Perfumes, the Perfumer and the Fixation Process

Fixation is one of the most important factors that stands between the success and failure of a perfume composition because it promotes the retention of the fragrance on the wearer for as long as possible.

Fixatives are the non-volatile substances used to slow down the evaporation rate of the volatile components of a fragrance. They help perfume makers perfect their blends to the highest level and are indispensable tools of trade within the perfume industry.

The raw materials used for fixation in perfumes can be of natural or synthetic nature. Scented or unscented, with nature identical, nature similar or non-nature like characters. Ultimately, their purpose is that they’re non-volatile enough to help the perfume blend develop and retain its full intensity for long periods.

Most professional perfumers prefer to use synthetic or man made fixative agents in their blends. These types of fixative products are readily available and can be used efficiently without significantly altering its original scent prior to the fixatives being added.

If you’re going the natural route, fixative materials like Patchouli, Vetiver, Labdanum and others have great fixative ability. However, their odor can easily dominate your entire blend or drastically alter it if they are not carefully handled.

Thankfully, there are extensive fixatives available that can be used in a blend to extend the evaporation rate of each of the different notes in a perfume. What’s more, you can use different fixing agents for different parts of your blend. For instance, you might choose to only fix the top and middle notes in your composition if the base note already has enough lasting power.

Surprisingly, extreme fixation in a perfume is no guarantee of good scent retention. As a matter of fact, excessive fixing can result in the fixative agents inhibiting each other, thereby hindering fragrance diffusion and making the odor of the perfume impossible to smell in the air around its wearer.

Generally, when the composition process of a perfume is well thought out and its blending balanced, it shouldn’t require too much fixing.

Article adapted from

About the Author: Remy Baker is a successful perfume entrepreneur and the author of Scent2Riches, a perfume making from home guide. The manual shows people how to make perfumes for next to nothing and sell their blends for big bucks.