Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Solubilizers: Making fragrance sprays with caprylyl/capryl glucoside

One of the easiest things to make with any solubilizer is a water based fragrance spray. And one of the hardest things to do is to figure out how much fragrance or essential oil you need to use to have that oil disperse without having to shake the product. You can see from the recipe below that you will have to play around with it to make it work!

distilled water to 100% 
1% to 3% fragrance or essential oil
1% to 10% caprylyl/capryl glucoside
preservative to suggested usage rate (I use 0.5% liquid Germall Plus)

This spray contains 1% Yuzu fragrance oil and 2% caprylyl/capryl glucoside with 0.5% liquid Germall Plus, and 96.5% distilled water. It's lovely and clear and doesn't need shaking before we use it. This is the test of whether or not you've managed to solubilize your fragrance oil in the water. If it doesn't need shaking, then you've managed to disperse the oil properly. You will have to play around with every single fragrance or essential oil you wish to use to see if it will remain dispersed in the water. 

Having said this, it's amazing how much we want to shake bottles, even when we're told not to do so, like on my sinus allergy spray! Odds are pretty good that you will be able to get away with using no more than 1:1 or 2:1 ratios because you will end up shaking the spray anyway. Just make sure you're using a opaque bottle so you can't see the separation! 

The clarity of your product will depend upon a number of things, including the original colour of the fragrance oil. If you're using an orange tinged fragrance oil, you could have a slightly orange tinge to the product. If you're using something like vanilla, odds are good that you'll end up with a cloudy product. The Yuzu fragrance I used above is very very clear with no yellow or orange tinge, hence the clear product. 

In the picture above, I'm testing to see how much solubilizer I will need for my favourite fragrance oil, Clementine Cupcake (from Brambleberry! Awesome!). For each test tube I mixed 1 gram of fragrance oil with 1, 2, 3, or 4 grams of solubilizer, then added 20 grams of water. For each one, I mixed them together after adding the solubilizer, then after I added the water, then after I poured them into the test tube. As you can see, the first three test tubes separated almost immediately. But 20 minutes later, 4 was still cloudy, indicating that the oil was remaining solubilized. Two hours later, still solubilized. 24 hours later...nope. 

What would I do? I'd go for one of the ratios and just shake it up every time I wanted to use it. I don't think this fragrance oil will ever be clear, so rather than using a ton of solubilizer that could feel a bit sticky at higher usage levels, I'd just call it dispersed and enjoy it that way! Or I'd choose a fragrance oil that worked better with the solubilizer.

Why did it work so well with the Yuzu and not with the Clementine Cupcake? I don't know. I have a theory that the vanilla in the latter might have something to do with it, but I have absolutely no proof of this other than my hunch.

Join me tomorrow for more fun formulating with caprylyl/capryl glucoside! 


Ruth said...

I love your test tube experiment..
Thanks for sharing it, in a visual way.

Bajan Lily said...

I've always wondered what ca/ca'g was and how it's used so I'm really happy it made it onto your radar and into your lab! Yay!

Secondly I am sooo GLAD you did a step-by-step AND a visual for this - I had tried doing sthg similar and now I see I just need to keep increasing the solubiliser (within reason) until it stays! I thought I was just mixing it incorrectly :) Phew!

abigail wickham said...

Hi this is Abby. Why not use a fragrance oil modifier or polysorbate 20?

Tyler said...

Continuing on in this process, I wonder if a "vanilla stabilizer" product would aid in creating a clearer solubilized spray?

Pierrette said...

is this spray for body ? I wonder if I could use it as house spray too. I can't find a good house spray. All the ones I've tried leave a film on the floor.

Thanks for your answer.