# Explain it like I'm five: EO & Fragrance usage in cp soap

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#### beloved_icecream_bar

##### Member
Hello again! Second post ever, also concerning EOs. This time I need to express my confusion about usage rates in cp soap.
Thusfar I've been measuring my eo by the drop, (I use a scale for everything else) which I understand is unreliable for consistency. I've found guides like these:

https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/essential-oil-usage-rates-ifra-guidelines/

https://lovelygreens.com/make-soap-with-essential-oils/

As well as this handy calculator:

http://www.eocalc.com/enter-your-own-blend/

But I'm still SUPER confused. For example, if I want to make a batch of soap using 40oz of my base oils, do I then HAVE use a total of 1.25oz of EO? And does that mean, if I were to make a soap using, say, bergamot and cedar, would I (or should I) use the maximum rate for both? Bergamot has a rate of .70oz PPO and cedar is .40oz PPO. What if I want to use another EO like sage in there too? Will adding less than the maximum still produce a distinct scent? The calculator seems extremely self-explanatory, though I'm nervous about wasting supplies :c

You can use a total of 1.25 oz by your calculations. What percentages you use of each is totally up to you as long as you don't exceed the usage rate for each individual EO's. So, if the usage rate at the top for bergamot is 5%, don't use more than that in your formula.

As Shari explained, 1.25 oz is the suggested maximum TOTAL weight of scent in your example. This isn't the weight of each individual scent.

"...Bergamot has a rate of .70oz PPO and cedar is .40oz PPO...."

And if these EOs have a maximum INDIVIDUAL weight that adds up to less than the suggested max TOTAL, then you must respect the individual max weights for safety reasons. For your example: 0.70 + 0.40 = 1.1 total max weight.

"...Will adding less than the maximum still produce a distinct scent?..."

It depends on the scent and on your nose. You'll have to try it and see -- there are no guarantees.

Would it be feasible to use a certain percentage of a carrier oil such as jojoba then place smaller amounts of eo in it, and have that all equal to 1.25oz? Or is a carrier not necessary at all?

No, a carrier oil is not necessary -- you're over-complicating this. If you're using the EOs in soap, just weigh out the EOs and use them.

As DeeAnna said, you will have to experiment to see how much EO YOU want in the the soap to get the fragrance level you want. "rule of thumb" is an ounce or so of FO per pound for most people, I want much less than that.

The only real hard and fast rule is to pay attention to the maximum recommended amounts for EOs, as many of them contain irritants. A strongly scented soap that gives you a rash when you use it won't be very popular, I don't think.....

Would it be feasible to use a certain percentage of a carrier oil such as jojoba then place smaller amounts of eo in it, and have that all equal to 1.25oz? Or is a carrier not necessary at all?
If the suggested total eo amount is 1.25 oz and your chosen Eos only allow you to use 1.1oz, just leave it at that. Adding in the carrier oil won't increase the scent at all, and you don't HAVE to use the 1.25oz at all.

As an example, some people might have a particularly strong scent which they could safely use up to and beyond 1.25oz. But because it's so strong, they only add in 0.85oz which they know would be plenty.

I need to express my confusion about usage rates in cp soap. Thus far I've been measuring my eo by the drop,
It is confusing! I hope I can help clear some things up for you.
Drops + Carrier Oil = Used to make non-soap products. For example, 10 drops EO blend in 5 ml carrier oil such as jojojba, or my personal favorite, FCO (Fractionated Coconut Oil) is a formula typical for Roller Bottle Perfume. There are lots of different things you can make with this method, but not soap.
This is also typical of information available on Aromatherapy sites where EOs are used for medicinal or therapeutic purposes, like blends to relieve headaches, stuffy nose, relaxing, energizing, etc. You make up the EO blend and add it to carrier oil. Here is a link to a fun site that is wonderful for making those type of products.

https://www.lovingessentialoils.com/
Okay. So, keep the first link handy to help you understand the use of IFRA recommendations and the 13 difference categories they apply to. The recommended use rate differs depending on what you're making.
The second one, Tanya of Lovely Greens is great for people like yourself who want to make soap scented with essential oils. Her naturally colored soaps are lovely too. The third link - Kenna of Modern Soapmaking is attempting to develop a site where soapers can go to create EO blends and check to see if their blends are safe. You also might want to bookmark this link to Kenna's work in progress -- it has actual EO blends you can try:

http://www.eocalc.com/

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But I'm still SUPER confused. For example, if I want to make a batch of soap using 40oz of my base oils, do I then HAVE use a total of 1.25oz of EO? And does that mean, if I were to make a soap using, say, bergamot and cedar, would I (or should I) use the maximum rate for both? Bergamot has a rate of .70oz PPO and cedar is .40oz PPO. What if I want to use another EO like sage in there too? Will adding less than the maximum still produce a distinct scent? The calculator seems extremely self-explanatory, though I'm nervous about wasting supplies :c

