Anchoring scent with bentonite clay - then using BC for design...

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kagey

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Let's say I separate my batch into thirds at early trace.
I add activated charcoal to one ⅓ batch
I keep another third as my base.
and I add my scented bentonite to the last third. (so that ALL EOs are in this portion of the batch)

Then I make pretty swirly things...

When cured, will only the bentonite clay design have scent (and therefore be at a higher concentrate than recommened)? Or will the EOs/scent permeate throughout the entier soap?
 
A

amd

If you're only doing 1/3 of the batch scented, I don't think you can use the full amount of scent - but I also wouldn't cut so far as 1/3 of the fragrance. I would probably do half the scent amount - but you're relying a bit on the being dispersed doing use. I personally wouldn't do it this way and just make sure that my scented portion of the soap batter is the greater amount of the batter.
 

kagey

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You would need to adjust the amount of EO added to just enough for the top layer.

I'm assuming you mean that my EO calculations should be proportionate to the part of the batch I'm scenting. So if I'm only scenting ⅓ of the batch, I should only use ⅓ of the recommended amount of EOs.
Which seems logical. But then, I got to thinking about my current charcoal soap:

I didn't want to make my charcoal soap black. So I split my soap up into portions and put the activated charcoal in just one portion -- creating a black river in the soap. I put 3 tsp in that one small section of soap (which was what was recommended for the entire soap) and it seems to work fine. When it's rubbed and dissolves in water, it essentially behaves as if the entire soap was black. (Lather, bubbles and rinse off are discolored.)

So this got me to thinking:
If I only scent a portion of my soap - the same process should occur. No? Your nose won't be able to tell where the scent came from. It will assume that it's in the entire soap as it dissolves.

But my concern is the skin-irritantion part of EOs. If the "swirlies" are concentrated with EOs, would they cause skin irritation? Or since they will dissolve at equal rate as the rest of the soap that surrounds it, will the EOs become less "toxic" because they're skin-irritation effect will be diluted by the non-scented portion of the soap that they will mix with?

Or will the scent permeate throughout the entire soap during the curing phase?
If water molecules from the center of the soap are able to traverse freely inside the curing soap, maybe the scent molecules can do the same? Aren't we told that soap scents dissipate the longer they're cured?

Why bother?
What do I gain by bucking conventional thinking?
Well - if the EO scents do try to escape during curing, placing them in the center of the soap seems like the best way to have a soap keep a stronger scent. The harder it is for the scent to escape, the more smell the soap will have. (Thus we could probably get away with using less EOs.)

Or if they don't, I think having rivers (or swirlies) of EO scents could be way of making the scents stronger and could make the soap more "dynamic" where the scent of your soap would be in the constant state of flux depending on which river (or swirly) you're rubbing off at the time.

Since I'm using more than one EO - I realize my alternative would be to use one EO for one portion of the batch (adhering to EO guidelines), another for the other and the remaining for the last portion. But wondered if I put all of it in just the swirly if it would work the same -- or if the high concentration of EO in the bentonite swirly would behave as if I overloaded my entire soap.

Has anybody experimented with this?
 
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This is my process for when I make multi-colored soap or swirls. After stirring my oils and lye solution together, I divide the batter into separate cups. Each cup will get a different colorant. ALL cups get the same essential oil blend.
 

CpnDouchette

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You'd want to check safe usage rates as well. I dont think you'd necessarily need to limit EO useage to a third but you would need to ensure you aren't using it at an unsafe concentration for that portion of batter. In your example re: AC, you aren't going to run into any irritation issues if used in concentrated doses. It's also worth mentioning that if you use, say 40 or 50 mls of EO in a small portion of batter that it may not behave as you would expect so you probably want to stick within the realms of normal.

In my very new go soap making days I forgot to add a FO and dumped it all in a small portion of batter at the end. I did end up using it against my better judgement. The FO smell is concentrated in that layer but given I dont only use one layer of a soap bar at a time, the unequal scenting doesn't bother me and isn't overly apparent when using the bar.
 
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