Make Fragrances Stick With Polymers

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Someone washing their face

Ever wanted your fragrances to last just a bit longer? Scientists recently developed a technique for fragrances in personal care products to stick, even after taking a shower.

"Companies incorporate a lot of fragrance oils in wash-off products, such as face washes and body scrubs, but the majority of these oils get washed away," Martin S. Vethamuthu, Ph.D., said. "My research team of solvers wants to help other companies amplify the efficacy, add to the allure and ensure the integrity of the retention of these fragrance notes in their products for skin and hair."

At the 255th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Vethamuthu presented his research on how to increase the efficiency of fragrance oils. To make fragrances last longer, Vethamuthu experimented mixing various polymer to make the scent adhere to the skin longer.

It's All in the Polymers

"Polymers impact different fragrances in diverse ways," he says. "By studying synthetic and naturally derived polymers, manufacturers can select the types of polymers they want to use that will correspond with the fragrance notes they want to prevail."

To test if certain fragrances would last after washing off, Vethamuthu and his team adapted a twister bar headspace sorption extraction sensor, commonly used in the food industry to detect chemicals. After the skin was washed, they tested to see if the sensor picked up any amount of volatile fragrances

Explaining the difficulties of applying this to all fragrances, Vethamuthu said, “It's a difficult process because many manufacturers do not want to share their perfume formulas in detail. If you don't know what to look for going in, then you will never be able to determine which polymers would work best."