1. Please excuse us while we carrying out important changes to the forum.

Synthetics In Fragrances And Perfumes

Discussion in 'Synthetics vs Natural Products' started by Ouddict, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    In light of the recent discussion on the oud of the Day/Night thread, I just read this disturbing article about synthetics in perfume... what are people's views?


    Seems very worrying to be honest. Thankfully I do not use synthetic perfume... but is that really accurate?

    These synthetics are present in deodorants, soaps, shampoos, creams etc... and I highly doubt that anyone really excludes all these from their daily lives.
  2. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    The really disturbing thing is that IFRA seem to ok these synthetics, but have issues with natural essential oils for some reason. It is true that some natural scents are also harmful, but not to the extent of studies conducted on synthetics used in the industry.
  3. Bryan-I

    Bryan-I True Ouddict

    With naturals the concern is for allegergic reactions and synthetics alleviate this concern although I doubt they have done long term studies to see what effects they have.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    Mandeel AlMandeel and Ouddict like this.
  4. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    Yes, I am aware that this is one of the official reasons given. However, alleviating the concern for allergic reactions by introducing carcinogens into everyday items doesn't seem very sensible to me.
  5. Oudamberlove

    Oudamberlove Member

    There should be warning labels on the products which use synthetics.

    But then again, there are warning labels on packs of cigarettes, but people continue to smoke:confused:

    Speaking of smoke, doesn’t fumigating oud at combustion temperatures release harmful vapors into the air.

    Anyhow, for those who love their EDTs and EDPs, spraying on your clothes, and at a spot further from your nose might lessen the harmful exposure, and yet get wafts of scents for enjoyment.
  6. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    Indeed it does... just ask @Mandeel AlMandeel :Roflmao::Roflmao:
    Mandeel AlMandeel likes this.
  7. Ashfaque

    Ashfaque Analogue Oud

    Not directly related, but here you go!

    Kafkaesque wrote quite a lot about IFRA and their questionable trends and methods in guiding major perfume houses - at least those registered in the EU, the ones that want to sell in large volume, or the ones that wants to follow them. Here is another one (re. SL), with some tidbits.

    Problem is some companies will deliberately use very bad quality synthetics that fit within the IFRA regulation and ask for a huge price markup.

    Time to shame one now: Phuong Dang is an extreme example of taking advantage of uninformed consumers. You can try them at Harrod's. Nothing special, except the price! I'd rather save a little more or jointly buy a bottle of another Henry Jacques! Even better get another Sultan Pasha.
    VPhong, Nikhil S, Ouddict and 2 others like this.
  8. joev

    joev True Ouddict

    wow, IFRA. Well, They're a shame because like Oudamberlove says, you can spray your clothes. And there will be less creativity for commercial products, less variety, less art. It's like putting restrictions on paints. They don't. They put a label on it. Paints are very dangerous, i.e., Klien blue, but beautiful and awe-inspiring. They have all the luck. for example, glitter is a HUGE trend in contemporary art, but it's totally harmful to the environment. So yeah, put a label on my next Serge Lutens, and I'll be happy to wear it if it's great. As long as we are alive, so is the certainty of our deaths.
  9. okonos

    okonos Whats this Oud About?

    I exclude all synthetic scents from my life, as far as what I buy can achieve that. Toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, 'perfume', other body care items, washing up and laundry liquid, candles etc. I also aspire to exclude synthetic compounds from other areas of my life, so that includes food, drink, medicines etc where I choose natural and organic where possible. I can't (yet) do anything about dyes for my printer and for dyeing clothes, the materials in my stereo, etc, and of course we live in a context where many options are excluded; but where there is an alternative I use that. As the article states, most synthetic chemicals are petroleum derived, and the oil industry is not a pleasant thing (think: climate change, wars etc); and on top of that these synthetic chemicals, from fragrances to pesticides, are all tested on animals. I avoid these synthetic fragrances and other chemicals - they are my pet hate for a plethora of reasons, including the above. One that is rarely mentioned is the dulling and distortion of our senses and the associated limiting of our awareness, from knowing chemicals that are bad for us, to the skill of recognising the genetic suitability of a potential mate. It's a sad indictment of most of humanity that this corporate rubbish has become normalised and liked - but there are people making corporate and policy decisions to help achieve this.
  10. joev

    joev True Ouddict

    As an art, all odors are on board for me if they resonate with me...that said, it's mostly with naturals...the bloods of living things.
  11. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    While I have an aversion to synthetics due to what I perceive as their bland and one-dimensional olfactory output - not to mention the headaches and nausea I sometimes experience when smelling this on other people - I do think that there is a place for certain synthetics in perfumery, although I myself would be very reluctant to use them. However, my particular perception or experience is not universal and does not invalidate the experience of someone else - that would be pretty arrogant and narcissistic of me to do so.

    @Sultan Pasha is a case in point, where he uses a minimal amount of synthetics to perform a certain function and often time, even those synthetics are simply natural identical compounds that are found in natural raw materials - musk for example.

