How to label "FO" when wanting "natural" advertising

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gsc

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I am creating labels for my soaps. Since FO's are NOT natural I am having difficulty using the description "all natural" on my label. Any advice/suggestions?
 

Obsidian

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You can't label them natural if you use FO's, to do so would be false advertising. You could say made with natural oils but I still think thats pushing it. When I see natural on label, I don't expect any man made chemicals in the product.
 

DeeAnna

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There is no common or legal definition of what "natural" is, but I would say if you asked a bunch of people what they think "natural" means, FOs are not likely to make the list. That said, I see a LOT of hand crafted soaps touted as "natural" that are definitely scented with FOs. They must think the deception is worth it to sell more soap?

As an alternative, an acquaintance makes and sells soap made from vegan, ethically sourced fats and her farm's organic goat milk. Her stuff is about as "natural" as it gets as far as most people are concerned. Some are really into the "crunchy" aspect of her soap, but the large majority of her customers are all about what smells nice. Her EO scented soap is clearly marked as such and her FO soap is likewise. She doesn't tout her soaps as "natural" -- she just states the facts and lets her customers make an informed choice. They deal with that honesty very well.

I can't think of any ethical middle ground that lets you describe a soap as "natural" the way most people would use the word and yet allows you to also use FOs in the soap.
 

RiverRose

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Sounds like "Natural" isn't an accurate descriptor to put on your labels. How about "Locally Handmade"
FYI: FO is just listed as "fragrance" on your ingredients list.
 

IrishLass

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This is going to come off as very cynical, but I'm very suspicious of anything labeled as 'all natural'. The term promises so much, but is so nebulous, i.e., it can pretty much mean anything or absolutely nothing at all. I'm especially suspicious of it in regards to soap, seeing as how the lye we use for making soap is not anywhere near what I would deem as "all natural", not to mention that the oils and fats we use are all processed in some way or fashion, many times chemically, before we even receive them into our hands. I don't sell, but if I did, you couldn't pay me enough to even touch the term with a 10,000-foot pole.


IrishLass :)
 

shunt2011

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I agree with the others. All natural really doesn't mean much these days. I see soapmakers all the time listing all natural will cure etc, etc. I make and sell artisan handmade soaps that are a whole lot better than any store purchased soap. I do tell my customers I use the very highest quality ingredients I can get. But I'm also honest about using both EO's and FO's.
 

pamielynn

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Just to jump into the fray, how 'natural' is your soap, if you're using sodium hydroxide? How 'natural' is it if you're sourcing your oils from as far away as India or Africa? In for a penny, in for a pound I say.

I call my soap "natural" and I'll use fragrance oils, because that's what people want. I started out with the best of intentions... no scents, locally sourced fats only. But you know what? People WANT African shea butter and fragrance oils and SOAP - not just a bowl of oils.

Sorry, I'm a bit cranky today.
 

The Efficacious Gentleman

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But then they think it is also natural. Why not tell them that if they want these things, they can't have a natural soap? One answer will be because they'll go to the next seller who is prepared to tell them what they want to hear even if it is a lie. Which is a viscous circle.

Personally, I will never use just the word 'natural' as my soaps would never occur naturally. You could make a pie with the most organic and pure ingredients, but it's not natural as the combination of natural ingredients then turns it to something unnatural. "Made with natural ingredients" for EOs and "made with natural ingredients and fragrance" for fos?
 

cerelife

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This is going to come off as very cynical, but I'm very suspicious of anything labeled as 'all natural'. The term promises so much, but is so nebulous, i.e., it can pretty much mean anything or absolutely nothing at all. I'm especially suspicious of it in regards to soap, seeing as how the lye we use for making soap is not anywhere near what I would deem as "all natural", not to mention that the oils and fats we use are all processed in some way or fashion, many times chemically, before we even receive them into our hands. I don't sell, but if I did, you couldn't pay me enough to even touch the term with a 10,000-foot pole.


