In the previous post, we discuss on types of perfume. In that post we saw how the composition of fragrance to alcohol can affect the longevity of the perfume which in turn determines the type of perfume. What if you put the highest percentage of fragrance to alcohol and it still does not last? The next step is to use what perfumers have been using for donkey years. It is called fixative and that is what today’s post is all about.
What is a fixative?
A fixative according to wikipedia is used to equalize the vapor pressures, and thus the volatilities, of the raw materials in a perfume oil, as well as to increase the tenacity.
Fixative can help increase the longevity of your perfume by slowing down the rate at which the perfume evaporates. It is advisable to put little amount of fixative in your perfume in order not to completely alter the perfume. It is also necessary to select the fixative whose smell closely relates to your desired perfume scent. Fixative before long has been used to anchor perfume.
Some of these fixatives requires blending them with alcohol and leaving them to stay for at least three weeks or a month before blending them with the fragrance. The amount of fixative depends on the fixative you are using. As usual, I advise people to work with their instinct but be careful not to put so much. Some require just a range of 3 – 10%. Animal fixative should just be in drops.
Fixative falls under three categories.
Non – agreeable.
There are three ways that one can ‘fix’ a scent
- Adding fixatives to the alcohol to match the final perfume. This is highly recommended.
- Blending in scents that are related to the scent you are trying to create.
- Exalting fixatives is the final fixative that improve or fortify the main scent and are usually composed of animal notes that soften and smooth harsh notes.
Some Common Natural Fixatives (plants):I have provided a list of some common natural fixative that has been used since the history of perfumery began. You may not find all of these in your local chemical store, but you can make do with what they have or place an order online.
Ambretta SeedAmyrisAngelica RootBalsam of PeruCedarwood, AtlasCistus / LabdanumClary SageCognacFrankincenseGalbanumLiquidambar (Styrax)MyrrhOakmossOrris RootPatchouliSandalwoodVanillaVetiverViolet LeafSynthetic FixativeSynthetic fixatives help to extend the tenacity of natural fragrance ingredients. These include musks, but also things like vertofix, cedramber, ambroxan, evernyl and many others. All these fixatives will modify the fragrance. That is why it is advisable to use them in trace amount.
Iso E Super, Hedione and Benzyl silicate are three synthetic fixative often recommended as being able to increase the longetivity of your fragrance while having a relatively minimal odour profile of their own.
Ethylene brassylate is cheap and tenacious and seen to enhance both projection and tenacity of ethanol. Enhancers are synthetic fixatives that don’t really replicate anything in nature but are widely used to enhance many commercial fragrance.
So far, we’ve learned how to make perfume last longer than usual. Remember some fragrance or essential oil naturally don’t last long so these fixatives help to retain their scent properties. Some people prefer natural fixative while some prefer synthetic fixative. The ball is in your court right now.
Get the fixatives, get your essential oil and alcohol, go to your home laboratory and experiment on which of these fixatives blend or amplify your fragrance.
Now that you have learnt how to prolong the scent of your perfume, you can also learn how to store your perfume for durability.
If you find it useful, or you have any question, leave a comment below..
Have a great day!