(After reading NEZ magazine’s issue no.5)
By Marioara de la Tara In-House Perfumer
Finally, the topic of “natural versus synthetic” is addressed in the number 5 issue of the “NEZ” Magazine which since its appearance I collect.
The subject is touched as thoroughly as they could do it without having to become too scientific and bore the readers with technicalities. The elaboration on the topic would have also brought the need for more comprehensive data, and with this subject is sometimes difficult to do that, to put it mildly.
But when I stumbled upon the little Diptique 50 years anniversary insert, I was a little put off by their endorsement of the idea that perfumers who work only with natural materials lack creativity and skill, and that their customers are mere hippies who purchase their perfume from health and wellness stores…
As much as I didn’t really need to, and hoping not to step on any shoes, I felt the need for some clarification.
We can only talk about what we know, and the facts that we have on hand.
We, at Wild Olive Artisans make 100% natural perfume. I am a perfumer who only works with natural materials, by choice.
Our customers are discerning with regards to health and wellness and can afford to buy anything they need to keep beautiful and healthy for as long as possible.
We do respect our hippie customers as much as we respect our well-heeled ones.
Most of our customers are people who in their daily lives use and consume natural materials such as clothing made out of natural fibers and organic foods. Their cooked meals are prepared with the best natural ingredients, sometimes by experienced chefs.
A part of our customers arrive at our doors once they became aware of a medical condition that they might have, or they just had undergone chemical treatments for and their bodies are more sensitive to the intake of synthetic chemicals. They discover that they can no longer tolerate the “traditional modern” cosmetics and perfumesand their only alternative is something a little cleaner.
And where else would you buy something for your skin, if not from a stockiest or producer that cares about your health and wellness?
So if we still need to debate natural versus synthetic, I will bring a more easily to understand example that can be observed at the food industry.Crops that are good for you, are processed or synthetized to the extent that they become pure poison for our systems… This is more or less what sometimes happens with cosmetic and perfumery ingredients as well.By the time they arrive in the jars or bottles of some products, they are a mere marketing tool and their impact on our health or our environment might perhaps still be unknown…
Certainly,in perfumery synthetics are aesthetically more pleasing,more stable and consistent from lot to lot, easier to use, substantially cheaper and more available. This is not for debate.
In cosmetics also,the silicones and additives for skincare and haircare that cannot be made out of anything natural yet are similarly “useful” to formulators who need to respond to customer’s demand for a “better performing” product. Nylon was invented in 1035 and by 1938 made its way to consumer goods and everyone was“mad” about it, considering it the next best thing to work with from stockings to coats, and everything in between. This, just because it was aesthetically more pleasing, more stable and consistent from lot to lot, easier to use, substantially cheaper and more available.And mostly, my favorite, no need for ironing!… Who cared that it was not that healthy?
Sound so familiar isn’t it? Yes, I did copy paste it…
We, as a company and as a manufacturer of natural and organic products, are not at all against science and scientific progress, this is not what I am trying to say here. Biotechnological advances are embraced by us, in our desire to make our products better and better by the day.
We are just skeptical of using ingredients for which there is not yet enough conclusive evidence of what their effect on our health could be, or their impact on our environment in the long run. This is all!
Today the usage of cosmetic and perfumery products, same as with foods, is as high as it ever was in human history, and therefore we all should focus on preserving our health for as long as possible, on the prevention of health problems and not only the momentary ego driven consumption for the sake of consumption, disregarding any consequences.
Our life spam is increasing as the living standard increases, therefore even more so, all parties, the manufacturers and the consumers must regard this aspect with seriousness.
While the consumers are still sometimes kept in the dark about what they are actually using in their everyday foods and cosmetics, they should be entitled to seek responses from those whose products they use.
Therefore we think that is imperative that cosmetic and food industry should label and market their products fairly, transparently and correctly.
In the same time,the consumers who make the informed decision of ignoring their own health and use the trendy synthetics that perform “oh so well”, shall never turn against the manufacturers of such products that might or might not contain ingredients that today still have inconclusive evidence regarding their safety for human health.
You have google, stay informed, it is your duty to yourself!!!
I strongly hope that we, as a company we will not abate ourselves from the road of integrity with conviction and our philosophy of purism and ethical practice!
And to Nez Magaizne, thank you for contributing so largely to making the perfumer’s profession more understandable to consumers, and in the same time, paying respect to those who made our lives smell so much better…
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