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Please help me to explain to people why FO is used instead of EO

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JayJay

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When I first started making soap I entered with the assumption that natural was always better. A couple oops batches later I quickly decided to try FO instead of wasting expensive EO. I'm not really good with blending my own scents.
None of my EO soaps really smell GOOD.

The biggest factor of my switch was something that I learned from you ladies and gents here -- EOs are not automatically more safe than FO. EO's are like medicine. I quickly became uncomfortable using them without fully understanding how they effect people.

Now to my question. I have been giving soap to close friends and family members and asking for feedback. They love my soap, especially the FO scented ones. My brother in particular loved my soap so much that he says he and his wife feel like royalty when using them. He asked me how I was able to create such amazing scents. I told him that I purchased them. His voice dropped to a tone of disappointment and replied "oh".

After further discussion I told him that I would make him some naturally scented soap, which made him feel better. I have had several similar conversations where people request that I make a natural soap for them.

One co-worker said she likes my laundry soap scent (which happens to be natural) but wanted a natural baby scented one. I explained that I could do a lavender scent for her but that "baby scent" is usually a FO. She looked confused so I tried to explain that lavender isn't automatically safer, that lots of people react to lavender. I talked for probably 5 minutes trying to explain it all.

Do any of you have a precise way of explaining FO use to people? I think that most people who I know seek handmade soap because it's "natural". I try to explain that the soap itself is natural, and that I like handmade soap better than synthetic detergents. But then I follow by saying that natural isn't always better when It comes to scents.

Can someone who is more articulate than me help me out here? People are so turned off by process things. I have one friend who gets irritated with me when I suggest that FOs are okay and that EO should be used with caution. It almost feels like she thinks I am handing her a bunch of BS.
 

Obsidian

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I know some EO's can be unsafe, especially when used at higher amounts but I don't see how the amount used in soap is dangerous unless a person is allergic to a particular one. People can have reactions to FO's just as easily as they can to a EO.

I used a soap yesterday with a FO that was new to me. Made me break out in red welts all over my face, nothing else in the soap was new or unusual so it had to be the FO.

as far as trying to explain why you use FO's, just tell them that many scents can't be produced naturally. EO's come from plants and there are no baby scent plants, just like there isn't apple pie or downy plants:)
Price is another consideration, lavender EO is quite a lot more $$ then lavender FO, if someone really wants the FO, I would ask them to supply it. (assuming you are gifting the soaps and not selling)

There are quite a few places you can find blending ideas for EO's. I don't do blends that well either and I don't use many EO's, mainly due to the prices. The EO's that I do use, are generally used by themselves and they smell great. Really no need to do fancy blends.
 

Susie

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I will second Obsidian's idea of having them provide the EO they want soap made from. Give them Bulk Apothecary's website, and give them a list of EO's NOT to buy. They can then order their own EO that you will make their soap from. Just be sure to follow safe usage rates for the irritating ones. This way you are cutting your costs, and they are getting the product they want.
 

IrishLass

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This is a good example of why I don't like the term, 'natural' and why I never, ever use the term when referring to my handmade soap.

If one really thinks about it, the soap we make, even if it's unscented and uncolored, is not natural. After all, where can one find the kind of soap we make in nature? One can't. We have to use ingredients that have been processed (9 times out of 10 I'll wager, chemically so), and then we have to put it through another chemical process (albeit a simple one) to turn the ingredients into soap. Even EOs are processed. The plants, roots or seeds, although natural, all have to go through an extraction process to separate out their oils, and oftentimes, that extraction is an un-natural, chemical one.

I believe we've all been sold a bill of goods with the term, 'natural'. We've all been conditioned somehow to believe it's something that it is not. It's nothing but a 'buzzword' to me that's chalk-full of nothing but a bunch of wishful thinking, and truly has no real meaning. And the marketing people shamelessly play on that to the hilt.

Sorry- I do tend to go off on a tangent over the term, 'natural'. :p

I personally don't use EOs in my soap, except for the rare times I use orange oil or mint. I look at EOs as being medicinal, and they are very precious to me in that regard because it oftentimes takes tons of plant material just to extract a few ounces of the oil. These are just my own personal feelings, but the way I feel about it is that using them in my soap would be akin to me washing my car with something as precious as mother's milk or something. They are just too dear for me to feel good about using them in a wash-off product. If I'm going to use them at all, I want to use them in something that I feel will be of the most benefit.

I don't know if that helps at all, but that's one soap-maker's opinion.


IrishLass :)
 

Susie

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The only reason I don't use FOs is that I have a list of allergies a mile long. I spent the entire church service yesterday sneezing and eyes streaming because the man next to me was wearing cologne.

