Fragrance solution or fragrance emulsion in sauna and steam bath?


Fragrance solution or fragrance emulsion in sauna and steam bath?

A wide variety of fragrances surround visitors during a visit to a sauna or spa, and they are used there for a reason. fragrances influence our mood and health.

If fragrances are to be purchased for the sauna, wellness or spa area, however, the choice is immense. One of the decisions to be made here is whether to use alcohol- or emulsion-based fragrances. These definitely have differences, which we would like to explain today:

In fragrance solution and fragrance concentrate, the essential oils are dissolved in alcohol. Due to their composition and the largely continuous evaporation process, alcohol-based fragrance solutions can be used very sparingly and thus economically. They are quickly and completely absorbed by the vapor. Contact times are short. Residues in the steam bath only occur if the steam contact time is too short or the dosage is not adjusted to the steam flow.
Excess amounts of the solutions are also quickly absorbed, and the specific odor of the essential oil arrives unaltered in the steam bath cabin. In the sauna, the fragrance solution evaporates without residue on the stone, the fragrance remains stable and can spread with the steam in the cabin.

In contrast, in fragrance emulsions (fragrance milk), the essential oil components are dissolved with the aid of an emulsifier and water. Since these emulsions are usually produced in mixing processes, a high emulsifier content is required for this.
The evaporation process is significantly less favorable in the case of fragrance emulsions. This is because the water portion condenses only incompletely, while the emulsifier (up to 20% of the emulsion) does not condense at all. The non-evaporated portion of the fragrance emulsion remains in the line and impedes the steam flow or runs as a greasy distillate from the steam nozzle into the booth. However, since a larger part of the essential oil is bound in the emulsifier or in the emulsifier-water mixture, this part flows off unused together with the distillate. In saunas, the emulsion leaves a layer on the stones.
In order to maintain the same fragrance intensity, this increases the consumption by up to several times the amount used in comparison with the solutions.
The amount used can be reduced even further if the dosing arrangements are unfavorable, e.g. if the steam contact times are too short.
Alcohol-based fragrance solutions allow quality monitoring by simple means, whereas this is virtually impossible with emulsions. Thus, parts of inferior essential oils (so-called “terpenes”) as well as inadmissible emulsifiers (e.g. technical emulsifiers) can be incorporated into emulsions. This can lead to reddening of the mucous membranes and skin irritation during use.
Non-homogenized emulsions tend to segregate quickly, meaning that the oil and water phases separate from each other and the oil floats on top of the emulsion. If they are segregated, even remixing (intensive shaking) does not help; they can no longer be mixed completely uniformly.
Phase separation results in considerable differences in the quality of fragrance supply to the room when dosing emulsions, since the aqueous phase contains no essential oil, but the oil phase floating on top consists of the essential oil components. In addition, the different composition of the phases also leads to sticking of the metering pumps and the steam nozzle.
Likewise, the inherent odor of the emulsifier can override the specific odor of the essential oil. In addition, emulsifiers and aqueous solutions often distort the plant character and reduce the properties.
Immediately after opening the container of the fragrance emulsions, germination begins, which is accelerated by storage in warm rooms. This can be delayed by the addition of preservatives. Thus, emulsions have a shelf life of about 6 weeks.
Alcohol-based fragrance solutions do not have this germination problem. They remain stable in their mixture and the fragrance intensity remains the same, even if a container is in use for a longer period of time.
The use of fragrances in saunas, steam baths, warm air and aroma cabins supports the preventive health properties of the application. Therefore, care should be taken to ensure that fragrance solutions contain mainly natural essential oils. Alcoholic solutions enhance the characteristic radiance of the essential oil and support its properties, the plant character is preserved.
In summary, this means that we at Kemitron always use alcohol instead of emulsifiers (emulsion or emulsion milk) as a fragrance carrier in the manufacture of our Aromee products, and for good reason: with very good fragrance development, alcohol supports the quality and leaves no residue on the sauna stone or in the pipes of the steam bath.