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  1. #31

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Yes Mumsy, it took me a while to understand that oils as the carrier dampen scent, and as well, keep it closer to the skin. I thought I was imagining things the first time I mixed a blend with Jojoba and noticed the fragrance to get dampened down, kind of muffled. It wasn't until a good while later that I read others describing the same thing, as you have described it well here.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    BTW Mumsy, at least you had the advantage of knowing what FCO was, and having access to it. I first used Jojoba when I desired to not use DPG, nor Alcohol, at that time I had never even heard of FCO. I was under the impression that Jojoba was the "standard" (for selection if using an oil carrier)...then the things start to come out about how Jojoba could go bad quickly.

    I have been lucky with my six year old formulation, in Jojoba, that does not evoke any rancid note from the jojoba, while the bottle of jojoba itself, does have a bit of an off odor at this point.

  3. #33

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    I used Jojoba too at the very beginning but it added a slight scent of its own so I hunted for one that didn't. I still like to blend in oils as well. I often try the same perfume in both mediums.
    Currently wearing: Charisma by Avon

  4. #34

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    In response to your comments Mumsy about the use of naturals, I feel the need to add that I find it rather odd that there is held such a strong negative attitude by many modern perfumers when the topic of perfumes which are formulated by way of materials of biological origin is discussed. At times some of the comments made by modern perfumers in regards to biological raw materials come off as strongly antagonistic towards the methods preferred to be used by those who are commonly referred to as "natural" perfumers.

    I always feel a sense of discomfort when I use the term in relation to perfumery as I employ the word only for the sake of convenience, knowing of no other single word that can be used as its more accurate and unbiased replacement, being well aware that the word "natural" can have a near infinite number of meanings, depending on the context and level in which it is used, the point of view of the various individuals or groups of individuals who attempt to use it, and who generally only permit those definitions that feel to them to fit the most comfortably within their own particular subjectively biased belief system, to the point that the definitions are often utterly meaningless and totally lacking in any sense of actual logic.

    I have the strong suspicion that at least part of the onset of this negative attitude towards the "natural" perfumer is due to the reckless use of the term "natural" coinciding with the development in recent times of suggestions of benefits, health, mental, social, you name it, that are not based on any proven grounds but which are attributed nevertheless to being provided by the oils to the extent that some people are willing to have blind faith in those who tell them that it is beneficial for them to consume essential oils, for the sake of their health (as they contain special powers and all sorts of energies that emit vibrations at very high frequencies, which all know are the most desireable varieties of energies, well, at least as long as the frequencies of their vibrations are a good ways under those of gamma rays).

    But if it might be possible to seperate the lunatic fringe portion of those involved with aromatic biological extracts, um, "naturals", those who feel more comfortable in using such materials could sensibly be viewed as simply preferring to use that particular media in the creation of their art, just as some artists prefer to use oil paints for the sake of whatever advantages that they provide and which is appreciated by the artist that prefers to use them, others prefer to work with the media of water colors, while others are more comfortable using acrylics. And still others prefer to go the 3-Dimensional route, forsake all paint and brushes, and create sculptures out of stone, or whatever they sculpt out of.

    I often think of the "naturals" (ooooooh, that word....) as being simply a personal choice of a media option that is available and that some prefer to use in their creation of the fragrance artwork that they enjoy engaging in. Sometimes I don't appreciate the challenge of the difficulties inherent in the use of this media as much as I do at other times, but my personal acquisition and use of these materials as the media of my own personal choice somehow evokes a feeling of a sense of a sort of inner warmth and internal peace that works for me, and which I preach to no one else whatsoever that they should do the same, unless, that should be their own decision and choice because they find that it likewise provides the most comfort and pleasure for them as well.

    I think the idea of using the naturals not for any particular reason other than personal comfort in doing so is not really ever brought up, unless it is connected to ideas of one form being superior, or better, or worse, or more right, less wrong, than the other.

    As Mumsy mentions her desire to see people permitted to engage in whatever they prefer to as a matter of personal choice (and I know it is safe to assume she also implies without stating it in words, that no harm be done to others), I as well see the selection of media as simply a personal issue that has nothing to do with ethics, or things being "not natural". Just a simple preference.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Hear hear! Well said.
    Currently wearing: Charisma by Avon

  6. #36

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Sorry to have had that one be so lengthy, as was a prior one of mine. I can sympathize with those who can not endure the thought of drudging through my more excessive literary expression, so I might suggest that such individuals just wait for the movie to come out.

    Thanks Mumsy for the kind words.

