At Enviroscent we have worked hard to remove solvents from our products. Solvents are broadly used in the fragrance industry. Chances are if you're buying a plug-in or a fragrance oil or gel, you are buying a fragrance that is more 50% solvent.
These companies use solvents for two reasons - to help make liquid fragrance from a solid material like vanillin, and to help push the fragrances out of their product and into the air.
Enviroscent's patented, natural technology has completely eliminated the need for solvents to push fragrance into the air. Starch (like what we eat) on the surface of our products works like a pace car to make sure fragrance oils don't diffuse too fast and intensely. Then silica (the mineral derived from sand) works its magic as a natural desiccant that absorbs water vapor from the air. Water and oil don't get along very well. Water wins and pushes the fragrance oil out of our paper naturally over a month or so, no solvent required.
What's wrong with solvents?
We don't like solvents for three reasons:
Solvents have health & safety issues
Water is a solvent - we're obviously not against water. Alcohol is a solvent, and we're certainly not against alcohol - used responsibly. It's the chemical solvents we are suspicious of - many are flammable, release volatile organic compounds in the air, can cause respiratory problems or neurological issues, and are known carcinogens. If in doubt, avoid solvents.
At best, solvents are worthless fillers
Even the least-bad solvents are basically ways of diluting your fragrance. Most likely, if you're buying a fragrance product, you're buying a little bit of fragrance and a lot of solvent filler. In a reed diffuser, a good rule of thumb is that 75% of the beautiful liquid you see in the vase is a solvent. At Enviroscent, we like to use pure, unadulterated fragrance - intense and beautiful, no fillers allowed. All of the liquid we use is wonderfully fragrant.
Solvents have an off-odor
Chemical solvents are chemicals and come with a weird off-odor. The artists that design fragrances work hard to tweak their fragrances to mask solvents' odors, but it's not easy to cover up an odor that's 75% of the liquid. That's why fragrance artists love working with Enviroscent - we offer a clean canvas that allows them to express their art in a more vivid, hi-fidelity way, just as nature intended.
We have issued a decree to our fragrance suppliers that we don't accept fragrances that contain any solvents. By February 1, 2016, we will have eliminated all solvents that are used as diluents and pushers from our products (many, like our ScentSicles and Everyday Collections, are compliant now).
In the Caption Collection, we love to use Vanillin. It's a wonderful ingredient that helps us create extraordinary, soulful fragrances.
The problem is that Vanillin is a solid. To use it, we use a small amount of solvent to convert it to a liquid. Science has yet to find a way to convert solid vanilla into an oil without using a solvent. Or more precisely, nobody has yet figured out how to dissolve the vanillin crystal (the compound that delivers the vanilla fragrance) without using a solvent.
We're working hard to solve that problem. Until we do in, if you want a vanilla fragrance, it will contain a small amount (less than 10%) solvent. If you want to avoid solvents altogether, please pick one of our other beautiful fragrances.