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Have you ever wondered why some body mist fragrances last longer than others? Why do some scents fade fast while others linger about? Well, it all comes down to fixatives.
Fixatives are materials added to body mist to make the scents last longer and help extend the sillage of a fragrance. They slow down the evaporation of more volatile compounds in fragrance, lend a unique note to the aroma, and balance the scent. Without fixatives, body mist fragrances would fade away very quickly.
While there are several fixatives on the market, both synthetic and natural, in today’s post, I’ll focus on natural fixatives, essential oils in particular. Why essential oils? Essential oils offer more than just a fixative quality. They also provide additional aromatherapeutic benefits like stress relief and mood improvement. Let’s take a closer look at the most commonly used ones.
1. Benzoin Essential Oil (Styrax Benzoin)
Warming, energising and uplifting, benzoin’s rich, sweet vanilla-like aroma with resinous undertones give substance to fragrance and the ability to extend other scents’ longevity.
Benzoin essential oil blends beautifully with uplifting citrus essential oils like sweet orange and lemon. Sweetly soothing, it adds comforting touch when blended with cinnamon, rose or ylang-ylang.
2. Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedrus Atlantica)
Cedarwood is a lovely fixative that holds an otherwise fleeting scent of essential oils together. Its dry woodsy aroma with sweet undertones has a calming effect on the mind and helps relieve nervous tensions.
Cedarwood is a very versatile oil that blends well with most essential oils. Combining it with rose absolute and rose geranium creates a nurturing aroma you can use to create a perfect self-care time.
3. Clary Sage Essential Oil (Salvia Sclarea)
Distinctive sweet herbaceous aroma with a hint of floral undertone, clary sage euphoric aroma relaxing qualities help relieve stress, quiet mind and ease anxiety. Blending clary sage with benzoin or sandalwood essential oil lends body mists fragrance a hint of sweetness with a floral touch.
4. Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia Carterii)
Frankincense essential oil was highly-priced in the ancient world and was as valuable as gems or precious metals. Reminiscent of citrus, frankincense has a sweet, woody, resinous aroma with slightly balsamic undertones.
Calming and uplifting, frankincense helps calm busy minds, improve mood and concentration, and even help you rest better. Blend it with lavender and rose essential oil for a body mist with a calming effect. Blending it with lemon essential oils creates a refreshing body mist aroma.
5. Myrrh Essential Oil (Commiphora Myrrha)
I love myrrh’s soft, warm, sweet aroma. It has an exquisite and slightly earthy touch with a musky twist. Myrrh’s herbal, woody, and relatively sweet aroma imparts depth and warmth to body mists.
Blending myrrh with frankincense creates a well-rounded, deep, rich body mist that will help decompress at the end of a long day. Myrrh also combines well with woodsy, oriental and floral essential oils like jasmine and lavender.
6. Patchouli Essential Oil (Pogostemon Cablin)
Also known as hippy oil, this earthy, musky essential oil with slightly floral undertones encourages feelings of relaxation, balance and well-being. Patchouli’s earthy, woody aroma with a hint of herbal notes blends nicely with other essential oils like geranium, sandalwood, and rose.
Its balancing features work beautifully with more volatile citrus essential oils like orange and lemon, slowing down their evaporation rate and prolonging the amount of time the aroma in the body mist is released.
7. Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum album)
Sandalwood’s rich, sweet, woody aroma with oriental undertones is wildly used in many high-end fragrances due to its great fixative qualities and ability to bring other scents together.
Its calming and relaxing aroma helps reduce stress and instil a sense of inner peace. It is also an excellent addition to body mists that aim to alleviate dryness and irritation in the skin.
Sandalwood blends nicely with most essential oils. Combining it with lavender, rose, or other soothing essential oils like ylang-ylang and jasmine create relaxing and calming body mists.
8. Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla Planifolia)
One of my favourite fixatives, vanilla’s rich, sweet, vanilla-like aroma lends a rich touch and depth to floral, citrus and oriental body mist fragrances. Blending vanilla with tangerine essential oils imparts a deep, sweet, fruity aroma that is very pleasant to the senses and promotes a sense of well-being. Mixing vanilla with other fixatives like benzoin, cedarwood or sandalwood and floral essential oils like rose creates a warm, comforting long-lasting aroma.
9. Violet Leaf Absolute (Viola odorata)
Violet leaf absolute, with its dry, green, herbal aroma, is an excellent addition to the fragrance that aims to add elegance and naturalness to floral blends. Emotionally,
its essence helps to surmount emotional obstacles and develop trust, engenders openness and warmth, and gives support to those who have a tendency to retreat (1).
Blend it with cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, rose, vanilla or ylang-ylang to achieve a pleasant, long-lasting warm aroma with a dry, green undertone.
10. Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil (Cananga Odorata Var. Genuina)
Ylang-ylang essential oil is a great fixative that imparts a deep, sweet floral aroma with a subtle touch of spicy and balsamic notes. Its exotic, sweet floral aroma blends well with floral fragrances like rose and lavender.
Ylang-ylang’s soothing qualities work beautifully with the sweet herbaceous aroma of clary sage essential oil, creating a euphoric aroma with relaxing qualities. Its ability to balance emotions makes it a great addition to body mists that aim to induce feelings of well-being.
Note: One thing to keep in mind, even though essential oils with fixative qualities help improve the longevity of the scent and the degree to which a body mist’s fragrance lingers in the air when worn, they are often not as effective as their synthetic counterparts, which is not a bad thing as they offer so much more. Their unique scent, therapeutic benefits, and affordability make them a worthy addition to body mist formulations.
How do you like to use essential oils in your body mists? Which essential oils and blends do you like most? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.