There is a lot of synth-boosted, professionally-compounded “honeysuckle” absolute on the market now. A perfume chemist recently performed a GC/MS on a sample of a perfume from a natural perfumer and it contained muguet alcohol. What is muguet alcohol? It’s a synthetic product from Symrise, 2,2-dimethyl-3-phenylpropan-1-ol. Arctander states that there hasn’t been any honeysuckle absolute on the market since the 1930s. Many mainstream perfumers have no problem using the compounded absolute, as they no standards to adhere to naturals, as we do.
My intellectual and ethical curiosity and commitment cause me to be very, very cautious in sourcing new materials on the market. Yes, there are many boutique distillers and extractors at work nowadays producing rare and elusive aromatics. The new world of artisan perfumery has given rise to this, and it is welcome. Many, myself included, are making enfleurages of rare flowers, including honeysuckle. There are no reports, however, from India, or Italy, or a reputable source making some of the products that are being touted as rare, ‘from the vault of a retired industry insider’, etc. That is simply marketing smoke blown up the nose of naïve buyers, I’m sorry to say.
Isolates – another group of aromatics flooded with tricked up product. If you are truly devoted to natural perfumery, please be cautious, don’t fall for a sales pitch, and ask on forums, such as this one, on Facebook, on Yahoo groups, if something appears to be too good, too new and shiny. Chances are, it’s a blend of isolates, absolutes and some synths, made to mimic the scent of something rare, and it both makes money for the con selling it, and pollutes true natural perfumes.
I’m working on a deadline today, so there will be some delay in answering your questions (perhaps, maybe not) and I’d like to ask this question of you: how do you confirm a new product is truly 100% natural? Do you demand a GC/MS? Are you cautious, or are you dazzled by the new, shiny toy? Do you have a healthy sense of skepticism? I’ll be here until 10PM ET USA. I’d love to hear your feedback on this important subject!