Oakmoss to Offset the Odor of Lard/Tallow

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Mar 9, 2017
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SE Denver CO
Lard and tallow were some of the first soaps I ever made, and they continue to be favorites with family and friends. I even use them in liquid soap. When I was first starting out in this addictive hobby, I had the very good fortune to be on a soaping forum where I learned that Oakmoss covered the odor of tallow and lard in soap. It works! And it doesn't take much to work.

OAKMOSS ABSOLUTE, 1 oz. (Evernia prunastri)
Oakmoss is not a true flowering plant but a lichen (algae + fungus) that is extracted for its fragrance. They grow well on trunks of the Oak tree. Oakmoss absolute is a viscous liquid with an extremely intense aroma reminiscent of a damp forest floor.

Its odor is uplifting, cooling and calming. Its properties are more emotional and spiritual than physical. It can be used as an addition with respiratory oils as an inhalant to relieve congested sinus. May irritate sensitive skin. Blends well with cedarwood, citrus, pine, rosemary and vetiver. Used extensively in perfumery, its a very thick product whose dark green color will vary from batch to batch and distiller to distiller. Flashpoint: >200 F. Solvent extracted lichen, India.

Source: http://www.camdengrey.com/

TIP: Oakmoss Absolute is pricey, and tricky to work with so I dilute it in jojoba oil (long shelf life) to make it user-friendly and easy to measure.

First warm the absolute by setting the bottle in a glass of hot water until it swirls easily. I warm the jojoba in the microwave in a 2-cup Pyrex to about 100°F (38°C). To create a 10% dilution, I add 1 oz. Oakmoss to 9 oz. jojoba and gently stir for one full minute to get it completely incorporated.

Allow to cool before pouring into an dark colored glass bottle. I store it with the rest of my supplies in a box on a shelf in my soaping cabinet.

Use 0.7% (1/4 - 1/2 tsp. PPO)

Oakmoss is a wonderful blender and fixative to anchor EO blends. I haven't checked in a while, but you may find it in the 10% diluted form. Not sure. You can also try an FO if you find it. I've never used FO, so I can't say if that will work or not.
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I like the one where one emoticon is bumping another, and another, and another -- am I lost in the "good ole days" of soapmaking forums, or what? :lolno:
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From the website you have linked:

Until recently, Oakmoss Absolutes have contained potential allergens with a high risk of skin sensitization; ours is extracted in France, contains a low percentage of atranol (a known contact allergen) and meets international standards. Most Oakmoss extracts are now currently restricted for use by the IFRA – the International Fragrance Association – but ours is IFRA-compliant; a conformity certificate is available upon request.
"Safety Considerations: Possible skin sensitization, therefore a maximum dermal use level of 0.1% is recommended"

One brand of oil is about double the price of the other ($20 for 5ml vs $8.99).
At your suggested usage rate (0.7% of a 10% dilution, or 0.07%), the cost per bar is going to be fairly small.

It equates to roughly $1 per pound of oils (for the more expensive, low atranol, version).
Thanks Zany! I just finished reading this and was checking out the seller on Ebay that you recommended. Pricey stuff! I assume it can be mixed with Coconut oil instead of Jojoba?

Oh, was also going to ask if you purchase EO's from that seller often? Are they good oils?
Pricey stuff! I assume it can be mixed with Coconut oil instead of Jojoba?
All absolutes are pricey. Once diluted 10% oakmoss and 90% jojoba, the price per oz comes down considerably. Because jojoba is a wax, not an oil, it has an indefinite shelf life.
Sun Pure has it - Jojoba, 16 oz @ $18.40= $1.15 per oz
Oh, was also going to ask if you purchase EO's from that seller often? Are they good oils?
Sun Pure Botanicals
Good oils. Huge variety. Women owned. I've been purchasing from them for longer than I can remember. They are in New Mexico. I receive my order in CO in 3 days. Had a problem once in all that time. Corrected promptly. Excellent people to do business with. 99.9% positive feedback on Ebay.

Downside: I think Leslie, the co-owner, packs the order like it's going on a raft to China! LOL It's really hard to get it open sometimes. LOL Their new labels are metallic. The ink comes right off in a hot water bath! Not good. I need to take time to chat with them about that. It's on my Round Tuit list.

Here's a copy of my recent order

Date: September 11, 2019

Fir Needle, 4 oz @ $11.48 = $2.90 per oz
Lavender French, 4 oz @ $13.56 = $3.40 per oz
Helichrysum, 4 oz @ $15.12 = $3.80 per oz
Juniper Berry, 4 oz @ $18.76 = $4.70 per oz
Bergamot, 4 oz @ US $11.63 = $2.90 per oz
Bay Laurel Leaf, 4 oz @ $22.35 = $5.60 per oz

Jojoba, 16 oz @ $18.40= $1.15 per oz
Oakmoss Absolute, 1 oz @ $25.53= $25.53 per oz
(MATH FOR OAKMOSS 10% $25.53 + 9 X 1.15 = $35.90
$35.90 /10 oz = 3.60 oz. - 13¢ gram/ml)

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ETA: Oakmoss is not just for neutralizing the odor of animal fats. It's an excellent anchor that goes well with just about any blend that needs depth. It's amazing, really. Try it with anything.
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No, I mean like Green Chile's ... that you get from the street vendors in the fall. I buy it by the bushel and freeze. Yum!! :)
I'm in Sterling now, moved here from the Denver area a few months ago.