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  1. #1

    Default What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    I wanted to talk about what "synthetic" means in a fragrance, because this word is thrown around way too often and is misinterpreted. To me synthetic simply means "man made" while most fragrances usually have "real" ingredients in the notes, that's irrelevant if it just smells fake when it comes out. So to me.. "synthetic" has to do with what I'm smelling in the end result, but more specifically refers to a man made smell.. chemicals, metallic smells, and unnatural aromas.

    A great example of what is considered synthetic amongst a lot of you is Realities by Claiborne. (I don't find this to be synthetic at all) Realities starts off very cloying and powerful, similar to the opening of BLV power and vapor wise. However once it tones down you can smell coconut and lemon accords. Accord - another word that gets thrown around is really when notes combine to produce something that isn't noted in the fragrance..this may be considered synthetic to many of you, but it isn't. It's specifically blended this way to make such an accord, sometimes it takes several ingredients to produce something very different, if concocted well it shows in the end. When I spray Realities on myself, I get coconut, lemon.. then into a nice woodsy dry down, far from synthetic, it actually reminds me of nature.

    So what is synthetic to you? If you think I'm wrong, tell me.. I always enjoy criticism if you can make a logical point. Those of you who have seen my reviews (though I need to edit some due to second opinions) can see that I'm more critical than others, I dissect the fragrance, I attack its negatives and praise its positives, I don't just say what everyone else says.

    Some synthetics to me are:
    Be Delicious
    Mambo
    Curve Kicks
    Curve Crush
    Versace Man

    There are less synthetics than there are more, IMO. On one of my threads somebody said Terre D'hermes was very synthetic, yet when I said "What's synthetic about citrus and cedar?" he simply hid from the thread. I found TD to be one of most natural fragrances I've ever come across.

    But, ya enough stalling, guys let me know what you think? What's synthetic to you? Give some examples..Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by The_Cologneist; 21st March 2010 at 11:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Dependent

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    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    You're probably right. Technically most ingredients are synthetic substitutes, I would imagine. But I tend to personally refer to a "synthetic-smelling" scent as one that smells a little chemical or plastic-y...

    Though I try these days to use that word lesser because it can be misleading.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    yet when I said "What's synthetic about citrus and cedar?" he simply hid from the thread. I found TD to be one of most natural fragrances I've ever come across.
    Hehe, I wasn't hiding from the thread. I just didn't have the time to respond fully.

    What I find synthetic about Terre d'Hermes - and I no I'm not alone in this, you'll find many people agree if you read all the reviews in the directory - is the feel of the fragrance, the mineralic notes (these, I like) and the never-ending assault of that airy and ever so slightly ambery cedar that is provided primarily by the chemical iso e super (iso e super makes up 55% of Terre d'Hermes). Some people are very bothered by iso e super while for others it seems to really 'tickle their nose' in a very pleasing way. I actually like the smell of it but it often times causes me physical pain after some time (sometimes a headache and always a sore throat/sinuses after sniffing it for 6+ hours).

    So, Terre d'Hermes doesn't actually smell all that synthetic to me based on the smell alone, but it "feels" synthetic in the way that it attacks my sinuses and generally makes me feel physically worse. If you've ever worked with or smelled all natural perfumes (I work with all naturals in my spare time) you'll see how they never* seem to make you feel worse or hurt your nose or throat or eyes or anything. They really do tend to provide positive and uplifting aromatherapeutic effects, while something like TdH definitely doesn't. That's why I think TdH smells synthetic. It smells nice, but has a synthetic feel (and the extreme longevity of being highly synthetic, too!)

    *I say never but there are exceptions, of course. That being said, naturals are - roughly speaking - 99 times more pleasant to sniff and easy on the sinuses/eyes than synthetics.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    When I use "synthetic" as a criticism, it generally means a note that's supposed to resemble a "natural" smell, but fails in one of the following ways:

    - It doesn't actually smell like what it's supposed to. I can tell that it's _supposed_ to smell like vanilla, or coconut, or roses, or whatever, but it's not convincing.

    Sometimes this is fine - sometimes I like a brightened, heightened, candy-like, cartoonish synthetic version of the note - for example, I like Fresh Lemon Sugar, which I consider to be cartoon lemon. But often it fails, and even when it succeeds, it's a different mood. Cartoons are almost always less serious than the real thing.

