skin. The interaction with the body chemistry is what always made perfumes so special: each person smells different, even if wearing the same perfume. This may only be my personal opinion - but perfume is a way of extending one's personality and unique presence, and most people do not want to smell like everybody else (who bought the same perfume); they want to smell unique and special and have their own "trademark scent".
    The perfume industry at large is moving along with the latest trend, which is the result of lack of education of the public about scents: they are trying to create scents that will smell the same on the scent stripe and on a person's skin; they also encourage wearing the scents on the clothes (where less evolution and chemical interaction will take place) in order to avoid the customers becoming "disappointed" that the scent does not smell the same as the top notes they smelled in the 2 minutes they spent picking a scent. This is a shame. I am sure all Basenoters know that picking a scent requires some time (is that a bad thing? I think this is part of the pleasure of perfume, and it is fun!), and that scents need to be tested on the skin. But unfortunately, there are sales quantities to be reached and this needs to be done fast... So lets' just make perfumes predictable, right?

    As for perfumes that are made purely from natural aromatics - I understand why some people might think this is very "old fashioned" and may even compare it to writing only to authentic instruments from the Baroque period. However, being a natural perfumer myself, this is not where I am coming from. And I am going to explain my philosophy here the best I can without making it too long (if my post isn't too long already!):

    a) While Natural Perfumery does revive this ancient art, and uses many building blocks that were traditionally used in ancient times and more recently in the "Golden Age of Perfumery", there are many building blocks that are entirely modern and are new on the pallette. The pallette of the Natural Perfumer, in fact, keeps growing (contrary to the public perception of how limited it is). As new plants are discovered and appreciated (i.e.: perilla, massoia, green tea and mate are just a few examples of notes that are used by the Modern Natural Perfumer, but were not used in the past); and new methods of extractions are discovered (i.e.: CO2 extractions), there are new notes added to the pallette on quite a fast-paced basis.

    b) While some may perceive the Natural Perfumery movement as purists and idealistic, or even worse - a bunch of aromatherapists that hate synthetics and don’t know how a real perfume should smell like - this is not the truth. Using natural aromatics and choosing Natural Perfumery as one's form of fragrant self-expression and style is an artistic choice. Not so much as using only "authentic Baroque instruments" but rather like the painter's choice of using aquarelle or oil paints. Just like Caron and Guerlain have a signature base accord, the Natural Perfumers have their own style. The At of Perfumery is all about choosing the aromatic substances and their proportions and creating something new from how they interact – a PERFUME. Natural Perfumers just happen to choose only natural ingredients, because they prefer the qualities of these building blocks and the way they interact with the wearer.

    A few more things regarding the differences in quality between naturals and synthetics:
    1) Sytnehtics are simple and are made of one type (or very few types) of chemical molecules; Natural aromatics are complex, and are made of many differente (hundreds or thousands) of chemical molecules – therefore, each natural building block is almost like a perfume on its own, with top, middle and base.

    2) Synthetic aromachemicals are more predictable and usually are not so much affected by the body chemistry; Natural aromatics are more interactive in the way they react to the body chemistry.

    3) Synthetic aromachemicals are stable and predictable as they are made in the lab and are fully controlled by the manufacturer – a character which ensures that every batch of perfume is identical; Natural aromatics are more prone to changes in the environment, and therefore each crop of natural essences is slightly different. This makes the perfumes more dynamic and different batches may not smell completely identical. This creates a different kind of aesthetic and the wearer can detect the slight differences and appreciate the changes that occur in the world around us – and are reflected in the natural perfumes, just as much as they do within us.

    I am sure there is more to be said about the differences, but really all one needs to do in order to understand them is try for yourself. Once you wear a natural perfume for a few days, you will notice that it has different qualities than a perfume that uses synthetics. You may enjoy those different qualities, or you may not (just like some of us like Guerlain and some of us don’t). One thing is certain – Natural Perfumes are beautiful and unique, and offer an unusual departure from mainstream perfumery much like many niche houses do.
    Ayala Moriel, Perfumer
    Ayala Moriel Parfums http://www.ayalamoriel.com/
    Visit my SmellyBlog: http://www.smellyblog.com/

  8. #8

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    Here's my opinion: Natural or synthetic, some perfumes smell better on some people--not to the extent that they smell like different perfumes, but that certain notes dominate, others disappear.
    Synthetics are more clear, more distinct. They capture a specific quality of a particular scent (i.e. the fruit in a flower.) The perfume can be constructed so that one can smell one's way "around" the notes in the mix.
    Naturals capture the intended note along with other incidental notes (i.e. the floral, fruit, spice, wood, and green in a flower.) The perfume often smells more blended, overall.
    The challenge of mixing synthetics is to construct a "whole" smell with components. Bizarre combinations are possible.
    The challenge of mixing naturals is to support the desired notes and minimize the background noise.
    Last edited by purplebird7; 10th August 2006 at 03:39 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    I have the impression that the best perfumes in the market are the combination of both worlds: the complexity, richness, fullness and organic feeling of natural products plus the innovativeness, predictability, stability and longevity of synthetic molecules.
    « L'odeur de rose, faible, grâce au vent léger d'été qui passe, se mêle aux parfums qu'elle a mis.»
    [ Paul Verlaine ]
    Wardrobe