Okay, now here's where it gets tricky. While IFRA can give you the maximum % that's safe to use in any of 13 categories, it is not a suggestion of how much you SHOULD use. As Peter (psfred) said, he uses much less than that. So do I. What you do need to know and understand is how one EO differs from another. Which are toxic? sensitizing? safe for children? and so on. Go to this link to download a wonderful PDF:

http://www.frannsalthealth.com/blog/essential-oils-safety-quick-reference/

So now you want to know how to create an EO blend to use in CP. This is where drops come back into play -- use drops to create the blend you have in mind. Once you've "got it" in drops, the drops are then converted to "parts" or whatever measure you want to use, i.e., oz., gram, teaspoon, mls. Then you can resize the blend to the amount you need. It's important to keep good notes. To see how I create blends go to post #19 on this thread:

The next thing you need to determine is how much of the blend to use in 40 oz. oils. This is totally your preference and the point where your nose gets to decide. SoapCalc has a place for you to enter the amount of EO you'd like to factor into the formula. The default setting is 0.5 oz PPO (per pound oils). That is a good starting point. That may be all you need. I typically type in 0.85 oz. PPO because I know that's the strength I like for most of my fragrances in CP. For 60 oz. oils, I make up a 3-4 oz batch and that usually does the trick.

About wasting supplies... I hear ya! As long as you have some basic knowledge of essential oils and you're creating with drops and scaling up from there, your less likely to fail. It's money well invested. I find that Sun Pure Botanicals has the best value for the dollar. Shop around based on recommendations given here. We're all pretty savvy shoppers. Keep in mind that aromatherapy sites, Young Living and DoTerra EOs are the most expensive. Comparison shop. Don't be fooled by expensive vs. inexpensive EOs. Just because they are more expensive doesn't mean they're better.

Patience, grasshopper. You are at the beginning of a journey that never ends. By this time next year you'll know a lot, but there's always more. There's a lot more in the way of tips and tricks to be learned and this will come in time.

HTH (Hope This Helps)

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Hello again! Second post ever, also concerning EOs. This time I need to express my confusion about usage rates in cp soap.
Thusfar I've been measuring my eo by the drop, (I use a scale for everything else) which I understand is unreliable for consistency. I've found guides like these:

https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/essential-oil-usage-rates-ifra-guidelines/

https://lovelygreens.com/make-soap-with-essential-oils/

As well as this handy calculator:

http://www.eocalc.com/enter-your-own-blend/

But I'm still SUPER confused. For example, if I want to make a batch of soap using 40oz of my base oils, do I then HAVE use a total of 1.25oz of EO? And does that mean, if I were to make a soap using, say, bergamot and cedar, would I (or should I) use the maximum rate for both? Bergamot has a rate of .70oz PPO and cedar is .40oz PPO. What if I want to use another EO like sage in there too? Will adding less than the maximum still produce a distinct scent? The calculator seems extremely self-explanatory, though I'm nervous about wasting supplies :c
So figuring from Modern soap makers eo calc- I get the MAX usages for 40 oz of Oils- would be 40oz divided by 16(one pound) gets 2.50 lbs of oils-- 2.50 times .70(max usage if Bergamot) would leave you with 1.75 OZ MAX... then Cedarwood is max uage of .50 per pound of oils ( so 2.50 times .50= 1.25 OZ of Cedarwood. SO combined that would be 1.75+1.25= 3oz total for 40 ounces of oil(2.5 lbs) keep in mind THIS SI the maximum allowed usage.. so anything under than is fine.. I never use drops I always weigh.. ( but I also weigh everything in Grams to be more precise..) Math is involved in soap making LOTS and LOTS of it..unfortunately.

"...I get the MAX usages for 40 oz of Oils- would be 40oz divided by 16(one pound) gets 2.50 lbs of oils-- 2.50 times .70(max usage if Bergamot) would leave you with 1.75 OZ MAX... then Cedarwood is max uage of .50 per pound of oils ( so 2.50 times .50= 1.25 OZ of Cedarwood. SO combined that would be 1.75+1.25= 3oz total for 40 ounces of oil..."

If I'm following you correctly, then your total EO percentage is 3 oz / 40 oz X 100 = 7.5% in this example. That's an awfully large amount for any scent in soap, whether FO or EO.

Assuming I am correctly following what I think you're saying, then if I had a blend of three EOs (say, bergamot and cedarwood and lavender) then I understand I'd calculate the max usage of lavender and add that to the 1.75 oz bergamot and 1.25 oz cedarwood and get an even higher total percentage of fragrance in the soap.

I really don't think this is correct. You can't keep adding up the max for each EO to get a total. But maybe I'm missing something in your explanation.

I determine a total percentage of fragrance that I want to use -- say 3% ppo or whatever -- and then divide that total amonst whatever EOs I want to use. Maybe bergamot at 1.5%, cedarwood at 1%, and lavender at 0.5%. Add those percentages up and I get back to that 3% max. I then check these percentages for each EO against the safe dosage rates for the EO. If the safe dosage is lower than the calculated amount, then reduce the amount to the safe dosage.

Nao
@missingnojo: Forget about drops when using essential oils to fragrance soap. Look at the place on SoapCalc where you enter the amount of fragrance you want to use:

Here, the math is done for you! Typically, 0.5% is the recommended amount for most EOs or blends added to soap. If you have 3 different EOs you want to use, then you create the blend first by using drops on a cotton or any other method you're comfortable with. Once you have a formula that your nose likes, then you upsize it to the amount you need for the batch. NOTE: A basic knowledge of essential oils is necessary when scenting soap.

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