Getting Bergamot EO, 10x Orange EO, and Grapefruit EO to stick in CP

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LisaBoBisa

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I know it's possible to get these to stick in CP, but so far I've only succeeded at getting bergamot EO to stick in HP; everything else faded in both CP and HP.

Bergamot: This stuck beautifully in HP, still strong 4 months later (I know it's not that long, but really encouraging). I think the bergamot eo disappeared in my CP batch because of the location where I left it to cure (exact same recipe as the HP batch. Used 3% PPO bergamot EO added at trace for CP). I keep soap covered before unmolding, but I've had problems with soda ash after I unmold, had read that curing in cold places increases your chance of soda ash (is this right?), so I foolishly placed my bergamot batch near heater vent to cure. Now I know that light and heat are a great way to lose your scent.... and that's exactly what happened. Bergamot disappeared, the bars smell musty, plus soda ash showed up a week later anyhow. I'm trying the cotton ball trick now with that batch: it's sitting in a box with a cotton pad soaked with bergamot EO. I doubt that's enough to re-scent a musty-smelling faded batch, though.

10x orange: this has been hit or miss in CP. (HP was too hot for it to stick.) I poured two different CP soap recipes, same EO's (10x orange and ginger eo's), in the same mold back to back with dividers, and one recipe stuck faintly but the other completely lost its scent. Same % of EO. I soaked kaolin clay in both overnight, but realized later that the batch where scent disappeared was a little lye heavy, so maybe that contributed to the 10x Orange EO disappearing.

Grapefruit: I think my grapefruit scent vanished in HP because it wasn't cool enough when I added the scent: I read on BrambleBerry that Grapefruit EO's flashpoint is a shockingly low 111F. I'll avoid low flashpoint oils in HP now. Before I try grapefruit in CP, I want to learn all the tricks...

To do: I'll keep soaking clay etc. in my eo's before adding. I now cure soaps in sheltered cardboard boxes in a dark spot. I'll use the cottonball trick while they cure until I'm confident I don't need it. I'll try anchoring these 3 citrus EO's with scents that stick well (Litsea, looking at you!) when I can, and using higher rates than 3% in CP soap, since I'm not in Europe.

Would it also help if I stick the soaps in the fridge instead of insulating and gelling them for citrus eo's? I don't need richer colors; just need to keep the scent.

If you've found anything else that helps you with scent retention (or soda ash showing up a week or two later), I'm all ears! Do some recipes retain scents better than others?
 
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I've had success with bergamot and 10x citrus sticking, sometimes with and without litsea. I have not had success with plain citrus which is why now I use 5x or 10x.
I had soda ash one time with my loaf mold. Now I pour, spray with alcohol, cover with plastic wrap, then cardboard, then a pile of towels. I have not gotten soda ash since.
With my single cavity molds, if I unmold after 24 hours, then I get soda ash. Now I unmold after several days to a week and don't get soda ash anymore.
 
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Flashpoint really does not have anything to do with EO's sticking or not. FP is the point at which volatile substances can ignite and if important when shipping fragrance and essential oils.

Citrus Essential Oils are notorious for fading in soaps other than m&p without using an anchor such as Patchouli. The Essential oils I do have good luck with are Pink Grapefruit, Brazillian Lime, Lavender, Litsea, Lemongrass, Basil, Thyme, Petitgrain, Peppermint, and Vetiver. Basil and Thyme needs to be used in small percentages because they are very overpowering.
 

LisaBoBisa

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Flashpoint really does not have anything to do with EO's sticking or not. FP is the point at which volatile substances can ignite and if important when shipping fragrance and essential oils.

Citrus Essential Oils are notorious for fading in soaps other than m&p without using an anchor such as Patchouli. The Essential oils I do have good luck with are Pink Grapefruit, Brazillian Lime, Lavender, Litsea, Lemongrass, Basil, Thyme, Petitgrain, Peppermint, and Vetiver. Basil and Thyme needs to be used in small percentages because they are very overpowering.
You've had success with pink grapefruit! That's fantastic --what rate do you use it at, and do you CPOP? Do you need to use kaolin clay?