  10. #10

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    Quote Originally Posted by supermarky
    Really horriffic! I told my salon friend about this and he told me the MOP products go "off".
    thanks for the heads up on this, my wife has a big bottle of the mint-sage (or is it thyme) shampoo that she (or more likely I) will have to use up.
    K
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]MisterK / Vicomte de K / K[/FONT]
    [FONT=Book Antiqua]Ephemeral Top 5: YSL PH HC, Worth PH, Equipage, Monsieur Rochas HC, Acqua di Gio[/FONT]

  11. #11

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    Quote Originally Posted by Ayala
    +What Ayala said! ;-)

    a) As new plants are discovered and appreciated (i.e.: perilla, massoia, green tea and mate are just a few examples of notes that are used by the Modern Natural Perfumer, but were not used in the past); and new methods of extractions are discovered

    +Want to add -- many of us tincture our own aromatics, such as goat hair (that's my little crazy corner of the world), bee goo from hives, odd herbs and roots like High John the Conquerer and sweetgrass, etc., etc.

    b) While some may perceive the Natural Perfumery movement as purists and idealistic, or even worse - a bunch of aromatherapists

    + As the host of the biggest natural perfumery chat group on the planet, I must confess I am disliked by many aromatherapists because of a website I put up a few years ago debunking aromatherapy and its false claims. Not many know that about me, but I took a lot of heat, willingly. There are a few good aromatherapists out there, and fewer still studying Natural Perfumery as defined by Ayala (and seconded by me). It is just boring to read over and over how NP is AT. Ain't so!

    Natural Perfumers just happen to choose only natural ingredients, because they prefer the qualities of these building blocks and the way they interact with the wearer.

    +Thanks, Ayala, for putting so much time and energy into your great reply!
    Please note, everyone -- I'm unfamiliar with the Basenotes quoting feature, and my bits may be confused with Ayala's, so I put a + in front of my replies.
    Anya McCoy - http://anyasgarden.com/
    Best of the Best awards - Perfume: MoonDance, StarFlower, Amberess, Light, Royal Lotus and as
    Project Leader: Outlaw Perfume and Mystery of Musk
    Basic Perfumery Course with lifetime access to the website - http://perfumeclasses.com
    America's First Natural Perfume Line 1991
    First Artisan Perfumer Voted in as member of the American Society of Perfumery 2013

  12. #12

    Default Re: natural vs synthetic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandalwood
    I have the impression that the best perfumes in the market are the combination of both worlds: the complexity, richness, fullness and organic feeling of natural products plus the innovativeness, predictability, stability and longevity of synthetic molecules.
    A good natural perfumer can create stability in the scent, no problem there. About longevity, something that many folks really, really desire in their perfumes..........

    .......I do not. I would be bored to death to have a scent I spritzed on in the morning still be there after noon. Some of my natural perfumes do, and since they are, ... I don't know, lighter on the skin, don't sink into the epidermis so much as synths, perhaps, I wash them off and apply another scent. I like change. I like to reapply my lipstick several times during the day - I'd never buy the Colorstay lipstick, for instance. I find it a lovely moment to reapply perfume during the day and night. Sometimes I like it to just fade and I'm scentless for a few hours -- yes, totally scentless...what a thought, LOL.

    I do use, and love many perfumes containing synths. I tend to choose the lighter ones, and apply them with a light hand. However, for richness and beauty, to me, natural perfumes can't be beat. It's a matter of personal preference and aesthetic choices, and I like having both worlds, they can coexist.

    As far as innovativeness, at least according to Andy Tauer in his blog today, one of my perfumes is innovative, and I doubt the scent dupe is out there in the synth world ;-)
    Last edited by Natural_Juice; 10th August 2006 at 05:36 PM.
    Anya McCoy - http://anyasgarden.com/
    Best of the Best awards - Perfume: MoonDance, StarFlower, Amberess, Light, Royal Lotus and as
    Project Leader: Outlaw Perfume and Mystery of Musk
    Basic Perfumery Course with lifetime access to the website - http://perfumeclasses.com
    America's First Natural Perfume Line 1991
    First Artisan Perfumer Voted in as member of the American Society of Perfumery 2013

Similar Threads

  1. synthetic vs natural and organic
    By savagebeauty in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 27th October 2006, 04:30 AM
  2. Natural and synthetic composition breakdown
    By scentophile in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 24th April 2006, 02:59 PM
  3. natural vs. synthetic
    By rilke in forum Feedback and Suggestions archive
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28th December 2005, 05:35 PM
  4. Natural vs. Synthetic...
    By iMaverick in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28th November 2005, 09:25 PM
  5. synthetic or natural ingredients ?
    By renzo in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 19th June 2005, 03:46 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •