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  1. #1

    Default Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    As many perfumers and enthusiasts are very aware, there's a measurable consumer backlash happening against synthetics, and especially synthetic musks. Two musks that are cited in many studies as the epitome of evil are Galaxolide and Tonalide - they have been claimed to be endocrine disrupters (i.e. hormonally effective) and environment-destroyers (since they don't really biodegrade). How do most perfumers view such studies or claims?

    One thing I immediately thought of was that maybe the fact that these synthetic musks are hormonally active isn't such a huge deal - I mean, otherwise they wouldn't be musks, i.e., they wouldn't be tangibly sexy. (Though, like anything, perhaps too much could be bad?) Basically though, I don't feel too horrible using it on myself because I'm guessing that like many of the eco/organic/natural trends in like every sphere of everything, the danger is overstated; and the choice to not use artificial materials is less about health than it is about a certain lifestyle aesthetic.

    That being said, I have had some people specifically request scents from me that do not have synthetic musks. Now as I understand, not all musks are created equal. Are the only ones thought to be bad by the scientific community polycyclic? I want to give people what they want, but I also want to make sure they aren't missing out on the whole party just because they don't like one person. I've composed a perfume that has Galaxolide. I'm now thinking about replacing it with a macrocyclic/other type of musk to appease my customers. Which musks do you think come closest to the effect that Galaxolide has on a perfume?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    There is very clear evidence that galaxolide persists for a long time in people and the environment. There is no clear evidence it's doing any real harm in either place but personally I feel it's better not to use it. I use romandolide instead which alicyclic, biodegradable and very close in odour profile. Unfortunately it's also several times more expensive Ö

    With tonalid the evidence isn't so clear though it is dropping out of fashion because of the desire to claim "free from polycyclic musk".
    Chris Bartlett
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  3. #3
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    According to Firmenich:

    Firmenich
    Romandolideģmin 90%
    Odor: Very delicate musky note, less fruity and less Ambrette than Helvetolideģwith more tenacity and more volume on the dry down
    Use: This alicyclic topnote musk is easily perceived by all users. It has a PCM-like character with berry topnotes and ambrette like nuances. It can be used as a PCM replacer and is stable in most applications. Resembles the closest musk to Galaxolideģ in character.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

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    David Ruskin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    Ther is no evidence whatsoever that either Galaxolide or Tonalid are toxic, nor are they "hormonally active". There is evidence that they are not biodegradable, and the negative reputation they have garnered is due to this fact. Tons of Polycyclic musks are washed down the drain as a result of these musks being used, at very high levels, in Detergents and Fabric Conditioners. Because of this negative publicity most manufactures of detergents request that their fragrances be Polycyclic free. However, the evidence isn't quite so black and white (it rarely is), as I have read a report put out by P&G which states that Polycyclics do biodegrade, but take quite a bit of time doing it. Many, many fine fragrances still contain Polycyclic musks.

    If there is a " measurable consumer backlash" against synthetics in fragrances ( and I would like to see the figures that have been measured) it is due to lack of good, objective information, and the hysterical, fact free panics written in the press.

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    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    Some studies seem to indicate toxicity of galaxolide and tonalid towards worms and fish. Not surprising, as many synthetics are more harmful to those simple organisms than mammals. Galaxolide is a weak agonist of estrogen receptors, much weaker than phytoestrogens people consume from their veggies and not really a concern hormone-wise. I think it's a personal choice. I love fish and worms. Harming them will affect organisms higher on the food chain. But if you decide to continue using your beloved galaxolide-containing perfume, I don't think that would be a big deal, either.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    It is kind of a pain to try to appease (pander to?) people that seem to have ignorant fears - so many people ask me "are these perfumes all natural?" to which I answer that they are not, with a few little details here and there to try to make them understand - but it's no matter, a lot of the time, the moment I say "no" to their question, they are looking at me like I am a criminal. Synthetics-avoidance seems like a magical way of thinking as opposed to a logical one, which I don't like because I'm a very analytical person by nature.

    And I wondered about Romandolide but I had never smelled it - I can't seem to find a distributer in the U.S. other than Vigon (Firmenich), and I'm not yet a customer of theirs since they deal in quantities slightly larger than what I can handle right now. Any U.S. perfumers out there that use Romandolide who get it from a source other than Vigon?

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    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    PA sells auranone which is mainly romandolide plus some other alicyclic musks. Vigon sells 1oz samples if I remember correctly? You can also buy some from Chris.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    I believe Paul Kiler has some Romandolide too & might be willing to sell on a small amoun, it must be worth asking. Failing other options; give me a shout.
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Galaxolide: Toxic? Alternatives?

    I've now got some Auratouch on its way to me now! Looking very much forward to this.

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