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What oils work well and fade less in soap making? 
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:10 am
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Post What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Hello!
I am new to the forum and a first time soap maker. What essential oils work well for preserving the fragrance when used in soap? I will be working with palm oil, coconut oil, and olive oil in the cold processed procedure.
Thank you!
Laura


Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:27 am
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Hi Laura,

I think really the question is what you'd like your soap to smell like. The oils will be mixed will with the soap base, be they liquid or solid, and are not likely to evaporate or lose aromatic potency in any way.

The only way you'd loose aroma is if the essential oils were exposed to air separately from soap itself, which is not likely to happen. In our liquid soaps, the oils blend quite nicely, because there is a small amount of 'carrier oil' in the soap base: ie. 'hi-olive castile soap' and aloe castile soap. The oils won't separate and the whole concoction loose aroma.

Does this make sense? Liquid soap making is really a simple procedure -- you just want to start with what you think are VERY small amounts of essential oil in your blend, or the soap can end up being too drying. If, of course, you're making an formula strictly for antibcacterial use, where you can use a little more if you're not as concerned about the resulting dryness as the anti-microbial properties of the essential oils in the formula.

Do you have a plan, or are you just experimenting?

Cheers!


Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:06 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:10 am
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Thanks!
Yes, it does make sense. Some friends and I made my first soap (cold processed) this weekend. It was a big batch and we all made our own soap in individual milk carton boxes. Each of us chose a different scent. Some came out excellent and some scents changed and diminished in intensity. I suspected there might be carrier oils in the fragrances that changed and lost intensity. Thank you for the information and clarification.
I loved making the soap and plan on continuing. This is a great site to learn and receive support from.
Thank You again,
Laura


Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:47 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Some oils are temperature sensitive as well and will dissipate during the saponification process in the "gel phase". I've had good results with Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Lemongrass, Orange, and Clove Oils. For cold process soap making you may have to add more essential oil to the soap at trace to allow for the dissipation during the gel phase. Some people say that the therapuetic value of the essential oil is diminished somewhat because of the saponification process. I don't know if this is true or not, but you can always add the oils to a liquid soap base and be assured that your getting all the therapuetic value of your essential oils. I tend to do both. I love CP soap and prefer to use essential oils instead of fragrance oil. I also love to use shower gel type soap and add essential oils to that when I want a stronger scent. I'm anxious to try the High Olive Liquid soap base they sell here at Ananda. Happy Soapmaking!


Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:16 am
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Thank you for the info!
I love having your list of essential oils, it will help a lot. Yes, I was reading about adding colorants to "glycerin soap" for the CP process and wasn't sure if this was a good thing to do or not. Is that the same idea of your suggestion of adding the oils to glycerin so that it stabilizes in a "soap base"? When would I add this glycerin mixture and do I need to adjust the coconut/palm/oil/ mixture?
We mixed the essential oils with our other additives (like oatmeal, rose petals, Cinnamon etc.) in a separate dish and then added them after we poured the soap mixture (after trace) into the milk cartons. Is there another point that is safe to add the oils to the soap during the process itself?

Also, do you have any experience in using Patchouli? I would love to make some patchouli soap.

Thanks again for your help!
Laura


Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:40 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:51 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Hi shazellediki (and Laura!)

Please let us know about your experience with liquid soap making. What is it about the "gel" or thicker liquid soaps that you prefer for including essential oils? And bar soaps too...I expect we'll have to start with some consults and texts, though would highly value your 'real world' input.

