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    It has come to my attention recently that we just may be short-changing ourselves when it comes to fragrance blending to make our perfumes and colognes. I, for one, thought of some of my creations where I used fragrance chemicals along with some naturals. Then I started to think to myself…”This wonderful world of perfumes and essences and aromas is much, much bigger than I had originally thought”. It can be very confusing and quite overwhelming to a novice when you stop to consider just how much “material” there is to work with these days. And lest we forget the mysterious and wonderful characteristics of “all” the natural chemicals and Botanical extractions, then we are simply doing ourselves a great disservice. Can we honestly say that we can appreciate “all” of the special nuances found in these natural components? We must not lose sight of the fact that “any” fragrance chemical or constituent we have at our disposal “all” originate from the same source: Mother Nature! Whether they are isolated, single, fragrance constituents, nature-identical formulations, or synthetically manufactured compounds, they are all constructed to do one thing, imitate those wonderful fragrances found “only” in Natural sources. The few “new” synthetics that mimic no fragrance found in nature being the exceptions. Keeping this all in mind, I went back to “basics” and started to appreciate the natural elements for their own beautiful attributes. I’m cetrtain that before one becomes a professional “nose” in the industry, there are “many, many years” of study and research done on the nature originated essences alone. And then I read that not everyone who would like to follow their love and aspire to become a “nose”, ever actually makes the grade. Which brought me back to reality: “If I can’t readily identify and then truly appreciate the virtues of just the natural extractions, how will I ever truly know how each chemical reacts or interacts with other chemicals”? Their is much to be said about the natural chemicals, you can take “one” extract by itself and discover that in that “one” extraction there is an actual “accord” built right in already. Many of them already contain, top, middle and base characteristics, so who I am fooling by deigning to believe that just because I put together some ingredients and the ensuing result smells interesting, that I have this whole world of fragrance, down to a science where “I” am the “scientist” and the only authoritative factor in this fortuitous endeavor? I am only fooling myself. So it’s back to “Nature” for me. I “need” to understand every aspect of the “true” components so I’ll know when I go to create my next formula, that the preceding one wasn’t just a fluke and that I (like the Pros) can create a wonderful synergy of aroma on a consistent and Professional basis. I isolated “one” essential oil (sandalwood) and realized that, in my own samples, (I have about 5 different ones) that each one is different from the last, but, that each one is wonderful and exciting based on it’s own unique characteristics. I noticed that some come off like a bit of “green”, evolving to a more subtle dry-down which is almost “powdery” in the final phase, while another had “top” characteristics of an almost “roseacious” top, then drying down to sharper “woody” almost “menthol” type of aroma. It is “magical” and now I know that while each one though it may not work in any, one single, application, that “all” of them “will” have their place, in each subsequent, “varying” application. It’s an almost “mystical” experience and I’ve learned one immutable, incontrovertible truth…..After all is said and done, Mother Nature WINS, hands down, every time! So one must; embrace, study, review, contemplate, project, imagine, wear, blend, use, document, love and then finally “create” as does the artist, while he gently, respectfully and lovingly imbues his canvas with all of the myriad colours of the rainbow, in his attempt to, himself, become immortal by virtue of his unique contribution to humanity. Ciao, il migliore! Franco

    Yankee Doodle Sports & Gifts (


    I also received a mail from Frank which goes more straight to the point:
    “Right now I am working on a
    natural composition, I have made a couple of other ones with a combination of naturals & synthetics. It’s just that the natural chemicals have so much more to offer in the way off “depth” and multiple fragrance notes that if I continue to add synthetics until I get to know the naturals better, I may be doing an injustice to any further creations I compose. How did you approach these problems when you first started? Thanks
    again, ciao, Frank”
    My answer:
    20 years ago when I started perfume business I went to Grasse and was directed to a small company whose director welcomed me and made me choose samples from his laboratory.
    At the end he said “I understand what you are searching for, Natural raw materials”.
    My nose had chosen mostly the natural scents among his huge choice of his perfumery raw materials.
    The only chemical I had chosen was called brasilate musk, and I bought it not so much because of its smell but rather because in the Muslim culture musk is considered the king of scents.
    I used to perfume myself with these pure materials. I used to wear each one in a different part of the body according to it’s power and nature, Jasmine and rose on the beard, oak moss, labdanum ecc on the back of the hands, Tuberose on the hair behind the neck, ecc… The spot I reserved for the musk was on my left arm. In a few weeks I developed an allergy that made it red and itchy. I tried many natural remedies for 6 month until at the end I managed to cure it with applications of green clay.
    My arm was smelling of this white musk for month although I had stopped using it. The clay had fortunately sucked away the perfume fixed in my arm.
    Such a problem has never occurred to me with any natural essence.
    There are three things from the beginning that decided my choice of using only natural essences, the first one is my nose which preferred them as the story of my first trip to Grasse shows, the second is this experience with white musk, the third is my scientific curiosity: I went to a Grasse library and discovered a book explaining that natural essences had healing powers. It was the book of Valnet on Aromatherapy, I bought it and started experimenting with success the power of essential oils on myself and my friends.

    AbdesSalaam Attar
    Compositore Profumiere


    Haha, I guess I got a little long-winded in my original post, sorry Salaam. It’s a funny thing when you convey that story about the lingering nuisance of the synthetic musk on your arm. I have spoken to many people whom I’ve learned, suffer from a similar problem whenever they “overdo” their perfume or cologne. They develop a “headache” and sometimes even become nauseous as well. Well, I have been doing some research on the “synthetics” and the general consensus is that these “synthetic” chemicals are the cause of their suffering. So, that makes your story ironic that in the world of “aromatherapy” and “natural perfumery” the natural constituents possess the power to heal, body & mind, while just the opposite applies to the synthetic chemicals, they can “literally” make one ill. And I’ve noticed also that some of these “fragrance/perfume” oils tend to linger pervasively and annoyingly for much too long. I’m glad that I’ve found someone to confirm my trepidations about the overuse of synthetics. It’s too bad that 95% (probably more) of the “Designer” perfume industry depends so much on the synthetics these days. And they have the audacity to charge “astronomical” prices anyway! I guess someone has to pay for their expensive advertising, lol. Ciao, Frankie

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