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PARTSBILL

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Since FO is an oil, why wouldn't you add it with the total oil? It would seem that then it would cut down on problems adding it at trace.
 

Vicki C

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Curious to hear what others say, but I have read that if you add it at the beginning more of it saponifies and you lose the fragrance. I think I read that in Susan Miller Cavitch’s book. Intuitively that makes sense to me but I think others say it’s not true.
She writes about essential oils, not fragrance oils.
 

amd

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Since FO is an oil, why wouldn't you add it with the total oil?
Many of us do this. Adding FO at trace though may be a way to work with difficult fragrances. It's also good advice for new soapmakers who tend to overblend their batter - an accelerating FO added at the front end would make this even more difficult for a new maker who isn't aware of what is happening.

but I have read that if you add it at the beginning more of it saponifies and you lose the fragrance.
Fragrance oils do not have the same fatty acids as typical soaping oils (carrier oils/butter/fat), so they do not saponify - unless they are cheaply made and cut with vegetable oils. A chemist friend (who also makes soap) told me it has to do more with fragrance volatility - the later you can add a fragrance the more it will retain its scent. I'm not sure I buy into that, and decided with my recipe it really doesn't matter as my stickblending is literally a count to 15 or 20 before I start mixing and coloring to pour. Her recipe however is 7 minutes of stickblending (how she can stand it I don't know - I don't have that much patience!) so I can see where she would want to keep the fragrance out until the end.
 

cerelife

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I add my FO (and kaolin clay) to my oils and blend well before adding my lye solution. I switched to this method years ago and I've never noticed any loss of fragrance between doing it this way or adding the FO at light trace.If I have a fragrance that I know (or suspect) will accelerate, I just use a slow moving recipe like high lard.
The only time that I DON'T add my FO to my base oils is when I'm using one that discolors and I want my swirls to stand out. In this case I blend the soap to just past emulsion and then pour off enough soap for my accent colors and then add the FO to the main batch of soap.
For example: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle soap. This FO discolors to a deep chocolate brown, so just before light trace I pour off a small amount of soap into 3 different containers for my colors and then add the FO to the main bucket. In the unscented containers I add my micas for the swirls. So when the soap cures I have a chocolate brown bar with delicate pale pink, hot pink, and red swirls that pop against the dark background.
 

PARTSBILL

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It's also good advice for new soapmakers who tend to overblend their batter -

I thought I wasn't over blending but after a late full throttle blend, it went from a faint trace to almost full blown stuck in the pot heavy. A late stir instead of blend would have stopped that. I'll learn..
 

Vicki C

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Fragrance oils do not have the same fatty acids as typical soaping oils (carrier oils/butter/fat), so they do not saponify - unless they are cheaply made and cut with vegetable oils. A chemist friend (who also makes soap) told me it has to do more with fragrance volatility - the later you can add a fragrance the more it will retain its scent. I'm not sure I buy into that, and decided with my recipe it really doesn't matter as my stickblending is literally a count to 15 or 20 before I start mixing and coloring to pour. Her recipe however is 7 minutes of stickblending (how she can stand it I don't know - I don't have that much patience!) so I can see where she would want to keep the fragrance out until the end.
That’s good to know - I have always used essential oils and am late to the fragrance oil world. So maybe it’s safer to add fragrance oils earlier, but to wait to add essential oils? I really don’t know, just musing.
 

amd

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So maybe it’s safer to add fragrance oils earlier, but to wait to add essential oils? I really don’t know, just musing.
I don't know either as I'm in the opposite boat - very rarely do I use essential oils. I did make two batches with EO as wedding favors for a bride who wanted very specific oil blends, not knowing how they would react I did add them at trace in case they accelerated.
 

Vicki C

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I don't know either as I'm in the opposite boat - very rarely do I use essential oils. I did make two batches with EO as wedding favors for a bride who wanted very specific oil blends, not knowing how they would react I did add them at trace in case they accelerated.
I made soap for favors for my daughter’s wedding too. 🙂
 
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