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  • Product makes fragrance go bad

    Posted by ajw000 on July 30, 2020 at 11:46 am

    I have been trying to find out why the fragrance of one of my products deteriorates over time. I thought it might be the fragrance oils, so I used a different brand, but no change. I am using the same batch method and preservative levels as I use in other products that do not have this problem. 

    Can anyone tell me what could be contributing to this deterioration? 
    Could any of the products be contributing to this?


    Distilled Water
    Microcrystalline wax
    c12-15 alkyl benzoate
    peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil
    Cetyl Alcohol 
    Stearyl Alcohol 
    Glyceryl and PEG-100 stearate
    Steareth 21
    Sorbitan Stearate
    Propylene Glycol
    PVP/VA Copolymer
    Phenoxyethanol 1.04%
    Potassium sorbate 0.85%
    Citric acid 0.56%
    ajw000 replied 2 years, 5 months ago 4 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • ajw000

    September 9, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    It appears to have been the fact that I use to put the kaolin in the oil phase. Instead I put it in after mixing the oil and water phases  and that seems to have fixed it.. Time will tell to be sure, but it seems good now. Thank you all!

  • ajw000

    July 31, 2020 at 11:38 am

    I have an oil phase and water phase that I mix together after heating. I have been putting the Kaolin in the oil phase, should I change that? 

    @LincsChemist What about Tocopherol or Rosemary Oleoresin? I’m trying to figure out the final PH but can’t find a ph meter that works well, any suggestions? 

    How is it I see so many other formulas with kaolin but they don’t have this issue? 

  • LincsChemist

    July 31, 2020 at 10:33 am

    We make a product that’s not dissimilar to this with >25% kaolin and the fragrance remains absolutely fine. Maybe try an antioxidant? BHT or something like that.

    Another option is micro contamination, but I’d say you’ve got a fairly robust preservative system. What’s the final pH?

  • LuisJavier

    July 31, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Kaolin is definitely the suspect for me in this ingredient list. Maybe the fragrance would adsorb to the kaolin and be “trapped” and altered by it. 

  • ajw000

    July 30, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    @chemicalmatt any suggestions? The kaolin is a crucial element.. Are you saying to change supplier, or is there another solution to work around it? Why would Kaolin cause the fragrance to go “sour”?

  • chemicalmatt

    July 30, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Kaolin would be my first suspect. Adsorbs certain compounds like activated carbon does sometimes. Nothing else in there would cause this as far as I can see.

  • ajw000

    July 30, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    @LincsChemist the product begins to smell bad. I have tried 2 different fragrances and 2 different fragrance companies and the all result in a bad smell after the product goes through stability testing. 

  • LincsChemist

    July 30, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    When you say the fragrance is deteriorating, what do you mean? Is it just getting weaker, losing top notes, or changing substantially? Are you seeing any other changes in the product over time?

    I’m guessing that this is some sort of hairstyling clay/paste that needs to be poured hot? What temperature are you adding the fragrance at?