    - It smells like what it's supposed to, but it's too even and unchanging.

    Natural smells, as I understand it, come from a large variety of molecules. A real rose growing on a real bush may have a bright sparkling floral note, but also a boozy one, and also a bitter one, and also a resinous one, and also a green one, and on and on and on. And, really, it's probably dozens of rosy and dozens of boozy and dozens of bitter notes.

    When the smell is too "even" and simple, like it's one molecule or a few dozen instead of the hundreds that would be in the natural source, that's when I call it "synthetic smelling".

    Now, I don't have _that_ good a nose, so I suspect that there are all sorts of olfactory tricks that can be played to make me perceive variety that isn't there. And I'm perfectly willing to be tricked that way; I know perfectly well that most perfumes are mostly synthetic, and that if they weren't, I couldn't afford them.

    - It gives me a migraine, angers my sinuses, or otherwise attacks me in a way that a real rose, lemon, orange, coconut, etc. would not. And, yes, SculptureOfSoul's post above me made me remember this category.

    ------

    Edited to add: I've left out synthetic notes that smell synthetic because the originals _are_ synthetic. Many leather notes, for example, smell like the chemicals used to treat leather, and that's fine - though I am a bit irritated when there's _no_ animalic background note at all. And I love the Comme des Garcons scents that are deliberately synthetic (Garage, Tar, Dry Clean). I like a lot of "synthetic" smells - I generally only use the term as a criticism, as opposed to a definition, in the above circumstances.
    Last edited by ChickenFreak; 21st March 2010 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Can't type.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    'Synthetic' to me is just another word for 'poorly crafted'. Even with man-made chemicals, a master perfumer can still create the most natural smelling of scents.
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 22nd March 2010 at 05:29 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    agree with you the_cologneist , most of time, the word is used to critizice , as well as generic, when most of component used in Industry (70-80 %) are synthetic. so... what´s wrong??

  7. #7

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Hehe, I wasn't hiding from the thread. I just didn't have the time to respond fully.

    What I find synthetic about Terre d'Hermes - and I no I'm not alone in this, you'll find many people agree if you read all the reviews in the directory - is the feel of the fragrance, the mineralic notes (these, I like) and the never-ending assault of that airy and ever so slightly ambery cedar that is provided primarily by the chemical iso e super (iso e super makes up 55% of Terre d'Hermes). Some people are very bothered by iso e super while for others it seems to really 'tickle their nose' in a very pleasing way. I actually like the smell of it but it often times causes me physical pain after some time (sometimes a headache and always a sore throat/sinuses after sniffing it for 6+ hours).

    So, Terre d'Hermes doesn't actually smell all that synthetic to me based on the smell alone, but it "feels" synthetic in the way that it attacks my sinuses and generally makes me feel physically worse. If you've ever worked with or smelled all natural perfumes (I work with all naturals in my spare time) you'll see how they never* seem to make you feel worse or hurt your nose or throat or eyes or anything. They really do tend to provide positive and uplifting aromatherapeutic effects, while something like TdH definitely doesn't. That's why I think TdH smells synthetic. It smells nice, but has a synthetic feel (and the extreme longevity of being highly synthetic, too!)

    *I say never but there are exceptions, of course. That being said, naturals are - roughly speaking - 99 times more pleasant to sniff and easy on the sinuses/eyes than synthetics.
    See that's what I don't understand, we can all agree that what's important is what comes out of the atomizer, right? I do see many people saying TdH has some synthetic notes in it, but for them to say that is kind of bias. Unless you're there in the lab watching exactly what they put in it, I don't see any notes listed that would lead me to believe that. Now if say "caramelized sugar" was listed, that's a different story. Does TdH really smell synthetic to you when it's on your skin? That's what is important.

  8. #8

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Sorry though, I don't understand what "synthetic feeling" means. So this is where we see differently.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Maybe I should just use to word "natural" more. Greats posts btw guys I F'n love this site! Most of you are serious fragrance enthusiasts, it's truly great to chat amongst people who are as knowledgeable as me, if not even more knowledgeable.

