Amber "essential" oil in CP

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Babyshoes

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A couple of years ago, pre-covid, my mother in law went on a trip to Egypt. She brought me back some really lovely amber "essential" oil.

I know it's not a true essential oil since it's not from a plant, but I don't think it's an artificial fragrance either. I'm pretty sure it was expensive and likely contains real amber, since it's pretty thick and viscous.

I was wondering if it'll survive in CP soap? I did a search on here but didn't see anything relevant. I really don't want to waste it, but if someone with experience thinks it'll hold up to the lye, I'd love to have a good use for it.

If so, how do I figure out how much to use? I'm pretty sure that if I Google the name on the bottle, there won't be a manufacturer website with usage rates etc!
I'll probably be doing a very small batch just for my partner and I, currently working with a recipe that makes 400g of batter.
 
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DeeAnna

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If your amber is a true tree resin, I'm guessing it might be somewhat related to colophony (aka rosin) that's made from the sap of trees like pine trees. Rosin does react with lye, so if my guess is right, I would expect your amber will react as well.

I have no idea what you mean by "survive in CP soap" -- are you thinking about the aroma? If so, you'd have to try it in soap to know if the soap retains the aroma. I suspect there will be at least some change in the scent.

When people use other resins in soap, such as dragons blood, the scent doesn't always survive. I think Cathy McGinnis (Soaping 101) did a test where she dissolved resins in oil and used that to make soap -- you might look for that video to see what she learned.

There are so many products being sold to consumers -- honestly pure ones, adulterated ones, and utterly faked ones -- so there's no way anyone can know what you've got without access to a well stocked analytical lab.

Frankly, if the material is precious to you, I'd enjoy it in other ways besides putting it in soap. You could dissolve it in oil and make an oil-based perfume (do a skin test first to make sure you're not sensitive to it).
 

Babyshoes

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Thank you. I've tried looking it up online, and as I expected there is very little information, but the company seems like it's a "hard sell to tourists" type of place, so the quality is likely questionable compared to what she was sold...

This evening I made a very tiny batch of soap and added a little. The batch didn't immediately seize up, so we'll see what's left of the scent.

(I have tried it on my skin with no reaction so I'm happy to try it in soap for personal use...)
 

Bespoke Soap

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Don’t know if this helps but my husband and I just used Amber fragrance oil for a beard oil blend and it was splendid. Amber seems to be a rather newer used essence.



A couple of years ago, pre-covid, my mother in law went on a trip to Egypt. She brought me back some really lovely amber "essential" oil.

I know it's not a true essential oil since it's not from a plant, but I don't think it's an artificial fragrance either. I'm pretty sure it was expensive and likely contains real amber, since it's pretty thick and viscous.

I was wondering if it'll survive in CP soap? I did a search on here but didn't see anything relevant. I really don't want to waste it, but if someone with experience thinks it'll hold up to the lye, I'd love to have a good use for it.

If so, how do I figure out how much to use? I'm pretty sure that if I Google the name on the bottle, there won't be a manufacturer website with usage rates etc!
I'll probably be doing a very small batch just for my partner and I, currently working with a reci
 

Babyshoes

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Don’t know if this helps but my husband and I just used Amber fragrance oil for a beard oil blend and it was splendid. Amber seems to be a rather newer used essence.
Cool! Not immediately useful I'm afraid, since I want to keep the amber fragrance mostly for myself, but I'll bear it in mind. 😊
 

Babyshoes

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Update for anyone interested in my experiment - it wasn't a total fail, but I'll keep the amber fragrance to use in something else.

I created a very tiny batch recipe using 100% lard, then added approx 1ml of the amber fragrance at light trace. It didn't seize up instantly, but did harden up super fast once it was in the mould - I tried to give it a gentle bit of spoon texture but ended up with spikes as it was already pretty firm.

When I unmoulded it the next day, the soap was almost crumbly and very hard. The smell was still present, but the deep amber notes seem to have disappeared. It now smells to me like a cheap perfume. I'm hoping it'll mellow into something I don't mind using after a cure, but if not it's only one small bar, so no biggie if not.
IMG_20210225_134821.jpg
 

DeeAnna

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If you are making 1-bar batches, it's important to have a scale that reads to 0.01 gram and preferably 0.001 gram. If you're using a less accurate scale, there's enough measurement error in the scale to throw off the superfat in the soap, even if you are super careful when weighing out your ingredients. The hard and crumbly texture you mention might come from the soap being lye heavy.
 

Babyshoes

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If you are making 1-bar batches, it's important to have a scale that reads to 0.01 gram and preferably 0.001 gram. If you're using a less accurate scale, there's enough measurement error in the scale to throw off the superfat in the soap, even if you are super careful when weighing out your ingredients. The hard and crumbly texture you mention might come from the soap being lye heavy.
Thank you, I'll bear that in mind! My scale isn't anything special so that may well explain things. Oh well, if this bar is a loss, at least I learned a lot from it!
 

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