FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 “The use of pure perfume creates a renewal like bathing does, is transporting like a dream, and uplifts the human heart.

APOLOGUE 

How does natural perfume differ?

Natural perfumes have a few key features that attract those who love and use perfume regularly as well as those who may not consider themselves avid perfume wearers.  They also attract those who would like to wear perfume but have abandoned it due issues with synthetic perfumes such as harshness, irritation, allergies, health concerns, work-related complaints or other frustration. 

Perfume that is natural will, on average, have a smoother, softer, rounder, non-artificial, non-harsh fragrance.  It has a complexity and depth of beauty that is different than synthetics.  Natural’s smell more dimensional.  One writer described them as 3D, while contrasting synthetics as 2D.   There is a greater “3D” effect on the whole body.  

While all beautiful fragrance is a mood lifter, one must try naturals to appreciate the “effect-tive” difference in the beauty and feel. 

SILLAGE / PROJECTION / AURA / RADIANCE / DIFFUSIVENESS

These terms refer to how far away a perfume can be smelled by others and how much of a “trail” of scent you leave behind.  To some degree it can speak of the strength of a perfume as well.  For example, a perfume that can be smelled by the whole room, even after you’ve left, has quite dominant sillage. 

As science learns about the wide range of scent perception in people, it becomes clear how naturals are far less likely to offend.  Natural perfumes are more discreet than most synthetic perfumes –and in many circumstances could be called polite.  The nature of our perfume is to give others a hint or gentle waft of the fragrance, while you and those welcome in your personal space will have the private experience of the feeling and fragrance in an intimate way.*

The scent also goes with you; it does not linger long after you’ve left. You will have more control over the perfume and your presence in a room or elevator.  Overall, the scent does not venture on the air outside your personal space or give the effect of marking territory hours past your departure.  Nor will it spar in competition with other perfumes in the area.

Natural perfumes are first and foremost a gift to yourself and your inner circle. 

*Our natural perfumes will affect others that are further away from your intimate sphere, but unconsciously or subliminally.  One can wear our perfumes “on behalf” of another if you so desire.   

LONGEVITY

This refers to how long a perfume lasts or can be smelled.

Natural perfumes will generally have much less longevity than most synthetic perfumes, especially if worn in the same way as you wear synthetic perfume.*

Exactly how long our perfumes last depends on the individual perfume formula and other factors such as body temperature, dry or moist skin, ambient heat, and humidity.  The longevity on the skin will vary from a couple hours to [occasionally] eight hours or more.  If you are committed to wearing natural perfume on your skin, we suggest you keep a small bottle in your purse, desk, or pocket for an easy-reapplication during your day.  This is an uplifting re-set and you may find this feature desirable as it also offers you flexibility and control.

Noteworthy to detecting any perfume over many hours is a phenomena called, “Olfactory Fatigue”.   This is a scientific term for the natural loss of conscious scent detection that occurs after about 15-20 minutes of smelling a given odor.  The brain will no longer register awareness of it, giving the illusion that the scent is gone.  Stepping outside in fresh air, sniffing a different odor, or more potent one will reawaken perception of the original odor.

*For how to greatly extend the longevity of our perfumes, see the new section, “How Should I Apply the Perfume”, further down the page.

CHEMICAL DIFFERENCES

Some natural perfumes are made from whole aromatics only.  Others may be blended with natural isolates.  There are natural perfumes that contain mostly-or-all natural isolates, similar to synthetic-isolate perfumes.  Natural perfume made with a larger percentage of whole aromatics will be more vividly colored.  The more isolates used, the paler the perfume will be.   A colorless natural is formulated with mostly or all isolates.

The difference is that natural isolates are derived from plants and not from petrochemicals.  Although it may be obvious, it bears saying that the latter does not remain a petroleum chemical; it is transformed to an aromatic chemical.   Yet, there is a perceptible difference in the smell of both kinds of isolates.  We think natural isolates are more beautiful.

The finer points of “chemical differences”, based on the chemical structure [only] is thought by most chemists and perfumers to be nil.  That is to say, a “bio-identical synthetic” is said to be exactly the same as a natural.  Listening to a broad array of scientists and chemists, there is not full agreement on this point.  For example, Vanillin is said to be extremely hard to perfectly mimic.  The Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK weighs in here to give you some insight.

See “Our Ingredients” page for more about isolates.  Isolates are controversial in some quarters for the same reasons that foods that are not whole are a point of contention to many.   On the personal health front, we keep in mind that the overall issue of perfume isolates compared to the intake of food is minuscule.  The greater concern is in biodegradability, toxicity, and volume in the environment. Read more on this in the following sections. 

REPLICATION

Synthetic perfumes are especially suited to mass markets due to their lower manufacturing expense, consistent availability of laboratory-made ingredients and their ability to remain virtually the same from large batch to large batch.  Millions of bottles of the same fragrance are not a problem to reproduce.

