Essential Oils Banner

Fixatives - ingredients that help scents to last

Fragrance doesn’t last forever. If you work with scents you have probably experienced this, and you know how frustrating this can be. Fortunately there are ingredients that can be added to cosmetic products to help the scents last longer. These ingredients are called fixatives. Fixatives are ingredients that slow down the evaporation rate of the fragrance in a product. Fixatives are used in cosmetic products because they help scents to last longer on the skin and in the cosmetic package. Without fixatives many products would lose their scents quite rapidly. But with the addition of fixatives, a cosmetic product can stay scented for many years.

Ingredients With Fixative Properties

There are many ingredients that the home cosmetics crafter can use as fixatives. The following essential oils and absolutes have fixative properties:

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
Gum Benzoin (Styrax benzoin)
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Peru Balsam (Myroxylon balsamum var.pereirae)
Sandalwood (Santalum album)
Storax (Liquidambar orientalis)
Tolu Balsam (Myroxylon balsamum var.balsamum)
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata var. genuina)

As a general guideline, the more sticky, or viscous an essential oil, the better its fixative properties are. Synthetic vanilla fragrance oil is also a good fixative because it contains vanillin which helps to fix scents.