Fragrance: Where to Start?

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MellonFriend

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I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by trying to understand where and what to buy for scenting my soap. Before doing any research, I had purchased some blends form my favorite aromatherapy essential oil company, thinking I could just add any EO to CP soap and it would work. Some of the blends I bought unfortunately contain citrus, which of course I now learn, tend to fade in CP soap. ☹ Is it worth it at all to try and use a blend like this: Plant Therapy Tutti Fruti ?

Where would you recommend buying fragrance or essential oils for from? I'm looking to spend as little as I can while still buying a product that I will be happy with. Are there any companies that sell samplers?

What size of bottles would you recommend starting out with?
 

CpnDouchette

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I'm in the UK so YMMV but most of our suppliers offer sample sizes of 10 to 30ml which is idea for a small batch depending on what % of FO you want to use. Freshskin, scentymental are all good suppliers offering smaller sizes (again, UK suppliers).

I recommend suppliers that encourage reviews; knowing in advance the FO accelerates or rices is super helpful.

As for what scents? I literally go 'ooh, that sounds nice'. Some are, some really aren't. Some sites will tell you what their most popular scents are as a starting point. Otherwise opt for traditional scents; lemongrass, lavender etc.
 

AliOop

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Buying from essential oils companies that market to the general public, even more reasonable ones like Plant Therapy, will quickly become very, very expensive if you plan to use enough EO to be able to smell it in soap.

Contrary to all the marketing hype, soap and candle suppliers get their EOs in bulk from many of the same distributors and growers used by the MLMs and companies like Plant Therapy. But since the soap and candle suppliers aren't paying for huge marketing campaigns and commissions to all the levels of salespeople (or retail stores in the case of PT), they have much better prices. That being said, PT now has a wholesale program that might be worth checking into, esp if you are armed with the prices offered by soap and candle suppliers.

The other thing to watch for is that not all EOs play well in soap or on skin, including cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and others that can only be used in the tiniest amounts (too tiny to smell in soap).

You can use the Search function at the top of the page to find some great EO threads on here with suggested blends as well as trusted suppliers. I also highly recommend using EOCalc.com to check any blends for skin-safe usage rates. Not all EOs are listed there, but many of the most common ones are.
 

Zing

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Ditto on EOCalc.com !
I buy the small EOs from Whole Foods to see if I like them. Then I buy from Bramble Berry. They are expensive but sometimes are on sale. I'm a hobbyist and buy 7 ounce or 15 ounce bottles. I do not purchase blends, I make my own blends.

For citrus, the 5X or 10X versions stick longer. Also if you combine citrus with litsea cubeba, they stick longer.

When I started I was overwhelmed so I trusted this source on my initial purchases: Essential Oils for Soapmaking: My Top 10 & EO Blends Using Them!
 

bookworm

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I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by trying to understand where and what to buy for scenting my soap. Before doing any research, I had purchased some blends form my favorite aromatherapy essential oil company, thinking I could just add any EO to CP soap and it would work. Some of the blends I bought unfortunately contain citrus, which of course I now learn, tend to fade in CP soap. ☹ Is it worth it at all to try and use a blend like this: Plant Therapy Tutti Fruti ?

Where would you recommend buying fragrance or essential oils for from? I'm looking to spend as little as I can while still buying a product that I will be happy with. Are there any companies that sell samplers?

What size of bottles would you recommend starting out with?

It can be very overwhelming.

Some recommended e/o blends are not popular , I ask my family members and friends. And the reverse applies too.

Also some E/O scents do not stick very well in cp soap , and this can result in great expenses as most E/O are costly. And of course you will be disappointed at the outcome.

Fragrance oil flavours sound so delicious and you can be tempted to buy, I have found some to smell too artificial/chemical/medicinal. Look at customer reviews. I have seen YouTube and read on some of these, that despite smelling bad in the bottle, had a good result in cp soap.

Try your best to get yourself to a store and sniff each varient. This is so difficult if you live far from suppliers.