All-natural perfumes, created by independent perfumers are created by hand in smaller batches.  They are made from crops that can subtly change from year to year, based on the conditions that the plant experiences, which carry over to the perfume.  This is similar to wine production, where some years are preferred to others.  Sometimes an ingredient becomes entirely unavailable or in short supply due to weather, disasters, war, politics, speculators, poor governance, and other variables.  The cost to produce natural perfume vs. a synthetic perfume is much greater, often limiting supply and reflected in the price.   Of course there are always grades of relative excellence worth seeking in any aromatic. 

One can view the subtleties of natural perfumes as an adventure that is full of nuance and delight.  The magic of naturals is in their penetrating beauty that affect the mood and body in ways that isolated chemicals cannot.  If you appreciate the timeless luxury of a perfect peach or the world’s finest, fragrant cantaloupe you will appreciate natural perfume.  Exquisite natural perfume is an uncommon luxury and an experience you will value. 

How should I evaluate a perfume prior to purchasing a bottle?

GENERALLY

After applying the perfume, allow about 15 seconds to pass, or until the alcohol evaporates, before you first inhale the fragrance.

Sample the perfumes at your leisure. Consciously smell the perfume often.  Enjoy the scent-journey as it proceeds through time to the dry-down, (when the last of the longest-lasting base notes eventually fade).

Your first experience and initial perception of the perfume will be the top notes.  They dissipate the quickest, soon revealing the “heart notes” or “middle notes”, which last a moderate amount of time.  Finally, the base notes will fully break through and last the longest amount of time.  The total time that this process takes and the stages it goes through can vary from perfume to perfume.

The segues or bridges between top, middle and base notes should be a smooth transition.  The character of the perfume will keep shifting over time.  It is quite interesting and enjoyable to follow the nature of a perfume from top to bottom. 

This is why sampling perfumes is wise because the top notes are not the main experience of the perfume.  You need to love the whole perfume, and especially its base notes as they linger the longest.   (Again, these are generalities; some perfumes smell much the same from top to bottom.)

Experience how you feel when wearing our fragrance.  Notice what it does for you!  The smell and the way the perfumes make you feel are both important.

Do it again on another day at least.  Environmental and personal conditions change from day to day, which will create little differences.  We want you to be happy with your purchase.

SCENT DOTS

Our Scent Dots are a natural and unique way to experience the fragrance itself and to know if you like it.  Scent Dots are also a good indicator of how a perfume will perform on your hair, clothing, or scent jewelry. The scent will be retained for at least 6-8 weeks on the Scent Dot and provides a “slow-motion” (long) period of time to intimately know the perfume.   The longevity is terrific, often exceeding 3 months.

Open the packet and let it breathe (keeping the packet open to air) for about 15-20 seconds to allow the alcohol to evaporate. 

Smell it every 1-2 hours for the first day.  Thereafter you can smell it a few times per day.  The scent will unfold, transform, and eventually fade, but v-e-r-y slowly.

FLIGHT

If you plan to wear the perfume on your skin, we strongly advise that you purchase a Flight before purchasing a bottle to sample how a perfume develops on your skin.   Every perfume interacts differently with each person’s individual body chemistry, the condition of the skin, ambient conditions, and activity.  Our fragrances will last anywhere from a couple hours to 8 hours or more on the skin, depending on each perfume, your chemistry, and the other variables.

Apply the perfume to a moister area of skin such as the inner forearm.  Wait for the alcohol to evaporate; about 15-20 seconds or until the area feels and looks dry.  Then smell the fragrance immediately and every 10-15 minutes for the first hour.  Then smell the perfume at 20-30 minute intervals for another 2 hours.  Finally, smell the fragrance at least once per hour for as long as you can smell the perfume.

How should I apply the perfume?

CHALLENGING CONVENTION

There is a famous quote attributed to Coco Chanel.  When asked where one should wear perfume, her reply was, “Wherever you want to be kissed!”.  A fabulously romantic remark, and racy for her day, not to mention excellent marketing, which Chanel was known for.

But have you ever tasted perfume?  It does not taste as lovely as it smells.   It is memorable, but not in a good way.  We are going on record to say that you may want to do the opposite of what Coco advised.

Also, you have probably heard that you should apply perfume to your “pulse points” such as your inner wrist or neck.  We are good with applying perfume to your neck (as long as you do not want to be kissed there) but the inner wrists can be improved upon. 

 

NEW PERFUME, NEW RULES

 ON YOUR HAIR

We think perfuming your hair (instead of your skin) will make you more kissable! 

Natural perfume will last hours and hours if worn on your hair.  It is more enjoyable to you without the need to sniff your wrists.

As your hair (or head) moves, it feels and smells wonderful!

LADIES (or Long-haired Gents)

As your tresses move in the breeze or as your body moves, the scent is freer to carry into the air.   Lean forward and a waft of your perfume circles your nose.   Spritz your hair at jaw-level to increase your personal enjoyment throughout the day.  Spray your crown and the extra heat from your head will radiate the perfume up to others standing above you.  Mist the ends of your hair for a swirl of fragrance as you turn.
Short hair?  Spritz the freest moving hair and those on level with, or just below your nose.