    What I really find perplexing is the erroneous dogmatic belief of some people who have little to no formal training in any of the natural sciences (Chemistry, Physics, Biology etc), but do not hesitate to display their embarrassing ignorance by conflating the practise of the natural sciences with their misuse by big business for unethical product development and marketing.

    These are the same people who are happy to point out pseudo-scientific polemics as the equivalent of rigorously tested and verified scientific theories, while they earn a living off the back of the Internet, type out their epistles preaching "natural living" on a computer that spews out electromagnetic radiation and goodness knows what else, use smart phones that are radiation hubs and contain toxic and dangerous chemicals, drive vehicles that pollute the environment and their bodies, live in some of the most polluted cities in the world, do not hesitate to travel by air when it suits them, make use of modern medicine without hesitation when they need it and much more.

    An informed and sober analysis would show that while eating and using natural resources as our ancestors have historically done, is generally the optimal approach, let's not throw the baby out with the bath water and deny the obvious and undeniable benefits that humanity's recent and unprecedented advance in the natural sciences have brought about. It is not science that is the culprit that has poisoned the environment and our bodies, it is our own greed amplified through an approach to economics that is highly destructive, unsustainable and predatory.

    Although I am an advocate for using natural perfumes, focusing on even a small use of synthetics in a scent, while ignoring all of the above is tantamount to scare mongering and quackery at its worst (best!). There is an unfortunate trend now towards polarisation of debate in many domains and what we are witnessesing is the dawn of a new irrational age of ignorance where you have climate change deniers and fascists (funny how they go together) on one side and dogmatic believers in all natural living who apparently would like nothing better than living in the Middle Ages because they had a better life at that time... o_O It is very easy to entertain romantic notions of a “purer” bygone age while enjoying all the modcons of contemporary civilisation. I am certain that the other forgotten half of humanity who have no choice, but to live in real medieval conditions would be happy to swap places with such a person.

    One can only hope that sanity prevails and balance is reintroduced into the discourse at some point. Let's get some perspective here and not mistake our own prejudices and ignorance with knowledge and have a healthy respect for other viewpoints.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  12. Nikhil S

    Nikhil S Resident Reviewer

    Brilliantly put. Very smart comment brother. Your writing skills are top class. Kudos!
  13. Habz786

    Habz786 Resident Artisan & Forum Co-Founder

    @Ouddict brilliantly put couldnt have said it much better!
  14. okonos

    okonos Whats this Oud About?

    Hmm, well, it seems that that reply, Mr Administrator, was at least partly a response to my comment ;-) I have to do a report now so I can't write straightaway, but where your reply does refer to what I wrote, or refers to a certain demographic, I think there are some assumptions and some straw men in there, and I'll address that soon. I certainly agree with some of what you wrote, but I don't think its the full picture.
    Mandeel AlMandeel and Ouddict like this.
  15. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    Hahaahaha... no actually the post was not directed to anyone on this forum ;), but to post on another forum that ended with a disgusting racist remark towards the "Asian" mentality.

    I actually happen to agree with your post in general and also try to exclude synthetics, but I do keep an open mind on this and am averse to those taking a dogmatic approach for other reasons. To me, they are just as bad as the corporate marketeers who claim there is nothing wrong with synthetics or GMO or whatever monstrosity they have a financial interest in.

    Business interests and/or dogma should never interfere with arriving at a reasoned conclusion on matters that belong to the realm of science and research - but they do, which is the problem.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  16. okonos

    okonos Whats this Oud About?

    Ah hah, OK ;-)

    - though I think there is far more dogma and myth in both economics and in science than in any commitment to living as sustainably and humanely as possible (Mary Midgley's 'Science as Salvation' is an interesting read). We need to remember that what passes for science is sometimes anything but. And we must not confuse dogma with commitment (especially that which is rooted in insight), for example from people choosing to live in a more healthy and sustainable way. Of course, intolerance and a lack of critical thinking can be found in all areas.

    I haven't yet read the discussions elsewhere that motivated you to write here, so please don't take these comments as referring to them.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  17. Ammar

    Ammar True Ouddict

    Science can be wrong sometimes but always has the inherited ability to correct itself.

    Bro-science on the other hand is always right...
  18. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    OudGood likes this.
  19. Ouddict

    Ouddict Forum Co-Founder & Tech Support

    Indeed, Mary Midgley, quite rightly points out the modern "religion" of scientism and its irrational basis. Looks like an interesting book - I think @Shabby might be tempted to add his thoughts to this... but maybe we need another thread!
  20. okonos

    okonos Whats this Oud About?

    In the field of essential oils, the web broadcasts and publications from David Crow (Floracopeia), Dr Robert Tisserand and Dr Robert Pappas are quite good in terms of bringing together tradition on the one hand and critical thinking using a scientific approach on the other. Value is found in both.

Promote Oud!