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Article: Natural vs Synthetic Perfume Ingredients

STORIES Parfum bottle resting on slices of fruit

Natural vs Synthetic Perfume Ingredients

Is it better to choose perfume with natural ingredients or those containing sustainably sourced synthetics? 

There's a tendency to frown upon the use of synthetic ingredients in the beauty industry, yet incorporating them in perfumery can be extremely beneficial... to the planet right through to the wearer.


Most modern fragrances - including STORIES Parfums - are a fusion of natural and synthetic (man made) ingredients; the latter adding longevity, sillage and helping a scent stay true on the skin.

Synthetic notes created in laboratories have forged exciting new paths in perfumery - enabling the industry to avoid natural ingredients that aren't cruelty-free or sustainably sourced - while enjoying rare scents that are expensive to produce.

Sustainability in perfumery is not cut and dry. Every element is unique and has its own story, from raw ingredients through to the finished product.

STORIES Parfums ingredients


Using a balance of natural and synthetic ingredients in perfumery can help:

  • reduce costs  
  • ensure consistent quality
  • maintain ethical standards
  • avoid natural ingredients that are not sustainably sourced
  • offer a synthetic alternative to common allergens
  • protect plants in danger of extinction.

"Perfumers can recreate suede’s enveloping sensuality in perfumery using synthetic ingredients.  It’s fascinating... how perfumes - which are invisible - can have a ‘texture’ they cocoon you with their musky, woody, velvety, leathery qualities."

Perfume Society


Natural ingredients can be threatened by global events, such as the 1980s patchouli shortage triggered by turmoil in Indonesia and current shortages caused by unrest in Ukraine:

"The global cosmetics sector is grappling with fallout from the war because producers use alcohol derived from grains and organic beets to make perfumes... key crops from Ukraine."

Reuters, April 2022



First used in perfumery in 1882, the use of synthetic ingredients has been essential in the development of modern perfumery, enabling us to enjoy scents that are rare, prohibitively expensive to produce or even ethically dubious, such as civet musk.

Through a process of reconstruction in perfumery, an odour is reproduced to trick our brain into thinking we are smelling the real thing. This method of producing smells synthetically allows us to incorporate much loved ingredients such as musk, without adding animal products.

Synthetic musk was discovered accidentally, thanks to German scientist, Albert Baur in the late 19th century. While trying to compound a powerful explosive he inadvertently created musk!

The process of extracting natural isolates means scientists can separate components of natural ingredients and discover whole new worlds of scent. Used in moderation, these ingredients add a sparkle and a shine to fragrance that is effervescent and exciting, while if overused, they become unrefined and garish. 


Every STORIES product is crafted using a combination of responsibly sourced ingredients and excellent agricultural practices. Each one is produced in accordance with the best manufacturing practices that comply with international and environmental regulations and laws. 

We are committed to using top quality, ethically sourced materials with a strong focus on sustainability. Read more about why sustainability matters so much to us



STORIES N°.02 won Best Modern Classic fragrance in the @socialandpersonal Beauty Awards 2022... we're so thankful to win such a fantastic award alongside the most luxurious brands.

We took part in the SheerLuxe Spring Fair, a unique shopping event with 100 of its favourite small and independent brands.

Our STORIES Hosts series continued with fascinating conversations thanks to:

Dr Maryam Zamani from MZ Skin Official - global leading Aesthetic Doctor & Oculoplastic Surgeon

 - Zana Morris - fitness and nutrition expert.

Click the links to catch up if you missed these truly inspirational women's stories. 



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