GENTLEMEN

Your beard is the prime-perfect spot to sport your fragrance… (well below where you would like to be kissed).  You can spray your sideburns, chest hair, or your head.  The mustache is also good, but requires accurate placement (use our roll-on) and the scent may or may not be too intense for you or the one you kiss.

Everyone will find that when you hug someone, your hair will give them an uplifting surprise, as well or better than if you wear it on your skin.

Misting your hair increases natural perfume’s longevity by many fold.  Spray from about 12-14 inches away to disperse the spray, avoiding your eyes.  We suggest you rotate spritzing locations.

Although alcohol is said to dry the hair, we have not found that to be the case with misting, where the alcohol quickly evaporates.  You will need to test this out on your own hair to see what you think.

What about color-treated hair?  We have not found it to be a problem at all, but some sources say it is possible so, experiment first.

Wearing perfume on your hair feels and smells wonderful!

ON YOUR CLOTHES

Natural animal fibers such as wool, alpaca, and cashmere hold scent especially well.   1-2 sprays will be plenty and will last a very long time, often months.  Hold the bottle about about 6-10 inches away.

Spray only your darker colored clothes that won’t be affected by the natural pigments in the perfume.  When in doubt, spray a part of the inner garment first.

A sweater, scarf, coat, animal fiber hat, or wool blazer are all perfect candidates.

WITH SCENT JEWELRY

Spray your perfume on a small bit of natural animal fiber and tuck it into the jewelry housing.  Use a clipping from a sweater that you plan to discard, or purchase 100% wool.

This is an effective work-around for those with sensitive skin too!

If you are a person that “talks with their hands”, think of the lovely wafts of perfume that will catch the air with a scent ring.  Moving a lot?  Scent earrings are amazing.  A scent necklace, laying on your skin, will capitalize on both heat and air movement to disperse the perfume.  Choose a design that has plenty of aeration.

ON YOUR SKIN

Place your perfume anywhere on the body that is exposed to air and where the skin is naturally moist, avoiding getting perfume in your eyes or on any mucous membrane areas.

While it is enjoyable to wear perfume on your inner wrists, keep in mind they are high-use areas of your body and perfume will wear off more rapidly due to simple mechanical friction and contact-transfer.  Just walking and swinging your arms against your body or working at your desk quickens the loss of the fragrance.

To increase longevity, prime your skin by using lotion, balm, cream, or body oil prior to spraying on perfume.  However, the perfume will wear somewhat closer to your skin as a result.

We find that taking a moment to reapply your perfume later in your day is useful and enjoyable.  Our travel size roll-on perfumes easily tuck into a purse, desk, or pocket for a refreshing, enjoyable, and discreet “reset”.

THE VARIABLES

There are many factors that affect your perfume’s longevity.  Temperature of the ambient air, humidity, how dry or moist your skin is, how hot you are, perspiration, your body chemistry, where you wear your perfume, and olfactory fatigue.

BODY CHEMISTRY

Aside from how an individual’s body interacts with perfume (to better or worse effect), your skin also “drinks” the perfume.  The fats in your skin and the volatile oils in the perfume have an affinity for each other.  Your skin, via the fats (lipids) will pull some of the perfume into your circulation over time.

This is one reason to use natural perfume, especially ours, because it further increases the positive effects of our elixirs.  That small, absorbed amount, thought to be about 10%, assists the effects that will happen via the energy and smell.

OLFACTORY FATIGUE

This is the scientific term for the mechanism in your brain that will shut off conscious awareness of any odor after constant exposure to it for about 15-20 minutes.   You think your perfume is a dud but you’ve been fooled.

The way to refresh your conscious awareness of your perfume is to “change it up”.  Go outside, smell some coffee, drink an aromatic beverage, and you will again smell your perfume. . . for about 15-20 minutes.

Another way to wake up your perception is when the odor changes in intensity.  This is another reason to love scenting your hair.  As your hair moves the intensity of your experience of the smell changes.

NOTE OF CAUTION

The more [truly] natural a perfume is, the more it will contain the pigments of the plants from which it is made, some of which stain. Therefore, it is recommended that you spray on your perfume and let it dry prior to dressing (which only takes moments) – especially if you’re wearing white.

Or, use our roll-on and be mindful.

How can I best store and preserve my perfume?

Any perfume, natural or not, benefits from understanding the factors that negatively affect its chemistry:

AIR
Oxygen breaks down or oxidizes the molecules in your perfume over time.

TEMPERATURE
Heat speeds up the normal chemical changes that occur over time and will decrease the original beauty of perfume more rapidly.  

Unstable temperatures in the environment will have a negative effect on the chemistry.

LIGHT
Certain UV light degrades a few kinds of perfume materials at a faster rate than normal.  Intense light also heats the perfume and is to be avoided.  Average low-level indoor light will work against your perfume but more slowly.  Of course, low or no light is best but practically speaking, few of us will store a perfume in a location that isn’t easily accessed.  Just consider the light intensity multiplied by time.   

