Botanical perfume or man-made perfumery? Natural vs Synthetic perfume.

It’s true that there is an aura to natural perfume that is mysterious and permeating and this quality makes these fragrances alluring to the thousands of people who choose them over the designer fragrances available on the common market.

There is an undeniable magical quality to creating and bottling botanicals – the entire home fills with the smell, and I capture parts of the scent that I haven’t found elsewhere.

Extracting oils from a plant – like orange peel – is time-consuming, yes, but the sparkle and twinkle that the fragrance provides is not mimicked in shop purchased essential oils. Much the same, making mixtures from cardamom allows one to enjoy the spice in a richer way – it has far more nuance than an essential oil could hold.

Non-botanical substances, on the other hand, need to be considered in different ways as they can be very flat when the complementary scent is not found. And when a composition is almost complete – the few perfect elements help to round out and heighten the keynotes, rather than having a fear that the complexity of a new addition will destroy the song. (Over-mixing with essential oils is easy and unfortunate).

But isolates – single isolated tones (arguably synthetic yet still naturally derived), they’re not deep, they’re not sophisticated, but they have the most amazing way of whisking you off to a place you’d forgotten since childhood. Both natural isolates and aroma compounds seem to do that miraculously.

When making 100% botanical fragrances it’s a different game – it’s like painting with different paint or a limited palette, and has a lot of rewards. The components are already rounded out and tend to be more harmonious as they blend (if you don’t overdo it).

I’ve started to use separate palettes, separate ingredients for each perfume direction- botanical and mixed – rather than choose only one route.

It lets me understand the breadth of what perfumery has to offer and where different compositions could possibly go.

With Broome & Kenmare, I only bottle and sell botanical perfumes created from infusions, extractions, or essential oils. 

Though I believe some synthetic ingredients can be used in healthy and intelligent ways – the essence, the life of the fragrance is altered. It is something I find challenging to describe but I have certainly felt it through experience. 

There is also beauty in the fleeting nature of many botanicals. They open and show themselves in a fragrance for a few hours, and then gently close, requiring either re-application or the chance to experience another journey through scent. 

I always pause before application and use the moment to feel gratitude for the experience and allow myself to contemplate my immediate place – both in the physical sense (where I am standing) as well as in the otherworldy sense (my relationship to nature and spiritual self).

That’s just something that doesn’t quite feel right with synthetics. 

Notes

Fire, Smoke, Leather, Amber, Amyris, Tobacco, Myrrh

Body & Heart

Top lasts 15 minutes. No body.

Dry Down

Drydown lasts 8 hours, slowing down at the 6-hour mark.

Longevity

Fragrance becomes subtle and soft at the 8-hour mark.

How does this fragrance unfold?

0 – 5 minutes

This is dark and strong- it’s the moonlight hour and a walk away from the campfire. You smell the nearby woods, the dirt, the thick air.

5 – 10 minutes:

Hints of spice develop. You remember the warm campfire. Over time, the fire and smoke grow and enhance as you move closer.

10 minutes – onwards:

A soft, powdery, smoke, leather develops. The smell of fire. Something ethereal just past the smoke.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While this starts fresh the true fragrance develops 15 minutes in, revealing its dark smoke. This fragrance lasts 8-10 hours and stays rather consistent for much of the time.

Why natural perfume?

BlogWhen most people ask why I make natural perfumes, there is an expectation to hear about how bad and unhealthy commercial brands are. That’s not my reason. I’m a student of science; I don’t have...

Sandalwood, and the fakes we love.

BlogSandalwood & it's synthetic friends. I recently received a bad review on a single note sandalwood extraction. I’ve had my share of rude or bad reviews, and I don’t become upset when someone...

What does Palo Santo Resin smell like?

Blog I’ve been playing with new incense bases and received some Palo Santo resin. It’s an amazing smell that is very difficult to describe (as all smells are).   Palo Santo is reminiscent of so...

Embers – New Fragrance Release

BlogFire, Smoke, Leather, Amber, Amyris, Tobacco, MyrrhTop lasts 15 minutes. No body.Drydown lasts 8 hours, slowing down at the 6-hour mark.Fragrance becomes subtle and soft at the 8-hour mark.How...

Wellspring – New Fragrance Release

BlogThe essences and description of a new perfume release: An explosion of bright bubbly flowers, with honey notes, in a gentle bed of light woods, and the spicy sensual scent of lotus. And that's...

Love & Disaster – New Fragrance Release

BlogThe essences and description of a new perfume release.Fire, Smoke, Leather, Amber, Amyris, Tobacco, MyrrhTop lasts 15 minutes. No body.Drydown lasts 8 hours, slowing down at the 6-hour...

Cabinet of Curiosities – New Fragrance Release

BlogThe essences and description of a new botanical perfume release. Animalistic, woody, amber.Fire, Smoke, Leather, Amber, Amyris, Tobacco, MyrrhTop lasts 15 minutes. No body.Drydown lasts 8 hours,...

Howling Cypress, Overgrown Rose – New Fragrance Release

BlogThe essences and description of a new perfume release.Fire, Smoke, Leather, Amber, Amyris, Tobacco, MyrrhTop lasts 15 minutes. No body.Drydown lasts 8 hours, slowing down at the 6-hour...

The Aegean – New Fragrance Release

BlogThe essences and description of a new botanical perfume release. A spicy mystical, Mediterranean perfume.Fire, Smoke, Leather, Amber, Amyris, Tobacco, MyrrhTop lasts 15 minutes. No body.Drydown...

What’s the best natural or botanical fixative for perfumes oils and fragrances?

BlogWhen creating or using natural perfume the holy grail of the experience is creating a potion that can last. Yet the process is not intuitive and requires a significant devotion to the trial and...