Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/98

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

arbitrations, etc., has been enormous; on the other side of the account is the comparatively small tax on the few thousand skins taken on the islands since 1890, to say nothing of possible large payments of damages to the lessees for loss of profits on account of a forced diminution in the catch. With the present attitude of Great Britain, the practical extermination of the herd in the near future seems assured. The United States may have the pick of what remains by wholesale killing on the islands; further international irritation will be avoided, and an episode which has brought into strong relief certain national traits on both sides will close with at least one interesting result: it will be impossible to know absolutely which group of scientific experts was right in regard to the effects of pelagic sealing.

NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL PERFUMES.
By M. JACQUES PASSY.

WE may divide the makers of perfumes into the two classes of those who furnish the raw materials for perfumery and the manufacturers proper. The former provide the essences, the pure or concentrated scents, and the latter mix and extend them, incorporate them into various liquids or pastes, and offer them for consumption. Another division, of recent occasion, may be made between those who extract natural perfumes according to the methods pursued for centuries and those who use chemical processes or make artificial perfumes; for, as dyestuffs are now composed from coal-tar products to the extent that some of the natural materials have been driven out by artificial substitutes, so a number of perfumes have been in like manner synthetized. But there is no probability that the synthesis of perfumes will ever be carried to the extent of which that of dyes seems capable, because, first, some essences are the raw material for the synthesis of artificial products of much greater value; and, secondly, the chemical problem of the synthesis of perfumes is more complicated than that which enters into the artificial production of coloring matters.

The preparation of natural essences is still a genuine agricultural industry. Flowers and leaves are the raw material, and they have to be treated fresh. The original laboratories are therefore generally established very near where the plants can enjoy the most favorable climatic conditions. Hence the crude essences generally come to us from various distant regions—essence of ilang from Manilla, of geranium from Réunion and Algeria, of lemon and citron from Ceylon and China, etc. But as the imported materials