Starting to Scent (eo's, anchors and additives)


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Well-Known Member
Feb 22, 2014
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New Zealand
So I'm not big on scents but I'm slowly preparing myself to go into that world. I'm into lighter scents and natural scents as i get agitated by strong perfumes. However I'm also just learning and on a budget.

EO's seem to be the natural route of course. I'm confused on the anchoring of eo's i keep reading about. So i can't buy the super concentrated orange eo without also buying something to anchor it with? is there a sticky or a link that may tell me more about this topic? i've come across a few posts but no real direction. Am i going to spend a bunch of money on eo's only to have my soap cure and scent dissipate?

I'd like to buy a few oils to work with that aren't too pricey, what are your favorite base oils? do you reckon i need to follow the 3 tier rule or whatever it is with scenting? a bottom middle and top note? or just wing it and put together a few scents to start that i enjoy together? the oils i was going to purchase to start off with... ylang ylang 111, lavender 40/42, lemon and orange*5 were a few of the ones i was considering but if i also need to have a anchor...

any info you can supply me with would be great. also i'm considering enhancing my scents with things like dried herbs, teas, citrus peels, honey, coffee, dry spices... any experiences, ratios, mistakes would help me greatly.:thumbup:

Wandering Woman

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Mar 25, 2014
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Others may disagree as I do not think there is a right or wrong for combining scents. There are a lot of posts of essential oil combinations - just do a search.

I would say keep clear of citrus scents to start with - particularly Lemon & Orange (I have had some success with Grapefruit & Lime though). Substitute Lemon with Lemongrass or May Chang (Litsea) or at the very least use these to anchor your Lemon.

Ylang & Lavender scents will come through. I would recommend a base note in each of your scent combinations at the very least. Cedarwood, Rosewood, Patchouli are all base notes. Other strong scents include Ginger, Rosemary and Star Anise.

Just put a couple of drops of each oil on a tissue in the ratios you want and see how they smell together.

Some of my favourites are Ginger & Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Lime & Ylang but it is all personal preference.. give them a try...


Active Member
Sep 23, 2014
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I recall in a soaping 101 video she states that 1 tsp ppo cornstarch added to room temp lye water helps anchor scents in the soap. It also gives the soap a silky feel and is the vegan alternative for silk in soap.
Hope that helps a bit.

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