I received a lot of comments (private and on the blog) about the post Natural versus synthetics. It makes me think again about this subject. It looks like you have to make a choice, be a natural or a synthetic perfumer. I don't like to make a choice between them, I think synthetics don't bite naturals in fact they combine perfectly. Naturals and synthetics are not two worlds it's one world; the perfumery world. Sometimes I feel like some people think that synthetic aromas have a "synthetic" smell, whatever that is.....maybe they think it has to smell like plastic or something. Synthetic aroma compounds can have really really nice scents. And it's also not so that synthetics always are cheaper than natural oils. For example Damascenone which has a beautiful floral fruity rose scent cost about $1633 a kilo I don't find that cheap. I don't use synthetics because they are cheap, I use it because I like them, together with the naturals.
What I find really strange is that some natural perfumers name famous perfumes as their favorites that are famous for their use of synthetics. Like Chanel no 5 which is famous for the high use of aldehydes. Or Shalimar that is known for the use of coumarine and ethyl vanillin. Both perfumes contain real animal absolutes and tinctures from civet, musk, castoreum and ambergrey. So what about the animal cruelty used for obtaining these products. How can you be against synthetics and animal cruelty and love the perfumes made of them? Maybe because they are classics? I really don't understand.
I like to give you an example of how Shalimar was made......
The notes and structure of Shalimar:
Shalimar contain a high percent of natural oils, real animal notes and balsamic notes.
It contain 2% ethyl vanillin(ethyl vanillin is 10 times stronger than vanillin), 9% coumarine.
The topnotes are made of bergamot 30%, other citrus oils, neroli and rosewood inclusive linalool. The bergamot, vanilla, coumarine together with the absolute of civet makes an "ambrein accord" this is enhanced by the use of Patchouli, sandal, vetiver, castoreum, leathernotes and cinnamon bark oil what gives a nice combination with the leather notes. It has rose notes like citronellol, geraniol and rose absolute. The coumarine is enhanced with the notes of tonka bean and benzoin.
This information I found in the book: Perfumery practice and principals by Robert.R.Calkin and J.Stephan.Jellinek.