By AbdesSalaam Attar on Basenotes
It is a mystery why modern men and women, so obsessed with erasing their own bodily smells, are nevertheless so attracted to the animal scents in perfumes that they will consistently prefer fragrances containing “animalic” ingredients to those made of purely botanical ingredients.
In times when these rare materials were still used in commercial perfumes, the purpose was first of all to get fragrances sold, and it worked so well that they were deemed indispensable in fine perfumery. Today, the use of animal scents is a very hard path to tread, because of prohibitive high prices, the difficulty of sourcing the materials and ethical dilemmas.
Apart from a few “politically incorrect” indie natural perfumers, the use of real animal ingredients has been abandoned. An interesting exception has been a French nose who rediscovered a strange south African animal raw material, Hyraceum.