Fragrances are built around natural oils, using synthetic materials to support and enhance the formulae.
The fragrances used in Lush products are made up of approximately 60% natural oils, resins and absolutes. Some formulas are 100% natural depending on the product in question.
When Lush do use synthetic ingredients they may be existing components of materials. For example, both rose and geranium naturally contain geraniol, adding geraniol to a fragrance that contains both these essential oils can really help tie the fragrance together. Synthetics are also used when it comes to aromas that are impossible to obtain from nature (like pineapple for example), and as a vegetarian company you will only find synthetic musk in Lush perfume rather than the musk obtained from animals.
Chemicals are present even in nature, every natural essential oil is made up of a complex mixture of chemicals. Plants produce oils in order to fight disease, attract pollinators and perform many other functions. Some of the chemicals present in natural essential oils are formed during the processing of the material and did not exist in the plant to start off with. This is the case with orris butter, which starts its life as the rhizome (the stem of a plant that is usually found underground) of an iris plant, but ends up as one of the most valuable perfumery materials in use today through long drying and processing.
Perfumes are a closely guarded secret for companies and the formulae is rarely shared. At Lush if you see perfume written in green on our quantitative ingredients list this means that it is entirely composed of natural oils, if it is written in black then we have used synthetic materials to support the formulae.