Evergreen frangrance?

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bakmthiscl

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I'm probably a maverick when it comes to soapmaking, but I see no point in spending big bucks on ingredients for soap. My soap is made from grease drippings, used cooking oil, or worse! (I'd make my own lye, but don't burn enough wood to make it practical.)

So when the latest batch smelled greasier than usual, due to the poor quality oil, I got to thinking about milling it and adding a fragrance. However, I'm not one to buy fragrance oils. I considered using Pine Sol, but it's less than 7% pine oil. I looked up pine tar and concluded I don't want a potential carcinogen in my soap.

So what I'm thinking is to use evergreen needles directly. I'd have tried this already, but my last arborvitae bit the dust this past year and I no longer have a home-grown source. Not to worry -- Christmas is coming and there soon will be lots of waste evergreens free for the hauling!

Now, some folks soak the crushed needles in sweet oil to absorb the aroma, but I figure that just gives you a lot of -- expensive -- sweet oil with a little aroma. Others steam distill out essential oils, which I know how to do, but I consider that an excessive effort considering I'm just making soap.

Therefore I'm considering extracting the oils into a thick soft soap and water mixture, then sieving the resultant mess to remove the bulk of the solids. My logic is that I want the fragrance in the soap, not in a little bottle or in some oil, so why not extract it directly into the soap? I'd use just enough water to make this possible, blending the material and possibly heating it to facilitate the extraction. I'd then combine the sieved mess with additional, milled soap to "flavor" the batch. With luck, I might even get some color out of the needles as well!

What I'm looking for here is relevant experience. Have you done such a thing yourself? Do you know a better way (that I have not eliminated, above, already)?
 

shunt2011

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If you are talking about adding the needles to a rebatch you can give it a try but I don't think you are gong to get what you are looking for. If doing CP generally nothing much from other ingredients other than an EO or FO survive the soponification process as far as getting a scent from them. I've not tried your ideas so can't speak first hand. Sounds like way more effort than I'd want to do.
 

judymoody

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I tried this with both cedar and juniper fronds in CP soap. The lye killed the scent.

I agree that if you tried this with HP and added it towards the end of the process, it might have a chance.

Seriously, you can get a decent fragrance oil for 2-2.50 per ounce which will scent two pounds of soap. Worth it in my opinion, especially if you're not spending money on oils. Try Nature's Garden for good selection and prices.
 

bakmthiscl

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There is no lye left in this soap. Milling is done after saponification is complete.

This little batch I'm working on weighs in at about 16 lbs, meaning the store-bought fragrance would add an unnecessary $16 to the price, according to judymoody's figures. I'll stick with my approach for now.

BTW, I make my soap at whatever temperature will cause it to "trace" virtually immediately -- 150 F, I believe. I see no downside to this because I don't use additives that don't behave at the higher temperature.
 

bakmthiscl

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Follow-up. I tried this with pine needles. The pine smelled wonderful, but the quantity of needles needed was outrageous. Clearly, the way to get the scent from evergreen is by steam-distillation. That's not hard to do, but takes equipment larger than anything I have.
 

jenneelk

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I'd soften in a steam basket for a while and then puree the heck out of them and strain in cheese cloth then add direct to the soap. Maybe this is similar to what you did? I didn't fully understand the instructions you wrote out.
 

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