SOLUTIONS TO CARE FOR YOUR PERFUME 

Store perfume in stable room temperature or cooler.  Do not store the perfume in an environment that fluctuates in temperature such as a bathroom or kitchen.

Many ingredients in natural perfume have an amazingly long shelf life.  The base notes often improve with age.  However, the top notes (the lightest notes that greet you first) usually significantly dissipate in a year or so.  Some ingredients can spoil but if care is taken this usually takes a few years or more.  This does not mean that you won’t still enjoy your perfume for several years, but it will gradually change in character.  

We recommend that you buy the amount you will use within a year, maybe two, for optimal performance.  You may also decant your perfume into smaller bottles, topped off to decrease the air in the head of the bottle.  Store the decants in the refrigerator or other cool, dark area to maximally maintain the original character. 

What about health concerns?

ALLERGIC REACTIONS OR SENSITIVITIES ARE POSSIBLE

There is a good chance that you will not have the reactions and sensitivity problems associated with synthetic products.  However, that cannot be assumed.

If you have concern about allergies, irritation, or sensitivities:

Perform a 24-hr. patch test prior to widespread use:  apply a small amount of perfume on the inside of your arm.  Watch it over 24 hours.  If redness or other irritation occurs, wash the area with plenty of soap and water and discontinue the use of that perfume or other product.

Try wearing your perfume on your hair, clothes, or in scent jewelry if skin sensitivity is your issue.

If you have a tendency to develop respiratory distress be prepared to get fresh air if needed.

If you use an inhaler for pre-existing respiratory issues, have it handy to be used if needed, as your physician directed.   

Some of the perfume materials we use can make your skin more sensitive to the sun (Sun Sensitivity), especially those containing particular citrus oils.  If you anticipate having significant sun or sunlamp exposure, it is best to not wear our perfume on exposed skin.  Instead, apply the perfume to your hair, scent jewelry, or clothes. 

Discontinue use of perfume that is older than 1-2 years old, especially if your perfume was overheated along the way. Buy in smaller quantities.  Any perfume can develop more allergens as oxidation increases over time.  The actual time depends on your sensitivities, the perfume, and how much oxidation has taken place due to time, the amount of air in the bottle, and temperature issues. 

Alternate perfumes.  Avoid daily use of a single perfume.

IF YOU ARE NURSING OR PREGNANT OR PLAN TO BE

You may use perfume quite safely if you wear it on your clothes or hair.  Otherwise…

Consult a qualified physician before use of any perfume or other chemical, especially in the first trimester and when trying to become pregnant.

Other chemicals include products for yard care, cleaning, professional use, personal care, and especially drugs of any kind. 

While most natural ingredients in natural perfume have classically, (that means folklore and some science), been acceptable during pregnancy, a few are not.  The dose, (amount over time) of that aromatic, constituent, or isolate is what you would need to be aware of.  Because that is not possible in most purchased products, it is best to abstain or content yourself with modest amounts of single note fragrances that have been approved for pregnancy by your qualified health care provider.

DO NOT GET PERFUME IN YOUR EYES OR ON OTHER MUCOUS MEMBRANES  

It will cause irritation and may cause damage.  Mucous membranes are: your eyes, inside your nose, mouth, throat, and genital area.

KEEP PERFUME OUT OF THE REACH OF SMALL CHILDREN

Little children have been known to drink perfume.  Though our ingredients are generally regarded as safe when used as directed, they are not intended for oral consumption, especially if an entire bottle were to be consumed.  The amount (dose) in the tiny body of a small child is of concern.   Ingesting a few sprays is quite unlikely to harm a child, but we warn against taking a risk.

Children can accidentally spray their eyes or those of another child.  

They might take the perfume near high heat (a fire hazard). 

Or, they may break the glass and cut themselves.

To where can you ship?

We ship to the United States and its territories.  Your perfume contains alcohol, so it is required to ship “Surface Only” (by boat or ground), which takes 5-8 business days once shipped. 

As of mid 2020, there are destructive changes being made to the US Post Office that could result in even longer arrival times.

Shipping is complimentary. 

See Terms and Conditions for more information.

What Are The Standards For Using The Term, "Natural"?

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines natural, raw, perfume materials as being obtained from plants through physical means of extraction, distillation or expression. If the materials are made in a lab to be “nature identical” or are synthetically modified, altered, reconstituted, etc., they cannot be described as “natural”.

Other agencies state that natural, aromatic, raw materials are considered to be essential oils and their fractions, isolates, resins, distillates, extracts and volatile concentrates.  Absolutes are not included.

Still other entities believe that organic or pesticide-free plants must be part of the definition.

Unfortunately, in the real world the term “Natural” means next to nothing and is commonly used deceptively.   Read on to learn more about what our natural materials truly are and decide for yourself what you think.  

WHAT Raw Ingredients do YOU USE?

