About synthetic materials
Perfumery has come a long way since the days of animal musks and plant extracts being used as the base notes of fragrances. Nowadays, modern perfumers have a larger palette of synthetic materials available to them, with safety and sustainability forming the biggest considerations when sourcing ingredients.
Synthetic materials are made in a laboratory, as opposed to natural materials – as the name implies – which are sourced from nature. But don't be alarmed; synthetic materials are made in a safe, calculated environment, and are regularly tested to ensure they maintain their efficacy, safety and stability.
At the highest level, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) is the worldwide authority when it comes to safety standards for synthetic materials in perfumery. They collaborate with experts from universities and national authorities for government to make sure that the materials used are safe for the consumer. Regulations are constantly changing, in order to remain up-to-date with modern consumer needs and expectations.
In addition to being regulated and regularly tested, synthetic materials can often be deemed as safer than their natural counterparts. Natural materials are often restricted in quantity due to their preciousness and rarity. As a result, perfume houses find synthetic materials to be more reliable in terms of consistency and availability, as well as being reliable when it comes to safety and allergenic properties.
of course, it's important to remember that all materials, whether natural or synthetic, can be potentially dangerous in large amounts. However, when it comes to synthetics, the usage levels are calculated and the dosages are very low, meaning they can be used safely from the consumer point of view.
In conclusion, in the modern era we are lucky to be able to experiment with natural and synthetic materials when creating fragrances, but it's important to remember that when it comes to safety, everything is about dosage and quantity. Synthetic materials are very safe as long as the quantity of usage is in accordance with international regulations, and in some cases can even be seen as safer than their natural counterparts.