Longest lasting EOs

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0115d8cf

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I made an oatmeal soap with star anise and 10-fold orange - and I love it!! Not sure how long the orange is going to last, but for the meantime I'm enjoying it. In fact, I regularly share soap with friends and family, but I'm keeping these for myself. :p

Orange and star anise is such a sleeper, so underrated. Love it. I find that kaolin in my citrus soaps keeps the scent around longer.
 
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Okay folks, I need some suggestions for pairing a “sticking” EO blend with this soap:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/stormy-seas-soap-revisited.76902/

I used the EoCalc Revive blend the last time, but I already use like that blend in another soap I make and would like something different for this one. I’m thinking a blend based on cedar might evoke the smell of ships caulked with tree resins, but any suggestions are welcome.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Ships Caulked with tree resin blend. :D
December 5, 2007

1) Blend
2 parts Cedarwood, Virginia EO
3 parts Sandalwood EO or FO (Sweetcakes has the best FO)

2) Then blend
1 part Cedar/Sandal Blend
4 parts Fir Needle EO
 
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I’m sure I would like that one @Zany_in_CO , but I’m trying to stick with EOs for this soap and sandalwood is definitely out of my price range :(. I also don’t have any fir EO right now. I went searching for blends with cedarwood and found some by @HowieRoll in this post. I believe I have everything but the spearmint on hand and I already have that ordered.

The cedarwood orange soap I make (and love the smell of) is:

58% Orange 5-fold
25% Cedarwood (Virginian)
17% Dark Patchouli

A more earthy-smelling blend is:

60% Bergamot
25% Cedarwood (Virginian)
15% Dark Patchouli

Another blend that I created and has been a huge hit is:

30% Dark Patchouli
20% Cedarwood (Virginian)
20% Amyris
20% Peppermint
10% Spearmint

Other few other blends with cedarwood that were recommended in that same thread look like stickers:

“cedarwood and spearmint with just a touch of lemongrass to file off the rough edge” by Susie
“may chang, pine and cedarwood are delightful” by SideDoorSoaps

It sounds like it’s a useful EO for blending.
 

Dawni

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I've tried that exact one.. Lemongrass, cedarwood and spearmint (in descending order). It's great. I've added rosemary to those in a separate soap, also good.

I have another soap that has lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus with cedarwood.. I like it, but noses are different hehe. I think it tones down the "medicinal" smells of the other two.
 
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I got sidetracked with practicing swirls for a bit, but finally got around to testing some matcha tea infusions that I scented with this blend of EOs at 4% of oil wt.:

Rosemary 47%
Litsea 35%
Basil 18%

It smells wonderful, but I made the mistake of not checking the usage rate for the Basil EO until after I finished making the soap. I don’t own Tisserand and Young, but from what I can find online, it looks like basil is another EO that should be used at relatively low concentrations. I will probably shoot for 5-10% in the blend moving ahead. I guess I’m beginning to understand the value of blending EOs that have different chemical compositions...

ETA: according to the WSP website fragrance calculator, the recommended usage for basil EO is 0.01% in cp soap. :(

After a bit more research I’ve learned that basil (Linalool) is the safer option relative to basil (estragole, or not specified). Many of the major EO suppliers (Camden Grey, New Directions Aromatics, Nature’s Garden, WSP and BB) carry only the estragole version. The high Linalool EO is available, here:
https://www.lgbotanicals.com/Basil-Sweet-ct-Linalool-Essential-Oil_p_225.html
https://www.edenbotanicals.com/basil-sweet-linalool-organic.html
https://www.planttherapy.com/basil-linalool-essential-oil
https://av-at.com/basil-linalool-usa/

It’s definitely pricey.
 
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I’ve finally started testing EOs for scent retention and acceleration behavior. I picked out six floral or grassy(?) EOs that I thought might accelerate trace. All of the EOs are from Camden Grey. I used them at 3% ppo to match what I’m doing in parallel FO testing. I was surprised that Palmarosa moved as fast or faster than Ylang Ylang and that Patchouli was pretty average. My recipe is 35% tallow, 10% refined Shea, 25% coconut and the rest liquid oils. The oils were at 90 F when I added the lye, which was probably a little cooler. I mixed the batter to a stable emulsion using a mini blender. The EOs were mixed in with a small spatula and left to sit undisturbed between observations, which were frequent at the beginning and then more spread out (up to 5 min intervals) towards the end. The batter in the small cups was 80F + after an hour, which is when I stopped recording.