True, flash point is the wrong word; I just don't know the right word. I wonder if there are charts of "scent stability maximum temps", or something like that. I've had to start heating 10g of NFO/EO in a shot glass in a water bath until the scent breaks down to figure out how much to cool my HP before adding. Some of them are really low (115F or even 105), but worth it to get a good strawberry scent in soap.

@Zing I'm realizing the reason my 10x orange EO fades: just read that I need to use it at 6% to get it to stick, much higher than I normally use essential oils.
My soda ash showed up two weeks later even though I sprayed, covered, and CPOPed, but it was probably because I was stupid enough to cure my bergamot soap by the heater vent. I was probably impatient and unmolded after 1 day, too. 😅
 
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You've had success with pink grapefruit! That's fantastic --what rate do you use it at, and do you CPOP? Do you need to use kaolin clay?

True, flash point is the wrong word; I just don't know the right word. I wonder if there are charts of "scent stability maximum temps", or something like that. I've had to start heating 10g of NFO/EO in a shot glass in a water bath until the scent breaks down to figure out how much to cool my HP before adding. Some of them are really low (115F or even 105), but worth it to get a good strawberry scent in soap.

@Zing I'm realizing the reason my 10x orange EO fades: just read that I need to use it at 6% to get it to stick, much higher than I normally use essential oils.
My soda ash showed up two weeks later even though I sprayed, covered, and CPOPed, but it was probably because I was stupid enough to cure my bergamot soap by the heater vent. I was probably impatient and unmolded after 1 day, too. 😅
Where are you getting your usage rates? I trust Calculate Usage Rate » EO Calc - Essential Oil Calculator
 

Zany_in_CO

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If you've found anything else that helps you with scent retention (or soda ash showing up a week or two later
I just remembered something you won't see any where else. The mentor (Jady in NH) I learned it from back in 2004 is no longer active.

I've often recommended oakmoss to neutralize the odor of tallow & lard. What I've forgotten is that you can use oakmoss 10% to anchor scents and scent blends. I buy the absolute along with enough jojoba (long shelf life) to make a 10% oakmoss solution in oil.

It's been ages since I played around with it so you're pretty much on your own figuring how much is needed. It plays nicely with almost all EOs adding depth and helps to retain scent. At that time, I dipped the tip of a toothpick into the very viscous oakmoss absolute to create blends.

Sorry I can't help with the soda ash. In all my years since 2003, I've never had the problem. My heart goes out to all the members of SMF who seem to struggle with it. I heartily wish I had an answer.
Do some recipes retain scents better than others?
Good question!
Yes. Speaking just from my experience, lard soaps seem to retain scent well.
I'm not a big fan of adding soy wax to soap but at 10% it does help retain scent.
Using a carrier oil, i.e., jojoba, FCO, castor helps. I add EOs' to an ounce of carrier oil the night before soaping and add it to the warmed oils before adding the lye solution. The carrier oil can replace the SF% in your recipe.

EXAMPLE: If soaping at 5% SF, switch to 0%SF and add 5% carrier oil with your EO or blend to the batch -- to the warmed oils for CP; after cook for HP.

Where are you getting your usage rates? I trust Calculate Usage Rate » EO Calc - Essential Oil Calculator
:thumbs: :thumbs:
Try EOCalc's blend of Bergamot, Orange (folded) and Grapefruit. You can sub Oakmoss 10% for the Patchouli or just go for it as written. Traditionally, Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) is used to anchor citrus blends, so that is an option too.
 
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you didn't comment about lime. I like the Key Lime EO from New Directions Aromatics. To me, Key lime isn't as sweet as regular lime but it sticks really well.

Do you think your soaps get too hot in gelling? I make a "shelf" from a couple of mold lids and set the log on the lids once I see that the soap is gelling. Having air under the mold will help cool the soap down faster/prevent it from staying at a gelled stage longer, I do it to make unmolding easier and to prevent overheating in milk soaps but you might consider if you think overheating is a cause for scent fading.
 
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I know it's possible to get these to stick in CP, but so far I've only succeeded at getting bergamot EO to stick in HP; everything else faded in both CP and HP.

