How do we create chemicals such as in our detergents and other products? And what is the difference between imitation and artificial ingredients and how do we create those?
Imitation or artificial ingredients are those which are synthesized in a lab or factory environment, rather than a naturally occurring version extracted from a plant or animal. The idea is to synthesize the chemical (or mixture of chemicals) that is responsible for a natural smell or taste, in such a way that is cheaper than extracting it from nature.
For example, it costs more to grow and extract flavor from Vanilla beans than it does to synthesize vanillin (4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzaldehyde) from chemicals found in ordinary woods. Does it taste the same? No, but it's close. Ditto for maple syrup (costly) and fake pancake syrup made from cheap corn syrup flavor with sotolon.