Why Natural Perfumes
The definition of natural perfume is so simple: it is a perfume made with extracts of plants or animals without any other ingredient.
In order to give full information about my fragrances, I have publishedÂ the list of all the ingredients that I use, and to avoid any trick, the list of the ingredients that I do NOT use as well.
How I become a natural perfumer
I did not really choose to become a natural perfumer or to make natural scents. It just came to me.
Initially, I bought indiscriminately the raw materials that the public clamoured for without any idea about their real nature. Musk, amber, violet, sandal, rose, patchouli, natural and synthetics. I soon noticed that some of them caused me allergies and heavy headaches, and I realized that these where the synthetic ones.
On the other hand, while I was starting my business from Grasse in 1986, I bought the book of Valnet on Aromatherapy and started straight away to use essential oils on myself and my friends. Although I focused on selling these pure essences as attars, as they do in the East, I started to experiment and witnessed their wonderful healing power.
I realized that synthetic materials of perfumery made me ill and that natural essences would heal me. I soon came to perceive their superior beauty as well. Unlike the synthetic chemical materials, life was in them, they had wholeness, cohesion and the power to arouse positive emotions.
I, therefore, dedicated my study and my trade exclusively to natural ingredients.
I chose to make natural perfumes as someone chooses to work with precious metals and rare gems instead of plastic beads and pearls of coloured glass. Natural essences are indeed olfactory jewels.
Price of natural fragrances
Natural extracts, essential oils, absolutes are certainly among the most expensive things on earth. Consider that gold and diamonds last forever, while natural essences, some of which are more expensive than gold, last only for a few hours when applied on the skin for our pleasure. Five tons of rose petals make one kilogram of rose essence, millions of hand-picked jasmine or orange flowers…
As Luca TurinÂ explained, mainstream fragrances simply cannot afford any more to use them because of their price: “The big six perfumery firms are aroma chemicals manufacturers, and it is in their interest to keep naturals, with their attendant problems of price and quality fluctuations, to a bare minimum. Just how bare that minimum can be has become clear in the last five years, during which the cost of a Â«fine fragranceÂ» formulation has gone down by half and the quality by nine-tenths. Good frags have almost disappeared: there are 500 launches each year, but only a dozen are worth smelling twice.”
The price of Natural fragrances is naturally higher than mainstream ones because they are olfactory jewels made with olfactory gems that have a much higher cost than synthetic essences. Anybody may argue that he likes glass beads more than emeralds and rubies, but the superior beauty of gems over glass and plastic beads is not a question of opinion; it is a question of understanding. This is equally true for the natural ingredients that compose natural fragrances.
Natural perfumers sometimes use some animal pheromones. Most of them in the form of tinctures. When this is the case, we informed the customers about it by the “Not vegan” mention.
Man has used the same animal pheromones long before the advent of modern perfumery. They are present in the traditional pharmacopoeia. There was a time when scents were used to heal.
When Luca Turin, the famous perfumery criticÂ wrote in 2006:Â âThere are now officially four kinds of perfumery: normal, niche, vintage and naturalâ, he threw a bomb and initiated a worldwide process of recognition that is still going on but is largely limited to the web.
Not many shops in our cities propose natural fragrances, but the amount of âscents by natureâ online shops is growing steadily.
Since 2006 the number of perfumers committed to making 100% natural scents has grown and their presence on the web is unavoidable. They often propose classes about making natural fragrances and this is fostering new vocations for natural perfumery.
It is an open-source world. Mainstream perfumery is a caste system.
Thanks to those who helped in the recognition of natural perfumery
- Introduction to natural perfumery
- The natural perfumery trend (part one)
- Composing a natural fragrance
- Our Perfumery Forum
- Philosophy of Perfume (part 3): Healing molecules
- Philosophy of Perfume (part 4): Healing emotions