What Is a Synthetic In Perfumery?

Synthetics are artificial compounds that are commonly used in perfumery to imitate a natural aroma or represent an aroma that cannot be obtained from a physical item in nature.  Synthetic aromatic materials are manufactured in laboratories and despite containing non-natural ingredients, they are considered favorable in creating a custom perfume as opposed to developing a fully natural fragrance blend.   The aromas scientifically created may not exist in nature, but a perfumer can blend elements to create a very similar or near identical aroma to mimic a scent impression consistently every time.


Fragrance blends formulated with synthetic materials are known to have higher complexity, more variation, stronger lasting power and are typically less expensive than natural fragrances.   However, similar to natural ingredients, the potential for an allergic reaction on the skin can still exist.  This is why patch testing a small area of the skin, such as the forearm, is highly recommended prior to fully wearing any scent, whether natural or a synthetic blend, to avoid irritation from potentially occurring.  With regulated safety measures and overall consistencies, synthetics are considered essential in perfume formulation.  They provide the ability of thousands more scent combinations to blend and create new and distinctive fragrance complexes.