Bergamot: This stuck beautifully in HP, still strong 4 months later (I know it's not that long, but really encouraging). I think the bergamot eo disappeared in my CP batch because of the location where I left it to cure (exact same recipe as the HP batch. Used 3% PPO bergamot EO added at trace for CP). I keep soap covered before unmolding, but I've had problems with soda ash after I unmold, had read that curing in cold places increases your chance of soda ash (is this right?), so I foolishly placed my bergamot batch near heater vent to cure. Now I know that light and heat are a great way to lose your scent.... and that's exactly what happened. Bergamot disappeared, the bars smell musty, plus soda ash showed up a week later anyhow. I'm trying the cotton ball trick now with that batch: it's sitting in a box with a cotton pad soaked with bergamot EO. I doubt that's enough to re-scent a musty-smelling faded batch, though.

10x orange: this has been hit or miss in CP. (HP was too hot for it to stick.) I poured two different CP soap recipes, same EO's (10x orange and ginger eo's), in the same mold back to back with dividers, and one recipe stuck faintly but the other completely lost its scent. Same % of EO. I soaked kaolin clay in both overnight, but realized later that the batch where scent disappeared was a little lye heavy, so maybe that contributed to the 10x Orange EO disappearing.

Grapefruit: I think my grapefruit scent vanished in HP because it wasn't cool enough when I added the scent: I read on BrambleBerry that Grapefruit EO's flashpoint is a shockingly low 111F. I'll avoid low flashpoint oils in HP now. Before I try grapefruit in CP, I want to learn all the tricks...

To do: I'll keep soaking clay etc. in my eo's before adding. I now cure soaps in sheltered cardboard boxes in a dark spot. I'll use the cottonball trick while they cure until I'm confident I don't need it. I'll try anchoring these 3 citrus EO's with scents that stick well (Litsea, looking at you!) when I can, and using higher rates than 3% in CP soap, since I'm not in Europe.

Would it also help if I stick the soaps in the fridge instead of insulating and gelling them for citrus eo's? I don't need richer colors; just need to keep the scent.

If you've found anything else that helps you with scent retention (or soda ash showing up a week or two later), I'm all ears! Do some recipes retain scents better than others?
Try beeswax at 2% for the soda ash and cover with plastic wrap immediately upon pour.
 

LisaBoBisa

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Do you think your soaps get too hot in gelling? I make a "shelf" from a couple of mold lids and set the log on the lids once I see that the soap is gelling. Having air under the mold will help cool the soap down faster/prevent it from staying at a gelled stage longer, I do it to make unmolding easier and to prevent overheating in milk soaps but you might consider if you think overheating is a cause for scent fading.
It might be—I usually use some kind of sugar and also CPOP. Could just refrigerate CP to skip gel completely

Where are you getting your usage rates? I trust Calculate Usage Rate » EO Calc - Essential Oil Calculator
Usually Brambleberry

Try beeswax at 2% for the soda ash and cover with plastic wrap immediately upon pour.
Do you know why this works? Maybe harder bars are less prone to soda ash?
 
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Just want to add to wonderful tips here from everyone, that if you want to avoid soda ash in CP, followings would help:
1) Discount water as much as possible you can go for the recipe (oils and ratio of each oil)​
2) soda ash is caused by carbon dioxide touching the raw unsaponified soap. So while it is getting insulated for the first couple of days at least, you need to be covering the soap to shut the air out to make the soap in an environment that is air tight and not fresh air is touching the top of the soap. It is not the heat or the vent, it is the air touching the raw soap that would cause the soap to develop ash.​
3) Temperature fluctuations of raw soap - make sure you put it at one spot and let it do its thing. Do not put it in the fridge or near a very hot place. Adding heat is fine but ideally you need to be putting the soap in a insulated cooler box or Styrofoam box which is air tight so that it can gel.​
If you want EOs to stick to soap, you need to be blending and not using single note like in perfumery, with top, middle, base notes. Top notes are most citruses but some notes are middle notes like litsea or lemongrass, and bergamot is a fixative so it should stick to CP soap but you need to be using a lot of bergamot not tiny amount. Litsea is a very strong powerful citrus scent and a little goes a long way. You should blend other notes like middle and base.
Btw, oakmoss is a skin sensitizer and known to be an allergy trigger EO for the longest time and it contains toxins. I would only use it in perfumery and not for such item as soap that people use for washing face or private areas where membranes are exposed and touch the compounds of oakmoss, not to mention the cost and that distinctive scent I can tell immediately a scent blend has oakmoss.
 

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