Let's talk about usage rates.....

Discussion in 'Fragrance Oils/Fragrance reviews' started by MGM, Aug 27, 2019.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. Aug 27, 2019 #1

    MGM

    MGM

    MGM

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    917
    Location:
    Canada
    So all this time, I've been using SoapCalc's default of 31g FO/kg oils. That's .5 oz ppo (edited), half of what most of you use. This may explain why I feel like my CP soaps aren't scented enough. So I decided to look into the safe usage rates of all my FOs. This is what I discovered:

    1. It was pretty easy to do because so far I've just purchased from one supplier (NDA.ca).
    2. I am WAY less of a FOHO than I thought, with only 73 unique fragrances (all 100ml) and only a few doubles (some intentional, some not so much).
    3. A number of my fragrances are no longer being sold by NDA, but I was able to find the Quality & Regulatory Information sheets elsewhere by googling the names; two I couldn't find any trace of.
    4. One of the Q&R sheets has nothing listed for safe usage rate. Strange.
    5. 5 of the 73 had low usage rates (below 5%). More on that later.
    6. 13 of the 73 had usage rates higher than 5%.
    7. All the rest (52) had usage rates of *exactly* 5%.​

    Here are my questions:

    1. Is 5% just a good CYA for safe usage rates? Is there really some science behind this or just laziness/"close enough"ness?
    2. A few of the FOs are just a bit above 5% but two (Fresh Linen and Sandalwood Supreme) are 100%. Sensuous Amber is 30%; Green Mint is 78%. One of the 3 lavender FOs (not one I own, but consulted by mistake) says "unlimited"...so, like, MORE than 100%?? What is going on here???
    3. Bitter Almond's rate is 4.5% (close enough to 5%), but Rose Garden is 2.5% and Christmas Eve and Allspice are both 1%. Pear Fantasy (which I've come to detest for its cidery/spice tones) is .5%! Apparently it also discolours AND accelerates, so really, what's the point??

    Bottom line: I want to be safe, but I also want to be smelly! What's a girl to do??
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
  2. Aug 27, 2019 #2

    jcandleattic

    jcandleattic

    jcandleattic

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,463
    Likes Received:
    2,659
    Location:
    Stuck in my head
    ??? I don't know many people who use more than this. This is a standard usage rate.
    There is an organization that puts the information together - see here for how they find their usuage rates. https://ifrafragrance.org/

    LOL I hear ya, but that above link has really good information on what a girl can do. :)
     
  3. Aug 27, 2019 #3

    MGM

    MGM

    MGM

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    917
    Location:
    Canada
    Oops my bad...that should have read "that's .5oz ppo." I updated it.
    INFRA has a really pretty website but it's awfully opaque. I first went there simply looking for the codes/classes/categories (I've seen them called all three). Couldn't find them anywhere on the INFRA site but a google search led me to SMF ;-)
    However, after INFRA, I'm much more informed about how "fragrance" adds between 48billion and 72 billion Euros in value to 25 consumer product categories (https://ifrafragrance.org/10-key-findings), and there's a nice infographic on this page: https://ifrafragrance.org/self-regulation/understanding-the-standards.
    but I think I'm gonna go with CYA (at least from my supplier's POV....INFRA may be setting more specific standards and my supplier is rounding to 5%...sometimes).
     
  4. Aug 27, 2019 #4

    lucycat

    lucycat

    lucycat

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    98
    Remember that safe for IFRA has nothing to do with recommended rate; only maximum usage rate that is safe for the chemical components in the fragrance. Also, IFRA isn't required for US so not all companies provide that info.

    I think 1 oz ppo used to the be max that most people used; that is 6.25% per pound of oil. Fragrances manufactured before 2016-2018 were always stronger and I started soaping with .5-.7 per ounce ppo (3.125% - 4.375%) from good companies before 2012. At that time citrus scents were the only ones I soaped at 1 oz ppo. Companies like MMS used to recommend rates at .4-.6 oz ppo and you can find old comments on BB's site using .7 oz ppo. You don't see those comments these days because that isn't enough to scent a CP soap bar with the fragrances that are currently being sold. Removing phalates from fragrances changed the game and it doesn't seem that there has been any success in getting the type of scent that used to be possible with them.

    Currently I test at 1 oz ppo and then decide from there. I have a couple of citrus that I scent at 1.2 oz ppo. When you get down to cost on a per bar basis increasing the FO rate is one way to really increase cost per bar. So, I pass on a lot of fragrances these days because of usage rate. However, it keeps getting harder to find strong scents.