I don't ever bash folks who use FOs. I sure do wish I could risk using them!

However, if those friends and family members think they want EOs, I think they should have them. Not at the expense of the person already giving them free soap, though. If they want them, they can pay for them.
 

Seawolfe

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I would say that 80-90% of all FO's smell strange to me - sort of perfumy. So I stick with EO's, I like the smells I make and everything is familiar. But I can't pretend they are more natural than FO's - I wasn't there when they were extracted.

I think we have been conditioned to think that anything that smells good is "natural". Otherwise I got nothing.
 

lsg

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Some essential oils such as a good sandalwood are excessively expensive because of their rarity. So a sandalwood fragrance oil is a good alternitive.
 

not_ally

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I use mostly FO's. For me, EO's generally just do not stick as well - w/some exceptions - and do not offer the range of scents that FO's do. Explaining them, I am probably not as good as sellers have to be, b/c I give my soap away and it annoys me a little if people are too picky.

Usually I just tell them that (a) almost everything you use in the world is processed in some way, and soap is a wash off-product; and (b) the amount of "non-natural" things - however they define them (they apparently think way more about them and know way less about them than me, so I just let them ask since I never know where the parade of horribles will go) in my soaps is a fractional amount of those that they buy over the counter.

I get cranky about this, can you tell? I live in LA, drive a car, eat meat, mostly non-organic veggies, chocolate, full-fat dairy, use a computer for hours every day. Really, using FO's in soap does not alarm me that much.

Susie: despite my crankiness, I *completely* understand scent sensitivity. My sister gets terrible migraines from being around anyone who is wearing perfume/cologne. My mom likes me to make her lotions super-stinky strong, but she can't wear them around me, and I won't let her wear them in an enclosed space if I can prevent it (I have made her wash them off if I am taking her to the airport, for example.)
 
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Yes you can have a natural bar its easy

This is a good example of why I don't like the term, 'natural' and why I never, ever use the term when referring to my handmade soap.

If one really thinks about it, the soap we make, even if it's unscented and uncolored, is not natural. After all, where can one find the kind of soap we make in nature? One can't. We have to use ingredients that have been processed (9 times out of 10 I'll wager, chemically so), and then we have to put it through another chemical process (albeit a simple one) to turn the ingredients into soap. Even EOs are processed. The plants, roots or seeds, although natural, all have to go through an extraction process to separate out their oils, and oftentimes, that extraction is an un-natural, chemical one.

I believe we've all been sold a bill of goods with the term, 'natural'. We've all been conditioned somehow to believe it's something that it is not. It's nothing but a 'buzzword' to me that's chalk-full of nothing but a bunch of wishful thinking, and truly has no real meaning. And the marketing people shamelessly play on that to the hilt.

Sorry- I do tend to go off on a tangent over the term, 'natural'. :p

I personally don't use EOs in my soap, except for the rare times I use orange oil or mint. I look at EOs as being medicinal, and they are very precious to me in that regard because it oftentimes takes tons of plant material just to extract a few ounces of the oil. These are just my own personal feelings, but the way I feel about it is that using them in my soap would be akin to me washing my car with something as precious as mother's milk or something. They are just too dear for me to feel good about using them in a wash-off product. If I'm going to use them at all, I want to use them in something that I feel will be of the most benefit.

I don't know if that helps at all, but that's one soap-maker's opinion.


IrishLass :)
I make all my own ingredients in my soap or watch the process in which made as the case with my lye . I watched the process with ashes and its pretty natural . I also use only eo's with no problems and its great for a lot of skin conditions like exema (which my family has) . So my soap contains nothing un natural in them , lye , butters , olive oil and natural colorants like beet root power or orange peel plus my essential oils . So its 100% possible to make a natural bar of soap if your method works for you that's awesome but mine works well for me :)
 

Yooper

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The only reason I don't use FOs is that I have a list of allergies a mile long. I spent the entire church service yesterday sneezing and eyes streaming because the man next to me was wearing cologne.

I don't ever bash folks who use FOs. I sure do wish I could risk using them!

However, if those friends and family members think they want EOs, I think they should have them. Not at the expense of the person already giving them free soap, though. If they want them, they can pay for them.
That's why I started making my own soap. I have asthma, and while not allergic to things like cigarette smoke or perfume (at least, not technically in the medical sense), I am extremely sensitive to fragrances and other things.