From slowest to fastest for trace stages (as explained below):

Ghost trace (dripped batter leaves a ghost trace on the surface of the batter, but there is no relief)
Amyris, Geranium, Patchouli, Pettigrain
Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang

Ribbon trace (a ribbon of batter will stay on the surface for at least 1-2 minutes)
Geranium, Patchouli
Amyris, Pettigrain
Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang (the Palmarosa was looking a bit clumpy at this stage)

Soft Peak (just getting to the same look as the soft peak stage of beaten egg whites; easy to tap out)
Patchouli
Pettigrain
Geranium
Amyris
Ylang Ylang
Palmarosa

Stiff Peak
Amyris (did not reach this stage in an hour)
Geranium
Patchouli
Pettigrain
Ylang Ylang
Palmarosa

I covered the cups and put them on a heating pad at high for 2 hours. I‘m thinking now that I may repeat this with the EOs at 6% for the scent retention comparisons I will do over the coming year.

I would like to know if the relative patterns are consistent with the experiences of others. For example, do Amyris and Geranium behave well for you compared with Ylang Ylang and Palmarosa? And what about Patchouli. I heard a lot about it accelerating, but it was middle of the road to slow in this test.

ETA: @HowieRoll @szaza @KiwiMoose @lsg @Jackie Tobey If you have had similar experiences with these EOS, or have had results that are inconsistent with what I observed, especially for Palmarosa, I would love to know. TIA.
 
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I’ve finally started testing EOs for scent retention and acceleration behavior. I picked out six floral or grassy(?) EOs that I thought might accelerate trace. All of the EOs are from Camden Grey. I used them at 3% ppo to match what I’m doing in parallel FO testing. I was surprised that Palmarosa moved as fast or faster than Ylang Ylang and that Patchouli was pretty average. My recipe is 35% tallow, 10% refined Shea, 25% coconut and the rest liquid oils. The oils were at 90 F when I added the lye, which was probably a little cooler. I mixed the batter to a stable emulsion using a mini blender. The EOs were mixed in with a small spatula and left to sit undisturbed between observations, which were frequent at the beginning and then more spread out (up to 5 min intervals) towards the end. The batter in the small cups was 80F + after an hour, which is when I stopped recording.

From slowest to fastest for trace stages (as explained below):

Ghost trace (dripped batter leaves a ghost trace on the surface of the batter, but there is no relief)
Amyris, Geranium, Patchouli, Pettigrain
Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang

Ribbon trace (a ribbon of batter will stay on the surface for at least 1-2 minutes)
Geranium, Patchouli
Amyris, Pettigrain
Palmarosa, Ylang Ylang (the Palmarosa was looking a bit clumpy at this stage)

Soft Peak (just getting to the same look as the soft peak stage of beaten egg whites; easy to tap out)
Patchouli
Pettigrain
Geranium
Amyris
Ylang Ylang
Palmarosa

Stiff Peak
Amyris (did not reach this stage in an hour)
Geranium
Patchouli
Pettigrain
Ylang Ylang
Palmarosa

I covered the cups and put them on a heating pad at high for 2 hours. I‘m thinking now that I may repeat this with the EOs at 6% for the scent retention comparisons I will do over the coming year.

I would like to know if the relative patterns are consistent with the experiences of others. For example, do Amyris and Geranium behave well for you compared with Ylang Ylang and Palmarosa? And what about Patchouli. I heard a lot about it accelerating, but it was middle of the road to slow in this test.
Sorry for being a dummy but could you please explain further?
EG - after an hour of sitting, the Palmarosa was at the stiff peak stage? So when was it at the ghost swirl stage?
 
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Sorry for being a dummy but could you please explain further?
EG - after an hour of sitting, the Palmarosa was at the stiff peak stage? So when was it at the ghost swirl stage?

I didn’t give the times above because the timing at the very beginning was somewhat influenced by how long it took me to get each EO stirred into a cup before I could start recording and then I was trying to take notes. (Have you ever seen that clip from the I Love Lucy TV show of Lucy in the candy factory? :cool: ).

That being said, the Palmarosa EO reached “ghost trace“ almost immediately. Geranium and Patchouli were slower than Amyris and Pettigrain, which were slower than Palmarosa and Ylang Ylang, but all were at ghost trace within the first 5 minutes after being mixed into the batter. Palmarosa reached ribbon stage by the next time I checked the cup (the four minute mark), while Geranium and Patchouli took 15 minutes to get to that stage. Palmarosa reached the soft peak stage at the 10 minute mark, Geranium at 21 minutes and Patchouli at 45 minutes. Palmarosa was getting unworkable/stiff at 22 minutes, but geranium and Patchouli took almost an hour to get stiff. Ylang Ylang was stiff after 31 minutes. Maybe I need to make a timeline that shows when each EO reached each stage!
 
