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MiscellaneousSoaper12

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Hi! Excited to be here.

I started out with melt and pour and have since moved to cold process by putting down a chunk of money for an in-person course. I really enjoyed the experience and I feel confidence in safely handling NaOH from it.

The reason I started was because all the pretty soaps sold in my country (not US) had fragrance in them, but my SO has sensitive skin and eczema on her hands. My goal since was to figure out a way to make her a beautiful, pleasant soap that didn't cause her flare ups. This has since led me down a huge rabbit hole of soapmaking. Currently I'm on a (possibly futile) quest to make scented soap without FOs or EOs, since either can and has caused flareups (she avoids fragrances as is.) I thought about oil infusions or really strong teas instead of plain distilled water...but I'm only a beginner.

I have many questions and I'm eager to learn from you all. I've already lurked for a few days and everything I thought I understood about soapmaking was completely challenged. The science of it is super fascinating and I want to devour all the knowledge.

Starting a business someday is a whimsical dream of mine, but that's a bridge to be crossed by future me down the line (even if I can't help but brainstorm soap business names and design logos in the meantime.)
 
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Welcome! Many of us here also started soaping due to sensitivities.

Unfortunately, both the saponification process, and the tiny percentage of scent particles in infusions, mean that most scents other than EOs and FOs don't survive saponification.

Some folks can smell cocoa butter after saponification; I can get a whiff of caramelized sugars when I've used molasses or honey in HP. Other scents that do survive, but aren't universally loved, come from using recipes with pine tar, neem oil, or laurel berry oil.
 

TheGecko

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Welcome.

People use infused oils for the properties, not for the scent because as noted by @AliOop, the saponification process destroys it***. It's the same with using coffee, tea, beer, etc as a water replacement...you're get color, but your soap won't smell like coffee, tea, beer, etc.

I have a friend who prefers my uncolored, unscented soap...it has a nice, pleasant, clean 'soap' scent.

*** - It's also the reason why we don't recommend uses expensive oils/butters in soap. During the process, oils/butters and broken down into fatty acids and glycerin so it makes no sense to use Oil A at $36 lb when Oil D at $34 for 7 lbs has the same profile. Unless you are going strictly for "label" appeal. And in general, with the exception of Castor Oil, you don't want to go below 10% as it adds nothing but cost to your soap.
 
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¡Bienvenidos! There are brands of cocoa butter that still smell strong after saponification. You might look into benzoin resinoid which is heavenly -- vanilla-y and chocolate-y and maintains its scent.
I got into this for creativity -- and was pleasantly surprised to find out the health benefits for me & my family. Best of luck and keep us posted.
 

IrishLass

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Welcome to the forum!


Honey, and natural (as opposed to deodorized) cocoa butter are the only non-FO ingredients I've added to my soap that have left their scents behind in my soap.....but just temporarily. After a few months, more or less, they fade away.


IrishLass :)
 

MiscellaneousSoaper12

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*** - It's also the reason why we don't recommend uses expensive oils/butters in soap. During the process, oils/butters and broken down into fatty acids and glycerin so it makes no sense to use Oil A at $36 lb when Oil D at $34 for 7 lbs has the same profile. Unless you are going strictly for "label" appeal. And in general, with the exception of Castor Oil, you don't want to go below 10% as it adds nothing but cost to your soap.

Thank you for this bit, it's been puzzling me! Local soap making stores sell these really expensive oils and while I was curious at first, as I kept reading on here I just wondered why? I'm glad I saved myself the money for now.

¡Bienvenidos! There are brands of cocoa butter that still smell strong after saponification. You might look into benzoin resinoid which is heavenly -- vanilla-y and chocolate-y and maintains its scent.
I got into this for creativity -- and was pleasantly surprised to find out the health benefits for me & my family. Best of luck and keep us posted.

Thanks for the tip!

It's healthy to look at soapmaking as a creative outlet. I suppose I've put down quite a bit of money (I'm a freelancer so I'm not making a lot) and I'm trying to justify this expensive hobby lol. I'm going to get familiar with the process of simple bars before I get into swirls and stripes and such :)


Honey, and natural (as opposed to deodorized) cocoa butter are the only non-FO ingredients I've added to my soap that have left their scents behind in my soap.....but just temporarily. After a few months, more or less, they fade away.

How much honey did you add if I may ask?

And thanks everyone for your helpful, kind replies! I've said thanks so many times, but I am very grateful for all the experience being shared.
 

TheGecko

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Thank you for this bit, it's been puzzling me! Local soap making stores sell these really expensive oils and while I was curious at first, as I kept reading on here I just wondered why? I'm glad I saved myself the money for now.

That would be because soap makers often make other bath and body products...shampoo, conditioner, fizzies and steamers, lotions, scrubs, masks, etc. While I wouldn't waste Argon Oil on soap, I would use it in hair and skin products.
 
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Welcome aboard! Soap making is so much fun. Usually.
re soap without fragrances - I made a calendula soap as a request recently - I infused calendula petals in olive oil and then used that as 40% of total oils. The soap is unscented but amazingly has a very mild floral fragrance that I love. Calendula is also supposed to be good for skin conditions so perhaps it’s worth a try.
 

Babyshoes

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Hi and welcome!

I think patch testing of EOs with a dermatologist's guidance is sensible. Hopefully you'll find one that your partner can tolerate at a low %.

In the mean time, an unscented recipe with a good percentage of Shea butter won't go far wrong, unless they have a latex allergy, in which case use with caution.

I used to think an unscented soap would be too boring for me to bother with, but now I always have one in the shower for *ehem* sensitive areas. It does have a slight natural soapy scent which, once you're used to it, is more pleasant than overly smelly commercial products.
 

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