Brainstorming: What are your favorite fragrance emulsifiers?

Can you guys and girls please tell me about your favorite fragrance emulsifiers for 
and cyclomethicone
based formulations (each one used separately as the solvent)?

Thanks in advance.


  • It depends on your fragrance. I've had success with Polysorbates and Oleth-20 / Oleth-40
  • I am rooting for Poly Sugamulse D9, the old workhorse PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil works as well and as Perry mentioned, a lot depends on your fragrance components.
  • I find a blend of PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Polysorbate 20 works well in a water/ethanol blend.

    I would love to try Poly Sugamulse D9 unfortunately is not approved in my country.
  • I also use PEG 40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil and Polysorbate 20 in a water/ethanol blend. It works well for me, however I never used ciclomethicone in it.
  • @Perry how did Oleths compare to Ceteareths?

    @Chemist77 ; @ozgirl ; @erickafalves
    May I ask how much PEG-40 HCO and Polysorbate-20 do you use?
  • It depends on the fragrance and how much fragrance. I usually start with 10 - 15% ethanol and 5% total solubiliser for 1% fragrance (water qs) and work my way from there.

    Unfortunately some fragrances require much more solubiliser.

    This application was largely room sprays so if you are looking at body mists it may vary.
  • As @ozgirl points out, the nature of fragrance will decide the dosage of solubilizer. At times 1:1 ratio works, other times it might go multifolds higher. 
  • @Gunther - Ceteareths are blends of cetyl & stearyl alcohols. Since they are solid until about 60C they don't make good solubilizers. Oleths (since they have a double bond in the hydrocarbon chain) melt near room temperature which makes them more appropriate as a solubilizer.

  • It depends on how clear do you need your formula to be and the VOC content allowed. For ~1% fragrance, I have used from 3.5%  to up to 9% PEG-40 HCO and Polysorbate-20 (combined). And the ethanol content was ~2%.  
    I would recommend you to try Ternary Phase Diagram to find the optimum amounts of solubilizers, fragrance and surfactants.
  • Which ones do you use for a crystal-clear formulations?
  • I really like Caprylyl  Capryl Glucoside and start at 5% and fragrance 1%. This is a natural solubiliser.
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • Polysugamulse D9 looks interesting
    it seems to emulsify most essential oils with just 3-5 times the oil weight.
  • PolySugaMulse D-9 hands down the best. Use ratio ~3:1but as everyone here said: all depends on what. Cyclomethicone? Yeesh! 
  • Polysorbate 20 wins hands down, it is used as the standard, but not if you are going natural.
    Dr. Catherine Pratt
    (B.Sc with HONS I , Ph.D Analytical/Organic Chem and Microbiology), Cosmetic Chemistry IPCS)
  • Thanks a lot guys 
    appreciate it.
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