I was reading an article about perfume the other day and came across the statement that "a perfume is composed of over 1,000 ingredients." The article was a "warning" about the hidden dangers of perfumes and this was an interesting piece of misinformation as it would be tough to find any perfume that has been composed with anything close to 1,000 ingredients (chemicals) -- with the possible exception of an "all natural" perfume using a very wide variety of essential oils and absolutes which, if all their chemicals (many of which would be found only in very, very small amounts) could be detected and added up, the "1,000" mark might be in sight.
But in the real world perfumes are NOT composed of 1,000 or more ingredients. The writer clearly mistook the number of ingredients AVAILABLE to a perfumer (which today might be more in the range of from three to five thousand) for the number of ingredients a perfumer might actually use in a composition. The number USED is more likely to be in the range of from about twenty to one hundred but, even of these, perhaps six or eight define the fragrance and the others -- some used in very, very small amounts, would simply balance, blend and decorate the fragrance.
For the small, independent, perfumer working without access to expensive technical balances (scales) or an extensive "library" or aroma materials, the actual number of ingredients used in a perfume may even be LESS than twenty due to these technical limitations.
The great perfumer, François Coty -- whose perfumes and business acumen set the perfume world back on it's heels in the first decades of the 20th Century, used VERY simple formulas (by today's standards) because Coty lacked the years of training that are required to be a "real" perfumer. Yet Coty's fragrances went head to head with the marketing giants of his day -- L.T. Piver, Bourjois, Guerlain, and above all, Houbigant. It wasn't the number of ingredients he used, it was the way in which he used a handful of ingredients.
So ask the painter, "How many colors does it take to make a painting?" Ask the composer, "How many different notes does it take to make a symphony?" To make a perfume, the perfumer uses materials he or she needs to achieve the exact effect that is desired -- not one more, not one less. To err in either direction is to weaken the effect of the fragrance. The art of the perfumer lies in knowing what to put in and what to leave out. The best perfumers -- the great artists of perfumery -- are the most demanding judges of what belongs and what does not. I doubt that any great perfumer, living or dead, would have much interest in composing a perfume using "1,000 or more" ingredients -- unless perhaps they were gunning for a contract with some weird reality show.