We added our soaps as we had so many requests for them, yet do not have a master of understanding beyond the "personal" properties (they make my skin feel...soft...dry...wonderful...) how the thinner Aloe Castile and Hi-Olive "Gel" may differ in terms of manufacturing. If you have time to email me at info@anandaapothecary.com, as I would love to discuss this with someone with more soap experience than myself. It's been a simple process to create liquid soaps with various therapeutic properties (antimicrobial, just great smelling, etc), yet we've had to part with our soap-maker, and would truly value any information you could offer. And the possibility of adding "bars" would be lovely too, now that we have the space. The time of year is coming fast -- we'll be adding our bath salts again, maybe candles, and a complete soap line woult really round out our offerings. Thanks in advance! ~ Eric


Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:35 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
laurabdav wrote:
Thank you for the info!
I love having your list of essential oils, it will help a lot. Yes, I was reading about adding colorants to "glycerin soap" for the CP process and wasn't sure if this was a good thing to do or not. Is that the same idea of your suggestion of adding the oils to glycerin so that it stabilizes in a "soap base"? When would I add this glycerin mixture and do I need to adjust the coconut/palm/oil/ mixture?
We mixed the essential oils with our other additives (like oatmeal, rose petals, Cinnamon etc.) in a separate dish and then added them after we poured the soap mixture (after trace) into the milk cartons. Is there another point that is safe to add the oils to the soap during the process itself?

Also, do you have any experience in using Patchouli? I would love to make some patchouli soap.

Thanks again for your help!
Laura

Hi, not sure if this was a question for me or for Eric. Are you making soap from oils and lye or are you making "Melt and Pour"? I was assuming that you were making soap from oils and lye and my answers are based on that assumption, if you are using melt and pour, disregard this. Oh, another question - why are you adding glycerin to Cold Process (CP) soap? Cold Process lye soap already contains glycerin naturally. It is a by-product of saponification. In fact glycerin is derived from soap. So, it would be sort of like adding more wheat fiber to stone ground whole wheat flour. Anyway, just curious. I always add my essential oils at trace and I don't mix them with anything first. I wouldn't add them any sooner than trace either, because some oils cause your soap to "seize" or prematurely come to trace, although if you've been stirring awhile that might not be a bad thing! LOL ;) I think Patchouli would probably be a good one to use because of it's strong, earthy smell. It seems to have a long finish and I often have used it in other things to "ground" the more delicate scents. I think it would fade less that some of the other oils. I've only recently developed a liking to patchouli. I used to hate it, so I guess tastes can change. Hope this helps! :D


Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:31 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Oh, I forgot to add, if you are making lye soap a stick blender is an excellent tool to use when stirring! It will cut your stirring time in half!


Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:33 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
ericcech wrote:
Hi shazellediki (and Laura!)

Please let us know about your experience with liquid soap making. What is it about the "gel" or thicker liquid soaps that you prefer for including essential oils? And bar soaps too...I expect we'll have to start with some consults and texts, though would highly value your 'real world' input.

We added our soaps as we had so many requests for them, yet do not have a master of understanding beyond the "personal" properties (they make my skin feel...soft...dry...wonderful...) how the thinner Aloe Castile and Hi-Olive "Gel" may differ in terms of manufacturing. If you have time to email me, as I would love to discuss this with someone with more soap experience than myself. It's been a simple process to create liquid soaps with various therapeutic properties (antimicrobial, just great smelling, etc), yet we've had to part with our soap-maker, and would truly value any information you could offer. And the possibility of adding "bars" would be lovely too, now that we have the space. The time of year is coming fast -- we'll be adding our bath salts again, maybe candles, and a complete soap line woult really round out our offerings. Thanks in advance! ~ Eric

