Is gc-ms killing the old perfumery and creating the new?

Geco

Basenotes Junkie
Jun 14, 2015
Hello,
looking at the growing success of well-made dupe (or "inspired fragrances") (Lattafa, Zara, Armaf, Al Haramain, etc., etc.,) and seeing that more and more consumers are oriented (for economic reasons, above all) towards them , I was wondering if perfumery made with gc /SM,
increasingly available and accessible technology, is introducing a new era, at least from a commercial point of view, of perfumery.
What do you think?
 
Last edited:
Aug 16, 2022
It depends how many people buy fragrances for the smell, and I don't know the answer to that. It's fewer than I would have thought as an outsider. If good clones are easy with GCMS (Or other tools) they'll clone everything expensive, which should apply pressure toward reduced prices. If people can get it for $30 they'll sell less at $400 so they may lower prices. And if say, Armaf, does perfect clones of everything over $300, maybe a company will only charge $250 so they don't clone it.

I think it benefits the consumer, such as myself. One could argue reduced revenue due to clone competition hurts "R&D", but it could go both ways, with companies trying to stay ahead of clones, and I'll take that chance.
I personally feel they are garbage and would never ever even think to try them
Sounds like a Catch-22.
 

Geco

Basenotes Junkie
Jun 14, 2015
""""Dipende da quante persone comprano le fragranze per l'odore, e non conosco la risposta. È meno di quanto avrei pensato da outsider. Se i buoni cloni sono facili con GCMS (o altri strumenti), cloneranno tutto ciò che è costoso, il che dovrebbe esercitare pressioni verso prezzi ridotti. Se le persone possono ottenerlo per $ 30, venderanno meno a $ 400, quindi potrebbero abbassare i prezzi. E se diciamo, Armaf, fa cloni perfetti di tutto ciò che supera i $ 300, forse un'azienda addebiterà solo $ 250 in modo da non clonarlo.

Penso che avvantaggi il consumatore, come me. Si potrebbe obiettare che la riduzione delle entrate dovuta alla concorrenza dei cloni danneggia la "R&S", ma potrebbe andare in entrambe le direzioni, con le aziende che cercano di stare al passo con i cloni, e coglierò questa possibilità."""


yes, in many western countries the middle class is impoverishing, and I believe that niche houses and the high-end lines of design brands will contend for it, but, at least in the West, I believe the high-end market will shrink. Maybe it will expand to China and elsewhere, I don't know. And in any case, I too see, in theory, a drop in prices for the same quality, or rather, an increase in the quality of products in the medium-low range of fragrances. Maybe. I don't know, it's the scenario of the future.......
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
Synthetic materials killed the truly 'old' way of doing perfumery. Cheap clones and copying is merely a natural part of the process of using synthetic materials in fragrance. Unfortunately. Making and selling fragrance in this way is truly shameless and brazen, but it is simply a low end version of imitation that occurs at the high end of any creative endeavour; synthetic materials have enabled 'better' fakes to be made, with a lower cost or risk of failure to those choosing to produce clones. The cheap out and out clones are the low culture responding to what is the norm in the (apparent) high culture (which is probably more accurately now the mid culture); gas chromotography is used by every perfumer, house, brand etc to analyse the competition and develop their own fragrances. What differs between them and the cheap clone slop producers is the latter has no conceit or pretence (for the most part); they are open about what they are making, what they are imitating. Fraud and trickery is much more open and tolerated in parts of the world where these clone fragrances are made, so clones and copies and fakes are seen as par for the course. Whereas in the mid or high culture, you still have perfumers and brands pretending to be producing fragrance out of an inspired and romantic creativity, as opposed to mechanistic anaylsis, using natural ingredients and so on. So I don't think cheap clones are killing perfumery - not least because they are usually very poor and any enthusiast with a half decent nose should really be able to pick up the problems with clone fragrances. The main reason, however, is that cloning in this way is simply a natural progression that comes out of synthetic perfumery higher up the scale.
 

David Ruskin

Basenotes Institution
May 28, 2009
The analytical technique of gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry is not new. When I joined the industry in 1976 it was an established analytical tool. Of course, over time, the equipment used has improved in efficiency, and accuracy.

GC/MS is not just used to copy existing fragrances. Matching a fine fragrance is bloody difficult, and time consuming. Of course there is a market for cheap knock-offs; if there wasn't, the knock-offs wouldn't be produced. However I don't think you can blame GC/MS on the poor state of a lot of new perfumes.

