Curing soaps and essential oil scents

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spiritpots

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I have what is perhaps an unusual question regarding the smell of essential oils as my soap cures. I cure my soaps on a bakers rack in my office in my house and generally make a couple batches (two dozen bars) every month or so and have never found the scent of the curing soap to be an issue. However, my inventory is getting pretty low so I've been making a lot of soap over the past couple of weeks and now I'm finding that the scent from the freshly made curing soap is too strong for me and I had to move all of the curing soap into another room. I know there are many ways people cure their soap from open shelving like I use to curing it in dresser drawers, closets or other more enclosed spaces, but have always thought it is best for soap to cure in a more open space. Once the soap is fully cured (12 weeks or so) I put each type in plastic bins for longer storage.

I soap using the hot process method and use between 2-4% of essential oils in my recipes and after curing the soaps smell great and retain their scents nicely. It's just now at the beginning of curing, and with so many soaps curing at the same time, that I've encountered this situation. I tend to be more sensitive to fragrance in general so I'm sure that's why I'm noticing this. If anyone else has experienced this or has any suggestions I would love to hear them. Thank you!
 

AliOop

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I have the same issue. My curing racks are kept in a rarely-used guest bedroom. Smells terrific when I walk in, but I can't stay in there too long, esp with certain EOs or FOs that tend to give me a headache. One of them in particular makes me absolutely nauseous when it is first poured, so I wear a respirator when pouring, cutting, and putting on the racks. It's ok after a few days, but I wouldn't even use that FO at all, if it weren't so popular.
 

spiritpots

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I have the same issue. My curing racks are kept in a rarely-used guest bedroom. Smells terrific when I walk in, but I can't stay in there too long, esp with certain EOs or FOs that tend to give me a headache. One of them in particular makes me absolutely nauseous when it is first poured, so I wear a respirator when pouring, cutting, and putting on the racks. It's ok after a few days, but I wouldn't even use that FO at all, if it weren't so popular.
I've got my soaps curing in our guest room, too. I'm sure people would walk in and say how wonderful it smells in there! I make my soap on a counter in front of a window and open it wide when I mix in the essential oils. I also wear a mask and eye protection (over my glasses) and was just telling my husband I may get a face shield to wear as well. He chuckled at the thought of what I would look like but understands my point completely. Much is discussed about wearing proper protective gear when working with lye but scents can be pretty intense, too! I hadn't thought of wearing a respirator when cutting the soaps but will give that a try as well. Thanks!
 

AliOop

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You are welcome! I only have to wear the respirator for certain scents that really wreck me. For the rest, I don't because enjoying the scent is part of the fun! It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to wear it all the time though to avoid sensitization, which does happen to some soapmakers over time. Unfortunately, I'm barely patient enough to wear a face shield and am always wanting to pull it off. But I clean enough splashes and smudges off of it to know that I NEED to keep it on.
 

Susie

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I am sensitive to some scents. I used to store my soap in my husband's "library" but now it has become my "office" as I work from home now. I had to relocate the soaps to another room.

Long story short, you have to do whatever it takes to take care of yourself. Whether it is wearing gloves and goggles, or moving curing soaps to a less used part of the house. Take care of yourself.
 

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