    If you look at Brambleberry fragrance chart some of the new fragrances have recommended amounts so high they would be using 1.3-1.5 ounces ppo. There are so many with the same numbers that at times I wonder if they all have been tested. At some point this fragrance is just too much and will seep out of the log as well as making a soft bar that takes much longer to get a hard bar of soap.

    So, it isn't only you. I find this the biggest frustration in making CP soap today for sale. Consider amping up earthy scents with a bit of patchouli eo or cedar EO. For floral types a bit of honeysuckle/jamine (still strong) helps.
     
  5. Aug 27, 2019 #5

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    13,628
    Likes Received:
    7,901
    Location:
    Michigan
    I don’t purchase any FO that has less than 5% usage. I use 1 oz ppo for many. I also don’t purchase from companies who don’t list IFRA rates. I’ve done this since I started in 2009. My customers like good smelling soap. I also think by scenting this way it lasts much longer and doesn’t fade long term. It’s certainly a personal preference.
     
  6. Aug 27, 2019 #6

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,098
    Likes Received:
    9,757
    Location:
    Right here, silly!
    This is just me, but I personally don't give a whole lot of weight to IFRA's safe usage rates.....at least not since reading through my Essential Oil Safety book by Tisserand and Young. They have a few carefully chosen words to say about how IFRA is structured and how it goes about coming up with their 'safe' recommendations, some of which they strongly disagree with in their book and explain their reasons why. A tad bit too "sketchy" for me to want to give their (IFRA's) recommendations the full weight of salt that I used to. I understand that those in the EU have to abide by their recommendations, but I am very glad that the US has not adopted them as law here.

    I stay within the vendor max use recommendations, most times needing to use only a fraction of the recommended maximum. For what it's worth, it's very rare that I ever go as high as 1 oz ppo. Between .3 oz ppo to .8 oz ppo is my usual range, depending on the FO. If any particular FO cannot 'make the cut' as they say, I mark it off my list of keeper FOs and don't ever buy it again.


    IrishLass :)
     
    Nanette and soapmaker like this.
  7. Aug 27, 2019 #7

    MGM

    MGM

    MGM

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    917
    Location:
    Canada
    Thanks for all the input! NDA doesn't recommend a usage rate for fragrance potency, but gives the INFRA max usage. But strangely, 90% of them are listed as RIGHT at 5%. 1 oz ppo is 6.3%, so in theory, someone using 1 oz ppo would be exceeding the safe level of 90% of those fragrances. I only have 11 FOs that I could use at 1 oz ppo, and they range from 8% to 100% to "unlimited". Something seems off.....
     
  8. Aug 27, 2019 #8

    MGM

    MGM

    MGM

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    917
    Location:
    Canada
    The other weird thing about my supplier, if not others, is that the IFRA usage rates for FOs for LEAVE-ON products are higher than for soap. Check out these tables. Does this make any sense whatsoever? 100% safe usage rate in lotions and deodorants and aftershaves, but only 5% for soap?? Category 6 is mouthwash...you can use the Tropical Passionfruit FO at 100% in mouthwash? Lolwut???
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Aug 28, 2019 #9

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    IrishLass

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    16,098
    Likes Received:
    9,757
    Location:
    Right here, silly!
    Those^^^^ are the kind of arbitrary things that make absolutely no logical sense to me and one of the reasons why I take their recommendations with a big grain of salt. Besides aftershaves, Category 3 also includes eye products of all types including eye creams. Eyes are a pretty sensitive area and there's lots of things that you don't want to be using around your eyes in case they get in your eyes, but according to their recommendations in your screenshots, you can use Tropical Passionfruit FO @ 100% in eye creams and all the rest of the products listed under Category 3 which are all leave-on products, but you can only use it at 5% in soap, a wash-off product. I'm with you, MGM- lolwut???


    IrishLass :)
     
    shunt2011 and MGM like this.
  10. Aug 28, 2019 #10

    MGM

    MGM

    MGM

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    917
    Location:
    Canada
    Yet they look so official and appear to be routinely updated! I will email to ask them.
    Here's another wacky thing...because I looked at 76 Q&R sheets today, I'm a bit obsessed at the moment. So, almost all of the sheets have a Cruelty-free statement, a Gluten-free statement, a Vegan statement, a Phthalate-free statement, and Paraben-free statement.....but some of them have a BSE (mad cow disease) statement and a sewage-sludge-free statement.
    I am not even kidding....so Bubblegum FO is only safe at 5% in soap, but it's safe at 71% for mouthwash and you can rest assured that it was not made with sewage-sludge.
    But here's the thing...most of the FO sheets don't mention BSE or sewage-sludge---does that mean the rest of my oils do contain them??
    This is one rabbit hole that I'm kind of regretting going down.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Aug 28, 2019 #11

