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Natural and synthetics are used for different odor characteristics in perfumery

Natural and synthetics are used for different odor characteristics in perfumery
Issue Time:2017-11-24

                      Naturals                                     VS                               Synthetics            

VarianceNatural scents will vary from each supplier based on when and where they are harvested, how they are processed, and the extraction method itself. This means that a certain flower grown in Morocco and in France will smell different, even if the same method is used to grow, harvest, and extract the scent. As such, each perfumer will prefer flowers grown in one country over another, or one extraction method to the next. However, due to a natural scent's mixed composition, it is easy for unscrupulous suppliers to adulterate the actual raw materials by changing its source (adding Indian jasmine into Grasse jasmine) or the contents (adding linalool to rosewood) to increase their profit margin.Much more consistent than natural aromatics. However, differences in organic synthesis may result in minute differences in concentration of impurities. If these impurities have low smell (detection) thresholds, the differences in the scent of the synthetic aromatic will be significant.
ComponentsContains many different organic compounds, each adding a different note to the overall scent. Certain naturally derived substances have a long history of use, but this cannot always be used as an indicator of whether they are safe or not. Possible allergenic or carcinogenic compounds.Depending on purity, consists primarily of one chemical compound. Sometimes chiral mixtures of isomers, such as in the case of Iso E Super.[27]Due to the almost pure composition of one chemical compound, the same molecules found diluted in nature will have a different scent and effect on the body, if used undiluted.
Scent uniquenessReminiscent of its originating material, although extraction may capture a different "layer" of the scent, depending on the how the extraction method denatures the odoriferous compounds.Similar to natural scents yet different at the same time. Some synthetics attempt to mimic natural notes, while others explore the entire spectrum of scent. Novel scent compounds not found in nature will often be unique in their scent.
Scent complexityDeep and complex fragrance notes. Soft, with subtle scent nuances. Highly valued for ideal composition.Pure and pronounced fragrance notes. Often monotonous in nature, yet reminiscent of other natural scents.
PriceDependent on extraction method. More expensive, but not always, as prices are determined by the labor and difficulty of properly extracting each unit of the natural materials, as well as its quality. Typically the relationship between, longevity of a perfume, cost and the concentration of essential oilsDependent on synthesis method. Generally cheaper, but not necessarily. Synthetic aromatics are not necessarily cheaper than naturals, with some synthetics being more costly than most natural ingredients due to various factors such as the long synthesis routes, low availability of precursor chemicals, and low overall yield. However, due to their low odor threshold, they should be diluted when making a perfume.