Flavor is a complex combination of different chemicals molecule. That's equivalent to say flavor profile whether it is natural or artificial needs to have similar combination of chemicals molecule in them to make them identical. Of course, we could see different flavor profile for just a simple flavor like apple flavor. Getting the apple in an unripe mode, ripe mode, sweet and mellow mode.
Where chemistry matters, the difference of extracting trans-molecule and cis-molecule make differences in terms of what nature could provide to us. For example, natural vitamin E can be only extracted in the form of d-tocopherol and this theory is suffice to identify the origin of vitamin E. Perhaps, there were things that only nature create but our flavorist are dedicated personnel that capable of creating a combination of flavor to resemble the flavor we wanted.
Back on our flavor, flavors are an important factors that attract and tells you what you are eating. Coffee attracts people who walk-by to get them. (I am beginning to get attracted to coffee - high coffee consumption rate) Without those flavors and aroma, would it makes a coffee? It probably just roasted beans brewed with water. As my friends and I were discussing, coffee is merely water and coffee bean. Why going to a particular cafe if every cafe have the same flavor we are seeking for?
Can I make an artificial coffee flavored drinks that resembled exactly like coffee made in Starbucks - labelled it as Starbucks' coffee drink. Would you notice the difference?
Do you even look at the nutrition facts panel for a recognized brand such as Starbucks?
Just recently, I have been dealing with aromatic flavors. I have got a few samples of each variance on my table and I got to tell you how great they are (and some how strong they are).
Lemon flavor, in particular is what I have been dealing with. A fruit, lemon has different parts of fragrance or smell. Look at what I have got on my table- the lemon skin flavor, the lemon flesh flavor- fresh or dense flavor and the back aroma (which meant you only get it when you eat/drink it, feel it from inner). Isn't that amazing when you can get more intense flavors eating it. I still like the fresh flesh flavor more but it really depends on what food we are talking about. How about you? Do you prefer having the flavor readily available or available as you take it.
I am amazed at the variety of flavors that are available because I never knew such huge variations exist. Now, I sound very ignorant but I am. We never knew if we are not exposed to it. BTW, this is a perk of being a food technologist- discovering new things.
Cheers to discovery of new "thing"!