Chemicals....the name sounds so synthetic, so harsh. It conjures visions of mad (and often evil) Scientists working in their lair-come-labs almost always purched ontop of a cliff with lighting striking in cross-silhouette.
But nature is full of chemicals. Plants are natural chemical factories.
Marketing jargon and consumer angst aside we would do well to distinguish between those harsh evil chemicals and the others that either occur naturally (yes thats right), or are what we call nature identical.
Yes we can replicate a molecule found in nature so that it is identical. If you are asking why we would do such as thing, the answer is actually to conserve natural resources and to maintain consistency in quality and safety.
You see, nature is kind of unpredictable and plants don't produce the same chemical structures every time. Beautiful it is but when you need to label a product ingredients list, winging it just isn't possible.
To further this argument, our industry cannot derive fruity notes from nature. Did you know that? Because most fruits contain high water content they do not give up their essence to extraction, and we must visit the lab to obtain such olfactory expressions.
So too many ingredients are banned from usage in perfume, yes the animal derivations that brought us the musks of yore, but so too other ingredients like oakmoss.
Indeed it must be to the amusement of a higher force that many scents from nature (such as muguet) only reveal their true chemical beauty alive in nature. When expressed or distilled from their flowers, bark or roots, the result a pure facsimile of the real thing.
Without aroma chemicals, perfumes would be missing something and that is why pretty much every blockbuster perfume has 'em inside.
Yes pure natural has its own beauty and wild attraction.
Both natural and synthesised materials have their place in perfumery. Alone they are bottles on a shelf. Together they have the ability to create a truly unforgettable story.