GC/MS is used to analyse a mix of volatile chemicals (a perfume, an essential oil, the head space of a living flower or an environment) for a number of reasons. Yes, copying is one reason, but there are many others.

To argue that "synthetic ingredients killed the truly 'old' way of doing perfumery" is to ignore the entire 20th century. Towards the end of the 19th century there were huge increases in Organic chemistry know-how, accompanied by a lot of new syntheses. Houbigant's "Fougere Royale" can be called the first fragrance to use synthetics, with its large amount of synthesised coumarin. Before coumarin could be made in a lab it had to be extracted from a natural source (e.g. Tonka Bean), so was more expensive. Shalimar depends on ethyl vanillin, a synthetic (together with Opoponax). Any classic fine fragrance you can think of will contain synthetic ingredients, so you cannot blame them. Indeed you can follow the history of perfume types from the discovery of new and interesting ingredients.

One way, amongst several, that fragrance houses develop new captives is a three step process. Firstly an interesting chemical is identified from a natural source. GC/MS will be needed for this. Then an attempt will be made to synthesise that interesting chemical. Finally chemists will try to modify the basic structure to attempt an improvement, whether it be in stability, or performance, or just a better smell. The damascones are a good example of this technique.

The growing success of copycat fragrances has more to do with the economy than anything else. GC/MS helps, but its use is far greater than just matching.
 
Last edited:

Dorje123

Basenotes Dependent
Feb 15, 2011
The analytical technique of gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry is not new. When I joined the industry in 1976 it was an established analytical tool. Of course, over time, the equipment used has improved in efficiency, and accuracy.

GC/MS is not just used to copy existing fragrances. Matching a fine fragrance is bloody difficult, and time consuming. Of course there is a market for cheap knock-offs; if there wasn't, the knock-offs wouldn't be produced. However I don't think you can blame GC/MS on the poor state of a lot of new perfumes.

GC/MS is used to analyse a mix of volatile chemicals (a perfume, an essential oil, the head space of a living flower or an environment) for a number of reasons. Yes, copying is one reason, but there are many others.

To argue that "synthetic ingredients killed the truly 'old' way of doing perfumery" is to ignore the entire 20th century. Towards the end of the 19th century there were huge increases in Organic chemistry know-how, accompanied by a lot of new syntheses. Houbigant's "Fougere Royale" can be called the first fragrance to use synthetics, with its large amount of synthesised coumarin. Before coumarin could be made in a lab it had to be extracted from a natural source (e.g. Tonka Bean), so was more expensive. Shalimar depends on ethyl vanillin, a synthetic (together with Opoponax). Any classic fine fragrance you can think of will contain synthetic ingredients, so you cannot blame them. Indeed you can follow the history of perfume types from the discovery of new and interesting ingredients.

One way, amongst several, that fragrance houses develop new captives is a three step process. Firstly an interesting chemical is identified from a natural source. GC/MS will be needed for this. Then an attempt will be made to synthesise that interesting chemical. Finally chemists will try to modify the basic structure to attempt an improvement, whether it be in stability, or performance, or just a better smell. The damascones are a good example of this technique.

The growing success of copycat fragrances has more to do with the economy than anything else. GC/MS helps, but its use is far greater than just matching.


It seems like the cost of tech/equipment has come way down in price over the years. I'm not familiar with GC/MS, but in other fields tools like oscilloscopes, signal generators, and related computer software has gotten to the point anyone can afford it. Also, tools like CNC machines, laser engravers, etc. have come way down. This kind of tech is now widely available, especially in countries where copying and violating others' IP is seen as acceptable. So while GC/MS is not new, it's cost and availability may make it's use much more accessible than it used to be.

