I’ll be discussing some pretty interesting facts on common fragrance ingredients today, so in case you ever wanted to know more about musk, ambergris or that ever-present “vetiver,” here’s your chance! You might already know some of these, but hold on to your chairs as some might shock you as well. So, to cut the long story short, here are 7 good-to-know facts on common fragrance ingredients...
Table of contents:
- vetiver is a plant
- some ingredients are very toxic
- musk facts
- the word “fragrance”
- most fruity aromas are 100% fake
- ambergris is…
- not every perfume smells good and lasts long on everybody
1 Vetiver is a Plant
Ha! Now, raise your hand if you used Google to find out more about this ingredient! LOL! But here are a few vetiver facts for all of you who, for some reason, simply never got around to consult the world’s most popular search engine. Vetiver or Vetiveria zizanoides is a tall, bushy grass-like plant that grows in Thailand and is cultivated because its oil makes a good perfume base. Now, in case you thought a bit of drying and powdering is all it takes to produce vetiver oil, guess again, as it contains not one, five or... I don’t know… thirty components... but more than one hundred!
2 Some Ingredients Are Very Toxic
Furthermore, the list of those toxic ingredients runs pretty long, so next time you read names like Benzaldehyde, Ethanol, Ethyl Acetate, Limonene and so on, don’t think those are just fancy terms used to make the list of ingredients sound “smart.” Yeah, everything is said to be harmful these days – perfumes, deodorant sticks, hygienic pads, waxing… Why don’t we all just move back in into caves!? I’m sorry, but although I believe we should take better care of the products we use, I simply can’t imagine my life without all these modern products.
3 Musk Facts
Well, I sincerely hope you’re not eating and reading this as the next one of my facts on common fragrance ingredients might be a bit gross. I gave you a fair warning and now it’s time to explain what musk really is. So, back in the old times, when perfumes weren’t so “mainstream,” this aromatic substance was extracted from a male musk dear. A gland located in the deer’s abdomen is responsible for the production of this substance and, in order to be used in perfumes, the gland had to be extracted, dried, powdered and mixed with a considerable amount of alcohol. Real musk is very expensive today (thank God!), so the perfumes we buy and use today contain its synthetic “twin” - a chemical with similar properties that is cheaper to make, easier to use and makes killing musk dears for their precious glands unnecessary.
4 The Word “fragrance”
Okay, here’s one scary fact – did you know that the word “fragrance” found on most perfume packages presumes a mix of various and sometimes even completely untested chemicals? Companies don’t have to list every single chemical they’ve used! Furthermore, as listing them all could mean revealing important trade secrets, the simple term “fragrance” is not only a very convenient way to use dangerous stuff and get away with it but a completely legal one as well.
5 Most Fruity Aromas Are 100% Fake
Hungry for more facts on common fragrance ingredients? Well, I have a feeling that this one won’t be as shocking as I hoped but I’m going to mention it anyways. So, if fruity scents like apples, cherries or strawberries are your favorite ones, you can rest assured your perfume is made in the lab. It takes a lot of skill to extract these scents naturally and they are never as strong as the synthetic ones, so most conventional cosmetic companies a cheaper solution, stronger solution.
6 Ambergris is…
Well, in case the above mentioned facts on common fragrance ingredients didn’t come as a shock, wait until you hear what I have to say about Ambergris! We have sperm whales (and I’m not using bad words here because this is the actual name) to thank for this well-known ingredient and, since there’s no need to harm the animal in order to extract it, organic Ambergris is still being used in modern perfumes. Ambergris is basically a solid, grayish wax found in the digestive system of the previously mentioned, naughtily named whale and is being collected after the whale has “disposed of it.”
7 Not Every Perfume Smells Good and Lasts Long on Everybody
Okay, I’m sure you already know that smelling the bottle alone won’t tell you much about the actual scent or the way it’s going to smell on you. Right? But did you know that oily skin is believed to be able to “hold” perfumes better than all other skin types? Now, I know that doesn’t have a lot to do with ingredients but it sure is something you should have in mind.
Do you know some other interesting facts on common fragrance ingredients and would you be willing to share them with me? Hope these didn’t ruin the perfumes containing musk and ambergris for you! And remember, the end product smells good!
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