Word Rant Wednesday: Natural

This weeks word rant spotted in the media and elsewhere includes linguistic associated with perfume brands that DO NOT use whole, plant material in their formulations even though the descriptives make it sound like they do. It makes my job oh soooo very difficult, you have no idea.

The other big reveal, which I complain about often, is that almost in every case, labs create their products and perfume labs don’t use whole essential oils, they use isolates which sometimes are synthetic, natural or a mix. One needs to be part detective and wordsmith to see beyond the (veil) marketing.

For example these are the ingredients on one “botanical” perfume being sold as “… exclusively crafted with an abundance of 100% natural …. known to be the purest and most precious in the world.” You be the judge….

Jojoba oil: Simmondsia chinensis oil

Proprietary blend: citrus limon (lemon) fruit extract, juniperus mexicana oil, cupressus sempervirens leaf/nut/stem oil, citrus nobilis (mandarin orange) fruit extract, cananga odorata flower oil, dipteryx odorata (cumaru) bean extract, rosa centifolia flower extract, iris florentina root extract, carum carvi (caraway) seed oil, pogostemon cablin oil

(FYI: juniperus mexicana oil is Juniper, cupressus sempervirens leaf/nut/stem oil is a Mediterranean Cypress, cananga odorata flower oil is Ylang Ylang, rosa centifolia flower extract is Rose, iris florentina root extract is Orris and pogostemon cablin oil is Patchouli)

Cera bellina: Polyglycerol-3 beeswax
Hydrogenated jojoba oil (jojoba esters)
Beeswax: Cera alba
Shea butter: Butyrospermum parkii butter
Candelilla wax: Euphorbia cerifera,
Carnauba wax: Copernicia prunifera
Dimethicone, Magnesium stearate

It seems to me if you want to use the most precious materials in the world one would use organic, local beeswax, instead of bulking up with additives like:

Cera bellina: Polyglycerol-3 beeswax
Candelilla wax: Euphorbia cerifera
Carnauba wax: Copernicia prunifera (a palm which only occurs in the northeastern states of Brazil)
Dimethicone: Magnesium stearate

More words being used by big brands touting “natural perfume”…

True Nature
Organic formulator
Biodegradable
Certified organic perfume
Spiritual and agricultural sensitivity
Naturally….Natural fragrance
Botanical Essence
Health conscious
Sustainably sourced natural ingredients

and a few of the latest (2020):

100% Natural Derived
Plant Based Perfume Made From 100% Plant and Flower Materials
Beyond Clean

Conclusion, words mean nothing. In some cases only a small amount (2-10%) of synthetic aroma chemicals are added to formulations to increase longevity or ramp up the volume on a perfume, thus giving the company the ability to use the words above.

Edited: July 2020

2 comments

  1. This irks me to no end! There are companies that have the nerve to copyright the word 'Organic' just to suck in the unknowing public. The word 'Natural' is thrown around the beauty product circles with absoloutley no responsibility to what is actually in their products.Great post…thanks for this.

  2. Hi Kerry, thanks so much for concurring with me how frustrating word verbage is. It's great to know that there are others, like you, in the world who are aware and deeply frustrated by the abuse of words like natural, etc.

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