One of the biggest questions I receive as a perfumer is about whether I use synthetics. Yes, I do, I am unashamed to admit. It is frustrating when people come at me as though I'm a terrible person for this. Yes, some people have very sensitive skin so synthetics are bad for them, but I'm willing to bet those same people would also have issues with various essential oils. Natural is always better right? WRONG.
I have tried to explain this multiple times, but this quote from a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle says it better than I've been able to articulate:
"Industry insider Carol Maa, a classically trained perfumer and CEO of luxury advisory group ofLeisure, weighs in: "Is natural really the same thing as safe?" she asks. And is natural always environmentally friendly? "Something as basic to perfumery as musk comes from endangered deer," which are poached relentlessly in China and Russia, says Maa. "That's not humane. Yet there are now amazing molecular re-creations of musk, the next generation of musk" - hyper-precise synthetics - "that are not only humane, but sustainable and biodegradable and let perfumers play on specific elements. Molecular geeks can geek out on citrusy musks, say, or smoky musks."
Hyper-precise faux ambergris without a touch of real whale? Bring on the atomizer."
**This is not to say that I don't like all natural perfumes, I do. I also don't have a problem with people who only want to use natural perfumes for various reasons of their own. I just don't like it when people are uninformed and mistakenly believe that all naturals are always inherently safer or better. It kind of reminds me of the whole all natural childbirth vs medicated vs csection. IT'S ALL NATURAL DAMMIT. /rant**