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I‘m planning to do another round of eo testing soon and thought I should summarize the good information in this thread first, so here goes. I apologize in advance if I missed any single eo information.

List of essential oils that last 6 months or more (unless otherwise indicated) in cp soap. Contributors: Shunt2011, HowieRoll, Mobjack Bay, Millie, KiwiMoose, Soaper for Life, Dawni, Hawksquill, AliOop (A) = accelerates. Be sure to check usage rates for essential oils in soap, lotions and other B&B products before deciding how much to use (see supplier website, EOCalc.com, Tisserand and Young book, aromaweb.com) Bonus: tips for increasing scent retention summarized at the bottom.

Amyris - yes, but soft, for 3% at 3+ months
Anise (Star) - yes, yes, for > 1 yr at <1%, but scent is light, yes >2 yrs
Balsam Peru -
Basil (sweet) yes, yes at <1% in a blend last >1 yr (no A, used in swirled soap), (A)
Benzoin resinoid - yes, 2 yrs
Bergamot (recent discussion of this one fading fast) - doesn't last as strong
Black pepper -
Cedar (Virginian) - yes
Cedar (unspecified) - yes, >2 yrs
Cinnamon (leaf) - yes, (A)
Clary sage -
Clove - yes, yes for >1 yr at very low conc., (A)
Copaiba balsam -
Dalmatian sage -
Eucalyptus -
Eucalyptus Lemon - little goes a long way in a blend and it lasts forever
Fir Needle (Siberian) - lasts forever
Geranium - yes, yes for 3% after 3+ months, yes
Ginger - probably, but that’s a guess
Ho wood -
Labdanum Resinoid - yes, >2 yrs
Lavandin - I use lavandin now and feel that it lasts better (than lavender)
Lavender (40/42) - fades for me, even at 5% so I hope I can find the one that sticks!, yes, >2 yrs, yes for 18 mo.+
Lemongrass - yes, yes at 3-5%, yes, at least a year
Litsea cubeba (May Chang) - yes, yes at 3-5%, yes, >2 yrs, yes for 11 months
Neroli -
Orange 10x - I use 5-fold and it doesn't really last, 6-fold very weak at 3% after 3 months even with various “anchors” such as clay and cornstarch
Orange wax - scent holds for > 1 year when used as a base oil (2-5%) but not as bright as orange EO
Palmarosa - yes, yes for 3% after 3+ months (A), yes >2 yrs, yes for >1 yr (A)
Patchouli - yes, definitely, yes >18 months at 5% (very mild A in some recipes), yes, >2 yrs, yes, >1 yr
Peppermint - yes, yes at 2% or less, yes, for >1 yr but fades (also loses tingle)
Pettigrain - I use the "natural blend" and it definitely lasts, yes for 3% after 3+ months (possible mild A in some recipes)
Rosemary - yes
Rosewood - no
Sandalwood (very expensive) -
Spearmint - lasts forever!, >2 yrs
Tea tree - 2 yrs
Vetiver -
Ylang Ylang #1 - yes, 3 yrs in a blend
Ylang Ylang #3 - yes, yes at 3% after 3+ months (A)

Suggestions for increasing the retention of eos in soap:
  • Many find that scents are retained better in eo blends
  • Store soaps in closed containers - plastic clamshell (HowieRoll), cardboard trading card storage boxes work well, too (Mobjack Bay)
  • Use more saturated fats, store at lower temperature, use less water in recipe (aromasuzie)
  • Anchors have been discussed in other threads, but the jury remains out.
An article on storing EOs:
https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/articles/how-to-store-essential-oils-to-maximize-oil-life.html

General information about EOs, including how they are produced:
All About Essential Oils
 
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Thank you so much for this! I’m curious that no one gave an (A) for clove, cinnamon, or basil. All of those accelerate significantly for me, esp the first two in even minute amounts.
 
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Thank you so much for this! I’m curious that no one gave an (A) for clove, cinnamon, or basil. All of those accelerate significantly for me, esp the first two in even minute amounts.
I didn’t ask about acceleration in my original question, but would like to add that in as we move forward. Many use eo in blends, which can make it more challenging to sort out the culprits. I added your info above.
 

Tara_H

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Thank you so much for this! I’m curious that no one gave an (A) for clove, cinnamon, or basil. All of those accelerate significantly for me, esp the first two in even minute amounts.
I had to read the post a couple of times before I realised it wasn't saying that @AliOop accelerates 😆
If it needs another vote I've experienced cinnamon accelerating at 0.5g in 500g oils.
 

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