My second batch I decided to scent with a strong pine needle, juniper tea. The water after straining was unbelievably strong smelling. I used that as my lye water. The soap ended up not smelling like anything. Actually, it initially smelled slightly of dirt, then it just smelled kind of creamy. And not a creamy smell that I particularly like. So, naturally scenting soap, in my experience, doesn't work.
I understand what you mean by naturally. I understand that essential oils are "natural", but they don't get distilled by nature, so they really aren't. They are involved in a man produced process to get them that way.
But if something as extra stinky as pine needle water didn't work, I'm not sure what would.
Donald, that is a very black & white view of what is natural. Do you then believe that the oils we are all using are not natual? I mean, they all went thru a man-made process to extract the oils from the nut/seed/fruit. And your pine needle & juniper tea - you boiled the water and made the tea yourself? Another man-made process.
My point is, essential oils are considered natural. Granted, some go thru less process, some go thru more, but they are considered natural.
As for scenting your soap with the liquid used to dissolve your lye - be it juniper tea, aloe vera juice, coffee, beer, etc - in my experience the scent will not carry thru. In my experience, you do need to add some kind of fragrance, be it essential oils or fragrance oils, to scent your soap.