The ability to predict which fragrance chemicals can solvate in what polymers is important for several reasons. It saves development time by eliminating obvious dead ends from consideration at the start. It allows the incorporation of larger amounts of fragrance than would otherwise be possible; up to 30-50% of a polymer can be fragrance. It avoids phase separation problems ranging from foggy dispersions of perfume droplets in supposedly clear polymers to outright immiscibility. Finally, it assures that fragrance materials that are intended to soak into fibers or films for slow release actually do so, rather than just sit on the surface.
Of course, the term “polymers” encompasses not only those materials commonly thought of as being made of “plastic,” but also paper, leather, wood, adhesives, natural and synthetic fabrics.
This primer will attempt to cover, as painlessly as possible, some basic polymer physics and volubility theory and then show how this knowledge can be applied in general and for a specific example.