Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Alcohol free perfume formula help

  • Alcohol free perfume formula help

    Posted by Hirondelle21 on September 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    I’m a perfumer and I’m used to using TSDA1 (alcohol denat) in my compositions.  So to make my life really difficult, I’ve decided to try something else.  I am attempting to make a natural, alcohol free, vegan, PEG free, California Prop 65 friendly (so Polysorbates are out) perfume.  I want it at eau de parfum strength (min 15% fragrance compound) and water based in a sprayable format.

    Now, ideally, I would want this to be clear, but I think that might be wanting the Moon on a stick, so I would be happy with a very watery, sprayable o/w emulsion.

    So far, I have come up with the following and wondered if anyone could think of a way of making it better.

    ad 100%   Distilled water
    5%           Lysofix (Glycerin, Glycine Soja)

    15%         fragrance compound (isolates, essential oils, CO2 extractions, etc)
    5%           Tegosolve 61 (Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate; Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate; Polyglyceryl-4 Cocoate; Polyglyceryl-6 Ricinoleate)
    1%           Plantaserve E (phenoxyethanol, ethylhexylglycerin)

    Mix A
    In separate container, mix B then add to A.
    Mix at high shear.

    This gives me a watery emulsion, but it does tend to separate on standing, which isn’t ideal.  It’s also not very pretty.  I was wondering about adding a mica plus something to hold the mica in suspension in the emulsion. But I don’t want to clog up any spray and my knowledge base has run out on that one.  Alternatively, I could just paint my bottles white and tell people to shake the bottle before they spray, but I just don’t like to do that.

    Hirondelle21 replied 4 years, 4 months ago 4 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • EVchem

    September 19, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Good luck - I’ve been struggling with water-thin emulsions with similar constraints (set by customer not by me). 
    You could try using the  Tego Solve 90 as well- that one looks like it’s better for fragrance solubilizing anyway. Your  emulsifier total is probably nowhere near high enough- to solubilize 15% oils you should try maybe 45% solubilizer. The alcohol was in there for a reason, you could try a crap ton of propylene glycol. 

    You could also try pemulen tr 2  (Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer)  

  • gunther

    September 19, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Where do you see polysorbates listed in Prop 65 list?

    Maybe you can try some Polysugamulse D9, but I don’t know if you’ll need inordinate amounts of it to solubilize 15% fragrance.

  • EVchem

    September 20, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    @Gunther I think it’s because of production method of polysorbates (using ethylene oxide which is on the list and could be residual). I still don’t understand how in-depth products need to be investigated to be prop-65 compliant

  • Hirondelle21

    September 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    @EVchem You’re quite right about the production methods of polysorbates being the reason for the Prop 65 warning label.  It isn’t the polysorbates themselves, but the *possible* contamination (sigh).

    I have some Pemulen EZ4U (and I’m loving that name, btw, so… Walmart).  It’s not a natural, but if I can say 99% natural (the Pemulen should give me a good, stable emulsion at only 0.4%), that should be good enough.  I’ll give it a go and let you all know.

    I’ve also tried with Symbio solv clear plus, but the max dermal limits are only 4-5% with a 1:4 fragrance to solubilizer ratio.

    Why on EARTH have I decided to do this to myself???  Oh I know, because my life isn’t difficult enough.

  • Hirondelle21

    September 27, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Okay, quick update.

    Tried the Pemulen EZ4U.

    At 0.4% it does emulsify but the spray is rubbish.  Just not fine enough.  It has clogged up one spray head already and the other, well, the spray pattern is more of a glob than a mist.  Looks a bit rank, if I’m honest.

    At 0.2%, it emulsifies with a crap ton of mixing - a good 25 minutes (10 for the A phase of water and pemulen, 15 for the B into A phase).  I’ve found best results by mixing the A phase for 5 minutes, letting it rest, mixing it again and then mixing in the B phase.  Still a bit gloopy for what I want.

    At 0.1% it’s separating, even with the staged mixing, which is a shame, because that’s the consistency that I need.

    I may need to do some more tinkering - Xantham Gum? Triethyl Citrate perhaps?

  • bill_toge

    September 27, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    instead of water, you could try using a low-viscosity non-alcoholic solvent instead; you’d be making your work a hell of a lot simpler

  • Hirondelle21

    September 30, 2019 at 9:23 am

    @Bill_Toge You’ve read my mind! TEC is the one that jumps out immediately.

    However, I’ve also been thinking a lot about utilising plant based hydrocarbons (Vegelight 1214-LC was one of them).  I’d be making more of a ‘dry oil’.  That might work.  I’ll give it a go if I can get some samples.

  • bill_toge

    October 2, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    @Hirondelle21 a handy hint when selecting potential solvents is to get a numerical value for viscosity - the most effective solvents for perfumes are 10 cSt/cP or less (for comparison, water and alcohol are both around 1 cSt)

  • Hirondelle21

    October 5, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    @Bill_Toge  Thanks.  Great help.  I’ll let everyone know how I get on.

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