Long before the perfume begins to be developed, excellent quality raw materials must be located.  High quality is usually paired with high expense, and for good reason.  Each and every hand that nourishes excellence in the raw materials must be expert in their craft.  The farmer, the extractor, the distributor, the perfumer. . .  all must be trustworthy, honest, and ideally have love for the soil, the plants,  and the essences.  The result is phenomenal, incomparable beauty!

Some volatile oils smell much like the raw materials they were extracted from.  Others are reminiscent of them.  Others are totally different.  All-in, natural fragrances are an ocean of luxurious beauty!

HERBS

Herbs, dried or fresh, are familiar to all.  They’re used for food flavoring, teas or medicinal purposes. They are also used in natural perfumes. This may include the whole plant or its parts such as root or leaf.  Herbs are a lovely and highly diverse category of aromatics.  Many of are among the freshest (in smell and effect) of all natural aromatics and with great diversity to select from.

Herbs are humanity’s allies in many ways.   Many herbs have a friendly, kindly feel to them.  They are unassuming and unbeguiling.  As ‘personalities’ we think of them as having simple honesty and helpfulness.   There are, however some tough and powerful herbs that are potent in smell and effect, capable of ‘burning’ the skin without high dilution. 

SPICES

Spices are technically herbs but are distinguished by their pungency.  Most will be familiar and easily identified, but in perfume they can take on a uniquely interesting character and sometimes a disguise!  They may also be elevated to the star of a perfume, yet framed in a whole new light by the other aromatics used.

Spices can feeling strengthening or empowering.  They can be moving and passionate or be a comforting reminder of hearth, home, and belonging.  They can be exotic or familiar and are usually stimulating and warming, though some are much less so and can read “cool” or be calming. 

CITRUS

The aromatic extractions and pressed essences of the juice and rind of citrus fruits are refreshing and delightful fragrances that exude sunshine and cheer.  With rare exception, truly natural citrus essences are quite fleeting in perfume.  Other citrus-like aromatics may be used to extend the desirable smell and feel of citrus.

Of all aromatic ingredients, conventionally grown citrus are the most heavily sprayed.  For the sake of the environment, organic is recommended.

WOODS

Those who have spent time in country life may have memories of a man returning from cutting firewood.  The fragrance of the wood mingling with his natural muskiness is unforgettable and deeply attractive.

Derived from tree wood and bark, the woods are unmistakable in scent, steady in feel, and reminiscent of the stature trees. Though the various woods share similarities, they are diverse in their profiles.  Dry or warm, sometimes sweet in scent, the enduring comfort and strength of the woods have classically been claimed by men.  (But the ladies are catching on!  The woods are gorgeous on women!)

Woods, like all aromatics, do not have a gender assigned to them, per se.  Perfume is about proportion and harmony of ingredients.  At Apologue, we focus on what will move the fragrance to a certain feeling and effect as well as a pleasurable scent that suits the wearer, regardless of gender.

CONIFERS

With many varieties of aromatic products derived from evergreen needles, twigs, cones or woods, they earn a class of their own.

The needle aromatics are often fresh and airy delights.  Their scents vary to include terpenic, camphorous, pungent, sharp, tart, balsamic, sweet, dry, slightly bitter or even fruity.  They can feel meditative, clearing, refreshing, bracing, nourishing, stimulating, comforting, supportive, and renewing.

LEAVES

Extracted from the leaves of trees, shrubs, or other plants, natural leaf aromatics can add a verdant note to perfumes, but surprisingly perhaps, are more often camphorous, sweet, tart, sharp or citrus-like. The longevity is usually moderate and sometimes fleeting but may endure from first pleasure to the base notes.

Leaves, grasses and needles often bring an aspect of air, expansion and [breath of] life, not unlike their purpose for the plant.  Their nature is also to transform energy. . . and we feel it.

GRASSES

There are a fair number of grasses used in natural perfume but contrary to what one might expect, none give off a green “freshly cut grass” smell that we are all familiar with. Some grasses are lemony, others herbal in character.  Some are quite distinctive and unusual.  The grasses provide an interesting nuance to natural perfume and occasionally play a bigger role.

ROOTS AND RHIZOMES

These are deeply beautiful and usually earthy scents as one might guess. They are powerful and intense. True to their nature, they feel grounding, satisfying, nourishing, solid, deep, reaching, touching, and powerful, which indeed, they are.

Roots may be sweet and resin-like, powdery, or slightly floral.  Some are tart and pungent. These essences usually have excellent longevity and add depth and interest to perfume.   Native cultures know them to be exceptionally healing and protective.

MOSS AND FUNGI

From toadstool to tree-born moss, these essences are capable of bringing sophistication and deeply attractive aspects to perfume. They provide relief from the sweeter aromatics, modify or balance others, and impart a bit of primal feeling like the animalics do.

Interestingly, mosses are one of the most primitive types of plants. They predate conifers and flowering plants. They have remained simple in structure and largely unchanged for millions of years.  Yet oddly, their fragrant essences are complex, quite unique, and a highly desirable element of perfume.

