Monthly Archives: August 2013

Olfactory Perception and Natural Essences

Olfactory Perception and Natural EssencesThe smell of one’s persona is very individual, like a fingerprint.  Fears, hopes, and wishes emanate in the effluvia of the emotions that a person generates.  This effluvia is a combination of thoughts, food intake, and environment.  Modern fashion encourages us to hide from each other.  We live close to each other, but mask our odors in order to be acceptable, so that none of our ethnic and emotional differences are predominant.

Anyone who is very odor perceptive will understand that we are a pre-packaged persona.  Natural perfumery recognizes that these individualities can work with aromas to create a pleasing scent.  The difference between natural perfumes and synthetic perfumes is that the synthetic ones smell the same on everyone, while natural perfumes have organic bases and greater mutability, causing them to interact with the oils of the body.  While the scent may be recognizable as jasmine or Rose, this interaction produces an individualized print as the aroma changes.

Technology for obtaining botanical aromatics has improved since the 1940s and, because most fragrances on the market over the past fifty years have been predominantly synthetic, original creations by a new Generation of perfumers are possible.

Under-utilized production facilities are being put back into service and new ones are being built, taking- advantage of recent technological innovations and providing better and more consistent extraction methods to obtain a wider variety of aromas for the natural perfumery palette.  Over three thousand essential oils have been identified from the large number of plant species, and only several hundred have been commercialized.  Of the 300,000 to 500,000 flowering plant species in the world, only ten percent have been examined even in a cursory fashion.  Only one percent (3,000 to 5,000) of those have ever been cultivated.  A tremendous reserve of potentially useful plant aromas or essential oils have never even been discovered.

I was trained in commercial perfumery, which emphasizes the use of synthetic ingredients sprinkled with naturals, and it has been an interesting transition to reorient myself to only natural essential oils, absolutes, gums and resins.

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