With the wellness industry on the rise, the word “natural” is a buzzword that seems to be all the rage these days (and rightfully so!). Consumers are no longer buying products simply for their use - but are seeking direct benefit, specifically in the way that products relate to the environment, their health, and overall well-being.
So what does that mean for fragrances? Well, to understand the difference between synthetic fragrance and natural fragrance it’s important to first understand how fragrances are made.
THE MAKING OF A FRAGRANCE
All fragrances begin in nature. Natural oils are extracted from fruits, seeds, herbs, and spices, and then converted into the three types of ingredients that make up the fragrances that we know today.
Each fragrance ingredient is made up of the same three basic elements; carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen each arranged in different ways. Knowing this, scientists have been able to easily replicate natural fragrance essential oils, creating what they call “nature identical compounds.”
This gives master perfumers more raw materials to work with when crafting their fragrances while also allowing costs and turnaround times to remain as low as possible.
The three types of fragrance ingredients are:
- Essential Oils
- Nature Identical
After identifying the three raw materials that perfumers use to create fragrances, it’s important to understand why perfumers like to use all three.
Essential oils are compounds that are directly extracted from nature. The extraction process is very labor intensive and extremely time consuming, thus they can be quite costly to work with. Think of pressing plants like a lilac or mint until its natural fragrance oil comes out.
Nature-identical compounds are replicated from essential oils using the same three carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules as their natural counterparts. This gives perfumers the ability to use fragrances at a lower cost with much faster turnaround, while maintaining the same quality of fragrance.
Man-made fragrance compounds are the third fragrance ingredient option.