  7. #37

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    It all comes down to the human capacity to relate to something tangible, and essential oils and so-called ‘naturals’ are all created from real, often organic, tangible plants and resinous materials that we can see, handle and interact with in the real world.

    When abstract perfumery came into it’s own, it separated us from those tangibles and sped us into a new age. This happened to both art and perfumery. It’s no coincidence that abstract art and perfumery came into their own about the same time. It was a new way of looking at the world, visually and fragrantly.

    When I say ‘separated’, that is exactly what synthetics have given us. We separated the component molecules and saw them individually on their own terms and used them in proportions not found in ‘naturals’ and exaggerated them to focus on their unique qualities. The new perfumes were very much like modern, abstract art. They told new stories and enhanced the way we view the world.

    I think most people are comforted by naturals because of their tangible associations with the products they are derived from, and just like modern art, it is difficult to understand a component taken out of context of someTHING.

  8. #38

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    I do think you've articulated an important aspect of all of it, Nymphaea. And you articulate it well.

    I think there are other benefits of naturals, for example, having to do with the fact that humans and nature have evolved together throughout world history to have a complex set of biological, cultural, and psychological relationships with each other. So the story of lavender's relationship with humans is already very rich from the start, for example. These relationships are not just subjective, either. Human organisms evolved together with other natural organism in every possible way, including essential physical ways. We are hard wired to respond to certain things in nature in certain ways.

    All of those factors are negated when you are dealing with a new chemical that has never existed on the earth before. With a new laboratory chemical, all those factors and relationships beome random, arbitrary, and unpredictable, for lack of a better way to say it
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 12th July 2014 at 10:41 PM.

  9. #39

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    @nymphaea

    That is the best case for using aromachems that I have ever heard. Eloquently persuasive enough to make a natural perfumer try an all chem perfume for only that sort of artistic reason. I can relate to that argument far more than someone just saying that fragrances are no good without them.

    My paintings aren't in the least abstract either. Only true to life.
    Currently wearing: Charisma by Avon

  10. #40

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Just use whatever you need to make what you want, and are happy with. If you want to use a mix of chemicals produced by a plant, and extracted by steam distillation, then good for you. If you can achieve your goals by just doing this, happy, happy, joy, joy. However, if you need to use a mix of chemicals made in a lab and then purified by distillation to achieve your goals, then good for you.

    I have no objection to anyone using anything they want to make a good fragrance, and if they wish to make it harder by restricting their pallet then good luck to them. I do object to those people (and there are none here) who seem to claim some sort of superiority of one type of ingredient over another. Dealing with smell, a most intangible sense is not easy. To overlay this with some fake philosophy just makes it even harder.

  11. #41

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Nice articulate post by David above Both naturals and synthetics have their benefits, and I would just advocate to learn to appreciate all of it. I want to develop the same appreciation for synthetics that, say, David has.

    I will however, from time to time, write a post praising the benefits of naturals just to communicate that there are certainly good things to appreciate about them. I want to represent that it is possible to love them without presenting it as a new age philosophy, and I don't think it has been articulated often enough. Same with aromatherapy. There is a rational aspect to it. and I like to speak up because I have read many times where intelligent people just think it's all a bunch of hooey. If someone wants to debate me on that they will not win, because all I will do is cite studies, and they will find themselves in an uncomfortable position of having to reject science. There are multiple professional journals in that field by now. But I don't really want to debate, because I could well come off as a jerk, and I really like everyone here quite a bit. So instead I will just recommend journal readings to people.

    Life is much happier when we can appreciate everything and everyone, ha ha.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 15th July 2014 at 04:22 AM.

  12. #42

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Excellent that you say you are able to provide proof of the efficacy of Aroma Therapy by quoting scientific papers. Maybe, on a separate thread you will do so.

  13. #43

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    I'm starting to think there's a deeper difference between British and American English
    than the usage of fancier words..

  14. #44

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    "Two countries divided by a single language".

  15. #45

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Excellent that you say you are able to provide proof of the efficacy of Aroma Therapy by quoting scientific papers. Maybe, on a separate thread you will do so.
    There are several periodical professional journals, and many studies on Pub Med. Aromatherapy research is young, but it's out there. Have you looked?

    I had a longer post that was deleted when the form logged me out.

