Sunday, September 7, 2008

To be Natural or Not to be Natural ...

...that is many a perfume lover's question.

While I have returned to this question quite a few times since I started down the perfumery path (having been an aromatherapy afficionado in my not entirely distant past), I recently found two posters who I think make lucid cases on each side of the aisle.  Nathan Branch essentially concludes that he misses the longevity synthetic fixatives can provide a scent, especially when you consider the cost:smell time equation.  Michelle Krell Kidd connects natural perfumery with terroir and the Slow Food movement, and says we should consider sticking with the real roses, however fleeting.

I've got one foot on each side at the moment.  Gardening and aromatherapy--and yes, a sympathy for the Slow Food & eat local movements--mean I am highly sympathetic to the impact of using molecules directly from their associated source.  But I am not free to burn my money, and there is a direct affect upon the budget when scents need to be reapplied frequently.  Not to mention the games you can play with evolving drydown when chemical manipulations come into play.

Hence, I am conducting my sampling in the spirit of moderation:  a little bit of everything....

6 comments:

The Daily Connoisseur said...

As a recessionista I agree that it is not always economical to keep spraying throughout the day as is necessary with a lot of natural fragrances. I smiled when I read this posting because it reminded me of when I was a little girl and decided to "make" my mother perfume for mothers day. One week before the big day I gathered fragrant rose petals from our garden and placed them in a bottle with some water. When I presented the gift to her the next week she did her best not to recoil in horror with the smell that wafted out of the open bottle... talk about natural fragrance!

ScentScelf said...

Tee-hee...what a sweet--but not in a fragrant way --and funny story. ;)

Hmmm....for some reason, I am reminded of TDC Rose Poivree...every smelled that?

Jenavira13 said...

Daily, lol, that is incredibly sweet and funny.

Scentscelf I completely understand what you mean by trying to eat locally and the whole slow food movement, I live in area where the movement found part of its birth, and it is a big deal, but this article hear goes into detail with all the trappings of it: http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2008/09/02/somethings-rotten-in-the-state-of-the-nation/

ScentScelf said...

Jenavira,

Thanks for the link...will investigate shortly!

nathan said...

I totally get your conflict in this regard. I want to hop onto the natural wagon -- some of the naturals I've smelled are just terrific, like Ayala Moriel's Schizm. But 30 minutes to one hour later and *poof* it's gone and I'm annoyed.

To me, it seems that it's not really that much a compromise to say, "Hey, I get it. My stuff is terrific and you love it and you'd just like it to last a little longer, so I'll add just a leeeetle bit of this and ta da!"

I mean, I don't demand 100% natural. In fact, in my book you can still call yourself a natural perfumer if you're hitting 80% and above since the vast majority of fragrances on the market now are at about a 20% natural ingredients level.

Compromise is good, yes? :)

ScentScelf said...

Nathan,

I wonder if it wouldn't be rational to offer two incarnations of the natural scent, a "100%" and a "tickled by chemicals" version. Of course, I think some of the natural perfumers are simply not interested in opening that door at all...

...hmm...could someone create a home customizer kit? Kind of a "pimp my perfume" custom shop in a vial...add a few mls, and your 100% natural becomes longer lasting. Just wondering...