I agree on synthetics to a point, now some perfumers are using synthetics exclusively, no naturals whatsoever... this wasn't the case until relatively recently... I'd guess these must be far easier to copy vs perfumes that use synthetics to enhance naturals.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
To argue that "synthetic ingredients killed the truly 'old' way of doing perfumery" is to ignore the entire 20th century. Towards the end of the 19th century there were huge increases in Organic chemistry know-how, accompanied by a lot of new syntheses. Houbigant's "Fougere Royale" can be called the first fragrance to use synthetics, with its large amount of synthesised coumarin. Before coumarin could be made in a lab it had to be extracted from a natural source (e.g. Tonka Bean), so was more expensive. Shalimar depends on ethyl vanillin, a synthetic (together with Opoponax). Any classic fine fragrance you can think of will contain synthetic ingredients, so you cannot blame them. Indeed you can follow the history of perfume types from the discovery of new and interesting ingredient
No, you completely misunderstand. I was not ignoring anything. It is simply a fact that synthetic perfumery opens up the craft to a much wider set of businesses and people, including perfumers themselves. Synthetic ingredients being what they are, it now allows for swift imitation and effectively removes many of the barriers on how much a perfumer/house can produce. Where it used to be something only established perfume/fashion houses could afford to do this for the most part, now it is possible for some dodgy bloke down a back alley in Arabia to use this technology to create a somewhat similar imitation of some of the most expensive and desirable fragrances on the market. And they can do this - with extremely dubious results, but that's besides the point - in a relatively short space of time. Because of synthetics. It is synthetics that marked this shift, not gas chromatography. It is practically unavoidable once synthetics started being used by commercial perfume houses/companies that clones - again, in all forms and to differing degrees of 'success' - would be made. And it is perhaps also unavoidable that increasingly similar fragrances (that aren't necessarily 'clones') would be put on to the mass market, because synthetics make it possible to imitate and tweak an existing formula of a successful fragrance without many of the issues that pre-synthetic perfumery would have presented. This explains, for example, the dark blue trend, or the sheer number of Aventus/Tuscan Leather/Tobacco Vanille pseudo-clones made and sold by fashion/perfume companies. The only point for debate is how commercially successful they are, and I am constantly amazed by the credulity that so-called enthusiasts show towards so much of this clone slop. But, again, that's besides the point.

None of this would have been possible before synthetic perfumery, hence it is synthetic ingredients, and not gas chromatography, that 'killed' the old way, if anyone wishes to pin it down in such terms. Of course, the old way is how perfumes were made for thousands of years up until about 150 years ago. Which is where you have probably misunderstood my point.

The other factor that has caused this would be the general civilisational shift towards the mean via things like majoritarian and democratic rule being de facto 'good things'. Or at least, that is the justification; the true change is often simply inversion or subversion of the pre-Modern (and pre-C20th) world and its values and norms, but it uses the aforementioned to mask this when necessary. In any case, the loss of true elitism within the arts - with perfumery being fairly closely attached via cultural and aesthetic tastes and so on - is responsible for the shift to the mass and the many (just consider how many bottles Dior's Sauvage has sold), which is another reason why the 'old way' is no more/dead/becoming less commercially possible. It would also be the reason for why so many pseudo-clones are on the market, as mentioned above, because commercial success is now achieved (for the most part) by appealing to the widest customer base possible, and invariably this has involved brands and perfumers simply imitating/copying/tweaking what is already popular and releasing their own version of it. So, once again, the inversion of hierarchy towards a culture of the mass would be a far better place to start when discussing the reasons for the changes to perfumery rather than gas chromatography, as the latter is very much downstream from the former. But whenever this topic is raised, a lot of people get rather upset about it, despite - like my point about synthetics - it being basic fact. So it is probably not worth "unpacking" it...

Either way, I thought it was worth clearing up what my point actually was, as you seemed to misunderstand what I was trying to get across. 👍
 

David Ruskin

Basenotes Institution
May 28, 2009
Sorry "sipfrsly" but I still don't understand what you are trying to get across. The length of your post above makes it difficult, if not impossible, to answer. My understanding, which you say is a misunderstanding, is that the development of synthetic materials for use in perfumery has destroyed the "old perfumery". Your favouring the "old perfumery" seems to denigrate everything that has been achieved in the 20th century, and beyond. I cannot accept this.

You then go off onto a discussion ( I think tending towards a rant, but I'm sure you will pick me up on that) about the societal world wide changes that have occured, again, within the 20th century. I may be wrong, I may have misunderstood, but you seem to think that Democracy is not necessarily a "good thing". Once again, I may have misunderstood you.

All in all I don't see what your post has to do with the original topic. Being a bear of very little brain, long posts confuse me. I think it best if we call it a day.
 
Aug 16, 2022
Sorry "sipfrsly" but I still don't understand what you are trying to get across. The length of your post above makes it difficult, if not impossible, to answer. My understanding, which you say is a misunderstanding, is that the development of synthetic materials for use in perfumery has destroyed the "old perfumery". Your favouring the "old perfumery" seems to denigrate everything that has been achieved in the 20th century, and beyond. I cannot accept this.

You then go off onto a discussion ( I think tending towards a rant, but I'm sure you will pick me up on that) about the societal world wide changes that have occured, again, within the 20th century. I may be wrong, I may have misunderstood, but you seem to think that Democracy is not necessarily a "good thing". Once again, I may have misunderstood you.