Hey Eric! I've had approximately 15 years experience making soap. In fact I make several 5 lb batches a year because it's all my dad will use LOL! He even uses it to wash his hair! My primary experience is in Cold Process(CP), though I have made several batches of "Hot Process" (HP) soap. In case you don't know, HP involves cooking the soap in a double boiler or crock pot until it completes saponification. When made like this, you can use the soap as soon as it hardens rather than having to wait until the soap "cures" (usually 2-4 weeks). I've had no experience making "Liquid" or "gel" soaps, I'm not sure where you got that from, unless it was when I referred to the "Gel" phase. In cold process soapmaking, once your soap has reached trace and you've added your additives, you are supposed to wrap the entire mold you've poured it in in a blanket or some old towels so that the soap doesn't cool down too quickly and it is able to complete the cooking phase. When you pour the soap into the mold it is usually a creamy off white color. If you were to peek at it say about 6-8 (I'm guessing) hours later while it's wrapped in it's blanket, you would see that your soap has a translucent look to it. This is called the "gel" phase. The soap's temperature rises during this time. This is when your essential oils can dissipate and you would lose some or all of their scent. That being said, I do use essential oils to scent my soaps because I do not like synthetic fragrances. I simply use more of the essential oil when scenting the soap and I take note of which scents seem to last the best. I also do not use as much of my "therapeutic" oils to scent my soap "cringe" :oops: . I use cheaper grade oils. The main reason being that I don't believe that the oils retain much of the "therapeutic" benefit (other than the scent) once they have been exposed to the heat, lye, and chemical changes involved in the soap making process. However, I have used them when making HP soap. The oils are still exposed to heat, but not quite as much. They are less likely to be affected by the lye because it is no longer present if the soap is properly made. I have also added herbs and other additives to HP soap with good results. The draw back is that HP soapmaking is more time consuming and the bars are just not as pretty, smooth, and hard as CP bars. Sooo, long story short answer: that is why I'm interested in liquid soaps. You can add oils directly to the soap without the worry of them being destroyed by heat, or lye so I'm able to use my better grade oils and be reasonably sure that they retain all their benefits. Hope this helps answer your questions, if not let me know! :D


Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:09 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Thank you for all of that! I believe offering a line of soap bars may be on our to-do list soon, and we'll see what differences are produced by using different "grades" of oils.

We may just stick with making bars with a "therapeutic intent", not primarily for aromas. Its not a bad thing not using therapeutic grade oils in your production, depending on your desired outcome. (I see your cringe :) I DO expect they therapeutic oils retain more of their value than one might think during the processing; if you think the scent doesn't change, the overall molecular structure is probably fairly similar. Something well have to investigate, and we'll make a decision.

Do you want do come by and whip up a few bars??? :)

At least we DO have the liquid soaps, cold processed and simple for the time being :)

All the Best,
Eric


Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:54 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Eric,
LOL! I'm from Texas, it might take me awhile to get there! I never thought about the scent indicating that the oils may still retain their therapeutic properties. I still think it's a good idea to use more (in the case of soapmaking) than less because the scent does definately dissipate. I've found that if I'm generous with the oils, the scent will still come through. Also, some oils seem to come through better than others. There is a formula somewhere, (can't think of it now) that tells you how much to use per lb of soap. I can try to find it and let you know.


Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:24 am
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
I finally found the calculator, but it didn't really give flashpoints so, I looked that up too. These measurements are for 5 lbs of soap:

Bulgarian Lavender (Flashpoint 160): 3.5-4.5 TBLSP
Ylang Ylang(Flashpoint 200): 3-4 TBLSP
Patchouli (Flashpoint 240): 2.5-3.5 TBLSP
Orange(Flashpoint 115): 3.5-4.5 TBLSP
Peppermint (Flashpoint 163)3.5-4.5 TBLSP
Rosemary (Flashpoint 105) 3.5-4.5 TBLSP
Marjoram (Flashpoint 126) 3.5-4.5 TBLSP

So, I think anywhere from .5 to 1 TBLSP per pound of soap would be a good bet. This would give a moderate to strong fragrance. It seems like the lower the flashpoint, the more oil you would want to use.


Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:53 pm
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Post Re: What oils work well and fade less in soap making?
Just a note, 2tbls=1oz=30ml essential oil.

Also, as a guideline in the liquid soaps, 30-60 drops of essential oil per 8 fluid ounces of soap is common; you can vary with your own preference, and the intensity of the aroma of the essential oils used.


Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:52 am
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