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    I think he means the fact that some of the molecules in it react very oddly with some people. Iso E Super makes a fragrance smell, or rather "feel" very synthetic to some people. I have never smelled Terre D'Hermes, but I own Encre Noire and it took me ages to get used to the Iso E Super in it. I never heard about it before and I blind bought Encre Noire, and when I first put it on, I can literally only describe how it felt as a scent was raping my nose. It gave me the worst tingling feeling in my sinuses and I got a massive headache immediately afterword. However, it doesn't really smell synthetic. To me, it smells like burnt cedar and some ink. Perfectly natural notes. But the way it goes about projecting those notes really does a number on my nose. I have learned to appreciate Encre Noire, and it doesn't feel as "odd" as it used to, but I can definitely tell there is something very different about that compared to another scent that tries to do the whole Cedar/Vetiver thing. That is just my impression anyway.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    I don't like the term because of its lack of operative meaning - the word is open to many meanings. However, I have a feeling regarding what it might mean, since there are some notes in current fragrances that generate a physiological reaction in me, an itchiness in the back of my synus / nose. The first time I noticed this was back in the late 1980 / early 1990's, namely, when trying Cool Water, Aqua Di Gio and CKBe for the first time. I also realized that this feeling was even more noticeable in the case of drugstore knock-offs as well as in room and bathroom deodorizers, specially those sold under the word "marine" (in my ignorance I always blamed this on the presence of xylene and calone, but this is just a supposition since I am far from knowing about the chemistry of essences). Well, based in these facts, in my case I associate the term "synthetic" with some sort of negative physical reaction from the scent I am either trying or wearing.

    By extension, I may also associate the term with such attributes like an extended longevity or very strong sweet accords. Fixatives are used in order to achieve scents lasting more than 24 hours on one's skin, an many new EO are sweeter than, say, mango or coconut.

    So, basically, the term might also mean, as many of you said, a disbalance in the blend, which (IMHO) might be not bad per se.
    Last edited by Pollux; 21st March 2010 at 06:53 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    When I think of synthetic, I think of Hugo Boss - Element.

    I was given a tester before its original release and loved it. But when they mass produced it, there was a much stronger calone presence.

    Calone is a strong synthetic element, anything that irritates the nose gives me a synthetic impression (even though as other Bnoters have truly pointed out, most ingredients are synthetic)

  13. #13

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Well, yes.. probably all ingredients are synthetic (man made) but what matters is does the juice smell pure or natural, or a thousand other words I can think of that are the opposite of what synthetic represents in colognes. In cologne..to me.. synthetic = fake. It's not always bad because their are good "fake" fragrances out there. While re-reading this, using the word FAKE sounds horrible, but it's the only way I can really say it.

    I don't care about notes, notes just give you an idea of what you may get. Synthetic or synthetic-smelling is the result of the finished product, and the fact is that none of us can really say which notes smell synthetic and which don't because they're all together in a whole, the whole being the fragrance at hand.

    ^^ may sound contradicting, this just depends on your take of what synthetic means in a fragrance. I've typed it so much today that I'm confusing myself lol, I may just slice it from my vocabulary all together.
    Last edited by The_Cologneist; 21st March 2010 at 07:45 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    When i use the word, I mean that the artist has not skillfully done their job in using the synthetics tastefully and with veil.
    I am not averse to the use per se.
    Many of my favorites are rife with synthetics, but done in a manner where nature is evoked, or where the overall impression is of a significantly brilliant nature, so much, that it seems apporaching the artistry present in all things natural.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    There are some very developed noses in here whose opinion on "synthetic" is pretty discerning. For me, and some others I think, it's often a fairly generic disparaging term for frags that just hit out noses in a bad way, or the blend just doesn't work for us.

    If I directly compare the rose note in Windsor with the rose note of DC 1913, I can get a bit of a sense of the difference. But in practice, I like wearing both.

