First, I want to announce that the winner of the mini bottle of Fresh Life is SUN MI Please contact me at olympicorchids at gmail dot com or leave a message on Facebook with your complete, correct name and shipping address.
On the last Materials Wednesday when I posted on perfume carriers, there was talk about solid perfumes, so it seems reasonable to cover that, too. Personally, I’m not a fan of solid perfumes, but I know many people like them.
Basically, solid perfumes are fragrance in a carrier of wax and oil in a ratio that makes the resulting mass solid but spreadable. The fragrance can be anything from essential oils to ready-made synthetic fragrance oils or concentrates. The solid wax is heated enough to melt it, and the carrier oil and fragrance oil are added in whatever ratio gives the desired consistency and scent. While liquid, the mixture is poured into a small tin or jar, where it is allowed to solidify, and voila! You have solid perfume.
The high-end commercial “natural” and/or low-end DIY solid perfume formulas typically use beeswax, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, shea butter, cocoa butter, or mango butter along with various liquid oils like almond, coconut, olive, sunflower, grape seed, or jojoba. Many of these ingredients have scents of their own, so contribute subtly to the final fragrance, which is one reason why solid perfumes often smell a little different from liquid ones.
There are not a lot of mass-market commercial solid perfumes, and those that exist do not disclose all of their ingredients, but they probably use soy wax, paraffin wax, deodorized castor oil, mineral oil, and small amounts of other “natural”-sounding waxes and oils like the ones mentioned above, along with synthetic/mixed-media fragrance concentrates.
Next week I’ll actually start on the perfume materials themselves.
[Beeswax photos are from Wikimedia, solid perfume photos from retailers' websites, and Fresh Life bottle from Fragrantica]