Is my nose crazy?

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I feel like we are so inundated with artificial scents, I try only to buy unscented detergents, lotions, etc. I can't even stand to walk down the detergent aisle at the supermarket.
Oh wow, can totally relate. I can't walk into a Yankee Candle store, it is so overwhelming that I start getting a phantom headache. Pretty sure it's phantom because my headaches don't usually start until 20-30 minutes after exposure. Oh and the fertilizer, insecticide aisles in the hardware store are also awful. I just stay clear of those. My eyes are burning and tearing up just thinking about it.
 

LisaBoBisa

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Great if it works out for you, sucks if it doesn't. I still have half a 8oz bottle of RE's Pearberry from three years ago....it accelerates horribly and though I learned to work with it, it's not a scent that sells well. Elements' Autumn Harvest...bought a 1oz bottle and fell in love with the scent and immediately ordered a 8oz bottle; turns out it discolors to a really dark brown. It's only because of @Todd Ziegler's VCS that I can now dust off the bottle and use it.

@theI have a bunch of 1oz and 2 oz bottles I need to get rid off. They sounded great when I ordered them, but then I got them and UGH! So glad I didn't purchase larger sizes. Katie at Royalty Soaps buys large quantities of FOs...like 25lbs...and she did a video on a couple of skunks she ended up buying that much off that she was just going to have to dump.

@TheGecko Oh my goodness-can't imagine buying 25lbs of a single fragrance without already loving it! That sounds like a real blow. Searching the glossary- what's a VCS or a DB?
 

TheGecko

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@TheGecko Oh my goodness-can't imagine buying 25lbs of a single fragrance without already loving it! That sounds like a real blow.

Yep, it's why I ALWAYS recommend making test batches when using a new ingredient, scent, colorant, additive or even a new technique. I have two 4" Silicone Loaf Molds and one 6" Silicone Slab Mold for just this purpose.
 

LisaBoBisa

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That makes sense! Looks like my new silicone rose mold is going to finally get used... will post results when I finally get it done.

Yep, it's why I ALWAYS recommend making test batches when using a new ingredient, scent, colorant, additive or even a new technique. I have two 4" Silicone Loaf Molds and one 6" Silicone Slab Mold for just this purpose.
 

LisaBoBisa

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Welp… in the end, it doesn’t matter what they smelled like in the bottle, because all but 3 disappeared pretty quickly in the cure, even though I mixed kaolin clay into my batch. Blueberry, honey, and the sort of floral lemon won, so 3 of my 12 Nature’s Flavors bottles are soapable (Nature’s Flavors: the twelve bars on the right).

Not sure what was in the Chocolate and Vanilla FOs, but they turned foul and musty in soap… there are traces of that musty smell in the strawberry, raspberry, and true almond, too.

Also made a 6~pack of the other natural scents i bought from Bulk Apothecary and Voyageur (and a random Chocolate “EO”). All of those 6 dissapeared except for Voyageur’s faint Violet & White Melon natural FO, and the Chocolate EO, which smalls softly, fakely sweet, but not in a bad way—it smells like a toy from my childhood.

I bought 4 more natural FO’s from Bulk Apothecary: Lemon Creme, which smelled heavenly OOB but mostly disappeared instantly when I poured a half-lb batch of cupcakes, and 3 melon scents🍈 🍉 that I haven’t tried yet, but reviews say they survived CP cure.

So much money wasted… It might be time to give up on natural FO’s if this doesn’t work. I ordered my first synthetic, BrambleBerry’s Pineapple & Papaya, and it smells heavenly to my nose oob.

I’ll try making body butter and bath bombs with the fruity Nature’s Flavors FOs that faded on me; the Fig especially smelled nice as it vanished.
 
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DeeAnna

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Yep, what Zany said.

I make a soap with 20% neem seed oil in it. I've been scenting the last few batches with a lime-cilantro fragrance oil. That fragrance goes into hiding for a good solid month after I cut the bars. But eventually it resurfaces and I can smell it again. Neem oil scent by most people's opinion (including mine) needs some serious help, so it's good the lime doesn't disappear forever.
 

LisaBoBisa

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I'm sure others have mentioned this but it may need repeating. Fragrances return and bloom during use. So, if you haven't already done so, lather up and see what happens! All may not be lost. ;) :thumbs:
Yep, what Zany said.

I make a soap with 20% neem seed oil in it. I've been scenting the last few batches with a lime-cilantro fragrance oil. That fragrance goes into hiding for a good solid month after I cut the bars. But eventually it resurfaces and I can smell it again. Neem oil scent by most people's opinion (including mine) needs some serious help, so it's good the lime doesn't disappear forever.
Two weeks later...
turns out both of you are right, of course (experience!).

@Zany_in_CO turns out I do need to repeat the testers. Just learned that light and heat can make fragrances fade (such a noob mistake), and I had left these testers near a closed heater vent over a month with lots of heater use. So it's actually pretty impressive that those 3 natural FO scents are still so strong, and a few others still have a faint scent.

