# How much EO? And elementary question

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#### Silver

##### Well-Known Member
Dear soapers!
I have been having difficulty with EO scent sticking to my soap and after doing some digging around I came the conclusion that I was probably using too little of it. I already use clay, soap at roughly 110, use an anchor scent and keep my soap out of direct sunlight in a cool place. My question is probably an embarrassingly simple one - if I were to do a mixture of essential oils, and the maximum load is considered to be around 4% EO per 100 g of oils, is it 4% for all of my EOs combined or for each individual scent in the blend? For example, is it 4% Palmarosa, 2% peppermint and 2% cedarwood, or is it 4% for all three scents? And in regards to the Brambleberry calculator, if it gives me 4% Geranium for a medium scent, can I go in and add more EOs to the same batch to complete the blend, or do I need to cut back on the Geranium in order to add any more EOs?
Many thanks!
Silver

#### BattleGnome

##### Well-Known Member
You use the lowest maximum percentage of the scents you are using (if that makes sense).

For example (with completely random numbers because I don't know them offhand) you want to use cinnamon (pretend max 5%), peppermint (7%), and vanilla (10%).

You would blend to use a maximum of 4% so there's no accidental extra cinnamon that could cause a reaction.

SoapQueen has an article about it somewhere but my google-fu isn't working today and I found articles about scent projections somehow

#### dixiedragon

##### Well-Known Member
I do what BG does, but less mathy. I make my blend and then I use a scent calculor (BB has one, so does majestic mountain sage). Whichever EO has the lowest safe usage rate, I use that.

For example, if I am making a lavender mint lotion, and mint has a lower safe usage rate than lavender, I would choose mint and use the amount recommended for a medium or strong scent.

#### SheLion

##### Well-Known Member
Dear soapers!
if I were to do a mixture of essential oils, and the maximum load is considered to be around 4% EO per 100 g of oils, is it 4% for all of my EOs combined or for each individual scent in the blend? For example, is it 4% Palmarosa, 2% peppermint and 2% cedarwood, or is it 4% for all three scents?
It is 4% total EO per 100g of oils, so 4% of your blend. If a blend is primarily composed of an oil with a smaller usage rate, then that rate should be used instead. For instance, if the recipe usage is 4% but you had a blend that was mostly an oil with a 2% usage rate, then you should only use 2% in the recipe for that blend.

ETA: BattleGnome, is this the article you were thinking of ?
https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-...nd-tricks/how-to-blend-essential-oils-safely/

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#### HowieRoll

##### Well-Known Member
A relatively new tool available for use is Modern Soapmaking's Essential Oil Calculator. Under the "Calculate Your Own Blend" tab you can choose your EOs for the blend, the percentage of each (i.e. 70% Lavender, 30% Peppermint), then enter your total oil weight (in oz), select Cold Process Soap, and then Calculate the Blend.

The results returned are the suggested amount to use for anywhere between 1% (of oil weight) to 5%. If any of the usage rates have a RED background then using that amount will exceed IFRA Standards. For instance, if my blend was, say, 50% Lavender 40/42 and 50% Clove Bud EO then the safest usage rate would be 1% (of oil weight). Even though Lavender might be safe to use at 5%, Clove Bud is not so that will affect the overall usage rate.

For me, and I'm still learning, the usage rate (assuming safe levels) will depend a lot on the EOs themselves. If my blend is, say, lemongrass and patchouli then I would likely do a 3% usage rate (even if up to 5% is safe) because both those oils stick well and have scent longevity. If I'm using citrus oils, and/or lavender then I will aim for 5% usage because they have a tendency to fade. Then I have the internal question in my head: if this is likely to fade, then why am I throwing good money after bad by upping the usage rate?! haha...

Anyhoo, I find the EO Calculator to be a great resource and greatly appreciate the tremendous amount of work went into building it. At the same time, I also believe one should understand why and how the results come back as they do, and what IFRA Standards are all about (and Modern Soapmaking does provide more information along those lines). As you can see, there really isn't a standard % usage rate because it largely depends on which EOs are used. Hope that isn't as clear as mud...

#### SheLion

##### Well-Known Member
For me, and I'm still learning, the usage rate (assuming safe levels) will depend a lot on the EOs themselves.
Yep. The usage rate depends entirely upon the individual EOs. Even though they are natural that doesn't mean that they are completely safe to use in every situation. Interestingly, some of the oils that have cautions are ones that come from herbs like basil and oregano. In case you're wondering how that's possible, it's because the essential oil is a distillation of only some of the chemical compounds in the plant. It doesn't include all of them so components that make something safe to ingest may not make it into the essential oil. (Which is also why essential oils should not be ingested.) There are also EOs that are just not safe to use, period.

Also, I love Modern Soapmaking. Such a fantastic resource.

#### Silver

##### Well-Known Member
A relatively new tool available for use is Modern Soapmaking's Essential Oil Calculator. Under the "Calculate Your Own Blend" tab you can choose your EOs for the blend, the percentage of each (i.e. 70% Lavender, 30% Peppermint), then enter your total oil weight (in oz), select Cold Process Soap, and then Calculate the Blend.

The results returned are the suggested amount to use for anywhere between 1% (of oil weight) to 5%. If any of the usage rates have a RED background then using that amount will exceed IFRA Standards. For instance, if my blend was, say, 50% Lavender 40/42 and 50% Clove Bud EO then the safest usage rate would be 1% (of oil weight). Even though Lavender might be safe to use at 5%, Clove Bud is not so that will affect the overall usage rate.

For me, and I'm still learning, the usage rate (assuming safe levels) will depend a lot on the EOs themselves. If my blend is, say, lemongrass and patchouli then I would likely do a 3% usage rate (even if up to 5% is safe) because both those oils stick well and have scent longevity. If I'm using citrus oils, and/or lavender then I will aim for 5% usage because they have a tendency to fade. Then I have the internal question in my head: if this is likely to fade, then why am I throwing good money after bad by upping the usage rate?! haha...

Anyhoo, I find the EO Calculator to be a great resource and greatly appreciate the tremendous amount of work went into building it. At the same time, I also believe one should understand why and how the results come back as they do, and what IFRA Standards are all about (and Modern Soapmaking does provide more information along those lines). As you can see, there really isn't a standard % usage rate because it largely depends on which EOs are used. Hope that isn't as clear as mud...
This calculator is fantastic! And it has a healthy list of the most commonly used oils too, it has just about everything! I am bookmarking it as I type, thank you for passing it along =).
And a big thank you to everyone who clarified the EO usage for me, it is crystal clear now. Soap queen's article summarized it beautifully, it is exactly what I was looking for.

Silver