Vodka is the best substitute if perfume grade alcohol is not available, especially in countries with restrictions on sale and/or transport of ethyl alcohol. Compared to other alternatives, vodka helps to preserve the scent without overpowering the perfume.
Remember that vodka contains only 45 – 50% ethyl alcohol depending on the brand. The non-alcohol part of the vodka serves as "water" in your formulation.
The comparatively low alcohol level of vodka presents a unique formulation problem. Note that perfume grade alcohol is practically 100% pure. With vodka’s much reduced solubilizing power, formulations may become cloudy.
To address this problem, Chemworld Fragrance Factory developed a proprietary blend of perfume solubilizer called Solubilizer LA (low alcohol). Usual use level of Solubilizer LA is from 3% to 7% to achieve a clear solution. Start with eau de cologne or body splash formulation when experimenting with vodka.
Even with Solubilizer LA, some fragrance oils may remain cloudy as you increase fragrance oil concentration to 10% and over. Accelerated aging (in chiller) up to 2 weeks may help improve clarity. Below is a sample formulation:
Stir the mixture well and carefully pour into a dark glass (amber) bottle with a tight fitting lid. Shake and chill the bottle. You should allow the mixture to settle for at least 24 hours before checking again for cloudiness or separation.
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