It is important to know each brand’s definition of natural and what their values are. For some brands, “natural” could mean using mainly natural isolates- which really are no less harsh than synthetics. For those deeply passionate about using all naturals, that means using the raw materials such as essential oils, absolutes, and tinctures. For TSVGA, the standard has evolved since launch. I was initially okay with some partially synthetic fragrances in my line of offerings. I have since become very sensitive to most synthetic aroma molecules to the point where my throat feels like it is closing up, my eyes burn, i feel nauseous and get a head ache. This has led to reformulating those blends. I still dont feel quire entitled to put TSVGA in the box of “all natural” as Myrrhder will continue to be about 70% natural, and I do use some “natural” isolates in some blends, and I disclose which those are. I also use natural benzyl benzoate and natural triethyl citrate at times to break up the gunk at the bottom of batches that forms from using cacao and vanilla absolutes etc. I believe it is very important to be transparent with you about all these little details. The lack of disclosure around this has kept me from purchasing many fragrances as brands refuse to reveal information that I believe is important for the consumer to know, especially when it comes to allergies. Folks can be allergic or sensitive to some naturals just how I am to synthetics, and I will always confirm or deny usage of such ingredients in my formulas if you need to know.
Do not be fooled by perfumers that dont want to invest significantly more money in raw materials that try to convince you that aroma molecules and naturals are the same thing, smell the same, or are somehow more “pure.” Don’t take my word for how much better it feels to inhale naturals vs synthetics either. Your nose will make that decision for you. Your nose knows.
Here is a link to a fantastic article written by Ananda of Gather Perfume; a local natural perfumer in MA. I highly recommend trying her fragrances after reading! This read especially brings awareness to the extreme cost difference between synthetics and naturals
Here is a link to a great read about the ethics of using natural musks. Check it out before jumping on to the bandwagon of outrage. Yes there are some inhumane practices out there... SOME. i do my own due diligence to not support those. I actually source several different animal musks directly from a state-hired trapper which helps the animal population and their habitats. My interview with him can be watched here: https://youtu.be/tmJytQkJ2zs
Here is an excerpt from the linked article:
”In the case of Siberia, the species of deer being hunted is not a species threatened with extinction, and the hunting lottery system means that only a finite number of musk deer are killed in the region each year. The most valuable by-product of the Siberian musk deer is indeed its musk sac, but not a single part of the deer is wasted: the meat is eaten, the hide is made into clothing and leather, and the hooves used to make glue.
During a legal, licensed hunt, the kill is as humane as possible (shooting instead of trapping) and the proceeds help support local families who live off the seasonal hunt. Hunting has always played an important role in the local economies of wherever a valuable resource lies, be it salmon, deer, oud, or sandalwood.