    ^^^^^Dullah pretty much hits it on the head for me.
    Last edited by StylinLA; 21st March 2010 at 08:13 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    In my mind, I assign the descriptor "synthetic" which I feel like I'm sniffing something that doesn't smell like a naturally occuring note. Platinum Egoiste is the first frag that comes to mind (and in my wardrobe). Reminds me of pleasant chemical fumes. When I first sniffed the opening of Ambre Sultan, carcinogenic was the first thought that came to mind, although from what I've subsequently read in reviews, I should have given it more time to develop before dismissing it. Creed scents tend to smell extremely natural to me, and I realize that they aren't all natural. Still, there aren't any Creeds that are full bottle worthy for me.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    Sorry though, I don't understand what "synthetic feeling" means. So this is where we see differently.
    You want to smell what "synthetic" smells like, smell Frederic Malle Outrageous! Then just apply that knew knowledge to other scents. There are some scents that smell very natural, the orange note smells just like it would if you were to smell a real orange, even if it is made using a synthetic chemical. But there are other scents, often due to poor craftsmanship/compositions that don't hide the chemical nature of the fragrance notes well, they smell as if they are clearly artificial. We can all agree, that orange scent powdered drink mix smells quite a bit artificial when compared to a real orange. It's the same in fragrances, while most are almost completely synthetic, some fragrances hide that better than others.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    I agree with SculptureofSoul - I too go with the feel. 'Synthetic' to me is just another word for 'poorly crafted'. Even with man-made chemicals, a master perfumer can still create the most natural smelling of scents.
    Agreed!

  19. #19

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Synthetic is an epithet thrown around when there is something in a fragrance that one doesn't like but can't really identify or lacks the vocabulary to describe accurately.
    Seek not the favor of the multitude; it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of few; and number not voices, but weigh them. - Immanuel Kant

  20. #20

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Versace The Dreamer is called a synthetic scent, but who cares? It is pleasant with a wonderful, clean drydown. Like pleasant laundry soap.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    For me, "synthetic" means one or two things:

    1. A smell that lacks the richness and depth of its natural counterpart; and/or

    2. A smell that resembles a chemical from a lab (e.g., formaldehyde, ammonia, etc.)

  22. #22

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Synthetic vs Natural

    Think boobs.

    Some synthetics are done very well and can be almost as good as the best naturals.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    See that's what I don't understand, we can all agree that what's important is what comes out of the atomizer, right? I do see many people saying TdH has some synthetic notes in it, but for them to say that is kind of bias. Unless you're there in the lab watching exactly what they put in it, I don't see any notes listed that would lead me to believe that. Now if say "caramelized sugar" was listed, that's a different story. Does TdH really smell synthetic to you when it's on your skin? That's what is important.
    Are you really saying that you can't tell the difference between cedar essential oil and ISO E Super? A published note doesn't make a difference at all, what it smells like is what matters. Terre dHermes smells strongly of ISO E Super. It is a very pleasant smell, but does not at all smell natural to me.

  24. #24

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    On one of my threads somebody said Terre D'hermes was very synthetic, yet when I said "What's synthetic about citrus and cedar?" he simply hid from the thread. I found TD to be one of most natural fragrances I've ever come across.
    TdH is 55% ISO E SUPER and doesn't smell like cedar.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    ^^ last 2 posts, smells like cedar to me. Very natural smelling IMO, I will admit that I have no idea what ISO E Super is, do any other colognes have this in it?

  26. #26

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by shamu1 View Post
    For me, "synthetic" means one or two things:

    1. A smell that lacks the richness and depth of its natural counterpart; and/or

    2. A smell that resembles a chemical from a lab (e.g., formaldehyde, ammonia, etc.)
    I agree with that statement, in fact I think that's the best definition for what we as enthusiasts think of when we throw that word out.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Though there's no pyramid, this is what's in TdH: Grapefruit, Orange, Flint, Pepper, Pink Pepper, Geranium Leaves, Patchouli, Cedar, Vetiver, Benzoin. Does Iso E Super use another name? From what I've researched, Iso E Super is meant to smell like an actual note.. amber, cedar, sandalwood. Obviously man-made and synthetic, but I don't see this Iso E Super listed anywhere in TdH.

    TdH to me - I get those notes listed: grapefruit, orange, cedar vetiver.. which to me makes for an ultimately synthetically fragrance. TdH IMO is one of the best fragrances ever made.

