A Perfume That Isn’t a Perfume
When I received our first bottle, Juliette Has a Gun’s Not a Perfume; I was intrigued by the lack of ingredients and the inclusion only of one essential component: Cetalox or sometimes called Ambroxan (although there are slight differences, primarily due to who is the manufacturer). Cetalox was a term I’d heard used before to describe the base notes in many perfumes. But what is it? What is Ambroxan? How can a bouquet not be a fragrance?
Cetalox: a Synthetic Form
After researching old books and on the Internet, I found that Ambroxan/Cetalox was a standard base note used in personal fragrances. Most importantly, I learned that these two substances fall into the same general category: synthetic Ambergris. Both components are woody and musky with a natural scent. This is because it has a mild and unimpressive fragrance. It is used in many perfumes as a base scent. Ambroxan, a synthetic alternative to gray Ambergris that was once a key component in modern perfumes and fragrances, was introduced in the 1950s to replace the expensive substance. Today Cetalox or Ambroxan are used to replace Ambergris. Ambergris is a French term that means “gray amber.” It refers to its appearance in its raw state. It looks like lumpy gray stones or coal-like chunks. Many fragrances still use Ambergris, a naturally occurring substance. Ambroxan was previously known as Orcanox, and the terms are interchangeable.
What is Ambergris exactly?
While descending this rabbit hole of information, I decided to look into what Ambergris was and why it is so common in perfumes from the past and even today. Ambergris, a waxy flammable substance produced by sperm whales’ digestive tracts, is the product of their digestive system. The whale regurgitates it, which floats on the surface and can wash up along the shore. It develops a woody, sweet smell as it ages. This long-lasting scent makes it perfect for fragrances. The scent is earthy and subtle. It can be used as a base for other perfumes. If you are curious, Ambergris can be extracted from the secretions of sperm whales that float along certain coasts. The substance is as expensive as the whales that secreted it. In France, a chunk of Ambergris that weighed 2.4 pounds sold for nearly USD 20,000. (The link has a video showing what raw Ambergris is like). It became clear that the synthetic version was more economical and environmentally friendly. Strict rules govern ambergris collection because sperm whales have become an endangered species.
What is the use of Cetalox in Not a Perfume
Cetalox is a crystallized substance used in the liquid form of personal fragrances. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the solution agent was ethanol. Cetalox, a detergent widely used in laundry detergents because of its clean, crisp scent and long-lasting ability, is widely used. My husband and I were struck by Not a Perfume’s clean, crisp smell. The aroma was very clean and almost clinical.
Why allergen free is important
Cetalox and Ambroxan are also hypoallergenic. This means they have a lower risk of causing allergic reactions than most chemicals. Juliette Has A Gun’s Not a Perfume contains no allergens, phthalates, or other chemicals that could cause an allergic reaction. It is allergen-free. Therefore, people who usually avoid perfumes and personal fragrances such as Eau-de-colognes or eau-de toilettes can use them because they may contain allergens, phthalates, or other chemicals that could negatively react with their body chemistry. These chemicals are used in plastics to improve their elasticity and strength, but they are also used in perfumes, lotions, or skincare products that contain fragrances. These chemicals are also used to penetrate lotions and skincare products deeper into the skin, resulting in a smoother, shinier feel. In general, the fewer chemicals that you put on your skin, the better. Phthalates are studied infrequently and only loosely on humans. Animal studies and simple human studies show some evidence that they could impact development and congenital disabilities. The results of these studies are still debated. However, for the sake of argument, it is safe to say that the absence of phthalates and allergens in Juliette Has a Gun’s Not a Perfume is positive.
Not A Perfume is a rare comparison with most personal fragrances available today. Cetalox is the only substance in this fragrance. Cetalox is dissolvable with ethanol, which gives the scent a lighter and more feminine touch. The simplicity makes the labeling of the perfume a breeze. In today’s world, where “read the fine prints,” this is a refreshing addition to fragrance. This is why you often see “Fragrance” in perfumes, scented skincare products, or lotions. The term “fragrance” is often used to describe a proprietary chemical blend that most people have never heard before. Is it a bad thing to do this? Not necessarily. If the proprietary ingredients are phthalates or allergens (in lotions and skincare products), you can rest assured that these substances won’t be directly applied to your skin.
How Not a Perfume Came to Be
Ambroxan was used in 2008 to mimic Ambergris for non-perfume Escentric Molecules Molecules 02 by Geza Schoen.
Romano Ricci is the founder of Juliette Has a Gun. He created Not a Perfume, a minimalist fragrance, in 2010, based on a minimalistic approach. This was achieved by bringing one of Ricci’s favorite base notes to the fore. Ricci describes the result as “minimalist, elegant, and pure.” Cetalox is synthetic, so that the pure scent can last longer than Ambergris. This results in a long-lasting, feminine scent with a musky undertone. The fragrance is a typical perfume with the same ebb-and-flow. However, it can be a simple layering of multiple substances. As with all personal scents, Not a Perfume blends your chemical makeup to create a unique and individual fragrance. Juliette Has a Gun takes its name from Shakespeare’s work, but it has modern empowerment. It is sophisticated but sassy.
What if I don’t like perfume?
Find a fragrance that is right for you and see how it reacts with your skin, no matter the ingredients, so long as it feels good. Not a Perfume is an excellent option for people allergic to fragrances. Cetalox and Ambroxan are better than putting anything derived from a whale’s digestive tract on your skin. It doesn’t make sense to burn Ambergris today just because ancient Egyptians did it thousands of years before.