Scenting soap without EO/FO? Can it be done?

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federalist

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Have you ever tried scenting soap without EO/FO, with only dried plant material like flowers, herbs, fruit rinds, etc? I've heard that some additions just don't work for scenting (e.g. coffee grinds). Any success stories?
 

IrishLass

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I have only a semi-success story at best......with honey, but it's short-lived. For a time, my unscented soap with honey smells like Bit 'O Honey candy, but it soon disappears.


IrishLass :)
 

Seawolfe

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The only scent I've ever had stick was a super hoppy beer that was cooked down to a syrup, so beer and syrup made up all the liquid. The smell is more beery than hoppy, and not strong at all.
 

rparrny

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I have a hard enough time getting the fragrance to last after curing with EOs....
 

snappyllama

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I've had a little luck with pumpkin puree... it ever so slightly smells sweeter than the other naked soaps I've made. It does not smell like pumpkin though.
 

Dorymae

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I've never had any soap without EO or FO keep its scent longer than 1 week, and most don't even make it past 1 day. Scented oils are IMHO necessary for scented soap.
 

galaxyMLP

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I have also had the same experience with honey. It does smell sweet. It was an HP soap though with a lot of honey so it sort of caramelized in the pot.
 

kumudini

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Some months ago I tried powdered cardamom seeds in a soap, otherwise un scented. It has no cardamom smell or the typical soap smell. It only has a mild, very mild sweet smell to it, otherwise neutral. It could be my recipe as well, about 90% is soft oils.
But powdered cinnamon and cloves do survive the lye to scent the soap a bit.
 

green soap

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Some months ago I tried powdered cardamom seeds in a soap, otherwise un scented. It has no cardamom smell or the typical soap smell. It only has a mild, very mild sweet smell to it, otherwise neutral. It could be my recipe as well, about 90% is soft oils.
But powdered cinnamon and cloves do survive the lye to scent the soap a bit.
V, this is the first time I see someone confirming that it is possible to transfer some spice scent to the soap without EOs, thanks for posting!

I do not care for anything scratchy (excepting salt bars) in my soaps, so I infuse everything in one of the soaping oils. Cinnamon works great, glad to hear of clove too. I have an overstocked spice cabinet and had been thinking about infusing chai tea spices into oil and soaping with it.
 

dixiedragon

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I made a spiced honey soap. It contains honey (about 1 tablespoon PPO), 5% beeswax, ground cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. It has a very light sweet/spice scent. The sweet scent fades but the spice scent sticks fairly well. Very light, with your nose touching the bar.

I also use coffee grounds in my soap for a light coffee scent, but that is with your nose against the bar. I think the scent is in the grounds themselves and not actually in the soap at all.

Using neem oil in soap makes it smell like neem oil...but I don't think that's actually desirable. Smells like weird burnt garlic peanuts to me.

Pine tar soap smells pine tarry. Which some people like.
 

dixiedragon

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I have also had the same experience with honey. It does smell sweet. It was an HP soap though with a lot of honey so it sort of caramelized in the pot.
How was the soap? It sounds lovely! I saw somebody who had a pic of their 9% beeswax soap but I've never gotten the nerve to try.
 

dixiedragon

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The answer to your question is pretty much "not really". Which is why FOs exist. If you are curious, you can try to, for example, make coffee and reduce it to super thick syrup and replace all of your water with that and see how it goes...but our common experience is that you're not going to get much scent out of that.
 

galaxyMLP

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I probably used about 1.5 tablespoons honey ppo and it separated in the crock pot so I had to stir the heck out of it/stick blend it. IIt was a castile bar. After curing for 5 months, it was very nice though. Super creamy, gentle lather and it still had a pretty strong sweet, caramelized scent!
 

federalist

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That honey castile soap sounds luxurious! :)

Since lye is the fragrance killer, I wonder if adding botanicals to a MP base would work? Correct me if I'm wrong; there's no lye in a MP base right?
 

dixiedragon

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That honey castile soap sounds luxurious! :)

Since lye is the fragrance killer, I wonder if adding botanicals to a MP base would work? Correct me if I'm wrong; there's no lye in a MP base right?
FALSE! Lye IS used in the manufacture of MP soap base - assuming it is SOAP and not some type of detergent. There is no lye present in correctly made soap of any type - CP, MP, etc - b/c it has been combined with the fatty acids and become a new substance - sodium lardate, sodium cocoate, sodium olivate, etc.

The scented substances you might add to cold process in place of water - such as rose water, milk, beer, wine, coffee, tea, etc - you would not add to MP. You could maybe add a small amount of them - a teaspoon or so per pound - but not enough to give scent. Another way people have tried is to infuse oils with something, such as rose petals, and then turn the infused oil into soap. You could infuse an entire pound of, say, olive oil, with rose petals and have it smell quite lovely, make soap with nothing but water, lye and that olive oil, and get no rose smell. Or you could try adding a small amount of that olive oil to some MP, for example, but again, you wouldn't have the scent concentration to make a different.
 
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