Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Today I am writing about a fantastic innovation a couple of my collegues have come up with!
One of the hardest battles us natural perfumers face, is that of information.
You see the general public has little way of understanding the diference between what we do, and what the larger conventional perfume companies do.
I mean, my neighbour tried to tell me the other day that Chanel No5 was made out of natural Ylang Ylang Flowers!
Unluckily labeling legislation does little to help here..
Basically, you can put anything in a perfume, and the label itself will say helpful things like :"contains: alc. denat., water, perfume."
The big companies are also beginning to jump on the natural bandwagon and are selling a wide range of cosmetics and now even perfumes with lovely natural imaes and hints in their advertising that make people think they ARE actually natural.

So it's time to fight back.
And here's where ECLIP comes in:
ECLIP stands for Complete Ethical List of Ingerdients in Perfume.
Sounds pretty clear doesn't it?!
The idea behind it is to simply start openly and clearly showing exactly what is in out perfumes useing a standardized format. The format we are useing is the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) standard for cosmetic ingredients, that can be found on the ISO website
That way, consumers can make a clear and informed decision about what they are buying!
Revolution through honesty, hows that for a cool idea?!

And it may well work.
The more of us who do this, the more pressure will mount for the bigger companies to do this too.

I have posted the ECLIP list for my company below, and here is also a webpage which is the start of our true revolution:

Natural Perfumers who use ECLIP


ECLIP of "Perfume by Nature"


as defined by ISO 9235
Alcohol natural
Animal Extracts and tinctures: (Hyraceum, Honey, Beeswax).
Concrete: as defined by by ISO 9235
Essential oils: as defined by ISO. 9235
Extracts: as defined by ISO 9235

Natural molecules isolates obtained from essential oils
Oil Vegetable
Resinoids: as defined by ISO 9235
Tinctures: as defined by ISO 9235

Wax  from bees (for solid perfumes)


Aroma chemicals from chemical synthesis of petroleum derivatives.
Aroma chemicals from chemical synthesis of natural raw materials  
Denaturant for alcohol
Natural molecules (Isolates) from bio technology
Ogm ingredients
Oil MIneral (paraffins)

Preservatives (natural) ex. wheat germ oil
Preservatives (synthetic) ex. vitamin C
Wax from petroleum (for solid perfumes)  

Definition of the products listed on ECLIP      

Absolute: extracted with ethanol from concrete or resinoides. Ethanol is then removed.
Alcohol natural: obtained from natural raw material source (grain, corn, cane) by fermentation then distillation.
Alcohol synthetic, synthetic ethanol is obtained by mixing ethylene (gas obtained from petroleum or fossil gases) with steam at a temperature of 300° Celsius.
Animal Extracts and tinctures: obtained by treating animal raw material with ethanol. To obtain the Extract the solvent is removed (es. civet, Castoreum, Hyraceum, Ambergris, Honey bee).
Aroma chemicals from chemical synthesis of petroleum derivatives.
Aroma chemicals from natural raw materials (acetate vetyveryle, acetate cedryle ecc…): Single molecules obtained from chemical reaction of natural raw materials with acids to obtain acetates, cinnamates, brassylates etc.
Antioxidants (natural) es. wheat germ oil
Antioxidants (synthetic) es. vitamin C or E
Concrete: obtained from botanical raw material usually extracted with solvent (hexane, supercritical CO2) then the solvent is removed.
Denaturant : in perfumery the combination of 2 chemical products is used to disable human consumption. The chemicals used for denaturation are MEK (
methyl ethyl ketone), of controversial health impact and Bitrex.
Essential oils: obtained by steam distillation of natural raw material or cold press in the case of citruses.
Essential oils which significantly change in composition (folded essential oils, fractioned essential oils , x-less essential oil, molecular distillation). materials which has been eliminated reduced by re-distillation
Extracts: obtained by treating natural raw material with volative solvent which is then removed or non volatile solvent that is not removed at the end.
Natural molecules (So called) or Isolates, from bio technology (patent secrecy on process and origin material) obtained from microbiological synthesis. the problem is related to the secrecy that the producers keeps on the origin material of these products with the excuse of patent propriety and confidentiality.
Natural molecules (isolates) obtained from essential oils by distillation. Mostly obtained from fractional distillation of natural essential essential oils.
Ogm ingredients any ingredient from genetically modificated raw material
Oil mineral (paraffins) derived from petroleum. obtained from crude distillation of the same.
Oils vegetable (jojoba, mandorle ecc) from natural source obtained from cold pression without solvents
Preservatives (natural) ex. wheat germ oil, used to prevent the deterioration by oxidation
Preservatives (synthetic) ex. vitamin C, used to prevent the deterioration by oxidation
PG and DPG (Propylen Glicole, Dipropylen Glicole) synthetic solvent from petroleum used to obtain extracts from natural raw materials: PG is used mainly to obtain cocoa extract: the PG is NOT removed.
Resinoids: obtained from dry botanical raw material extracted usually with ethanol, that is then removed.
Tinctures: obtained from ethanol maceration of raw material (also called infusion in perfumery); the exhausted raw material is filtered off.
Wax  from bees (for solid perfumes)
Wax from petroleum (for solid perfumes)

In all our fragrances are present the 16 so called “natural allergens” contained in most essential oils, they are:
  • cynnamic alcohol
  • hexil cinnamal
  • citral
  • eugenol
  • geraniol
  • hydroxycitronellal
  • isoeugenol
  • anisic alcohol
  • benzilbenzoate
  • benzyl cinnamate
  • citronellol
  • d- limonene
  • cynnamaldehyde
  • farnesol
  • linalool
  • evernia prunastri extract

Naturalperfumers that use ECLIP

The list of "natural allergens" is a biot more controversial.
It's one that was basically set up by IFRA, the international perfume association. And defines ingredients that they have decided can cause allergies in some people, and sets standards for the amount in which these can be used in perfumes, as well as demanding that these be declared on labels.
Perfonally I think it's a load of rubbish, as it doesnt incude the many many artificial perfume ingredients that can cause nasty reactions in so many people...and also doesn't take into account that essential oils are complex synergies that contain these chemicals in small amounts...which is a totally different thing to the way the perfume industry uses them.

However, IFRA is such a powerful mover and shaker in the business world that many individual countries have started to legislate useing their standards.
And to be able to sell perfumes legally in most European Countries, we now have to include that list, to warn people that our perfumes contain these dangerous natural chemicals as part of the essential oils we use!

But thats another story alltogether..
Anyway, here's to a new revolution in honesty in business!

I'll be including this list on a whole page of it's own on my website, as soon as I can find a new webtechie to fix up my official website!


1 comment:

  1. Dear Ambrosia, we are glad that you joined the group of perfumers who published their ethical statement and full list of ingredients.
    I am specially happy because I have long noticed the integrity of your dedication to essential oils without compromise. I remember that you were one of the very few to refuse using the so called "natural" isolates when the fashion was raving, long before the guild set the standard about them.