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How to test FO/EO in hot process

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Nikon

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What is the best way to test FO/EO in hot process soap. I am basically trying to test the smell, strength, how long it lasts, etc. Is it best to make a 2 pound batch and scoop out 4 ounces of soap and add the appropriate grams of FO for 4 oz? Or is it better to do 1 pound batches of HP? I have about 10 FO i want to test.
 

Marilyna

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Are you going to be adding the fragrance after cooking the soap? If so, there shouldn't be much reason to test. Pretty much you get what you smell. There shouldn't be any big changes. At least that's my experience.
 

Nikon

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Yes I generally add the FO right before I put it into the mold. Unfortunately, I have not had the same results as you. I added Lily of the valley from WSP at .5 oz ppo and got zero smell in the soap from day one so I had to toss the whole batch. It ended up having a weird plastic smell to it after about a week of drying out. I have added lime EO at .5 oz ppo and it was way too light for my taste. So I know I have to up it .7 to 1 oz. I made a batch with bamboo teak. OOB it was the best thing I have smelled, but when I added it to my HP batch it didnt carry over the exact scent, but it was good. At .7oz ppo it was still a little soft as well, so I know I have to up it. I added .7oz ppo of WSP bay rum and I cannot get within 5 feet of the log because the smell is so overpowering. It is a great scent to me, but I will need to reduce it from .7oz ppo. All of this trial and error has me looking for the best way to test my FO/EO in my HP batches. It costs money and time to waste batches. I have sent an email to join soap scent review so that should help me out a lot with the best choices for FO.
 

Genny

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Are you looking at the IFRAs for these fo's? WSP's Bay Rum should only be used at 0.4% in soap. Lily of the Valley is 6.6% Lime EO shouldn't go much above 3%.
Going above the IFRA levels can be unsafe.
 

Marilyna

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I don't remember having many issues, but then, I haven't done HP in about 10 years. Sorry! I should keep my advice to myself on things I probably don't remember that well! :p

I believe I always used .5 oz back then. That was one of the advantages of HP, I thought.
 

VanessaP

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I would do one or two pound batches for each scent. Since FOs are measured by the weight of the oils, with the evaporation, its hard to gauge what the appropriate amount of FO would be. I'd just do 1lb of oils and be done with it - if you can't use up the soap that fast, then its easy to send out to your labrats, I mean test group :D Also, you need to make sure you're following the IFRA limits, as Genny mentioned. Some FOs, you can use at up to 30%, others at 0.3%. Different chemical compounds have different usage rates and therefore every FO has its own rate in each type of application.
 

Nikon

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@Genny-thanks for the suggestion. I am still new at this and forgot to look at those numbers. I generally have done .5-.7 but that is certainly something I need to look at.

@VanessaP- yeah I figured that. Thats what I have been doing. Would it be better to cook say a 4 pound batch of oils, seperate that into 4 equal parts and add the FO that way. It justs takes soooo long to cook a one pound batch then another then another.
 

VanessaP

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You could do it that way, just make sure you use the full water amount (I know some people who make HP who do use a discount). I also use 1.5-2% sodium lactate (of oil weight) to help keep the soap fluid while I add my FO and colorants so if you have some SL, try adding that to your lye water before adding to the oils. If you've never done it before, it really does help keep it fluid. If you don't have any SL, you can try holding back like 2oz of the water, warming it in the microwave and dissolving roughly 2 teaspoons of sugar per pound of oil, then you can add that to the lye mix before adding to the oils. Sugar is supposed to act like SL and help keep it fluid. You get the plus side of the sugar helping with the bubbly factor.

You are still going to need to work quickly though, so you're going to want to have your FOs premeasured, the scale set up and ready to go (put a piece of plastic wrap over it to help keep the hot soap batter from landing on it). If you are going to use metal bowls/cups to weigh and mix the FO in, I really suggest finding a way to preheat them a bit, because when that soap hits the cold (aka room temp) metal, its going to start to set up and crust on you so you'll likely end up with chunks in the bars. Which isn't a bad thing as long as the soap is done and doesn't zap, just not asthetically pleasing, especially if the FO discolors LOL I would get some of the 1qt HDPE paint mixing containers from Walmart because they're thin enough that they will heat up to the soap's temperature quickly to help keep it warm & more fluid and they are uber easy to scrape clean and wash.
 

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