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Natural Synthetics

Contact Author Anthony F. Morris
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Many of you must have wondered what this title impolies as it is in itself a contradiction. Certainly there can be many interpretations.

Perfumes were made from purely natural ingredients until the introduction of synthetic perfumery materials such as benzyl acetate, coumarin, phenyl ethyl alcohol, terpineol, ionone, etc., in the later 1800s and early 1900s. For the last 80 years, the perfumer has had at his or her disposal a range of materials of both natural and synthetic origin, that can be classified as follows:

A. Natural perfumery oils, absolutes, etc.

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B. Materials obtained by separation from the natural oils, etc. Examples: Eugenol, terpeneless oils, Rhodinol, etc.

C. Materials derived fmm natural oils, etc. but which are produced by a simple chemical change. Examples: Eugenol to Iso Eugenol and Cedrene to Acetyl Cedrene.

D. Materials, naturally existing or not, and produced from natural source by a complex process. Example: Geraniol ex Pinene.

F. Materials occurring naturally and made from a synthetic source. Examples: Linalol ex Acetylene, Damascones.