A fungus (think mushroom) is a skankier aromatic but in just the right smaller dose it becomes beautiful.  These powerful essences need paired with other powerful aromatics or kept to a minimum. 

You might think, “I don’t want any of that!”, but hold judgement; you might be surprised.

AQUATICS

The aquatic plant has absolutely wonderful effects on perfume at the right dose and pairing.  

Seaweed, for example, offers sophistication and relief or balance to other aromatics.  Its primal feeling is in keeping with its primal appearance, early in the timeline of the earth.  Its fragrance is penetrating.  Its character is oceanic, much like the core of our body’s saltwater fluids.

The scent-impression that one smells near the ocean is caused in part by various algae metabolites.  Seaweed and ‘roasted shell’ essences offer an “oceanic” note but are not comparable to “oceanic” fragrances made with synthetics.

RESINS

There are many types of resins, some called balsams, and a few pseudo resins.  Trees are the greatest source, but they also come from shrubs and plants.  Resins differ and may be sweet, intense, balsamic, incense-like, or reminiscent of fire, heat, smoke, or dryness.  Always moving and penetrating like the sun.  

The resins were used in ancient perfumery and have timeless appeal.  Along with aromatic “incense woods” the resins are most commonly found in incense, incense perfumes, oriental perfumes, and sacred settings, but their range in perfume extends well beyond those genres.

The power of resins to positively affect the mind and body is not widely known.  The ancients certainly knew it, including the kings and rulers.   In their day, resins were cash-equivalent.  Personal wealth, power, and entire economies were based on resins.  It’s telling to know that their Fort Knox was full of Frankincense, and the King’s portfolio included Myrrh.  Fast forward to today, science is finding strong anti-cancer properties in resins and many other important benefits.

FLOWERS

These royal jewels of perfumery are derived from the flowers of trees, shrubs, herbs, or spice.  Herbal floral oils often contain a small portion of the stems and leaves as well.

Some flowers are maidenly, tender, delicate, and enchanting.  Others are like the voluptuous and heady queens of the night.  Still others are nothing short of majestic, even divine.  Floral aromatics have touching effects on hormones, emotions, skin, and more. They are good for the heart and uplifting to the spirit.  Many more beneficial effects can be anticipated.

Although classically feminine, we now see that men are embracing florals. (What happens is most interesting!)  Even if in small amounts, most perfumes for either gender are improved by the presence of a flower.

MINERALICS

These fragrant natural essences are made of such things as sea shells or co-distillations of dirt.  Yes, dirt.  The aroma is indescribably lovely.  The elixir lends itself beautifully to many perfumes – if you can bear to give it up to them.

In this category we place an aromatic that is created from a prehistoric, naturally polymerized resin.  It is a rock-like material that is similar to petrified material but without being mineralized over time.   Only in the last few decades have we been able to discover what this “rock” really was.

We include it here but perhaps it could be best-classified with other resins.

The mineralics are probably the most surprising sources for fragrance.  They add interesting and appealing effects to the smell and feel of a perfume.    

ANIMALICS

Derived from an animal or bee product, these stunningly beautiful essences add warmth and longevity to natural perfumes. Their scents strike deeply at the core of our own animal being.  They are seductively attractive in the right dilution.  Sometimes familiar, sometimes exotic, the animalics are as akin to humanity as plants.  Quality natural product is without peer.

Read about “Animal Testing and Cruelty Free” under “ARE APOLOGUE PERFUMES CRUELTY FREE?”, on this page, below.

 

HOW ARE YOUR Perfumery Materials GROWN AND Extracted?

Interestingly, together, the wide variety of extraction techniques in use serve to capture the majority of what a plant has to offer in both scent and other benefits.  Singly, each extraction technique excels in its own way. 

The scent profile of a single material, such as rose petals, will smell different and behave differently depending on which extraction method is used. 

ESSENTIAL OIL

An essential oil is the aromatic volatile oil of herbs, flowers, spices, shells, leaves, grass, citrus juice, rind, bark, resin, wood, roots, rhizomes, aquatic plants, minerals, and fungi, extracted through mechanical pressing or steam or hydro-distillation.

Natural aromatic volatile oils are 50 to 1000’s of times more concentrated than the raw materials they are extracted from. Some are safe and pleasant to use full strength. Most require various levels of dilution.

These “oils” are used in perfume, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, natural medicines, beauty and spa industries, sacred ceremonies, and air freshening.

CO2

Here, the volatile oil is solvent-extracted using carbon dioxide under pressure, (which becomes a liquid).  Once the volatile oil has been extracted, pressure is normalized. The CO2 then returns to a gaseous state and totally evaporates, leaving no trace.  Also known as supercritical extraction.

Some of the plant-waxes remain in CO2 extractions, which are filtered out by the perfumer.  Often CO2 products will smell closer to the original plant materials.

There has been a steady increase in perfumer’s materials that are extracted by this method and we hope to see more.

ABSOLUTE

Absolute is obtained through solvent extraction (hexane).  Solvent extraction can be used for all raw materials containing volatile oils but most often it will used to obtain the fragrance of flowers, which are too delicate to be extracted with water distillation methods.

