HP Soap: Fragrance & Storage advice - please?

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New Member
Oct 25, 2011
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Upstate NY
Hello! I really need some help.
I’ve been making soaps and getting better at it, for about 8 years. But because it is a very part-time hobby, I am still not as proficient at it as so many other people out there. Maybe one day I’d like to start doing candles, too.

Anyway, I have a couple of issues that maybe someone can help me with. First is storage for between craft fairs for my soaps (right now I only do about 4 shows per year). Way back when, in the very beginning, before the idea of craft fairs even hit me, I tried Glad-type containers – made the mistake of storing multiple ‘flavors’ in one and I will not do that again; they all begin to smell the same, and not in a good way – kinda sour. That was also when I was still making CP soap. I began making HP soap a few years ago; maybe 4? The CP got to be too much of a P.I.T.A. as far as getting it OUT of the plastic molds. I loved the potential for the different shapes & everything, but it just wasn’t working for me. So…my hubby built me some really beautiful standard size wood molds and a cutter. Hot Process was the way to go – they’re all nice & uniform in size & shape, much easier to package. I went around in circles with packaging as well & finally settled upon plain brown paper with a label. It works, people like the soaps and the look. And I like the virtual instant gratification of HP - a lot - BIG plus, that.

Sorry to be so long-winded.

In any event – right now, I use large gallon size freezer Ziplocs lined with paper towels for each soap ‘flavor’ which all then get put into a large Rubbermaid container for transport to each show. The bags can get a little messy – some of the soaps tend to sweat more than others; some are softer or oily feeling. Taking them in/out of the bags you inevitably scrape the bag with the bars...
So that's one thing - storage and/or transport.

And also:
Until now, the fragrances for most of them have held up really well. Sometimes I still get a little whiff of ‘sour’ form the whole bin, but each individual soap smells as it should. Recently, the scents have been dissipating and I am not sure why. While I understand that some of them are older soaps – say a year or so – those older soaps are in a bag with a batch I made less than 3 months ago. One of them (flavors) is a completely new batch of 3 months old, and my recipe requires me to mix about 4 separate fragrance oils for it. I have never had this happen to this soap before. I have two others with the same base recipe, different fragrances and they are fine. What’s weirder, is I usually will keep the ends of the loaves for our own use – those are not in bags, not wrapped – just in baskets together – and only the much older ones are losing their scents; the 3 month old ones are pretty OK…I think – I’m losing track here.

I was about to buy a few of these (the ones with the covers): http://www.forcraftssake.com/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=20&products_id=35 in the hopes of being able to store the soaps in their display, rather than packing and unpacking them in and out of the bags and onto the table. I have read that they do need to ‘breathe'.
BUT – now I’m afraid of two things: will they wind up smelling all the same as one another? AND/OR will their scents go away even faster being exposed to the air. I’m confused because the ones I save for us seem to hold up kind of alright.

Is there any sort of trick or standard for keeping the scents strong over time? I did add literally a drop of the FOs to the bags of the ones that seem to be losing their scents. Dripped it right onto the paper towels. I'm hoping the fats in the soaps will soak in some of the fragrance that way.

Can i use those displays for storage also? I thought maybe putting some fabric over each variety of bars in the closed displays would help to keep the fragrances localized in each of the rows while still allowing them to breathe...maybe?
I really do appreciate any input from anyone. THANKS