Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Questions from Patreon: How to make fragrances last longer?

On my Patreon site, there's a section for questions and answers each month. Since Patreon is a massive pain in the bum to navigate sometimes, I'm posting the questions and answers here for everyone to read. I hope you enjoy these over the next few days!

In May, Catherine asked: What is the best "fixative" to make fragrances last longer in lotions and other bath body products?  I know Lotioncrafter has AromaFix (haven't tried it yet), but I'm interested in other suggestions. 

Lotioncrafter's AromaFix* (INCI: PPG-20 Methyl Glucose Ether) would be a very good choice, but I can't speak from experience about it.

C12-15 alkyl benzoate, an ester that will make your fragrances last longer. I have used this, and I noticed it seemed to make fragrances last longer when I used it at 5% or higher.

Ethylhexylglycerin, an ingredient we find in some preservatives. also helps with fragrances.

Natrasorb Bath can help with bath salts, bath bombs, bath milks, and so on. I use it at 3% and it makes such a huge difference, I've found.

What do I do? I find using my fragrances at 1% in a lotion or slightly more at up to 2% in a rinse off product works well. (I definitely only need 0.5% in my leave in conditioners!) But they don't last all day, and it can be a bit of a punch in the face for a stronger fragrance. This isn't the best advice I can give - the best is to use a fragrance fixative in your products - but it will help a bit.

I think it depends on your supplier as well. I find some fragrances last forever, while others last a few minutes. And I think it depends on your product. I find my hair care products hold on to fragrance much longer than my hand lotions, but that could be for any number of reasons.

If you want to know more about fragrance, check out this article I wrote for Handmade Magazine!

What do you do about fragrances in your products? Do you have any helpful tips to share with Catherine?


Baby Kat said...

Excellent info, thank you! I will re-order from Lotioncrafter soon, and I absolutely love your tips about these ingredients. Particularly, since I am just a DIY amateur for my own use, I find it super useful to have a list of the ingredient and its characteristics/purpose/properties in a couple of lines. That will definitely help me remember what a new thing that I just bought does and how I can better utilize it and/or try it with different formulations.
I appreciate your sharing your knowledge and experiences with us. ROX

Mike - Sweet Air Soapworks said...

Perfect timing on this post. I was just thinking about this the other day. We make CP soap, body butters, sugar scrubs, lip balms & bath bombs. Our fragrances tend to stay in our body butters, scrubs and bombs, but in those products, there's no chemical reaction taking place like when making CP soap.

But where we have the most difficulty is with our CP soap. It's no secret that saponification tends to "eat up" EO's & FO's. Some EO's and FO's hold the scent very well. But a lot of them tend to fade very quickly. I can always tell when a soap maker uses hot process vs. cold process. Yes, the appearance is a giveaway, but the scent of hot process always is more pronounced and stronger than cold process. That's because with hot process, saponification has already occurred by the time you add your fragrance, so you don't have the chemical reaction to worry about eating your fragrance.

We've been mixing our EO's & FO's into our castor oil, then adding the mix at the last moment before getting trace. But, I seem to recall reading somewhere, I can't remember where, about using Meadowfoam oil as a fixative for EO's & FO's. That would be more in keeping with keeping our soap natural. I've looked all over for that article and darn if I can find it. Has anyone else heard about using Meadowfoam oil as a fixative?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mike! I'm sorry, I haven't heard of that with meadowfoam seed oil. I wonder if the logic is that it might prevent oxidation?

styles2911 said...

I was just wondering if there are a couple of Oils that tend to heat up the saponification process less. Or, do they all heat up for the same high temperature.?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Styles2911! I'm not a soap maker, but even still, I don't think so. This sounds like a good question for Kenna at Modern Soap Making!