'Anchoring' FO's

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PlumCrzy

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I was watching a Soapmaking101 video the other evening and the lady mentioned 'anchoring her FO' (maybe an EO?) with starch. I think that is all she said - didn't give an amount or other instructions. Does anybody have more to share on this topic? Does it work? How is it done? I'm in the process of making a series of castile/bastille soaps so I can figure out what works good for me and I have wondered if the fragrance remains long enough to enjoy after an extended cure time.
 

dixiedragon

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This is one of those areas where there has been no real scientific experimentation, so it's all anecdotal evidence. Some soapers swear by it, some think it's hooey. I think the "starch" in question is often arrow-root powder. Some people anchor with clay, some with an FO or EO that sticks better (for example, using citronella and/or lemongrass EO to anchor citrus EOs or FOs).
 

DeeAnna

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What an "anchor" supposedly does is absorb some of the scent so the fragrance is released more slowly. This means the scent will not be as intense at first, but it will theoretically last longer. I'm skeptical that it works in soap. In a powdered product, I think an anchor can be useful.

An added scent, such as the citronella or lemongrass that Dixiedragon mentioned, is not an anchor in the sense that it absorbs the fragrance. What it does do is make the overall scent last longer if you choose the right secondary scent. Fragrances can be top, heart (middle) or base notes. Top notes are the most volatile and evaporate fast. Citrus and floral scents are usually top notes. Base notes are the least volatile and last longest. They are usually wood, resin, and spice scents. Middle notes are in between and typical middle notes are the herbs and grasses. So if you are using a lemon EO (top note) and you add lemongrass to the fragrance blend, you are adding a middle note. Blending a middle note with a top note should make the overall scent last longer, mainly because the lemongrass will still be hanging around long after the lemon EO is gone.

My opinion only....
 
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PlumCrzy

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Deanna - thanks for that insight. I have just started with soaping and this is a brand new area of thought for me.
 

reflection

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i've just been reading about EOs in soap & getting the fragrance to stick. i don't know if this is common knowledge or not but thought i'd mention what i read in the book 'handcrafted soap'. the author says to get the EOs to stick to use this general guide:

3 parts top note
2 parts middle note
1 part base note

she says you don't need to use like 6 EOs but can use 1 or 2 for each note. for example, to get an orange EO scent that sticks she recommends:

3 parts sweet orange (top)
2 parts bitter orange (middle)
1 part patchouli (base)

to test the fragrance before using it in soap she says you can drop the oils on a cotton ball & put it in a glass jar. leave it for a day and then see how it smells. i have to say this sounds like fun to start blending EOs.
 

Susie

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OK, so by the time you blend sweet orange and bitter orange, which one are you left smelling? Never mind the patchouli, I gag every time I smell it.

I have blended many, many citrus EOs with other EOs, clay, starch, FOs. Not once have I been able to detect the citrus scent I was hoping to save longer than a couple of months. Lemongrass makes a convincing lemon substitute, however. I do successfully use citrus EOs in liquid soap. So that is what I do.
 

shunt2011

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I've not had any luck with citrus EO sticking either. Lemongrass is the exception. Lotions, scrubs etc no problem. Not soap.
 

PlumCrzy

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Thank you all for your input! This will help in knowing what to expect, in general. Does anyone know where I could find a chart that shows which category the different fragrances would belong to (top, middle or base)?
 

dibbles

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I know many don't like patchouli, but I love it. I've had good luck with BB 10x orange EO mixed with patch.
 

RobertBarnett

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You'all seem to be talking about cp. what about hp? Adding at the very last St the lowest temperature you can still work with? Is it just the citrus doesn't last or does the soap making process kill it, what part of the process us killing it and can it be worked around?