    If this Iso E Super consists of sandalwood, which is a very dominant smell. I smell no Iso E Super in TdH. What I smell is some of the freshest cedar I've ever experienced in a fragrance. Look at Fahrenheit, basic notes, you can tell the sandalwood.. it's a very natural sandalwood, comparing this to a very natural cedar.. I see no similarities at all.
    Last edited by The_Cologneist; 22nd March 2010 at 03:46 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Molecule 01 by Escentric Molecules is completely composed of ISO E Super. You could also purchase a small amount of this chemical from a place like Perfumer's Apprentice. ISO E Super is very popular in fragrances now... from Abercrombie to Brooks Brothers. It's everywhere. It is not a substitute for cedar essential oil, nor is it meant to be. It is one of the molecules that is used in many applications including: to smooth out a blend, increase sillage, and give a modern tone to a composition. As with many ingredients, it is sometimes used to good effect, and sometimes not. There are many, many threads dedicated to it on Basenotes, so it would be redundant at best to discuss it at great length yet again.

    Synthetics are very important to the perfume industry. Most of the well respected noses agree that a balance between synthetics and naturals are generally a good practice. The problem I have with synthetics is that they are beginning to be used by the industry in lieu of naturals as a regulatory measure under the guise of helping the consumer by not exposing them to allergens. It could easily be argued that increased profits for the labs who create the synthetics is a major factor in this movement, more than public health.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 22nd March 2010 at 03:46 AM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    Though there's no pyramid, this is what's in TdH: Grapefruit, Orange, Flint, Pepper, Pink Pepper, Geranium Leaves, Patchouli, Cedar, Vetiver, Benzoin. Does Iso E Super use another name? From what I've researched, Iso E Super is meant to smell like an actual note.. amber, cedar, sandalwood. Obviously man-made and synthetic, but I don't see this Iso E Super listed anywhere in TdH.

    TdH to me - I get those notes listed: grapefruit, orange, cedar vetiver.. which to me makes for an ultimately synthetically fragrance. TdH IMO is one of the best fragrances ever made.

    If this Iso E Super consists of sandalwood, which is a very dominant smell. I smell no Iso E Super in TdH. What I smell is some of the freshest cedar I've ever experienced in a fragrance. Look at Fahrenheit, basic notes, you can tell the sandalwood.. it's a very natural sandalwood, comparing this to a very natural cedar.. I see no similarities at all.
    I believe you are referring to notes, not constituents in a formula. I'd be very surprised to see those ingredients in the formula for Terre d'Hermes. A fragrance house is not going to publish the aroma chemicals they use in a perfume formula. They will instead refer to notes that are familiar to the consumer.

    Just because there is ISO E Super in a formula, does not mean that it cannot also contain actual cedar essential oil as well.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 22nd March 2010 at 03:51 AM.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    ^^ Ya, that's a big thing with me, the reason I try to avoid such synthetics, because they are harmful in ways, obviously not deadly, but I do notice when I wear them that people sneeze, cough, eyes get watery, etc. Common allergy symptoms really, I don't get this with TdH at all, nor with Fahrenheit nor with GIT, or many others.

  31. #31

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    I believe you are referring to notes, not constituents in a formula. I'd be very surprised to see those ingredients in the formula for Terre d'Hermes. A fragrance house is not going to publish the aroma chemicals they use in a perfume formula. They will instead refer to notes that are familiar to the consumer.

    Just because there is ISO E Super in a formula, does not mean that it cannot also contain actual cedar essential oil as well.
    ^ Thanks for the clarification

  32. #32

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    ^^ Ya, that's a big thing with me, the reason I try to avoid such synthetics, because they are harmful in ways, obviously not deadly, but I do notice when I wear them that people sneeze, cough, eyes get watery, etc. Common allergy symptoms really, I don't get this with TdH at all, nor with Fahrenheit nor with GIT, or many others.
    Actually science would disagree with you there. Naturals are more prone to give allergic reactions for the most part. That is why many of the synthetics are replacing naturals, because they don't have the allergens in them that the naturals do. For instance, orris root absolute (a very common perfume allergen), causes more reactions in double blind tests than most of its synthetic substitutes. Also, orris root absolute, being much more expensive than gold, is usable in only very prohibitively expensive perfumes. The synthetic substitutes enable some exceptional orris based scents (i.e., Dior Homme) to be made which don't cause allergic reactions in people and which are affordable to more people as well. This is an example of synthetic constituents being a positive thing. Terre d'Hermes is a wonderful composition. It obviously is not composed of either 100% natural or 100% synthetic ingredients. It is the artistry in its composition that is what makes it so attractive, IMO, not simply the constituents used to compound it.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 22nd March 2010 at 04:03 AM.