All in all I don't see what your post has to do with the original topic. Being a bear of very little brain, long posts confuse me. I think it best if we call it a day.
I think he's basically saying 200 years ago 1% of people had bespoke natural fragrances and 99% had nothing. The "democratization" that let everyone have fragrance had to mean using more easily available constituents, namely synthetics. So we can't go back to how things were long ago.

I don't have much of an opinion, but that's how I read it.
 

David Ruskin

Basenotes Institution
May 28, 2009
I think he's basically saying 200 years ago 1% of people had bespoke natural fragrances and 99% had nothing. The "democratization" that let everyone have fragrance had to mean using more easily available constituents, namely synthetics. So we can't go back to how things were long ago.

I don't have much of an opinion, but that's how I read it.
You may well be right. The impression I got was that this "democratisation" was thought, by "sipfrsly", to be not a good thing.
 

DeathArrow

Super Member
Dec 25, 2022
synthetic perfumery opens up the craft to a much wider set of businesses and people, including perfumers themselves. Synthetic ingredients being what they are, it now allows for swift imitation and effectively removes many of the barriers on how much a perfumer/house can produce. Where it used to be something only established perfume/fashion houses could afford to do this for the most part, now it is possible for some dodgy bloke down a back alley in Arabia to use this technology to create a somewhat similar imitation of some of the most expensive and desirable fragrances on the market.
What do you mean by "established perfume/fashion houses"? Before 20th century there weren't so called "established perfume/fashion houses". Most perfumers were artisans producing very simple things.
And they can do this - with extremely dubious results, but that's besides the point - in a relatively short space of time. Because of synthetics. It is synthetics that marked this shift, not gas chromatography.
Synthetics produced modern perfumery. Which you are probably benefiting of and enjoying, unless you've found some 200 years old bottles hidden somewhere.
hence it is synthetic ingredients, and not gas chromatography, that 'killed' the old way, if anyone wishes to pin it down in such terms.
I think there are still some indies and artisans still producing stuff derived from mostly natural materials. Are those smelling better? They do have decent projection and last a decent amount of time? I don't know.
Of course, the old way is how perfumes were made for thousands of years up until about 150 years ago. Which is where you have probably misunderstood my point.
Everything changed after industrialization and the advance of science. Many things went through a process of commoditization. Few people afforded a carriage in 19th century while most of them now own cars. Few people ate meat in 19th century while now most do.
The other factor that has caused this would be the general civilisational shift towards the mean via things like majoritarian and democratic rule being de facto 'good things'. Or at least, that is the justification; the true change is often simply inversion or subversion of the pre-Modern (and pre-C20th) world and its values and norms, but it uses the aforementioned to mask this when necessary. In any case, the loss of true elitism within the arts - with perfumery being fairly closely attached via cultural and aesthetic tastes and so on - is responsible for the shift to the mass
You got a point here. Many things went down including arts and perfumery, but that has nothing to do with scientific advance or with prosperity.
commercial success is now achieved (for the most part) by appealing to the widest customer base possible, and invariably this has involved brands and perfumers simply imitating/copying/tweaking what is already popular and releasing their own version of it
It's called capitalism. Some people would do literally anything for money. That doesn't mean there aren't good things out there.
. So, once again, the inversion of hierarchy towards a culture of the mass would be a far better place to start when discussing the reasons for the changes to perfumery rather than gas chromatography,
I don't think perfumery was at any point in history something above mass culture. Things that were destined for cultural and artistic elite were consumed with the brain, not with the nose. You can use your brain a little, you can refine your tastes, you can discover a bit of artistic , cultural and historic value in some fragrances, but at the end of the day, it's still your nose that's the most important.

Here comes food parallel again: there is good food, there is crap food, there is healthy food, there is unhealthy food. There are good tastes, there ar e bad tastes.
 

DeathArrow

Super Member
Dec 25, 2022
Hello,
looking at the growing success of well-made dupe (or "inspired fragrances") (Lattafa, Zara, Armaf, Al Haramain, etc., etc.,) and seeing that more and more consumers are oriented (for economic reasons, above all) towards them , I was wondering if perfumery made with gc /SM,
increasingly available and accessible technology, is introducing a new era, at least from a commercial point of view, of perfumery.
What do you think?
The only reason why there are "inspired fragrances" is because it is economically viable to do so. There is a demand for something, so there is going to be a supply. It's far easier to follow trends than to innovate.