@DeeAnna, even the coconut scent shows up softly when I use the soap. And I haven't tested any of these in hot process yet.

So basically, fragrances are turning out to be the most convoluted and unpredictable part of soapmaking so far (for me, at least). It's the soapmaking equivalent of wandlore in Harry Potter.
 
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Two weeks later...
turns out both of you are right, of course (experience!).
@Zany_in_CO turns out I do need to repeat the testers. Just learned that light and heat can make fragrances fade (such a noob mistake), and I had left these testers near a closed heater vent over a month with lots of heater use. So it's actually pretty impressive that those 3 natural FO scents are still so strong, and a few others still have a faint scent.
A few things to keep in mind.

#1 In my opinion so-called natural fo's are a waste of money that buyers do not care about. At least 90% of the buyers, if a buyer is concerned about a fragrance and wants natural they are going to want an EO, and my experience most of the "Natural" fragrances are too pricey and do not hold well. If I am going to spend that kind of money on a fragrance it is going to be a quality fragrance from a supplier such as The Sage who has wonderful fragrances, other than her Mango Sorbet, I prefer Natures Garden's Mango Sorbet.

#2, you do not have to like a fragrance only your customers do. I had fragrances I would absolutely love, I would think they would sell like crazy, so off to market they would go. Nope, they would not sell worth a darn, but soap with a fragrance I absolutely hated would sell like crazy. This is why I always took a selection of up to 40 different fragrances to each market.

#3 This is a big one. Light and Heat are might make a difference but when you are selling you cannot control the conditions you face if you sell in weekly markets. Weekly markets are usually rain or shine and in order to keep your spot, you better be there if the market is open. Selling is a lot of hard work.

In conclusion yes, a lot of money is or can be wasted on fragrances, and small bottles and test batches is the best way to go which I admit I did not have the patience to do. I just did no like paying shipping costs on little bottles when companies like Natures Garden gave breaks on multi bottles of fragrances. Sadly no one supplier fits the bill for all fragrances. While I hate buying from WSP they have a couple fo's I could not live without because they were top sellers for me and the same applied to Brambleberry. It is trial and error, and fo's are you most expensive ingredient in soapmaking. Also when selling remember to fragrance heavy, if a customer cannot smell the soap they do not buy. As for buying 25 lbs at a time sometimes it works well and sometimes not. Royalty soaps is probably like me, she probably purchased at times for a good selling fo then suddenly the fo stopped selling for her. Trends stop or your market closes and you lose that customers base that loved a particular fo. For me my DB sold in every market, I still have customers calling me for DB soaps after 2 yrs.
 

ArcticBanshee

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I think that sometimes it takes time for me to re-arrange my thoughts around certain scents. Sage is one of them. I love the ozone quality of it, but not the herbal. Other people just love it no matter what. I grew up overseas so I’ve been exposed to a LOT of different smells. Sadly I think catching Covid two years ago altered my sense of smell, and it’s still not the same. Eating is a chore for me now. You’d think I’d lose weight with such a problem. Lol
 
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Sadly I think catching Covid two years ago altered my sense of smell, and it’s still not the same. Eating is a chore for me now. You’d think I’d lose weight with such a problem. Lol
I'm so sorry to hear that, and I can sympathize. My sense of smell and taste never fully came back either. It comes and goes, and so many things taste funny (or downright bad) to me. I smell things that aren't there, and don't smell things that are.

But sigh, no pounds lost here, either. 😆 Sometimes I find myself eating more because I'm mentally chasing the missing flavors.
 

LisaBoBisa

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Really appreciate your insights, @cmzaha. Did my first markets selling soaps with those NFO's this week (two in one week!), and oh my goodness, it really is surprising what people do and don't buy sometimes. A few batches I expected to sell well did, but two batches I wasn't sure whether to sell at all (one turned darker than I planned, the other became too solid to swirl and looked like blue cheese) either sold out or came close, and two new scent combination I wasn't sure about ended up being very popular with certain people (spice lovers). You really do have to bring all sorts of combinations to figure out what people like! One of the Nature's Flavors scents ended up being a bestseller, so I'm glad that bottle is so big. Markets are a lot of work, but I think I'd feel more scared of trying out new fragrances online... if they can't smell it first, and it's this tough to predict what each person will end up enjoying, might end up with unhappy customers.

So glad I could field test the scents this week. The toughest one to figure out is the batch that everyone commented on ("that smells so good!"), but only one person actually bought. I should pay better attention to what they bought instead to figure out that mystery.

#2, you do not have to like a fragrance only your customers do. I had fragrances I would absolutely love, I would think they would sell like crazy, so off to market they would go. Nope, they would not sell worth a darn, but soap with a fragrance I absolutely hated would sell like crazy. This is why I always took a selection of up to 40 different fragrances to each market.
 
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