Coffee soap doesn't want to smell of coffee

Discussion in 'Beginners Soap Making Forum' started by Izzye, Oct 25, 2017.

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  1. Oct 25, 2017 #1

    Izzye

    Izzye

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    I've been trying for several months now to make a coffee soap that smells of coffee and it just doesn't seem to want to work. I started off with my base mix of oils; olive, coconut, rapeseed, and castor and added ground coffee which made a very nice exfoliating bar but didn't smell of coffee. I've since tried soaking the coffee, adding coffee butter, adding instant coffee, adding the strongest espresso I could make, replacing all of the water with coffee. Is this just a smell which isn't going to stay without some sort of artificial intervention? Or is there a trick to it that I haven't come across?
     
  2. Oct 25, 2017 #2

    toxikon

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    Unfortunately very few natural scents like coffee or beer will survive the lye. And if they do survive, it's likely they'll fade away fast. You'll probably need to bite the bullet and add a Coffee FO to your soap.
     
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  3. Oct 25, 2017 #3

    Izzye

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    I had a horrible feeling that was going to be the answer. I've been trying desperately to avoid artificial anything in any of my soaps as I have very sensitive skin that hates everything.
     
  4. Oct 25, 2017 #4

    DeeAnna

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    What Toxicon said. Think about it -- if using an essential oil or fragrance oil in soap, soapers add anywhere from 3% to 6% to get a definite, long lasting scent. If you add coffee to the soap, whether the ground bean or brewed coffee or both, how much of the the actual scent-making chemicals do you think you're adding to the batch? Even if I think it's reasonable that it's 1% of the total batch (which I don't), even a potent EO or FO is likely to be pretty faint at 1%, and I don't think coffee aroma qualifies as being that strong. To get a definite, lasting scent in soap, you need a scent that survives saponification AND it needs to be strong enough to make a difference AND you need to use enough of it.
     
  5. Oct 25, 2017 #5

    dixiedragon

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    You could put coffee grounds or whole beans on the top and you'd get a bit of smell from them.

    Someone here was experimenting with letting their coffee soap cure beside some coffee grounds and swore the bars absorbed a light coffee scent from that.

    For natural coffee scent in other products (lip balm, lotion) you can get coffee butter.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2017 #6

    Susie

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    I have very sensitive skin, and was trying to only use EOs, but I found that as long as the FO is phthalate free, that it does not bother me at all. YMMV
     
  7. Oct 26, 2017 #7

    Dreamer

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    You can try adding coffee essential oil. I hear it smells like freshly brewed coffee. I only use essential oils for fragrance in soap. Some of the scents stay better than others, but I have found that having the EO soak in kaolin clay while getting the rest of the oils and lye together for the recipe seems to help the fragrances of the EOs stay stronger and longer in the finished soaps. If you end up trying it, please post about your findings. I have been thinking about giving it a try, but am not ready for a new order just yet.
     
  8. Oct 26, 2017 #8

    artemis

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    EO can be skin irritants, too. EO doesn't automatically mean it's safer than an FO. What does "sensitive" mean to you? Is it a tightness in the skin? Dry and flaky skin? Acne breakouts on your face? An allergic reaction?
     
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  9. Oct 26, 2017 #9

    Kamahido

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    I too would be interested in the results of such an experiment. If you happen to come across or know of a supplier of quality 100% Coffee Essential Oil for under $100 per pound I would also like to know.
     
  10. Oct 26, 2017 #10

    cmzaha

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    I totally agree, I am much better off with synthetic fo versus EO's. When I was younger I was even told to use synthetic vitamins. So not all synthetic is Bad. Try a small batch with a nice coffee fo and see what happens. But then you have to get it out of the head that all "synthetic" is bad. Lavender is another I can run into trouble with and many pine eo's since I am allergic to pine. Also the small amount of eo in a bar of soap which is diluted with water upon use is a very minimal amount. I am by no means saying something will not bother you but could be worth a try as long on a small area such as inside an elbow
     
  11. Oct 26, 2017 #11

    saratk

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    I've used Plant Therapy's coffee essential oil in my soap with great success. I use only their small 10ml bottle for almost 3 lbs. of soap and the smell still comes clearly across and is wonderful. Adding coffee beans to the top of the soap also helps accentuate the coffee smell - those beans stay fragrant for quite a long time.
    I do also replace the lye water with chilled coffee and add brewed coffee grounds (it's a scrub bar) so perhaps that also helps. I end up with a great coffee-smelling bar every time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  12. Oct 26, 2017 #12

    Ivanstein

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    I have made coffee soap that smells somewhat like coffee. Its not a "blow you away" coffee scent, but a mild scent.

    I made hot process coconut and olive oil soap, substituting some strong over brewed coffee for the water. Cooked it until it was fully saponified. Really cooked. And then cooked a bit more.

    Then, and I think this was key, I put in some old grounds that had been in the filter for a day or twelve. They were very hydrated and really odiferous. My original intent was to make a mechanic's soap that worked like Lava brand soap.

    It worked well to scrub with and had a slight coffee scent.

    My take is that the lye was all converted and didnt destroy any of the aromatic compounds of the coffee. The hot process may have degraded it some what.

    I think if you want really good coffee smell, you'd have to put some instant coffee in the soap after the cook before molding. I would make sure its well powdered unless you like the roughness of the grounds, then use some espresso ground coffee grounds that are well used.

    However, I dont think you're going to get a "neighbors asking what kind of coffee" scent from natural based sources easily. Maybe doing an infusion of some sweet almond oil or safflower oil as a neutral base and use it as a superfat added after the cook?
     
  13. Oct 26, 2017 #13

    Kittish

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    I've tried that. It didn't work. I still have a jar full of coffee infused oil that smells absolutely heavenly.

    Here's the thread where I tried to make a coffee scented soap without resorting to FOs or really, really expensive coffee EOs. http://www.soapmakingforum.com/showthread.php?t=64055
     

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