Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Follow-up to ‘Synthetics in Perfumery’ and Why We Choose to Keep it Real

In our last discussion, we gave you a hint about how Synthetics made it to the perfume industry. We emphasize on the word “industry” because the true, artisan-like approach to creating fragrances cannot be clubbed together with manufacturing scents. The main appeal of Synthetics lies in its ability to bolster supplies. It helps industries selling scents to create familiar molecules, i.e. molecules that mimic the effect of their natural equals in the botanical world but at a much, much lesser cost.


Tracing History of Synthetics in Perfumes

During the latter part of 19th century, 1882 to more precise, Houbigant Royale started using what is largely regarded as the first mass appeal Synthetics in perfumery. This was called Coumarin—this compound smells like Marzipan. The second stage came during 1889 when Vanillin, a typically synthetic form of vanilla essence made it to commercial perfume making. Some perfume historians say that it was Coco Chanel who made the first real designer perfume using Synthetics without trying to conceal the information. We have dug deeper into perfume history and records suggest that it was Chanel No 5 released during 1921 that made Synthetics more mainstream into the fragrance marketplace. Here, customers were introduced to the usage of floral perfumes that didn’t use real botanicals. Synthetic notes contained more aldehydes and didn’t have that typically industrial hangover.


Arguments for Using Synthetics in Perfumes

Perfume makers opine that using Synthetics makes it easier to create more consistent fragrances because chemical formulations are easier to control, helping them create precise notes. Some say that animal scents are often incorporated into natural perfumes that create the likelihood of animals being treated cruelly. We find both these opinions somewhat weak in terms of their reasoning.


Here is what we say about keeping perfumes natural…more real, closer to being Organic

Firstly, the argument about consistency in perfumes does not make much sense. It is true that when plant materials are used for making scents, you don't want too many variations. Crop variations, weather-induced variations and regional differences can make the same type of produce release different scents. However, there is a catch to this situation—the art of consistency in perfumes lies with the perfumist. As long as the produce is real, sourced from ethically cultivated farms, there should no issues regarding the quality.

Secondly, perfume manufacturers are more concerned about price fluctuations. Some fragrances are sourced from plants that can be harvested in very specific regions. This makes the market volatile. However, this also means that you are getting the real stuff without any adulteration. It is better to wait for a whiff of the real stuff rather than dab some chemically copied version. Just consider the case of sandalwood oil that is being largely mimicked across the cosmetic industry. However, we ensure that our produces comes from India—one of the primary providers of sandalwood supply in the world. the perfumist cannot be held responsible if the raw material is the result of overharvesting—the onus of social responsibility lies on the regional producers and the state-based regulations that should encourage greener harvesting.

Thirdly, Mukhalatt.com does not indulge is procuring scents from animal secretions. There is no risk of buying perfumes for which animals were cruelly killed or raised in inhumane conditions. Again, it is up to the perfumist whether the raw materials are being sourced from flowers or animal parts. The argument of synthetic versions being critter-friendly just does not make sense.

We believe in the fine art of perfumery which pays a tribute to its pioneers. We believe in perfume makers who continue to study perfumes in their organic avatar and are ready to go that extra mile to keep their produce real, fragrant, without harming the ecology or animals.


If you are new to the niche of absolutely natural fragrances, please try our Bukhoor and Oudh series of products.

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