From a very vague resemblance to 100% copy, most perfume houses are copying the other perfume houses.

Economic viability, demand and laziness also explains why we have a shitload of crap fragrances. Synthetically smelling, harsh, gourmands, cloyingly sweet.
 

DeathArrow

Super Member
Dec 25, 2022
Greed has killed "Good" perfumery.....
Not really killed but attempting to kill. There are good things out there and I am sure there will be more, as long as there will still be people wanting to buy good perfumes.

Also greed is just a factor. If there wasn't a demand for crap, crap wouldn't exist as it couldn't have been sold.

I am afraid that many people have a bad taste. And that can be discussed but we're entering sociology, anthropology and politics territory.
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
I think there are still some indies and artisans still producing stuff derived from mostly natural materials. Are those smelling better? They do have decent projection and last a decent amount of time? I don't know.

There absolutely are “artisanal” natural perfumers. As for whether their perfumes smell better, that’s subjective: to my nose, some do, others don’t. Materials don’t make the perfumer, much less does the derivation of those materials. Similarly, performance metrics vary with the skill and/or intent of the perfumer.

Within the “fragcom,” these perfumers have outsized importance. In the world at large, virtually no one is aware of their existence. That’s not a criticism: it’s the nature of artisanal perfumery (or anything) that it can only support a small market. Growing their businesses too large would require abandoning at least some artisanal practices.
 

CeeTee

Super Member
Dec 30, 2022
Hello,
looking at the growing success of well-made dupe (or "inspired fragrances") (Lattafa, Zara, Armaf, Al Haramain, etc., etc.,) and seeing that more and more consumers are oriented (for economic reasons, above all) towards them , I was wondering if perfumery made with gc /SM,
increasingly available and accessible technology, is introducing a new era, at least from a commercial point of view, of perfumery.
What do you think?
Great post. My short answer is, no.
Think about Chanel jackets and YSL purses, etc. Every brand copies these, because the black Chanel-styled blazer is a “must-have” in every woman’s wardrobe. Theres a copy for every consumer price-point.

There’s demand for fragrance with the most luxurious raw materials and craftsmanship that money can buy. Those who have the means and place value on these specifications will purchase them. If the demand drops off, so too will supply. (Where I have a problem, is where the knock-offs put fake labels on the items or steal them.)

As far as perfume clones:
Fragrance is inaccessible to many, due to geography, money, etc. Hence, the market for dupes. Where demand exists, supply will follow. The bottom line for any business is that, they must innovate in either the product or service to compete in the long run.

Examples:
Alexandria and/or Juliannas allow for easier returns because their fragrances come with a tester so the customer can return it if they don‘t like it. Reduced risk at a medium price point.
Designer is easy to access and offers cross-sell to subsidize the P&L.
Niche perfume offers avant garde scents and has first-comer advantage for people who want what‘s new & fresh. Of course, the niche perfumers have numerous headwinds. But they do offer discovery sets to onboard customers and build brand loyalty.
On the other hand, you have Guerlain who is not innovating. (And trust me - I take no joy in saying this.) They’ve chosen online distribution to cut cost. Good for them. However, they’re not passing savings on to the consumer. They don't offer samples prior to purchase and they have no discovery sets. They’ve made themselves inaccessible, even those who actually want to purchase.

Do I like clones? Of course not. They’re stealing from the original artist. But they’re ubiquitous and here to stay. That said, where there’s demand for quality perfumery, it will live on.
 

slpfrsly

Physician, heal thyself
Basenotes Plus
Apr 1, 2019
Sorry "sipfrsly" but I still don't understand what you are trying to get across. The length of your post above makes it difficult, if not impossible, to answer. My understanding, which you say is a misunderstanding, is that the development of synthetic materials for use in perfumery has destroyed the "old perfumery". Your favouring the "old perfumery" seems to denigrate everything that has been achieved in the 20th century, and beyond. I cannot accept this.
I thought that might be the case, "Davld", but not to worry. 😄

I'm not sure it would be worth explaining my point again tbh but there's more than enough there if you wanted to go back over it. As I suspected, you did misunderstand the point I was making, so reiterating it or developing it further in this thread would be flogging a dead horse. And no-one wants thta.
 

GoldWineMemories

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 22, 2019
Cqn you please explain to me what any of this has to do with the original post? GC/MS is a wonderful research tool; how it is used, and why, has nothing to do with its usefulness.

Lol we're seeing this same sort of ignorant thinking with ChatGPT as well. These things are tools, and nothing more. They are objectively good, because they make our work easier.

