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Best method for making little FO tester soaps

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not_ally

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Ok, just read Jen's FO tester thread, and I am going to ask a totally stupid question. What is the easiest way to test fragrances in individual small amts? I have been making whole (small, 1 lb) loafs to test, but (a) that is a waste if the test doesn't work out and (b) it is a LOT of soap/work when you have a bunch of FO's to test, I have 40 or 50 set aside probably.

I assume that (a) you make a batch of batter that is big enough to make "x" amt of bars. Eg, I would probably use my BB 12 bar round silicone mold: http://www.brambleberry.com/12-Bar-R...old-P5214.aspx, each bar is 4 oz. So 48 oz of batter, total. Do you only mix the batch to emulsion so that it stays pourable as long as possible?

The hard part for me is after that, how much FO do you put in each bar, and how do you get it in there? A certain amount of drops for each bar, using a new dropper each time? And then kind of swoosh the FO around in each bar with a different mixing stick (popsicle stick, maybe) so it is mixed? I guess I am wondering how you can figure out how much FO to use, and how to keep mixing the individual scents and then pouring the next ones without having the batter get really thick.

Anyone who has a great testing technique, any insight much appreciated.
 

TeresaT

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I watched a video on YouTube with a lady testing a bunch of FOs. She lined up a bunch of paper cups, wrote the name of a FO on each cup, added a few drops of scent and then she mixed up her batter. After that was done, she poured the batter into each cup and her DH stirred each one with a wooden stick and put it on a tray off to the side. She made the batter pretty thin so it would last through the whole thing. I think she had almost 40 FO samples she was doing. If you grabbed a couple of friends, some Dixie bathroom cups, disposable droppers, and craft sticks, you could bang them out in no time. Hope this helps or at least gives you an idea. I'll try to find that video and post a link to it. (If I can figure out how to do that.)

Edit: It was Ivy Coreen, "Testing Frarance Oils from Soapalooza Part 2." She actually has little sample vials not droppers, sorry. But it might still give you an idea. Maybe check Soapalooza site to see how much is in the sample vials?
 
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kumudini

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B, I would probably do 1 tsp of FO per bar to get a rate of 1.0oz ppo. At that rate, I once calculated that there would be 1 gram of FO per oz of soap, so I would probably measure out 1 tsp or 4 grams of FO into each pre labeled Dixie cup and measure out 4 oz of soap batter into each one. Or you could use the jumbo muffin cups.

ETA: well, Teresa beat me to it!
 

not_ally

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Thanks, Teresa! The dixie cup idea sounds really good. The friend thing, less so, my friends are pretty sick of hearing me talk about soap, I don't think I would have many volunteers to patiently stir, although that would make things *so* much easier and quicker. Although they are happy to *get* endless free soap. I wish the doggies had opposable thumbs :)

I will go google youtube for that video, don't spend your time doing it.

Still curious about amt of FO to add to samples, especially since usage rates vary, and part of why I am testing is to evaluate acceleration, which will depend in part on concentration. Just wondering if there is a way to sort of estimate this w/o painstakingly calculating for each one.
 

not_ally

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Perfect, K, thanks! I think that is a good idea, it is a pretty high rate, so there is no A in the sample, there shouldn't be in bigger batches. And if there is, at least it is a red flag. This makes me think, I might do two of each, one at .05, one at .1, just to check the differences in the scent level.
 

kumudini

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Perfect, K, thanks! I think that is a good idea, it is a pretty high rate, so there is no A in the sample, there shouldn't be in bigger batches. And if there is, at least it is a red flag. This makes me think, I might do two of each, one at .05, one at .1, just to check the differences in the scent level.
I thought you generally use one ounce FO ppo. And if you get 5-6 soaps out of a one pound oil batch, 1 tsp per bar makes perfect sense to me. Didn't understand why you think that's high. If you would rather start at 0.5oz ppo, you would still need 1/2 tsp per bar. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

not_ally

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I *do* usually use 1 oz ppo (wow, you have a good memory!). But I am becoming convinced that I am too heavy-handed after seeing every one else's usage rates. Espec. b/c I have come across some posts that say that some scents are actually nicer at low rates. So the .5 thing would be, in part, to see the difference (although it is hard for me to imagine ever going *that* low). It sure would be nice to be able to use less FO, that is by far the most expensive part of the soaping process for me ...
 