IrishLass :)
Can I just like this post a bajillion times???
It's often frustrating to try to honestly answer questions in the nicest way possible when asked if my soap is 'all-natural' like one of my fellow weekly market vendors. Please don't get me wrong...this vendor and I are actually quite good friends and often steer customers each other's way depending on what they want in a soap.
She touts her soaps as 'all-natural' and using only therapeutic grade essential oils for scent (**unless otherwise noted - the great caveat). But in reality we use many of the same FO's from the same vendors. While she might call her Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Extract soap 'All-Natural' - I choose to name my soap (with the exact same FO) "Sweet Jelly Donut". It's all a matter of perception/spin on words and there's a lively market for the both of us which we often laugh about.
It's just my own personal choice to be blatantly honest per my products. I love FO's and I'm not ashamed to use them to get the scents I want. Our only real issue is that I think 'therapeutic-grade' EO's are a total myth as I've yet to find a governing body to "grade" essential oils. All I want to know is if the EO is pure or diluted, and I tend to trust the companies who provide MSDS info to back up their claims of pure EO's.
 

Susie

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I don't sell, either, but I would not use the word natural if you paid me. I don't even buy soap labelled "natural" as I feel that if you will lie to me about that, then I can't trust anything else on the label.
 

paillo

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I sell, and would not think of using 'natural' on my labels. It also really irks me to see 'all-natural' on soap containing FOs. Also nonsensical labeling like 'essential oil of chocolate pear'. I have to wonder what else the soaper isn't disclosing or simply doesn't know what they're doing. Sorry to be blunt, but wouldn't think of buying soap with these kinds of labels.

I'm happy just to label mine "handmade by..."
 

Soapsavvy

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I think I'd just list it as fragrance too. I'm also curious as to the measurements of both essential oils VS. fragrance oils. Do you have to use less of a fragrance oil or more when working with M&P bases? Thanks guys!!!
 

dixiedragon

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I use the phrase "natural color and fragrance". And when I use that phrase, my soap contains no FOs or artificial colors. Some people have sensitivities to artificial fragrances but can use EOs, so I think it can be useful in that respect. Sometimes I want a bar of soap that is as "natural" as possible - Which is limited b/c as people observe, it is soap which isn't naturally occurring.
 

Soapsavvy

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I 110 % agree with you sweetie. Nothing is natural when it has been chemically altered. LYE being on the top of my list too!!! Lye is the main active ingredient in all soaps. I prefer the words artisan or just handcrafted.
 

Earthen_Step

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This is the little blip we put up about the naturalness of our soaps.

"We only use nature-made ingredients to color and scent our bars. The only synthetic we use is sodium hydroxide, and it is of food-grade quality. We use vegetable oils and butters, clays, mud, leaf powders and other natural ingredients. We list every ingredient used on each product page."

I love transparency and letting people know exactly what they are buying. You do have the option to label your soap as "Natural" like others have said. You could list your fragrance simply as "Fragrance." In the US there are no laws against this. But I think many customers will know by the smell that it's not from EO's and feel deceived if you don't list it as FO. So IMO it's in your best interest to just be honest with it all.

There is much good to say about the quality of your handmade soap without using the word "natural" to market. Or use the word natural tied to what natural ingredients you do use.
 

dixiedragon

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Not a lawyer, but I would be concerned that if I labeled a soap "natural" that used FOs, and a person with fragrance sensitivities bought it assuming it was made with natural fragrance, I could be held legally responsible if they had a bad reaction. I certainly feel that in that case I would be morally responsible.
 

Earthen_Step

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Not a lawyer, but I would be concerned that if I labeled a soap "natural" that used FOs, and a person with fragrance sensitivities bought it assuming it was made with natural fragrance, I could be held legally responsible if they had a bad reaction. I certainly feel that in that case I would be morally responsible.
I also think it's wrong on a personal level. Until legislation happens you should be fine legally (I'm not a lawyer either). There are some lawsuits in the works that might change all this in the future. It's a difficult subject with a lot to consider. I'd like to see a 3rd party organization create a standard and certification people can use similar to "Certified Naturally Grown". I'd rather the USA gov stay out of it and let natural mean nothing.

Here is an article with some lawsuits over the word "Natural." Pretty interesting stuff IMO.

http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/sc/1403/more-lawsuits-over-natural.html

"According to research firm, Datamonitor, only 47 percent of Americans reportedly trust the "natural" label." A quote from the article above. Using the term might be a negative marketing tactic.
 
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penelopejane

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How to label "FO" when wanting "natural" advertising

I can't us many of the EOs because I am sensitive to them. I find it very difficult to believe people who make wild claims about soap.

After seeing a video of a commercial handmade soap company where she said that she sells Africa. Black soap which has 5% black soap in it I just wonder about handmade soap claims.
The word natural would more than likely turn me off a product rather than encourage me to buy a handmade soap.

Earthen step was typing at the same time I was.
I agree entirely. [emoji2]
 
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