Usage rates for triethyl citrate as a fixative

I finally got my hands on some TEC with the intention of using it to extend the "freshness" of fragrance oils in my formulations (which is my interpretation of what people mean when they say it's a fixative). But I have no idea how or how much to use...what is typical? Do you mix it with the the fragrance oils like you would a solubilizer and then add them to the emulsion? Or do you just put it in by itself? And how much do you normally use? 

Any general guidelines or info about this mysterious (to me) substance would be appreciated. I don't even know the basics about it, like is it oil-soluble?

Thank you. 


  • GraillotionGraillotion Member
    edited November 20

    I started working with TEC when I developed a pain cream and a mosquito repellent that contained a good jag of EO's.  (Later learned to love it even more...while working with urea (HydroVance)...and deo.)

    It is of course...oil soluble.  It is also a nice emollient in and of too generally not an issue.  I use 5% in my cream deo.  (BTW...even though it is esterified citric can put it on your skin neat...if you want to feel it.)

    But back to your questions.  I think you'll want to blend this together separately with the ingredient you are trying to extend the fragrance with.  When I was advised how much to use.... I was told start with 1%.  

    There are a plethora of ways to extend fragrance, TEC being just one of many.

    @chemicalmatt was the one that turned me on to TEC originally, and later @Pharma with pH drift, and then @vitalys with deo development. it even possible to formulate without TEC?    Thank You all.

    Happy formulating.

    (When buying small amounts of TEC...I find this place to have wonderful service and prices.  I buy a kilo at a time from them.)  Buy Triethyl Citrate (TEC) Online Store - Essential Natural Oils
  • Great, thanks for the info. 

    Can TEC also be used as a solubilizer for fragrance oils in place of say, polysorbate 80?
  • Great, thanks for the info. 

    Can TEC also be used as a solubilizer for fragrance oils in place of say, polysorbate 80? reference to EO's was meant to be all inclusive...of oil based fragrance.
  • Hi all - and big thanks to @Graillotion to putting me onto TEC - I now have  a great Dep Spray that works finally. So you can also buy TEC at MySkinRepices in Thailand and whilst looking up their blurb I came across this which for you @GeorgeBenson may also be of use - Flora Solve™ Clear (perfume in water) ( - anyway of interest read about it in the link. Cheers
    PS. I mix my essential oils with TEC (about 4%) with Polysorbate 20. If I used Poly 80 could I potentially use less - I have both anyway.
  • @Squinny thanks for the info, and that flora solve looks it's basically a solubilizer of unknown origin that can be listed in the ingredients as simply "fragrance"?
  • Hi @GeorgeBenson I haven't actually bought or used it myself just came across it whilst looking at TEC and thought it may be of interest to you. You would need to ask someone else about it on the list of ingredients as I don't know sorry :) I will probably buy a small amount to test when I do my next order but that wont be until early next year :)
    It says for INCI ; INCI Name : Proprietary (can be notified in the formula for submitting the FDA registration as a fragrance)
    Also they have another ones for products with Oils and they provise the Inci for this in case you are interested.

     Ultra Solve HPS Higher price, higher efficiency Flora Solve™ Clear is preferred in cases where efficiency Flora Solve™ Clear is not enough to dissolve the oil in the formulation. Can dissolve all types of oils, including some difficult to dissolve oil mixtures such as Natural oils (ex. Avocado Oil), Vitamin E (Tocopherol Acetate), preservatives (ex. OMC)
    Cheers and happy formulating. 
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