“Use this deodorant, and you will feel fresh and relaxed for the rest of the day!”
“Want to be the life of the party? Use this perfume, and you are on your way!”
These are just some of the advertisements, or their approximations, that we see in our day-to-day life. Watching them influences our purchasing habits, where we base our buying choices on which smell or aroma can last longer. Ever seen an air freshening or scenting machine while waiting in the reception area of a doctor’s office? You must have, and there is a very solid reason to have them in such spaces - to make the air around us smell pleasant, in simple words! That’s all well and good, but where do these scents come from? What gives them their everlasting smell? The simple answer to that - fragrance fixatives.
Fragrance Fixative? What is it?
Fixatives are substances that restrict the volatility of fragrance components and help prolong the longevity of the aroma in perfumes, which is a crucial factor determining the product’s success in an increasingly competitive world. Fragrance & flavor fixatives are widely used in different sectors such as cosmetics, skincare, haircare and homecare products. The fragrance fixatives market is witnessing continued growth on account of the products possessing characteristics such as high rate of diffusion, high solubility & chemical inertness. It is only due to their use that there is a gradual change in the perfume aroma, as the ingredients start to fade away. This helps in increasing the lasting effect of the product in which they are used.
Normally, fixatives are the base notes in a perfume, and kept at 3-5%. Slower evaporation rates help in enhancing the properties of fragrance fixatives, and certain base notes such as sandalwood, myrrh and patchouli offer these features. Their presence in a perfume formula is also restricted to around 10-20% of the total scent, as they have strong, distinct odors.
Which Are The Most Prominent Fixatives?
Sclareolide - A popular fragrance fixative, is derived from a number of plant sources such as Salvia sclarea (Clary sage), Salvia yosgadensis and cigar tobacco. Sclareolide is known for its use as a fragrance fixative in the perfume industry, as a replacement for the expensive ambergris. Perfumery uses include amber, ambergris, maple, pepper, spice, tea and tobacco, while it is also used as a hair darkener and/or skin tanner in cosmetics.
Iso E Super - Another well-known fragrance fixative that started gaining attention in the 1960s. The compound has a remarkably pleasant smell - woody, dry and cedarlike, with features of vetiver, ambergris and patchouli; it is also highly transparent and neutral, and it has a rich and versatile smell. An early example of the success of this fixative was ‘Lancôme Trésor’ by Sophia Grojsman in 1990, which became a base for various other floral perfumes of that time.
Castoreum - Comes from the beaver’s (animal) castor sac, it being an anal secretion that this animal uses to mark its territory. This fragrance fixative found recognition centuries ago, as a solution for fever and headaches, while it later saw its application as a medicine, with America’s colonization. In the 19th century, the product began to be used in the perfume industry as a fixative, while presently, it has found use as a substitute for vanilla in the food and flavoring industry.
Ambroxide - Widely known by its brand name ‘Ambroxan’ is a key constituent imparting ambergris its distinct odor. It is synthesized from sclareol, and finds usage as a fragrance fixative, and the creation of ambergris notes. Minute amounts of the product, to the extent of less than 0.01ppm, are used in food flavoring.
Sucrose acetate isobutyrate - A GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) categorized emulsifier, which is used as a food additive in malt beverages, beer, wine coolers and cocktail mixers, while it also finds usage in skin care and color cosmetics, as a fragrance fixative, and in hair care and horse styling products.
Civet - Also known as civet musk, is obtained from a number of viverrid species that secrete civet oil in their perineal glands, such as African civet, large Indian civet and small Indian civet. It has a distinctly different flavor from musk, and is used as a flavor and in perfumery.
Galaxolide - Is a synthetic musk that is used in fragrances owing to its sweet, musky floral woody odor. Perfume and cologne manufacturers use it to add a musk odor to their products.
Ambergris - Also known as grey amber, is a highly valued fragrance fixative that is produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. Its high value comes from its tenacity, but it has been replaced by the synthetic Ambroxan. The legality of its use is a bone of contention in many countries, as the number of sperm whales have reduced drastically around the globe owing to their illegal hunting.
Clary sage - Is a plant that is grown for its essential oil. The distilled oil finds wide usage in perfumes, as well as muscatel flavoring for wines, vermouths and liqueurs. Additionally, aromatherapy is another one of its application areas.
Market Fixated On Growth
The industry for fragrance fixatives has seen very positive growth in recent years, and following are the reasons driving the global market:
The accelerated expansion in the cosmetics & personal care industry, coupled with the increasing per capita income has translated directly into higher spending on luxury goods & prestigious brands.
Rising standard of living in emerging economies across Asia Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe has contributed to the demand for perfumes, cosmetics and other products that utilize fragrance fixatives to a large extent.
Consciousness of individuals regarding their appearance, as well as the personality boost and confidence their usage provides, has led to product diversification in the cosmetics and personal care industry through the introduction of a variety of body washes, moisturizers, nourishment creams, body soaps, laundry detergents of different scents.
The men’s fragrance segment is also expected to witness rapid growth with regards to fragrance fixatives, as personal grooming has become a priority for all men, which was earlier restricted to aftershave lotions.
People are also becoming aware of the therapeutic and aesthetic benefits of cosmetic products. The growing demand for exotic fragrances, floral and youth-oriented perfumes is expected to accelerate expansion of fragrance fixatives market in the near future.
Competitors And Developments
Some of the major industry players that are involved in the fragrance fixative market space are Eastman Chemical, Tokos BV, Lotioncrafter LLC, Paris Fragrances, SVP Chemicals, Synthodor Company, PFW Aroma Chemicals, Zaki, along with newer entrants such as Landmark Perfumes & Aromatics and The Essential Oil Company. Recent developments seen in the industry include:
In October 2019, Givaudan, the global flavor and fragrance maker, announced its production of amber- and woody-scented Ambrofix, via fermentation from cane sugar. The process is carbon-efficient and aligns with the company’s sustainability approach.
In-depth report on global fragrance fixatives market by Grand View Research:
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