    maxine289

    maxine289

    maxine289

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Virginia
    This is an issue I grapple with all the time. Customers do like "smelly" soap. In the beginning I did not understand the importance of the IFRA Category 9 but pay much more attention to it now. My question has always been is the usage rate percentage based on the weight of the oils or of the batch? The Brambleberry fragrance oil calculator instructions say to enter the weight of the batch. SoapCalc is based on oils. I know many people use 1 oz./ppo, which works out to about 6.25% of oils. I like FO at 5% of the batch. However, not knowing what the IFRA bases their usage rate recommendation on (oils or batch), if a FO has a rate of less than 7%, I base my calculation on the oil weight to be safe; if it's higher, I base it on the weight of the batch. IFRA usage rate of 7% works out to 5% of batch weight (if I'm doing my math correctly).
     
  12. Aug 28, 2019 #12

    lucycat

    lucycat

    lucycat

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    98
    To add to your confusion remember that 1 oz ppo or 6.25% times the oils isn't the same thing as 6.25% of the total soap since you have added lye and water to the batch.
     
  13. Aug 28, 2019 #13

    maxine289

    maxine289

    maxine289

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    37
    Location:
    Virginia
    Yes, when I said "batch" I was including oils, lye and water. (It is confusing; there are so many ways to describe things.:()
     
  14. Aug 28, 2019 #14

    MGM

    MGM

    MGM

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2019
    Messages:
    696
    Likes Received:
    917
    Location:
    Canada
    Yes, but then varying water percentages come into play....people who soap with less water could in theory use more FO, which doesn't make sense.
    OTOH, ppo makes no sense at all (even though that's what I've been assuming this whole time), when you consider that probably for every other category, they're talking batch weight, not some mysterious half of the ingredients that only mouthwash-makers know ;-)
    So sure, you're probably supposed to base it on cured batch weight....which is easy to get, once you've MADE the soap :p
    More suspicious to me is the fact that whereas some of the numbers are listed down to two decimal points, is that 90% of the oils are just listed at "5%". Seems fishy (but not sewer-sludgey!) to me.....
     
  15. Aug 28, 2019 #15

    soapmaker

    soapmaker

    soapmaker

    Soapmaker Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2017
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    420
    Location:
    Ontario
    Oh dear dear, what shall we do?? It's a wonder any of us are healthy! At least soap is a wash off thing, we probably wouldn't eat half of what we do if we saw how it was made/grown.
     
  16. Aug 29, 2019 #16

    lucycat

    lucycat

    lucycat

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    98
    If you look at books and recipes that are 15-20 years old you see a lot of fragrances in tablespoon measurements. The change over to .x ounce per pound of oil was a change to reflect that weight was a much better measure than volume for consistency and accuracy. Since water amounts are not the same for all soapmakers PPO was an easy way to provide a measurement for comparison and consistency.

    It is hard to believe today but plenty of companies used to give recommendation usage and these were in amounts per ppo (or its equiv % to oils; again getting away from volume measurements. It an easy way to tell you my amount of fragrance usage in a way that you could easily compare it to yours (again, eliminating the amount of water in the discussion)

    I don't remember when the first IFRA limitations on chemical components were first set in Europe but probably it was 2012-2015 before much was said about them in the US. I doubt if anyone calculated FO as a percentage of the batch (oils, lye, water) until then. So, now we have two approaches that people use (or three, if there are still soapmakers who use volume measurements)

    So, the industry changes and we change/adapt.
     
  17. Aug 31, 2019 #17

    earlene

    earlene

    earlene

    Grandmother & Soaper Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Messages:
    6,641
    Likes Received:
    6,004
    Location:
    Western Illinois, USA

    I think Brambleberry gives you a batch reference because they expect you to use the BB calculator, which IMO leaves a lot to be desired. Their calculator doesn't give much information nor does it allow you to choose different lye concentrations (water amounts). And they don't really list safe usage rates on their FOs anyway. They say, "Usage Instructions: Enter the total weight of your recipe into the Fragrance Calculator for light, medium, and strong recommendations." What a pain!
     
  18. Aug 31, 2019 #18

    LilyJo

    LilyJo

    LilyJo

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    311
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Just to add to the mix for any EU soapers, the max usage rates are often lower than IFRA and can be lower than 5% - if you are planning in selling in the EU or UK, you need to comply with the safety assessment max use.
     

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder