I gel 90 percent of the time. Some feel the sent is better in an ungeled soap. I think it is as good or better in a geled soap myself. I am fairly confident that the geled soap is smoother and ready to sell a bit faster than ungeled soap. Just my personal feelings and observations. Others may feel differently....that is cool. 8)
Brian, this is going to depend on 'which' ones you use. Some fos, and EOs, burn of in the heat more quickly than others, or maybe I should say some of the 'properties' burn off more quickly. You may lose more of some but less of others. That's why you get 'morphed' scents, some of which smell really grand!
I use only EOs and gel all my soaps. But I also cover ALL my batches with a heavy cover (3/4in plywood) until they are completely gelled. I remove them and cool them quickly. It took a lot of experimenting to find a way to reduce the amounts of EOs I have to use but I founs what works for me. So who can really give you a correct answer. It will depend on the individual methods used, I think.
(Hope that doesn't sound condecending. It isn't meant to be )
I think maybe people expect soaps to be overly fragrant when they use them in the shower?[/quote]
I have the opposite problem. I can't smell my own soaps after I've been in my tent for a while. Customers come in saying how great it smells, & how they smelled it from down the way, & I just smile thinking, "Thank Gawd, 'cause I can't smell a thing!!!!"
It really does depend on the scent. Citrus scents tend to be short-lived. I can't get my Green Tea FO to stick, so I gave up on it. There are high notes, medium notes & low notes in the scent world. You might do some research on that & see if you can anchor those scents that don't stick.
Most of my soaps gel, & people sniff & say, "Oh!!! That smells sooooo good!!"
I'm thinking your customers are used to smelling strooooong fragrances. I get so sick of smelling other women's cheap colognes when I'm in public. The other day I was walking up a hallway & could smell the cologne of a woman sitting way up the hallway & around the corner in the main entrance. Sheeeeeeeeeeeesh!!! Everywhere I go, it's the same scent (whichever one is popular at the time.) Makes me NOT want to buy it. Which I don't, 'cause I make my own fragrance oils from EO's, FO's & carrier oils. I get lots of compliments. I think it's mostly because they're scents no one else is wearing. I always get compliments when I'm wearing either Dragon's Blood or Amber.
Good for you for deciding to stick with the recommended useage amounts!