|In aromatherapy, essential oil magick and perfumery, a fixative is a substance used to stabilize or preserve, and especially to reduce the evaporation rate of a blend. Slowing the evaporation rate allows the blend to be more stable, last longer, and stay true to its intended fragrance and magickal uses.
Volatile oils such as lemon essential oil and pine essential oil loose subtle \notes\" quickly because they evaporate fast. Adding a fixative keeps these oils around longer and can help fine tune their uses in magick and aromatherapy. For example pine can be mixed with sandalwood as a fixative, thereby increasing the \"wood\" energy and adding stability to the blend. Note that you will also be adding the spiritual properties of sandalwood.
Most fixatives are considered \"base notes\" in blends, because they evaporate slowly and are usually the last thing you smell before a scent fades. Musk, oak moss (and one of my favorites, pine moss) amber, ambergris, orris root, vetiver and sandalwood are good fixative choices. Patchouli can work as a fixative in blends where it's potency is welcome. Refer to each oil for its properties in aromatherapy and magick when creating your blends.
There are many synthetic chemicals used as fixitives in perfumery, however most Magickal and aromatherapy practitioners avoid these. If you need to maintain the true fragrance without the additional energy of a common fixative like those suggested above, try blending with castor oil, jojoba oil (really a liquid wax) or other carrier oils. You do not have to dilute your blend, just a few drops can help stabilize your evaporation rate. Practitioners here at PaganPath have used this for many years as a way to harmonize a blend without diluting it.
For example, if you mix four drops of mandarin orange oil with two drops of lemon essential oil, your \"top note\" (the first thing you smell) will be lemon. Next you will get a hint of orange. If you a drop or two of sunflower oil to this blend, you will smell lemon-orange together in your top note."