There are properties of absolutes that differ from essential oils in color, odor, chemical makeup, and evaporation time.  Absolutes, CO2s, Tinctures, Macerations, Essential Oils -– all from the same part of the same plant will have differing odor profiles.  Absolutes are typically richer and more tenacious in character, and vital to fine natural perfumes.  Absolutes are exquisitely beautiful.

Hexane may be confused with benzene, which is quite toxic.   It was used in the past for extraction.  Today, hexane has replaced benzene. °°

Although most of us would prefer no chemicals of this nature in our products, here is a report by a well-respected researcher:

“Concretes and absolutes always contain traces of the solvent used – usually in the 1-5 ppm range. Hexane is not highly toxic, and this concentration of hexane possesses zero toxicity, hence approval for food use.” [1]

DRILLING DOWN  (Again, read no further if you don’t have the geek-gene for this kind of detail.)

Apologue’ perfumes contain less than 0.08 -0.40 ppm, because our use of Absolutes is about 8% by volume or less, depending on the perfume.

Read “Conventional” in the “How Crops for Raw Perfumery Materials are Grown” section to understand how infinitesimally small “trace amounts” really are.  Breathing city air, driving down the freeway, eating non-organic or fast food and cleaning your home with conventional cleaners are far greater sources of impurity. . .  So much so that it hardly bears comparison and is difficult to overstate.

Many natural perfumers avoid this type of transparency because a) it is viewed as splitting hairs many times over, b) it may be thought of as not consequential enough to bother mentioning, or c) because it is so safe, it is thought wiser to just focus on the luxury and joy of perfume and be done. 

We agree with these perfumers.  However, once some perfume companies start marketing in ways that unjustly or unnecessarily frightens the consumer it becomes time to clarify.  There are much bigger worries in our lives.  We don’t need this one too.  The toxicity of our food, water, and air are the serious issues.

__________________________________

°°The industry recently developed a brand new “hexane-free” extraction method to produce absolutes. The market is still quite limited but it is expected to grow.  It will take many years.  We are in support of this as it will add to improving the environment.  

__________________________________

 MACERATION

Also known as an Infusion, this is a technique that uses slow-steeping of raw, dried, minced plant material in fatty oil to extract the volatile oils. It captures larger molecules that are otherwise missed in other extraction techniques.

Gentle, low heat quickens the process (for example, placing the mixture in sunlight). High heat destroys desirable constituents. The principles are similar to the ones applied to raw-food diets. The steeping time needed varies.

 TINCTURE

This refers to natural materials that have been alcohol-extracted. The material to be “tinctured” is placed in alcohol to steep for weeks, months or years. Some solids will fully disintegrate into the alcohol. Others will leave visible solids behind. Either way the tincture will be filtered for its end use in perfume.

HYDROSOL

A hydrosol is a concentrated water-based extract of the water-soluble constituents of an aromatic plant.  Desirably, some hydrosols are extracted as a primary product, but many are created as a byproduct from the distillation of the plant to obtain its volatile oil.

Hydrosols contain the water-soluble components of the plant, like a tea or tisane does. They also contain lesser amounts of the fragrant essential oil.

Hydrosols are wonderful for linen sprays, cleansing, skin care, refreshing misting sprays, and drinks (gustatory or medicinal ). They are excellent options for gentle-acting cosmetics or medicines.

OIL AND FAT

Oils and fats are subgroups of “lipids”, not volatile oils. 

They may be used as the base for perfume or for richly moisturizing skin preparations that are perfumed.  Deodorized fat is occasionally used to extract volatile oils from flowers.

In perfumery, an aromatic absolute (volatile oil) is extracted from butter (a lipid) and is categorized as an animalic.  

Oil

Refers to a fatty acid of vegetable origin.  Various oils can be liquid or solid at room temperature and will have a variety of cosmetic, medicinal, and viscosity properties that are selected for the desired affect on the skin, or what will best carry a fragrance or best compliment a formula.  The stability of the oil, (the time in which it takes to turn rancid), is also a factor.

Oils can be either cold pressed (desirable) or heat extracted (not healthy).

To confuse matters, the term, “Oil” may also be used to quickly refer to a volatile oil.

Fat

Fats are triglycerides and are of animal origin such as Emu or Mink “oil”, Lanolin (sheep), Lard and Leaf Lard (pork), Tallow (rendered beef), Suet (non-rendered beef) or Butter.  Heat is usually used to render the fat, which is not of concern as fats tolerate heat. 

NATURAL ISOLATES

This refers to any one of many single constituents taken from any whole volatile oil.  It is similar to a “nature identical” synthetic isolate but rather than being created from a petroleum base-material it is extracted from a plant using various advance extraction techniques or grown via biological processes. 

 

ALCOHOL

Two main types of perfumer’s alcohol are used in perfumery: Denatured and Undenatured.

Denatured is ethyl alcohol with noxious ingredients added, with idea that it will discourage someone from drinking it and has other selling points.