    There is a list of refernces on this page.

    http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/...essential-oils

    Here's some issues from one of the several Journals:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09624562

    Some Pub Med reference lists:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?t...%2C%20volatile[MeSH%20Terms]%20AND%20%22humans%22[MeSH%20Terms]%20AND%20English[lang]%20AND%20Randomized%20Controlled%20Trial[ptyp]%20AND%20%222009/07/15%22[PDAT]%20%3A%20%222014/07/15%22[PDAT]&cmd=DetailsSearch

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?t...%2C%20volatile[MeSH%20Terms]%20AND%20%28%22humans%22[MeSH%20Terms]%20AND%20%28Meta-Analysis[ptyp]%20OR%20Review[ptyp]%29%20OR%20systematic[sb]%20AND%20English[lang]%20AND%20%222009/07/15%22[PDAT]%20%3A%20%222014/07/15%22[PDAT]%29&cmd=DetailsSearch

    I would never say science proves anything because it doesn't, but rather only generates evidence relevant to supporting theories.

    As I said, I'm not interested in a debate, but am happy to point people in the direction of journals and sources for studies. Another way would be to google "aromatherapy research".
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 15th July 2014 at 01:27 PM.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    I fear all this comes down to semantics, yet once again. The definition of "natural" varies extensively, depending on who is doing the defining of it so much so that it has become pretty well meaningless (or close). I sense the same thing is taking place in regards to the term "Aromatherapy" which initially (per early articles in Perfumer and Flavorist and Dragoco Report) used the term in the sense that it referred to benefits of the aroma, or odor, scent, smell perception, olfactoral characteristic, etc. having various benefits. It, during the early days of its use, referred only to the idea of using aromas for psychological benefit, and any physical benefits were related to the mind-body link (which I think is a valid conclusion). An example would be the smelling of Sandalwood, or Lavender, for assisting with anxiety issues, or for reducing insomnia, etc.

    Over a period of time, this has evolved into a wider, more extensive definition, where it seems that it now includes any use of materials that have an aromatic component to them. Obviously, Wintergreen and Camphor, Cloves, etc., were used in medicine long before the term Aromatherapy was ever coined...though those applications and the benefits they provided had nothing to do with olfactoral perception of the fragrances emitted by the aromatic materials (though probably were/are related to the volatile nature of the materials).

    I have no problem with the use of synthetics, just that I prefer that other people do the using of them. I am just personally curious about how much can be done in the manner that it was done in the past, despite my use of SCO2's, appreciation for GC's, etc. And I am aware that not a single botanical has ever constructed a distillation unit, got it to boilling temperature, and then jumped in.

    I don't understand why those who use synthetics have such a problem with those who prefer to use naturals, so called. The advantages of synthetics are obvious, it would be silly to think otherwise (the disadvantages, whatever they may be, will be better understood in the future I would guess).

    Do all here remember that it was some book about making perfumes from "natural" materials that was the beginning of the current interest in perfume, the whole artisian/niche thing even existing a result of that book,,,, any artisian/niche pefumers reading this, by any chance?. I will take a guess that at least two to three of them are doing so. The argument that the niche perfumery thing was bound to happen, and such related ideas I don't argue, there is no need to nitpick about it all. That book did give the whole thing (ie. current interest in perfumery, regardless of categorization of materials as natural or otherwise) the kick start and those who purchase AC's from online vendors that are willing to sell them in quantities smaller than a 55 gallon drum (ok, kilogram, I use exaggeration simply for the sake of making a point)...they can be thankful to the publishing of that aforementioned book. Yes, I did not include the title, but did mention the book.

    Nizan, regarding your comment about the difference in English on the two sides of the big pond...are you referring to the situation where in the U.S. the population is taught proper grammer in school, and that is the end of that, while in England, people use proper grammer even in private discourse, or, something else? Would love to have you expand on your comment. I'm curious to know more of your observations, as you reside outside both of the locations you are observing, and so your notice of other subtle differences might be more objective, and something that all of us on both sides of the pond are unable to even be aware of.

  17. #47

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Be carefull about "scientific" jounals. The journal you mention was indeed published untill 2007, however, it is not included ISI web of knowledge citation reports. This means that the scientific community does not regard this to be a scientific journal. Same goes for the follow-up journal (2008-current) International journal of clinical aromatherapy.

    The pubmed links are a bit messed up, but they seem do give papers describing the effects of some chemicals included in essential oils. This doesnt prove that aromatherapy is good for your health. The only actually proven effects are those where the mental aspect is a large part of the disease. Pain, depression etc.

    Aromatherapy most likely makes your environment more pleasant, helping you deal with whatever hardship you are facing. Which is nice, it helps. But it won´t take the tumors away.

