Cocoa butter advice please

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DMack

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I opened my Shea butter today to discover cocoa butter instead, can’t return it as the Amazon window has closed so I’m going to give it a go. Some advice though please

- does it lose its smell in soap? If not what fragrances work well with it?
- what kind of bar does it make? I use shea up to 10%; can it be like for like?

thanks in advance

Deb
 

TheGecko

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I use both at 10%. In an unscented soap and lotion bars I notice the chocolate scent, but not in most scented soaps.

Because everyone is going to have a different opinion and you have a whole bucket to use...run some test soaps at 10% and 15% and see what YOU think.
 
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Ive used cocoa butter in my cp soap & I could detect just a hint ever so slight & sometimes not at all depending on the amount of cocoa butter used. Now if your soap is HP & you add your cocoa butter after gelled phase you will smell the cocoa butter a little more. In body lotion I use unscented cocoa butter.
 
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I have never used Cocoa Butter in soap. Nor have I ever realized that you might be able to smell it after soaping with it. I just assumed that it would get eaten by the lye monster lol. I might make a small test batch to try it out for myself. I LOVE love love the smell of cocoa butter!!

I use the scented type in my lip balms because you can smell it and I don't use fragrance in some of them just because of that.
 
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I used to use it to help with hardness ( as a vegan soaper), but it got too expensive so I switched to soy wax. My early recipes used 5 - 10% tops ( due to expense) but always with 10 - 15% shea butter. Those were the only 'hard' fats I used aside from CO (which doesn't contribute to soap longevity). Mine must have been deodorised/refined because I don't remember any smell. Actually - thinking out loud I bought it from the supermarket so it can't have been deodorised if it was for food? Still didn't notice any smell when mixed with everything else.
 
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All the three-ish kinds of cocoa butter I had bought in a stationary store were deodorised. People (including me) are surprised how (not overly strong but) penetrating the smell of unrefined cocoa butter is. Probably they don't want to deal with complaints (I wouldn't complain 😇).
But seriously, cocoa butter is extreme. I have had mine delivered, opened the box – it smelled like cocoa butter, before even digging towards the CB jar. I've melted it up, put the pieces into plastic bags, into a cupboard – it smells like cocoa butter whenever I open the door. The silicone moulds I've used – smell like cocoa butter. One year old CB soap – smells like cocoa butter. Washing hands with that soap – and the skin smells like cocoa butter.

I haven't tried to integrate this CB smell into a fragrance profile, but I don't think it's difficult. For obvious reasons, it fits well with everything chocolatey. But it might do just as well with coffee, sweet/biscuity/malty notes, vanilla, peru balsam, ginger, maybe the inevitable oatmeal%milk%honey? Then anything citrus (orange, litsea cubeba, tangerine, lemon tea tree, bergamot).
I imagine a luxurious bar high in cocoa butter, with a vanilla FO strongly discolouring to a deep brown … mmmh

tl;dr: It makes no sense to work against cocoa butter, smell wise. Work with it, and it'll reward you.

And oh, even if you can't return it, I'd contact the seller nonetheless, if only for their warehousing/QM. Or tell them you're fine when they send you the more expensive product at the price of the cheaper.
 
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I recently made a soy wax soap with 10% cocoa butter and forgot to add the FO. The cured soap has a pleasant, soft cocoa butter scent. I like cocoa butter in soap and use 20% in a recipe that features butters. I don’t make a lot of that recipe due to the price of the butters.
 

earlene

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What you can smell from the ingredients in soap after saponification is complete really truly depends a great deal on your olfactory sense; some have a more sensitive nose than others and can smell things many others cannot. So the answers you are getting is based on personal experience based on each person's own olfactory sense. We are NOT all created equal when it comes to the sense of smell. The majority may not smell something, or have become de-sensitized to a particular odor, but that does not mean that all other people will smell nothing.

With most soaps I make with CB at a low percentage, and a mix of other oils, the CB odor isn't very strong nor singular; it mixes with the scents of the other ingredients (they are all altered). Different soap formulas result in varied different scents, which are noticeable at first, but as my nose gets used to them, I don't notice them as much later on.

With 100% CB soap, the CB scent remains for a very long time in the soap. This is even true with refined CB. I have never purposely purchased deodorized CB because I have no desire to eliminate the natural CB fragrance, because I am really quite fond of the fragrance.

As far as what it does in soap, due to the fatty acid make-up of CB, it makes a harder bar, but I think you knew that already, A higher percentage of CB detracts from bubbles and it also seems to make a more brittle bar, but other than the 100% CB soap I have made, for the most part, I use it at lower percentages so normally that does not happen.
 

DMack

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What you can smell from the ingredients in soap after saponification is complete really truly depends a great deal on your olfactory sense; some have a more sensitive nose than others and can smell things many others cannot. So the answers you are getting is based on personal experience based on each person's own olfactory sense. We are NOT all created equal when it comes to the sense of smell. The majority may not smell something, or have become de-sensitized to a particular odor, but that does not mean that all other people will smell nothing.

With most soaps I make with CB at a low percentage, and a mix of other oils, the CB odor isn't very strong nor singular; it mixes with the scents of the other ingredients (they are all altered). Different soap formulas result in varied different scents, which are noticeable at first, but as my nose gets used to them, I don't notice them as much later on.

With 100% CB soap, the CB scent remains for a very long time in the soap. This is even true with refined CB. I have never purposely purchased deodorized CB because I have no desire to eliminate the natural CB fragrance, because I am really quite fond of the fragrance.

As far as what it does in soap, due to the fatty acid make-up of CB, it makes a harder bar, but I think you knew that already, A higher percentage of CB detracts from bubbles and it also seems to make a more brittle bar, but other than the 100% CB soap I have made, for the most part, I use it at lower percentages so normally that does not happen.
I had read it could contribute to a harder bar, but know little else and was curious to hear of others experiences. That’s one of the things I enjoy about this forum, the openness and willingness to share to help. Soaping can get expensive and while I love experimenting I don’t sell my soaps so it’s completely self funded. If anyone can help me not to make an expensive mistake I am very grateful. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply
 

Wooddy

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I have never used Cocoa Butter in soap. Nor have I ever realized that you might be able to smell it after soaping with it. I just assumed that it would get eaten by the lye monster lol. I might make a small test batch to try it out for myself. I LOVE love love the smell of cocoa butter!!

I use the scented type in my lip balms because you can smell it and I don't use fragrance in some of them just because of that.
I am interested in making lip balms do you know where I could find some nice recipes.
 

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