TVivian

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I'm not that precise when making soap testers. I make a big batch of soap, hit it with the stick blender for just a few pulses, then I weigh it out in 7oz increments with .4oz of FO.. The amount is more than the 1 ounce PPO that I'd use in real life, but it's just easier to do it this way. 7 ounces is enough batter to put in a small measuring cup and stick blend to really see if there is ricing or acceleration and it fills my BB individual cavity molds. I don't use droppers or anything, I usually just fill the lid of the FO and drip it into the batter.
 

fuzz-juzz

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I mix batter to emulsion, divide into recyclable cups or few of the little pitchers that I have. They are all lined up and ready to go together with the individual moulds. I only test about 5-6 at the time so for me there's really no need to label anything.
I use 0.5 oz of FO per half a kg or pound. I usually get 8-ish individual bars depending on how much liquid I use. I am not too fussed though and tend to use about 2mm of FO from each 1 oz FO bottle per bar. Seems enough and there's just enough fragrance left in the cured bar. I prefer adding FO into cups after the soap batter as few times FO just eneded up not mixed through at sitting at the bottom after pouring into the moulds. I used to use wooden skewers but they weren't really up to the job so I got few cheap mini whisks and they are great. I just mix after adding FO, no stick blending, too much work, and even at emulsion, my tester soaps have always set. I never had problem with separating or similar.
It's what I do with big batches anyway, I never stick blend after adding FO. If there's any acceleration, seezing or ricing, it will start to show even without stick blending FO into the batter.
I tested one NG FO the other day in a little soap luckily, it riced within few seconds of pouring FO into the batter.
 

not_ally

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Thanks, Viv. I am overthinking this, as you showed me. Your way will be easier. FuzzJuzz, you must be an expert at this, I remember your posts on how much FO costs over there! I didn't think of labeling, but actually I am glad you brought it up b/c I think I will, I am going to try and do a bunch in a couple of days so I can just get it over with, and I know I will get things mixed up o/w. Anyway, thanks to you all, I think I have some kind of system in mind now!
 

jenneelk

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Yes I have done the dixie cups and also some little mini muffin bottoms. Made one batch and put a tiny sticker with a number that went to a scent and put it next to each one or on the cup. Then just put I think 1 oz of batch and mixed.
This was a while back and while it worked well.. I didn't in the end find it useful. lol
I actually just read up on fragrances and others have to say and then if it's one that changes out of the bottle, then I put it aside and do a mini batch once I get a few.
 

fuzz-juzz

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Haha thanks!
Yes I was sooo done with 1kg soaps not smelling as promised. I usually just buy 1oz bottle and if it's a dud it's nit a big waste. If it'sort of OK I tend to use it in wax melts and liquid soap.
Otherwise it's destined for bin.
I remembered the NG FO I tried. It's one their newish ones, it's called Viva la juicy. OOB is OK but it riced like crazy and it turned into this weird cheap old lady perfume smell (no offense to anyone I hope) :)
 

galaxyMLP

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I do mine in little condiment 4 oz cups. I make one big batch and then portion out the soap (as other people do) at thin trace. I use a conversion assuming a density of 1 for the fragrance and do about 1 oz ppo amount (I think it comes out to 4 ml?)

I write on them with a sharpie. I like that it's clear so I can see it change as it saponifies. I also always run a control with no fragrance in it. :)

Sorry, I have a great pic but I won't let me upload. Let me go get the link to the SMF post I did about those fragrances...
 

not_ally

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Thanks, K. Would love to see the pic. I'm not sure if I can match your sciency testing standards, but it will be good to try!
 

gigisiguenza

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I was wondering about this myself. If I wanted to test FOs, would it work if I prepped say a dozen little containers (throw away kind) by writing the fo on it , then add batter to each, then drop appropriate amounts of fo in, then let cure in the cup? My logic is I won't get confused because they stay in their original labeled cups until it's time to pop em out lol
 

galaxyMLP

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Yes! Those are it! And apparently on the post I was looking for I must've had trouble then as well b/c they aren't there either!

Ha! I finally got it! I had to resize it...

And yes, I cured them in the cups!

Also, if you're wondering why I did this ony my stove, I'd like you to know I don't have much counter space.. And what I do have is made up of those little tiles that are uneven. I soap on the stove top b/c its smooth and easy to clean!

And to clarify, I did the calculation again and for 2 oz of batter you should be adding ~3 ml of fragrance to get ~ 1 oz of fragrance (assuming a density of 1 and an oil amount of 70% of total batter weight. (1 is the density of water and fragrances will almost always be lower)

IMG_20150506_155254.jpg

IMG_20150506_155143.jpg
 
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gigisiguenza

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Galaxy that's what I was envisioning myself. You cure in the cups the whole time?
 

galaxyMLP

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After they harden some, I poped them out so that air would circulate around them (they are loose in the cup). This way they can evaporate all the way around
 

gigisiguenza

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After they harden some, I poped them out so that air would circulate around them (they are loose in the cup). This way they can evaporate all the way around
Cool, that's what I was wondering :)
 

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