"Perfumers are wary of natural grapefruit because it has a large number of sulfur atoms, which disintegrate to form malodors; the synthetic also has higher persistence, which is to say , it lasts on the skin whereas the naturals disappear, another way in which synthetics are superior materials"
p. 21 in The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr.
This brings up the constant inner struggle I explore as a healer.
What is that perfect scent? Is there a perfect perfume in aromatherapy?
What is natural?
What is pure? How do you define pure?
Is the perfume of today worth anything at all when it is created out of all man-made molecules? Is it the skill or the raw materials that matter more? Or is it a blending of art?
How can we justify spending hundreds of dollars on something that can be created in the lab for mere pennies an ounce? Maybe we cannot put a price on something that smells divine and exotic. If we can recreate nature in a bottle, without destroying nature, it may even be a superior way to blend that perfect scent...
It is quite a conundrum, isn't it?
Because many synthetic scents are quite beautiful, harmonious, luxurious and some do not even exist in nature, and, as Chandler Burr writes in his novel, most natural extracts (especially citrus notes) breakdown so quickly that we rarely smell authentic, 'original' scent, the blossom or fruit has created...
So, like growing and serving the hothouse tomato, I concede that there is a place for all scents, for all molecules, plant and man-made in this world. Like the 'fake' hothouse tomato, which provides the beauty of seeing a bright red, perfectly round, juicy looking, perhaps flat-tasting tomato, when no tomatoes would be found in the ground, the perfect scent is probably a mix of naturally occurring and man-made, synthetics blended in a perfume that smells just right to you.
What do you think?
For those of you dedicated to pure, all-natural aromas and perfumes, here's a quick guide on how to infuse any butter or oil with your own favourite precious flowers.
Ylang-Ylang - Coconut Infusion. Watch how we make it in 3 easy steps.