Long-lasting aroma in cosmetics

Hello everyone.
 I'm very happy to join this forum, I found a lot of useful information already, so thank you for that.
I'm making an aftershave lotion and I'm quite satisfied with the consistency  and properties of the product, but I don't like the aroma.
I use preservatives such as potasium sorbate and sodium benzoate mix and they give the product this weird light smell (they are not out of date). For better aroma I use essential oils (such as sandalwood, myrrh and bergamot), but the aroma lasts only for two weeks or so and then it changes or it's gone. I use the EO only 0.5% of percentage, so they don't irritate the skin. I read about adding limonene/linalool/geraniol. Will they boost the aroma and make it last for at least year? Maybe you can suggest safe suppliers in Europe (shipping from USA is very expensive).

Thank you very much in advance, I will appreciate your suggestions.


  • You must supply more details of the formula before any reasoned comment can be made.
  • Oh, of course, here it goes: 

    Water                                                            70.4%
    Witch hazel                                                     10%
    Glycerin                                                            8%
    Olivem 1000                                                    2%
    Cetearylalcohol                                                3%
    Glyceril citrate/lactate/linoleate/oleate            3%
    Shea butter                                                      2%
    Xanthan gum                                                 0.5%
    Allantoin                                                       0.1%
    Potassium sorbate/Sodium benzoate              1%
    Essential oils                                                0.5%
  • My first suspect ingredient for producing any stange smell would be the witch hazel (is it extract or distilled? either way, it smells). Next would be the Imwitor 375 producing off odours on storage (linoleates are not very stable towards oxidation).

    I can't explain the loss of aroma on storage other than unsuitable storage conditions but I would not recommend adding limonene/linalool/geraniol as these materials are three of the main culprits in the EU perfume allergens list.

    Regarding your formulation, I would be strongly tempted to include a more conventional emulsifier along with the Olivem & Imwitor and to avoid potassium sorbate.
  • With the limonene/linalool/geraniol content of EO's you would need to calculate that these are within limits. I'm not sure that sandalwood, myrrh and bergamot are a good blend, and at 0.5% may be ineffective. I know that Sandalwood is sexy, but in these types of products the fragrance can get "lost." Suggest you work on the blend, keeping in mind the EO allergen levels, and use a base note to anchor the mid and top notes.
    Dr. Mike Thair
    Cofounder & Chief Formulator
    Indochine Natural
  • Use a fragrance oil instead. Potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate don't smell.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
  • Sorry for this small OT. (Partially) quoting John, I would stay away from potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate. They are becoming quite "popular" for causing contact dermatitis.
  • Thank you all for the helpful suggestions. 
    I'll experiment with other blends then and probably I'll try different preservative as well.
    Belassi, I liked the idea, that essential oils also have many benefits along with the aroma. Fragrance oils are just for the aroma, as I understand. 
  • what's the pH?

    if it's much above 5.5, your preservatives will be ineffective
    UK based formulation chemist. Strongest subjects: hair styling, hair bleaches, hair dyes (oxidative and non-oxidative) I know some stuff about: EU regulations, emulsions (O/W and W/O), toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoos, other toiletries
  • The "benefits" of essential oils are grossly overestimated and only of interest to fringe practitioners of alternative therapies.

    Fragrance oils may well contain essential oils - they are not mutually exclusive.
  • Many essential oils bring risks / allergies rather than benefits.
    Design of anti-aging creams, gels, and serums; shampoos; and therapeutic cosmetics. In-house label and box design capability.
Sign In or Register to comment.