how to work with citrus essential oil

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Sep 16, 2013
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hello all, i am new to soap making, and i really want to do citrus soaps, but i talking to someone who makes them and she says the cirtus is tricky and sometimes it wont hold the smell, but she said there are some essential oils that help the soap hold on to the citrus , i really want to work with grapfruit, so does anyone know what helps with this problem, thanks in advance. Miranda
I've not had a lot of luck with Citrus scents in EO's or FO's. However adding a clay to your soap may help anchor it more than without. Litsea Cubea is supposed to help anchor it as well. It's all trial and error. My best sticker is Lemongrass EO with some Grapefruit and Orange. Otherwise I find they fade too much and too fast. I'm sure others will pipe in as to their experiences.
You could try to find a folded grapefruit EO. Folded (5x or 10x) lemon and orange both stick well for me.

Normally I use a maximum of 3% EO of my soaping oils. With citrus I go higher, up to 5%.

I use FO for grapefruit. Brambleberry carries a nice one.
I hot-process soap when I use citrus EOs. I also add sodium lactate so the soap stays liquidish, and I wait until it's around 130 degrees F (spraying the surface occasionally) to add the EO.

Yep, lemongrass eo is the best for sticking and anchoring, it smells like lemon though, not grapefruit.

I haven't tried it yet but cornstarch is also supposed to help with scent sticking. It's discussed in other threads here.
I work with citrus EO all the time. I use 3-4% of total oil w. cover EO with corn starch, and add it at trace. Then I CPOP, and they smell great! I make plenty orange soap, and sometimes grapefruit soap too, and I have to tell that I never had a problem with scent going off. So my advice is to use a lot of corn starch with the EO, I use as much to cover EO. Good luck!
Litsea has a strong lemony aroma with an undertone of an herbal/green scent. If you've smelled lemon balm [Melissa] it's similar to that and it's less expensive.