At perfumery, one of the major technological innovation was the discovery of synthetic compounds known as nature-identical which the main advantages are:
For example, Agarwood (Oud) for example, supply relies on hunters and mainly the nature of several decades ago. The popularity of oud causing over-harvested making it near the brink of extinction. Therefore, to make a sustainable future of Oud, agarwood plantation has been started decades ago
The challenges are variation in plant species of Aquilaria (Crassna, Malaccensis, Sinensis, Beccariana, Microcarpa, and many more) weather conditions, the method of planting, inoculation will vary the chemical composition which making the scent profile completely different. The good news is, we have more Oud scent to experience with joyfully. Each Oud oil is unique and that may cause inconsistency
Another challenge with natural ingredients would be the weather. Any natural disaster such as earthquake, drought or flood will wipe out many plantations
Psychologically, when consumers purchase their favourite perfume again, usually expect the same scent profile which is difficult to achieve with natural ingredients due to the above factor, but easy with synthetics
Think about safety, below are perfect example showing that natural chemicals may not be good for you
" Butterbur are plants that contain an anti-inflammatory compound calledpetasin, which is a natural remedy for migraine treatment and prevention. Unfortunately, butterbur plants also contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that can cause severe liver damage, and thus it’s important that butterbur extract is purified to remove PAs."
According to Speciality Chemical Magazine (2013)
" Diterpenoids, a group of some 7,000 compounds, exhibit antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activity, but they are naturally produced in only very small amounts and are difficult to synthesise chemically, due to their complex structures."
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