  33. #33

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Here is a quote from one of my very favorite perfumers, Patricia de Nicolai:

    As far as I’m concerned, the future lies in ever more creations, it’s what our clientele wants. Made with top-quality natural ingredients with more strictly controlled origins. But we also need to enhance synthesis’s image. I’m a bit fed up with the whole “100%-natural” thing. If some people want to go back to Marie-Antoinette’s perfumery, fine, it’s up to them. But as far as I’m concerned, I don’t believe in 100%-natural haute perfumery. We absolutely must need to change the way we look at synthetic molecules; journalists need to be brave enough to talk about them, to break the taboo. Way back in 1952, Ernest Beaux** said, “Perfumery’s future lies in chemistry”

  34. #34

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    I enjoy the perfect scent of orange blossom, jasmine in bloom, a fresh orange, and some nice lavender. That is my impression of natural and I am no scientist. I'd like to go back to Marie Antoinette's perfumer as long as it smells great.
    Last edited by bokaba; 22nd March 2010 at 04:17 AM.

  35. #35

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bokaba View Post
    I enjoy the perfect scent of orange blossom, jasmine in bloom, a fresh orange, and some nice lavender. That is my impression of natural and I am no scientist. I'd like to go back to Marie Antoinette's perfumer as long as it smells great.
    I think most of us love those scents as well. But synthetics do have a very important place in modern perfumery.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Right you are! Without synthetics our modern industry would proabably flop overnight. Even all natural oils sometimes smell "off."

  37. #37

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Ehh, this thread got way too specific, of course everything is man made in cologne. Every fragrance has to have alcohol in it. Alcohol is not natural.

    More what I was going for, is what's your impression of an overall synthetic fragrance? What would you consider a synthetic fragrance? Can we all agree that everything out of the Claiborne and Versace houses are synthetic smelling? It's good to know what you all think on this specific topic to better help, not just me but everyone reading this when addressing other threads. Thanks

  38. #38

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    I've found that often times notes that people don't know what they smell like in real life are labeled as synthetic when they are encountered in scents.

    Most prominently i've noticed this in regards to clary sage. Some scents have a very clear and natural smelling clary sage note (probably synthetic as they tend to maintain more clarity and sparkle than a real clary sage oil - ie: they freeze the top notes of clary sage) and this gets labeled as a synthetic 'fresh' molecule. Versace Pour Homme, for instance, has a wonderful clary sage note although many people say that even this stage of the scent (early on, < 1 hour) smells extremely synthetic. Actually, it smells a lot like clary sage oil!
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  39. #39

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    I do not make the natural/synthetic categorization instinctively. I believe that all scents have totally synthetic molecules in them nowadays (except of course when stated otherwise) and very few companies will pay for a natural component if they can find something that an ordinary nose will perceive it as "99% similar".
    However there are fragrances that have lit up the "synthetic" sign in my mind the moment I smelled them. And even then, there is "good synthetic" like Comme des Garcons 3, and "bad synthetic" like Beyond Paradise for Men. In fact the latter should be turned into a case study of how perfumers should not use aromechicals to create imaginary landsapes. While the sense of "syntheticness" of CdG3 is vibrant, pulsating even, and really opens your imagination towards images relating to science fiction, Beyond Paradise presents itself as a dense, impenetrable mass of chemical fumes.
    On the opposie side of the spectrum I tend to characterize (in my mind always and completely arbitrarily I admit) as "natural" scents that contain topnotes that can be even characterised as ugly or discordant but during their progression and as the volume of the topnotes is turned down, the remaining fractions of these discordant topnotes become beautiful and armonious elements in the composition. CdG Patchouli Luxe and many MPG scents fit that description.

  40. #40

    Default Re: What's your impression of "synthetic"?

    Good post thatnks, ya I never tried Beyond Paradise, I always thought the bottle was kind of trippy and intriguing. When I think of "synthetic messes" Desire, Curve Crush, Mambo, and Versace V/S come to mind, ironically.. I despise all of those. While there are also frags I despise that aren't as synthetic smelling, and there are also more synthetic smelling ones that I strongly like.

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