Read up on customer reviews, make sure they relate to cp soap, as some use the same F/O for candles.

Here in Australia I have even found some suppliers who actually advise which F/O causes acceleration & discoloration. It must be borne in mind that they do not use a water discount when testing.

Also remember, if you intend to sell, what you like may not be what your customer likes. You are not your customer.

Some of the lovely caring members on this forum recommend mixing F/O and E/O to make scents stick, I have found it to be true in the very times I tried.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Where would you recommend buying fragrance or essential oils for from? I'm looking to spend as little as I can while still buying a product that I will be happy with.
My advice to Newbies is to start with a supplier where you can get all of your basic soap making supplies to save on shipping costs. For example, I'm in Colorado. I started out buying from MMS (Majestic Mountain Sage) in Utah. They turned out to be an excellent choice because, at that time, shipping was reasonable and fast. Good customer service and technical support. High quality products. They carry both EOs and FOs and I use their Fragrance Calculator even though I no longer buy from them unless I need quick delivery. They have a Blog where you can learn to make different things and a Recipe base with tried and true recipes for various Bath & Body products.

Elements Bath & Body is in Pueblo, CO is another one I like due to being near by but I believe they have been bought out by WSP and some of the things I really liked about them are being phased out.

Are there any companies that sell samplers?
Some do. To save $$ it's best to wait for a sale to stock up and buy several at a time.
What size of bottles would you recommend starting out with?
It depends on your normal batch size, or if you're making a small batch for testing. I normally buy 4 oz. bottles if I'm confident that I want a whole batch in that fragrance. For example, I recently made a batch of Tea Tree EO that I bought from a different vendor because my regular supplier was having shipping problems. I was pleased with the result.
When I have several FOs to test, I buy 6 of the smallest bottle to scent each amount of soap to fill 6 round cavity molds, 4 oz. each. So it's pretty much up to what makes the most sense to you.
 

Zany_in_CO

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I was considering buying some FOs from Wholesale Supplies Plus. They have notes on discoloration, acceleration etc.
I reallly like to see info about how a fragrance performs in CP. That's a good thing. Unfortunately, as a long time customer, with many opportunities for free samples, WSP has a large inventory of FOs, most of which are disappointing. Best to start a thread for recommendations for WSP fragrances before buying. :thumbup:
 

MellonFriend

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I reallly like to see info about how a fragrance performs in CP. That's a good thing. Unfortunately, as a long time customer, with many opportunities for free samples, WSP has a large inventory of FOs, most of which are disappointing. Best to start a thread for recommendations for WSP fragrances before buying. :thumbup:
Wow, I'm surprised (and disappointed) to hear that. The reviews on their website seemed okay. I'll be sure to make a new thread like that.

Thank you so much for your help!
 

FiddleFoot

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I get quite a few FO's from WSP that I really like but get my EO's from New Directions Aromatics. They have a minimum order though so probably not best for just sampling. For that I'd try Eden's Garden.
 

dibbles

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If you are looking for FOs, Nurture Soap is my favorite supplier. EOs I usually end up buying from Camden Grey or Bramble Berry. I've bought some from Elements as well.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Camden Grey, Wholesale Supplies Plus, Nature's Garden and Eden Botanicals are among the suppliers I use.
I also like Camden Gray and Nature's Garden but because they are on the East Coast, shipping to Colorado is more expensive.

Eden Botanicals is an excellent source for information about individual essential oils, esp. use rates and blenders. :thumbup:
But I buy most of my EOs from Sun Pure Botanicals in NM because of quality, price and the range of sizes. It really comes in handy when making blends -- 6 EOs in my Achy Breaky blend; 10 EOs in my signature fragrance blend. To save $$$ I buy only the amount I need to make the blends... a little of this & that; a lot of others. They have the best price on jojoba and emu oil. For example:

Date: September 11, 2019
4 OZ ESSENTIAL OILS - BUY 2 OR MORE GET 10% OFF

Fir Needle, 4 oz @ $11.48 = $2.90 per oz
Lavender French, 4 oz @ $13.56 = $3.40 per oz
Helichrysum, 4 oz @ $15.12 = $3.80 per oz
Juniper Berry, 4 oz @ $18.76 = $4.70 per oz
Bergamot, 4 oz @ US $11.63 = $2.90 per oz
Bay Laurel Leaf, 4 oz @ $22.35 = $5.60 per oz

Jojoba, 16 oz @ $18.40= $1.15 per oz
Oakmoss Absolute, 1 oz @ $25.53= $25.53 per oz

10% Oakmoss $25.53 + 9 X1.15 = $35.90
$35.90 /10 oz =3.6013¢ gram/ml

Free Shipping
USPS Priority Mail, Insured
 

dibbles

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If you haven't found this yet, it is a review chart of FOs from many suppliers that can be helpful
 

Zany_in_CO

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Wow, I'm surprised (and disappointed) to hear that. The reviews on their website seemed okay. I'll be sure to make a new thread like that.
:thumbup:
The key to sampling WSP FOs is the list of "Best Sellers" and 5-star reviews.
Currently, I'm testing their EO/FO blends which I believe may be the best way to find fragrances that "stick". Although I've just tried a few, the only disappointment so far is their verbena and lemon verbena.

You can use WSP's Fragrance Calc to get a drop-down menu of all their fragrances in that category, as well as FOs, EOs and Flavor oils. Just enter your batch size, choose the fragrance category, then enter a capital A in the box and hold for a drop down menu of all the scents available. It knocked my socks off to see they had no fewer than 14 different "Lemon" FOs. LOL
 

cmzaha

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For FO's I actually prefer Natures Garden over WSP. WSP had very few fragrances that I found held well in soaps or were popular sellers for me but that is my opinion, plus you can buy small bottles. WSP does have the best Nag Champa. Sadly, a few of my favorite suppliers are out of business. California Candle Supply has a few lovely fragrances such as his Plumeria, (does accelerate but not soap on a stick) and his Caramel Tobacco is to die for. I also see the new fo's I would love to test but have not made soap in a couple of years. It would be worth purchasing some samples from him, the Oud should nice, Hardwood Musk is nice, although not my original Dupe. Their fragrances are cost-effective and worth testing. Some do not hold well just like most companies so testing is recommended. His Dragon's Blood is acceptable although also not my original dupe, but still good. If I was making soap I would give his Patchouli Rose a try.
 

Cat&Oak

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I get my essential oils from New Directions Aromatics now and haven't looked back. I've gotten eo's from Brambleberry and they have been good. Essential Depot has very reasonable prices on eo's but I wasn't blown away.

As far as fragrance oils. Brambleberry has really good oils but can be pricey. Natures garden can be hit or miss as well as WSP. Oregon trails has some really good fo's. Nurture has nice oils but I've found that some fade. Sweetcakes I have a love/hate relationship with. On one hand they are strong beautiful blends but I have had issues with ricing, seizing and acceleration.
 

Carly B

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I have to agree yet again with my scent buddy, @dibbles. When I was starting with cold process a couple years ago, Nurture was my go-to. They had reasonably priced samples (which I believe they have done away with) and 1 oz bottles (I usually make soap a pound or two at a time, so that was perfect). Plus, over $35 is free shipping (no "handling fee" like WSP"), so I could try a bunch without a huge investment. Shipping is pretty fast, too.

Their fragrances have consistently been excellent, plus I appreciate Carrie showing pictures of discoloration (if any), and telling about the performance. She even has a section in her fragrances called "Perfect in Soap," meaning no acceleration, ricing or discoloring.

Unfortunately, I don't shop there as often as I used to, because a couple of my absolute favorites were discontinued. But I still highly recommend them.
And I agree with @Cat&Oak about Oregon Trails. Her fragrances are pretty good, and she has a lot of stuff that I haven't found elsewhere. But shipping is expensive.
 

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