You may not know their names, but you’ve smelled them.
In fact, you probably smell of them right now. Without them, your fragrance simply wouldn’t exist. While natural essences bask in the limelight, synthetics are the clandestine infiltrators that spark off fragrant revolutions. It was the discovery of coumarin that yielded the first modern perfume,Fougère Royale, in 1881. Aldehydes lent their abstract sheen toChanel N°5. Ethyl-vanillin enhancedShalimar’s plush cleavage. Hedione® breathed its radiance intoEau Sauvage. And no contemporary scent could do without synthetic musk or the ubiquitous Iso E Super.
Whether they imitate nature, tease out its innermost secrets or veer off into botanically impossible smells, synthetics are the true building blocks of perfumery. Elegant solutions discovered by scientists, wafting from labs onto skin and into your nose.
Nomenclature celebrates design in perfume chemistry by showcasing today’s most inspiring, exclusive molecules—so exclusive that some, known as “captives,” are zealously guarded by fragrance companies.
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