There are two basic methods for obtaining fragrant compounds: synthesizing volatile compounds with artificial chemicals, generally petrochemicals, or by isolating compounds that have been extracted naturally, from natural plant sources. Companies can choose from a variety of natural ingredients to scent their products. Natural scents from unrefined ingredients, essential oils, aromatic plant extracts, and natural fragrance oils.
Since many recognizable fragrances do not withstand extraction from the original plant source, nor would they last once placed into another medium, research has been done to isolate or fabricate specific volatile compounds in order to replicate specific scent combinations. Compounds for the replication process can be isolated or fabricated using many different sources, both natural and artificial. By combining these isolated volatile compounds, a plant’s scent profile may be emulated.
Is a natural fragrance really natural?
The answer is yes and no. For example, the exact “scent” of coconut will not be extracted from a coconut and placed into a product. This “scent” as humans perceive it, has to be recreated as described above. So yes, it can be created through natural processing, but no, it is not the original natural scent derived from a coconut.
Natural fragrances are made using naturally occurring volatile compounds from a wide array of plants in combination to create a scent profile that our olfactory identifies as the original. Natural fragrances do not contain any synthetically derived aromatic compounds, including fixatives and extenders that are commonly added to synthetic fragrances.
How will you know?
How do you know if the natural fragrance in your product is actually natural? One of the best indicators will be the quality of the other ingredients in the formula. A company that is choosing ingredients based on quality and purity, and not based on price, would not ruin the integrity of their formulas by using chemical ingredients disguised as natural fragrances. Still have doubts? Call the company; you should get a detailed answer to your inquiry. The great companies will reassure you that when they choose to use a fragrance oil, they are careful to only use natural fragrances. They should acknowledge they understand that fragrance sources and extraction methods vary, but that they only use non-synthetic, non-animal, non-chemically extracted options.
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