Neem oil - how to mask the smell

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Sonya-m

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I'm making a soap for my friend that has sensitive/problem skin and want to try and cover the smell of the neem.

She's asked for a citrus/uplifting scent. I'm thinking lemongrass eo but blended with what? Would cedarwood work?
 

dixiedragon

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Neem is pretty potent. I think a better bet is to try to figure out what scents "complement" the natural neem scent - as much as that is possible.
 

CaraBou

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Agreed. I've not soaped with it so can't suggest a blend. A good approach might be to smell as many neem bars as you can find in the stores, and model after the scent you like best.
 

cmzaha

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You cannot cover the scent of neem oil. I make neem soaps and use lavenders, tree tree, rosemary, lemongrass, litsea Etc. Neem will mellow out in the soap depending on your percentage of neem but will never go completely away. Stay away from florals they do not go at all with neem and citronella is a big mistake with neem, it only enhances the neem scent. In my neem soaps I use 20-25% neem. Be aware neem will accelerate and it heats up in these percentages, so it is still better to use less liquid not more. Just work quick
 

Sonya-m

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I'm not sure where I would find neem soap to smell around here

How would lemongrass and tea tree work? Would they compliment it?

Thinking of going with 20% neem, no colours or fancy patterns though
 

cmzaha

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Lemongrass and tea tree would be fine, if you have it you can add in some lavender or any woodsy such as cedarwood. Do keep in mind at 20% it will be strong and do not even begin to judge it before 30 days has passed. Pour quickly if you go with 20%, as I mentioned it does accelerate, but full water is not recommended especially if you are adding in any milks or honey since it can heat up. But does not go instant soap on a stick so don't worry to much
 

Sonya-m

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Thank cmzaha, I was leaning towards lemongrass and cedarwood initially so will add tea tree to that

I hadn't planned to use a milk but as its for sensitive skin will it benefit?

I never use any of my soaps before the 6-8 week mark anyway. Exactly how potent is the neem at this %?
 

Obsidian

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I use neem around 20-25, unscented with a little ground oatmeal. It smells bad and continues to smell bad for a good 4 months. After awhile, it almost gets a black tea like scent, at least until it gets wet then it smells of neem again.
It really does make a good soap though and the scent is worth it. Its something I've gotten used to, I also use it in shampoo bars at 5% and even then, its still noticeable under the FO.
 

Stacy

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Just something to think about, but maybe no scent would be better unless she knows those EOs are ok for her.

People with sensitive skin sometimes react badly to any fragrances. My Mother loves tea tree and lavender, but if she uses them neat, they make her itch something awful.

Not that I don't understand your desire to cover it up. I just made my first Pine Tar and Neem bar a few weeks ago. Potent doesn't even begin to cover it! Although I didn't try, I have no problem believing cmzaha that trying to cover it is futile.
 

Arimara

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I think my daughter would have a fit if I used neem in any soap but isn't neem good for drier skin?
 

paillo

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I love cedarwood with neem. Agree tea tree would be nice too. Maybe even a bit of star anise? To my nose these combos would smell neemy and somewhat mediciney, but I would like that because it would be the whole point. Haven't made pine tar soap in forever, but thinking now that might be nice with neem and woodsy oils and a bit of anise.
 
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