Robert
 

Cindy2428

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I shop for EO/FO's with a bunch of different vendors, but for learning purposes, I think Majestic Mountain Sage is one of the best. I attended a workshop on fragrance formulating with them at the last Guild Conference, and Andee, the instructor was wonderful. They gave us a $200.00 Perfumery Kit as part of the $50.00 workshop - Can you say Score!! Opening that box was Christmas for an admitted FOHO.

Another good resource is IFRA - a voluntary organization that tests fragrances. (A bit advanced, but down the road you will want to be able to reference this info).

If you Google "Fragrance blending" you will find all kinds of info. You will learn about different fragrance families which will help you learn more about which one fall into the top, middle and base note categories.
 

reflection

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OK, so by the time you blend sweet orange and bitter orange, which one are you left smelling? Never mind the patchouli, I gag every time I smell it.
susie, i'm just going by what this book says, as i have no actual experience with this, but here is her quote:

Top notes are generally tart, fruity & light while base notes are more earthy and pungent. Middle notes fall somewhere in between. Top notes seem to disappear completely, but some trace elements remain to complete the fragrance. Base notes help to anchor the top notes. Middle notes help to determine which way the fragrance will lean. Do you prefer flowery? Woodsy? Fruity? The important thing to remember is that you want to balance the top, middle & base notes to create a wonderfully fresh yet not overpowering fragrance.
if you wanted to try this out for an orange scent you could just use a different base note like ginger, cinnamon (considered base to middle note), vanilla, clary sage, etc.

ETA: this link looks good for some EO blends in soap using citrus scents & others

PlumCrzy: if you do a google search you will find charts listing the various EOs and their respective notes. here are a couple: link and link
 
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Dahila

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OK, so by the time you blend sweet orange and bitter orange, which one are you left smelling? Never mind the patchouli, I gag every time I smell it.

I have blended many, many citrus EOs with other EOs, clay, starch, FOs. Not once have I been able to detect the citrus scent I was hoping to save longer than a couple of months. Lemongrass makes a convincing lemon substitute, however. I do successfully use citrus EOs in liquid soap. So that is what I do.
Susie I gag when smelling it too, I used it once and never again :))
Nothing works for me except lemongrass and litsea
 

Melysg25

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What an "anchor" supposedly does is absorb some of the scent so the fragrance is released more slowly. This means the scent will not be as intense at first, but it will theoretically last longer. I'm skeptical that it works in soap. In a powdered product, I think an anchor can be useful.

An added scent, such as the citronella or lemongrass that Dixiedragon mentioned, is not an anchor in the sense that it absorbs the fragrance. What it does do is make the overall scent last longer if you choose the right secondary scent. Fragrances can be top, heart (middle) or base notes. Top notes are the most volatile and evaporate fast. Citrus and floral scents are usually top notes. Base notes are the least volatile and last longest. They are usually wood, resin, and spice scents. Middle notes are in between and typical middle notes are the herbs and grasses. So if you are using a lemon EO (top note) and you add lemongrass to the fragrance blend, you are adding a middle note. Blending a middle note with a top note should make the overall scent last longer, mainly because the lemongrass will still be hanging around long after the lemon EO is gone.

My opinion only....
is there any merit to this now? using clays, starches etc to "anchor/stick fragrances? i too wondered about how to "Anchor a fragrance over time. one of my batches i made back in october 2020, with a FO/EO blend, has begun fading... SAD :(
 

gypsiqueen

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I never had any luck with citrus EOs. I ended up using a lot of FOs in CP soap. Mostly I just made sure that the fragrance had a high flash point so I knew it wouldn't burn off in the process.
 

DeeAnna

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...Mostly I just made sure that the fragrance had a high flash point so I knew it wouldn't burn off in the process.
This "flash point theory" is something a lot of people firmly believe in, but it has no merit. It's another one of those ideas that seems plausible, but doesn't stand up to a closer look.

I added a couple of new articles to my "Fragrance" section today. One, the article titled "Volatility of Fragrances", debunks the flash point theory. See Table of contents | Soapy Stuff
 

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