  18. #48

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    I agree islearom, the whole term of aromatherapy makes me roll my eyes (I have a PhD in pharmacology). Fuzzy definition: is it that smells affect our moods? Of course they do, by history/associations if nothing else. Or that plants have stuff in them that affects our bodies? Of course they do, some we use for nutrition, some are toxic at quite low doses, some have various other properties. There is no doubt in my mind that many plants contain compounds with therapeutic values. I mean, penicillin is a "natural" molecule (fungi are not plants but no matter for this discussion). Medicinal plants are the origin of modern medicine really, it's just whether you try and figure out what those compounds are and how they work (now it's called chemistry and pharmacology) or decide that god made this plant look like organ X to tell us it's good for maladies felt in organ X - or whatever people want to believe. It's not using plant extracts for various purposes that is questioned, it's only the intellectual attitude towards doing so that divides what you call it.

    And thomash is right, not all journals are equal... although you can get into a chicken and the egg discussion about why those journals might not be regarded highly: scientists are not immune to being biased or prejudiced, and I'm sure it can be difficult to be taken seriously doing even the most rigorous research in areas of "alternative" medicine. Most of the "accepted" research in traditional medicine, be it fragrant herbs or Chinese remedies, tries to identify and isolate active components so that they can be tested using verifiable dosage, etc. (one issue with plants is that they can vary dramatically in chemical composition within a same species). Then it's just pharmacology. An anti-inflammatory is an anti-inflammatory, whether it came from a plant or a chem lab. But I suspect a lot of the studies on aromatherapy are also not very stringent, which will taint the whole area as "not serious".

  19. #49

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Nizan, or are you referring to the idea that the English writers manage to convey their thoughts with so many less words? I wish I had that same talent.

  20. #50

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    ProfessorBats, I really was not attempting to dispute anything that was said by DrSmellThis, just mentioning that I can see problems developing in his expressing his views as I see once again the same old problem of semantics arising, in this case, the definition of the word "Aromatherapy".

    I take note of the fact that David calls it Aroma Therapy, which gives me the impression that he is thinking of the definition along the lines of the original intent when the term "Aromatherapy" was first coined (which ProfessorBats does a good job in expanding on), while DrSmellThis seems to be defining the phrase in the context of its more current usage. Hoping this post doesn't have both David and DrSmell assuming that I misunderstood each of them.

  21. #51

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by ProfessorBats View Post
    I agree islearom, the whole term of aromatherapy makes me roll my eyes (I have a PhD in pharmacology). ........There is no doubt in my mind that many plants contain compounds with therapeutic values..............Then it's just pharmacology. An anti-inflammatory is an anti-inflammatory, whether it came from a plant or a chem lab. But I suspect a lot of the studies on aromatherapy are also not very stringent, which will taint the whole area as "not serious".
    It is very difficult to be taken seriously sometimes for those very reasons and more besides. It is often just better to be quiet and just get on with it without stirring up scepticism. Aromatherapy and many more 'natural' methods of healing have always worked very well with my own children and our family.
    Currently wearing: Charisma by Avon

  22. #52

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    In case I came across as saying I don't believe in aromatherapy: let me repeat that yes, of course I think some plants have useful properties. It's just the need to call anything "aromatherapy" I have an issue with - why not just plant-based medicine? I was merely agreeing with your point (islearom) about the divergent definitions of the term, and expanding on it. I use freshly brewed and cooled green tea, and chamomile blue essential oil, to manage my rosacea. Is that aromatherapy? I guess so! I think of it as a nice cocktail of antioxidants, antiinflammatories, and who knows what else, that happens to be effective.
    Last edited by ProfessorBats; 15th July 2014 at 03:58 PM.

  23. #53

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Well put Mumsy. It seems that in our current time, there are way too many people that feel the need to create a religion and philosophy around some activity or another where none at all is required. Once the religion and philosophy creeps in, it is usually all down hill from that point on as far as credibility goes.

  24. #54

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Yes ProfessorBats, it seems that what was in the past regarded simply as Herbal Medicine has somehow been turned into Aromatherapy.

  25. #55

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Dr SmellThis, thank you so much for providing us with a list of references. I hadn't looked at them before, and have skimmed them now. I will, at a later date, read them more thoroughly. I could make a few comments now, and express some of my feelings about this subject, but, sadly, you say that you are not interested in debate. What a shame that you feel this way.

    islearom, I do use the term Aroma Therapy to mean the original idea of using smells to change mood. From some of the references provided it seems that there is a lot of research into the pharmaceutical uses of Essential oils (and the chemicals within them) as well as research into the more traditional uses of these oils. Seems to me to be a bit of a mishmash here.