We are in a "perfumed" world. Most people have candles, air fresheners (even in their car!), and one time I stayed in an ultra-expensive JW Mariott, and had to run through the lobby- literally, a dead run, because they had constant air freshener fragrance spritzing in. Even in the hospital where I work, the restrooms have air freshener spritzing every 2 minutes or something like that, and I can't use the restroom in a HOSPITAL! Think about that- a healthcare facility totally oblivious of the fact of people with chronic lung disease being injured by something like that.

Many people buy things at Bath & Body Works- but I can't even go in that section of the mall due to the overwhelming fragrances wrafting out.

Because of this, I can smell "fake" smells a mile away. I can smell a rose, and not even blink, but if someone is wearing rose perfume, my lungs seize up. Scented deodorants, hairspray, gel, lotion, etc- all can set off a very real illness in me. That's a bit extreme, but most people don't even smell these things, as they've gone 'nose-blind' due to the over-fragranced environment.

I think part of the trend to go "natural" is sort of trying to buck the trend of being in our over-fragranced world. Unfortunately, they don't know how to do that so think that EOs or other natural scents are somehow safe. We all know that cyanide is natural, as is uranium, but many uninformed consumers are just doing the best they can.

That said, if someone wants an EO, I say give it to them. But they have to pay for that, as some EOs are frightfully expensive. They should also know that EOs don't "stick" as well as most FOs and they should then make the choice.
 
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What do you mean Eo's don't stick there are atleast 10 that do stick ! Lavender , orange , wintergreen , peppermint , thyme , rosemary , basil , eucalyptus , lemon grass , cinnamon , pine , cedar and list goes on . I have 2 yr old bars that still have scent ! You just need to know what notes they are : top note (smells strong at first but disapates (like laveneder then you just add more and as it cures it will get less ) medium notes tend to be my favorite they last forever as do high notes . Fo's get lighter as time goes on too . SO its each to their own . Some people like fo's and some like eo's . In my neck of the woods no one will buy an fo's bar . SO its a lot about market too .
 

Yooper

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What do you mean Eo's don't stick there are atleast 10 that do stick ! Lavender , orange , wintergreen , peppermint , thyme , rosemary , basil , eucalyptus , lemon grass , cinnamon , pine , cedar and list goes on . I have 2 yr old bars that still have scent ! You just need to know what notes they are : top note (smells strong at first but disapates (like laveneder then you just add more and as it cures it will get less ) medium notes tend to be my favorite they last forever as do high notes . Fo's get lighter as time goes on too . SO its each to their own . Some people like fo's and some like eo's . In my neck of the woods no one will buy an fo's bar . SO its a lot about market too .
I think I was misquoted. I didn't say that none of them stick. I said: They should also know that EOs don't "stick" as well as most FOs and they should then make the choice. With CP particularly, many EOs don't tend to stick as well as FOs.

Some of those EOs you listed are not great safe for skin in large amounts. So that is important to tell people who want a certain fragrance from EOs.
 

Mommy

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I make all my own ingredients in my soap or watch the process in which made as the case with my lye . I watched the process with ashes and its pretty natural . I also use only eo's with no problems and its great for a lot of skin conditions like exema (which my family has) . So my soap contains nothing un natural in them , lye , butters , olive oil and natural colorants like beet root power or orange peel plus my essential oils . So its 100% possible to make a natural bar of soap if your method works for you that's awesome but mine works well for me :)
How could you make all of your ingredients? Do you mean that you distill them from their previous form ex. squeeze the oil out of the olives? You dry and grind beets for the beetroot powder?

I'm just intrigued because I've never heard anyone say this.
 

kchaystack

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I make all my own ingredients in my soap or watch the process in which made as the case with my lye . I watched the process with ashes and its pretty natural . I also use only eo's with no problems and its great for a lot of skin conditions like exema (which my family has) . So my soap contains nothing un natural in them , lye , butters , olive oil and natural colorants like beet root power or orange peel plus my essential oils . So its 100% possible to make a natural bar of soap if your method works for you that's awesome but mine works well for me :)
Lye made from wood ash is potassium hydroxide. Now, I am not sure what process you use to make soap- but if you are using wood ash lye, boiling it all day and then salting it out to get bars - you have far more patience than I do.

But if you buy lye from a supplier, and it is NaOH, I guarantee it is not made by running water thru ash. (I am sure KOH isn't made that way any more)

And if either lye you are buying is near 100% (or in the high 90's) you can bet there is some kind of 'unnatural' process they are using to concentrate that.

That said, I am glad you are happy with your process, and that it works for you. I don't buy into the EO soaps having much of an effect after they are put thru saponification myself. So I use what I think smells good. SOmetimes that is an FO, sometimes it is peppermint and lemongrass and tea tree EO (that is about all my budget will allow).
 