Undenatured is simply pure ethyl alcohol.

The raw crops used to make the alcohol are grain, grapes, and sugar cane, although other crops can be used.  Each type has a subtle character of its own, though not as distinctly different as drinking alcohols are, such as brandy vs. tequila or rum. 

__________________

Apologue uses all of the above raw materials .  We use only undenatured, 190 proof, organic alcohol.  Our alcohol is food grade*.   We vary in the use of grain, grape, cane, or other specialty alcohols.  

*Please note: Do not drink our perfumes. 

__________________

[1] https://roberttisserand.com/2013/01/essential-oil-extraction-process-question/

[2] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-0773.1986.tb00126.x

What Is The Difference Between Threatened or Endangered?

“THREATENED” means the plant has become increasingly scarce in the wild, potentially threatening the species. It puts us all on alert to cautiously and more closely monitor the seriousness of the status of the plant, or if needed reverse the negative trend through moderating use or to seek alternatives and so on.

“ENDANGERED” means the plant has become critically scarce to the point that the survival of the species is imminently at stake. In this case we should all cease to buy or use products made from that plant in a concerted effort to help prevent its extinction. To lose species is a loss to us all. The additional loss of balance in the environment and the loss to future generations is incalculable.

There are nuances not readily apparent in the reports found on the internet about “threatened” or “endangered” species that may be confusing or misleading:

Regarding specific plant species with a very a specific scent profile that only grows in a specific geographical area: When those plants are endangered, it means exactly that. An example is Sandalwood, specifically from the Mysore region of India. It is endangered and we should all avoid its use. Yet Sandalwood from plantations in other areas of the planet are well-managed and are perfectly responsible to use.

Some endangered species lists can be inadvertently misleading. A plant may be indeed be endangered in one area of the planet but be abundant in the wild in another area, or under cultivation somewhere else. Here is where you must either do your own research or trust your perfumer to source responsibly.

__________________

If Apologue Perfumes Uses Aromatics from a Threatened or Endangered Species you may assume:

We are tapping our stock of beautifully aged materials, purchased long before the plant was placed on the endangered species list -or-

We are using materials that are in healthy supply from an abundant location and are not truly threatened or endangered -or-

We may have missed a problem. If so, please let us know.

Are Apologue Perfumes Cruelty Free?

Apologue Perfumes is “animal testing and cruelty-free”. We support changes in our global system that start with recognizing that animals are sentient beings, capable of great suffering and with no way to voice their pain.

Apologue had to make the decision to remain silent on this claim – or if we made the claim, to ensure that you knew what it really meant:

Regarding Animal Testing

In the US, by law, all materials intended for human consumption, including all-natural perfume materials, must be tested on animals by researchers to prove the designation “GRAS”, or “generally regarded as safe”.  

When a perfume business claims “no animal testing” that merely means that no testing is done in that business.   That is to say, every perfume-related company, except those bringing a brand a new synthetic or natural product to market, does not need to do testing of any kind.

The claim is [then] little more than an announcement of a political stance or addressing customers who are unaware of the way the system works and are trying their best to do good.  If you are against animal testing, your efforts must be spent on scientific methodologies and governmental policy makers.

Regarding Animal Cruelty

Not engaging in animal cruelty is a simple to claim when the perfumery uses only botanicals.  If the perfumery uses natural animalic fragrances the claim becomes more important to understand.

Apologue uses “found” animalics, which means that the animal left the aromatic substance behind and someone literally found it.

We also use animalic materials that are verified to be from areas where the overpopulation of the animal is causing devastating environmental effects.  When relocation is not feasible and culling the animals is a critical and unavoidable solution, we find no ethical dilemma.

Other animalics that we use are extracted from sustainable, cultivated, raw materials such as honey or dairy products.

Natural Musk and Civet are not purchased on the open market at this time because of our own uncertainties surrounding reports of animal mistreatment and possible endangerment.

__________________

Overall, animal cruelty is quite a complex issue.  There may be exceptional circumstances that give the appearance of cruelty when in fact there is none.  There are times when one moral requirement conflicts with another.  But indeed, there are many obvious and needless reasons that animals suffer.

Apologue makes these twin claims because we avoid contributing to negative consequences for animals within a reasonable, contextual framework.  We support the kind care of animals in any circumstance and support the preservation of their habitat.

What Is The Difference Between Natural and Synthetic Isolates?

The definition of an isolate is “a chemical substance in an uncombined or pure state”.

Natural Isolates are made by nature and extracted by man.

Synthetic Isolates are made by man from a secondary raw material, usually petroleum-based.

More about isolates can be found under:

Our Ingredients“ via the menu tabs at the top of all pages on this site.

“How Perfumery Ingredients Are Extracted”, above, on this page.

Disclaimer

A mandatory disclaimer to any statement on this website that might be construed as health advice:

The reader should assume it is educational or opinion and otherwise seek medical advice from an appropriate physician about their health care decisions and treatment.

Have other questions not answered here? Contact us and we will be happy to help.

0

Your Cart