    I have no doubt that some smells can affect mood and behaviour. Look at a cat with some Catnip; the behaviour is extraordinary. I have shivered with pleasure at the smell of Honeysuckle. I know of some chemicals that will make you throw up when smelling them (Cadaverine anyone?). My objection is with some of the more farfetched claims that are made. I have been promised some scientific proof, and look forward to reading it.

    So far I have been disappointed . "Taking Charge of Your Health and Wellbeing" created by the "Center (sic) for Spirituality and Healing" does not seem, to me, to be an especially scientific resource. Many excuses are made as to why the results cannot be scientifically valid, and there is very little else. Of the papers sited, most are to do with effects of Essential oils on bacteria, or the chemical effect of oils. One paper shows that there is no difference between the effects of an oil , IPA or a placebo (Journal of Peri- Anesthesia Nursing).

    I shouldn't continue, as the originator of this doesn't want to debate. Shame.
    Last edited by David Ruskin; 15th July 2014 at 05:37 PM.

  26. #56

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    Quote Originally Posted by islearom View Post
    Well put Mumsy. It seems that in our current time, there are way too many people that feel the need to create a religion and philosophy around some activity or another where none at all is required. Once the religion and philosophy creeps in, it is usually all down hill from that point on as far as credibility goes.
    Amen! - oh, sorry, I mean, Well stated! ;-D

  27. #57

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    As a newbie, I'm finding this thread really interesting and illuminating. I first started out wanting to use only naturals and then decided to branch out because I didn't want to limit my palette.

    I believe in plant-based healing. I also believe in aromatherapy. Some naturals can be calming and cheering.

    Of course, a really fine fragrance can enhance my mood, even if there is nothin' natural in it at all.
    "This, what is it in itself, and by itself, according to its proper constitution? What is the substance of it? What is the matter, or proper use? What is the form, or efficient cause? What is it for in this world, and how long will it abide? Thus must thou examine all things that present themselves unto thee." Marcus Aurelius

  28. #58

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    All things considered, aromatherapy is just a confusing word. The times where you can prove an effect (herbal medicine, which I do believe in) it isn't really the aroma which is therapeutic. The anti-inflammatory properties of camomille have nothing to do with the scent itself. Percieving some random scent can only change your mood (in my opinion).

    With regard to the chicken/egg discussion about good research papers/good journals: If someone actually proves beyond any doubt that you can heal some disease by means of aromatherapy, this will be published in a good journal. 1. because it is a break-through discovery and the publishers will want this paper in their journal. 2. because the researchers themselves will have no intrest in submitting to or publishing in a second rate journal.

  29. #59

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    I recall that when I first started seeing articles about Aromatherapy in P&F that the discussion was mainly focused on the idea of there being a new market to exploit for the sale of fragrance by the large fragrance and flavor companies. There was no mention of any requirement that the materials be of non-synthetic origin for this newly emerging market. With the later emergence of the artisian/niche entities, I would imagine that those companies that develop end use products intended for personal body application (ie. perfumes) now wish that all the Aromatherapy stuff and interest in "natural" fragrance just plain never happened. Even with the majority of Niche perfumers having since moved away from holding any concern about using only that which could be called Natural, it was such interest initially that has much to do with their existence today (along with the continuing development of the Internet, which of course cannot be ignored).

    It was the one thing developing into another, the definition of various terms changing continuously over time, to the point that there is probably more confusion and misinformation than clarification at this point in time on the part of the general public about all of this. As David comments with the use of a phrase that puts it so concisely, the mish-mash.

  30. #60

    Default Re: Small note on natural perfumes

    The very fact that we are on this perfume forum is proof that scent affects all of us, with no scientific facts to explain most of our passions in it. Do we always need to prove why we love a beautiful scent? We just do.

    There is no doubt about the mind-body dynamic in medicine and the holistic approach is widely used throughout the world currently and historically. The ‘just-the-facts’ approach is the Achilles Heel of modern medicine, and this same approach to the concept of Aromatherapy or Herbal medicines is like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It isn’t an either/or choice, it’s another aspect of a very complex solution to living a healthy, enjoyable life. Why devote yourself to only one aspect of it? There is so much in the world that can’t be explained yet, but that does not necessitate scoffing at what isn’t completely understood. The best Scientists know this. And the best religionists know they can not turn a blind eye to scientific findings. You do yourself no justice by dismissing either aspect of it.

    Having an open mind to a scent or an art form or a philosophy can only make you a better person. So many people are their own worst enemy. Go figure!




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