CTAnton

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Just wanted to chime in here..Irish Lass's comment about EO's taking a huge amount of plant material is true...and while most of us conjure up images of a French lavender field there are EO's like sandalwood that are harvested from the natural environment and demand can't keep up with supply so these trees are harvested surreptitiously,illegally take your pick with oftentimes no thoughts towards maintaining a viable population in the wild...it's not unlike the controversy surrounding palm oil..a natural environment is being altered to supply our needs...(embrace the lard!)
With the new formulations of phthalate free FO's I feel comfortable in using those...I do wonder if people question what's in their perfumes/colognes/after shaves and deodarants as much....
Soap on!
 

Sapwn

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I understand your frustration.
I see that people only understand scent.
If they like it, the soap is superb. If the scent is weak, they don’t appreciate the soap.
I use both EOs and FOs but most of my soaps are unscented. My friends prefer and choose the scented ones with FO because they have a clear and intense scent. Exception made for the Aleppo soaps that have this natural executive scent.
Since I am not selling and I am only giving to friends and relatives, I don’t specify how I made them smell so nice. If they ask, I say that I used FO specifically made for soap use and when I see them disappointed I just smile. I find it really boring to explain why I used FO instead of EO, and I don’t think it would made any difference.
People will always prefer an excellent scent, made with 100% natural ingredients.
 

FerrisWheel

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I'm not sure you can. At least to people who already have made up their mind.

It is mental conditioning. In the same way that people assume that fat is the worst thing you can eat. Well those that know are aware that fat isn't bad at all. Things like egg yolk have been vilified in favor of liquid diets, etc...Nowadays wiser people are starting to see that fats (the right sort) are actually decent and good to have.

It takes years for information like this to trickle down to the masses, if ever.

I do wonder for example how bad things like aspartame is. It is the most heavily tested food additive on earth and very little has come up in the way of side effects.

I'll hold my hand up and say I'd instantly think a product using preservatives was bad until I actually did some research and realized that the alternative is far worse.

Most people's final decision is done with their wallet. You could use the argument that since soaps are washed off it makes financial sense to give people a delicious smell they enjoy during bath/shower time and then save the essential oils for the nice creams/balms your put on afterward.

Good luck.

Ferris.
 

lenarenee

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I'm sorry I don't have the time to help you create an exact response for answering these people. And , I think it's going to be difficult convincing them that "natural" eo'so aren't always the better choice until they do their own research.

Essential oils contain powerful things.....some are strong enough to kill bacteria and viruses when used at certain strengths. Casually tossing them into body products with the assumption that natural is always safer can and has injured people......and not because of allergies.

Two real life examples of people I personally know:

A doterra salesperson taught the cupping method to my coworker; put a drop or two on your palm, rub hands together, hold over your face and inhale. Without realizing it, her hand touched her eyelid, blinking spread it into her eye which sent her to the ER and months later is still dealing with it.

A friend with a small cut on her leg Googled essential oils to use to prevent infection and found
oregano oil mixed in a carrier would work. Uh...it literally burned a hole in her skin and tried to wash it off. (Some eos should not be washed with water, but oil instead). She was in pain for hours and ended up at an urgent care.

Wish I could invite you here to see the top of my wooden kitchen table which is pitted with dents because I forgot to NOT put eos on plastic or wooden surfaces.

You did know to not measure eos into plastic cups, right? For that matter, you can arrange a demonstration for your doubtful friends....show them what happens when rosemary eo sits on a wood surface, or citrus eo in a plastic cup - especially Styrofoam.

I may be wrong here, but the research I've found makes me believe that fragrance oils go through more safety tests and regulations than essential oils.

You've probably read it here already, but ricin is a natural substance, but that doesn't make it safe!
 

not_ally

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Lena, I hate the YL and Doterra folks, they seem to really buy into their own idiocy, but I don't understand the wide-spread hype (and buy-in), and it is dangerous.

Re the non "natural" debate, it just gets so tiring. I was probably a bit glib in my earlier post, but I research everything I put into my soaps really exhaustively, both w/r/t anectodal sources and more scientific ones. Every single additive (I have tried many/most of them) and to the greatest degree that I can.

I freely admit that I am not the greatest soaper in the world, but I am really, really, good at research. So when I make and give away a soap, I believe that it is safe, and healthy, after 100's, maybe 1000's hours of checking. When my friends ask me questions about the "natural" aspects of soap it makes me frustrated b/c they know me, and should know that I have checked all the carcinogenity/teratogenicity/morbidity etc, aspects of these things. It is just frustrating, if people are *that* concerned, the only real alternative might be to move into the rain forest and grow their own food. Although who knows know long the rain forest will be around at this point ...
 
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