If someone thinks modern designer/niche/prestige (hardly distinguishable now) perfumery sucks, it's because of the people deciding what perfumes get made, and the bland uninspired customers who consume the products. If you think all perfumery since sandalwood and real animalics fell out of vogue sucks, then you probably just don't really like perfumes, just the idea of rare and exclusive items existing that other people can't have; materialism. A tool such as GC/MS doesn't have a positive or negative effect on perfumery, it just is. It's like asking if shoes ruined running.
 

David Ruskin

Basenotes Institution
May 28, 2009
I thought that might be the case, "Davld", but not to worry. 😄

I'm not sure it would be worth explaining my point again tbh but there's more than enough there if you wanted to go back over it. As I suspected, you did misunderstand the point I was making, so reiterating it or developing it further in this thread would be flogging a dead horse. And no-one wants thta.
I must apologise for my ignorance, and will bow to your superior knowledge. I think I might have mentioned in a previous post, but will repeat myself. Enough already. I'm done.
 

GoldWineMemories

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 22, 2019
No, you completely misunderstand. I was not ignoring anything. It is simply a fact that synthetic perfumery opens up the craft to a much wider set of businesses and people, including perfumers themselves. Synthetic ingredients being what they are, it now allows for swift imitation and effectively removes many of the barriers on how much a perfumer/house can produce. Where it used to be something only established perfume/fashion houses could afford to do this for the most part, now it is possible for some dodgy bloke down a back alley in Arabia to use this technology to create a somewhat similar imitation of some of the most expensive and desirable fragrances on the market. And they can do this - with extremely dubious results, but that's besides the point - in a relatively short space of time. Because of synthetics. It is synthetics that marked this shift, not gas chromatography. It is practically unavoidable once synthetics started being used by commercial perfume houses/companies that clones - again, in all forms and to differing degrees of 'success' - would be made. And it is perhaps also unavoidable that increasingly similar fragrances (that aren't necessarily 'clones') would be put on to the mass market, because synthetics make it possible to imitate and tweak an existing formula of a successful fragrance without many of the issues that pre-synthetic perfumery would have presented. This explains, for example, the dark blue trend, or the sheer number of Aventus/Tuscan Leather/Tobacco Vanille pseudo-clones made and sold by fashion/perfume companies. The only point for debate is how commercially successful they are, and I am constantly amazed by the credulity that so-called enthusiasts show towards so much of this clone slop. But, again, that's besides the point.

None of this would have been possible before synthetic perfumery, hence it is synthetic ingredients, and not gas chromatography, that 'killed' the old way, if anyone wishes to pin it down in such terms. Of course, the old way is how perfumes were made for thousands of years up until about 150 years ago. Which is where you have probably misunderstood my point.

The other factor that has caused this would be the general civilisational shift towards the mean via things like majoritarian and democratic rule being de facto 'good things'. Or at least, that is the justification; the true change is often simply inversion or subversion of the pre-Modern (and pre-C20th) world and its values and norms, but it uses the aforementioned to mask this when necessary. In any case, the loss of true elitism within the arts - with perfumery being fairly closely attached via cultural and aesthetic tastes and so on - is responsible for the shift to the mass and the many (just consider how many bottles Dior's Sauvage has sold), which is another reason why the 'old way' is no more/dead/becoming less commercially possible. It would also be the reason for why so many pseudo-clones are on the market, as mentioned above, because commercial success is now achieved (for the most part) by appealing to the widest customer base possible, and invariably this has involved brands and perfumers simply imitating/copying/tweaking what is already popular and releasing their own version of it. So, once again, the inversion of hierarchy towards a culture of the mass would be a far better place to start when discussing the reasons for the changes to perfumery rather than gas chromatography, as the latter is very much downstream from the former. But whenever this topic is raised, a lot of people get rather upset about it, despite - like my point about synthetics - it being basic fact. So it is probably not worth "unpacking" it...

Either way, I thought it was worth clearing up what my point actually was, as you seemed to misunderstand what I was trying to get across. 👍

You mention perfumery how it was done for thousands of years, but natural perfumery isn't anything like what most of us on this board enjoy. Modern perfumery, things above mixing resins and flowers together in oil, is the use of synthetics, as David points out. We get none of the interesting accords or smells that have piqued our curiosity without synthetics, so to make this line in the sand of pre/post synthetics is nonsense.

You always bring things back to a critique of post modernism, but perhaps your obsession with the topic blinds you. I think you get so into these ideas you have that you force everything to fit into that mold of view.
 

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