Creating fragrance oil is a highly imaginative and intricate process, beautifully marrying the worlds of art and science to create a multi-sensory experience that resonates with consumers.
Perfumers are at the helm of fragrance oil manufacturing. They are both artists and scientists using a combination of natural raw materials and synthetic aroma chemicals in the same way as painters use colors or musicians use notes. Like a beautiful symphony or a great painting, a memorable fragrance evolves from an artistic blend of sensory messages and emotional impressions.
These highly trained perfumers understand each material in isolation and then its reactivity with other materials.
In this diverse and highly complex world of creative fragrance design, perfumers recognize two undeniable truths:
- A fragrance is only as good as its ingredients
- Each fragrance is unique and therefore, requires ingredients/oils specific to that individual creation.
One Fragrance Oil Does Not Fit All
Lois Evans, Senior Creative Perfumer at Agilex Fragrances knows the diversity which exists in the complex world of fragrance design.
“One fragrance oil cannot be used for everything,” asserts Evans. “This is due to the following limiting factors: solubility, discoloration, toxicology and aesthetics.”
Evans continues, “Perfumers develop fragrances for specific end uses. Sometimes a fragrance oil will work in several applications. However, in most cases, each product needs its own fragrance.”
For example, fragrances designed for water friendly applications such as shampoo and detergents will be insoluble in paraffin candles and vice versa. Soy wax fragrances will be insoluble in paraffin wax, and fragrances intended for products with high water content may need to have a surfactant added to allow the fragrance to blend into the base.
Discoloration issue is another factor that needs to be considered. Dramatic discoloration can arise in products that contain water. Difficulties are commonly faced when trying to make a non discoloring vanilla for creams and shampoo. Certain fragrances may also react with dyes and form an undesirable color in the final product.
‘The type of product determines the toxicology requirements of the fragrance”, explains Evans. “The toxicology requirements are very stringent for fragrances which are put on the skin, especially those products which are not washed off such as perfumes and lotions. What is safe in a candle may not be safe in a lotion.”
Fragrance By Design
Fragrance oil creation is a personal, specialized and diverse experience characterized by a unique formula of ingredients. When crafting a new fragrance, seasoned perfumers take into account the project details, as well any primary limiting factors to create a scent that meets industry standards and appeals to consumers.
When art and science come together in the capable hands of expert fragrance makers, the potential for creating new fragrances is infinite.