fresh EOs as an alternative for citrus

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notapantsday

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Hi everyone!

I'm thinking about making a scented batch some time in the future, but I just don't know what to use.

I really love genuine citrus scents and it could have been so easy... But from what I've read here, they don't do well in CP soap and you have to use all kinds of trickery and even then they will fade over time. Otherwise, grapefruit or lemon would have been perfect for me. Maybe some lime and mint, too.

Yes, there's lemongrass and litsea cubeba that smell similar to lemon. In fact, I once bought a hand made CP "lemon" soap with a combination of both oils but I didn't like the smell at all. I recognize the similarity, but for me real lemon smell is still very different. It's like ultramarine and violet, they're clearly related in a way but appeal to a completely different taste.

I did some experiments with rosemary, tea tree, mint and eucalyptus (which I already have available in some way) but it always ended up smelling like cold medicine.

Unfortunately I'm not from the US. I can get all kinds of EOs here in Germany, but the fragrance oils are obviously different from the ones in the US and I can't find any reviews on them. Folded citrus oils also don't seem to be available around here (or I just couldn't figure out the correct German name).

I'm trying to put together some essential oils that I can order to experiment a bit and I'd be really glad for any help!
 

jules92207

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I do a lot of blending for my citrus eo soaps. I tend to do a blend of citrus to make up about 60-75% of the blend then complete the mix with lavender and rosemary or either. I find the citrus really shines then.
 

BrewerGeorge

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I can't say from personal experience, but I'll tell you that my friend regularly makes a simple soap with lemon EO that DOES come through. Glycerine rivers out the whazoo, but it works well and smells like lemons. (I think she still uses full water, though, so the glycerine might be caused by that rather than the EO.) I'd say give it a shot in a small test batch and see what happens.
 

houseofwool

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I've found that lime sticks fairly well as does tangerine.
 

lsg

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I use litsea cubeba or bergamot to blend with my citrus essential oils. This makes a lasting combination. You can also use a more concentrated citrus such as 15x.
 

notapantsday

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You know what? I think I'll make one or two batches with citrus oil, just to see for myself how it turns out. Maybe I'll use some kaolin too, I heard that it helps.

I will still try to find a few other oils that I might like though. I think the best description of my taste is that I want something that truly wakes me up in the morning and makes me feel refreshed and energetic.
 

Obsidian

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Plain lemongrass might give you what you are looking for. I use it and it does smell just like lemons, maybe the one you smelled had more litsea cubeba in it.

for a nice fresh blend, I also really like basil and mint.
 

HappyHomeSoapCo

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I like using lemon eo, litsea, and lemongrass combined. I feel it's a nice well rounded lemon that lasts long. Just go easy on the lemongrass.
 

notapantsday

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Basil sounds like a good idea, I really like that smell. I have no idea how cedarwood smells but I heard it's popular for masculine scents. Maybe I'll give it a try too.

Contrary to popular ideas, citrus oils are not reactive with lye or other soap ingredients. Reactivity is not the reason they fade.
I found this statement on this website, unfortunately there's no further explanation. Does anyone know if that's correct? Do citrus smells just evaporate over time?

I had the idea of storing the soap in a sealed container (hear me out), perhaps even adding some cotton balls soaked in EO. To avoid moisture, I would add some silica gel. This way the soap would maybe keep its scent until I start using it. Any thoughts on that?
 

lsg

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Lemongrass and sage is also a fresh scent.
 

notapantsday

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I received my order of EOs today and I wanted to give a little feedback and a big thank you to all of you.

I don't like lemongrass, there's no way around it. I guess there will be lemongrass soap for my whole family on christmas. :twisted:

I'm not a huge fan of litsea all by itself either but for me it's still much closer to the "real thing". And my slight disappointment immediately vanished when I started blending litsea with some other oils. I made cedar/litsea/mint 2:2:1 and I absolutely love it because it has the same fresh and aromatic character as lemon oil to me.

Elemi is another great smell that I really love. It's herbal but also fresh and "clear". I don't know how else to describe it.

I wouldn't say I dislike rosemary, but I don't really know what to do with it. It didn't improve any mix that I added it to and I don't really like it on its own either.

I also just realized that I posted this thread to the wrong forum.:oops:
 

DeeAnna

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"...citrus oils are not reactive with lye or other soap ingredients..."

Yes, that is correct. Not that I know that for myself, but Kevin Dunn was kind enough to share his data: http://roberttisserand.com/2011/06/essential-oils-in-soap-interview-with-kevin-dunn/

As far as rosemary, a lot of generic rosemary EOs are objectionably strong, but you can find suppliers who know there are different varieties of rosemary and actually sell them. The three I am familiar with are rosemary cineole, rosemary verbenon, and rosemary camphor. You might like the gentle rosemary verbenon for bath products better than the medicinal cineole and camphor versions.
 
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notapantsday

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I'm not sure what kind of rosemary oil I have, it just says rosmarinus officinalis, Tunisia.

I would say it smells mostly like sage and eucalyptus. So it might be the cineol variety, but the eucalyptus smell is not all that strong.

I have more or less given up on citrus oils. As much as I love them, the more experiences I read the more convinced I am that there is just no way to make them stay strong for months.

I think I can make a good blend with the oils that I have. Especially the cedar/litsea/mint is really growing on me and I also made one with fir instead of mint and I like that one as well.

Edit: Oh, wow. Elemi + litsea = lemonicious! I'll try that again tomorrow because right now everything smells like EO around here and my nose is a bit overwhelmed, but I think I may have found my formula. That's exactly the kind of lemon smell I had in mind. If someone has both oils around and is willing to sacrifice one drop of each, I'd be interested in your opinion as well.
 
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Seawolfe

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I like rosemary, and its one of the few "base" notes I have. I think it blends nicely with lavender 50:50, and I mix with eucalyptus and mints for a fresh scent. I also like it solo in a well-cured castille, to me its a simple and old world smell.
 

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