Testing EO blends for soaps: LS mini batches

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To review EO blends, I've recently come up with a simple variation of the cotton ball test and/or making small test soap(s): take 20…30 mL of unscented liquid soap (at final dilution), and then drop in the desired EO recipe.

I'm aware that counting drops isn't a very accurate measurement, but it's precise enough when I'd just want to evaluate if an EO pairing “works” or not.
At 20…30 mg per drop, I'm aiming at 5 to 8 drops per LS minibatch. That means 0.5…1% EO load – about the recommended usage rates for EOs in LS. I stir in the EOs, let it rest for an hour or so, and then have a shower with it: I can easily assess the character/balance, and overall intensity “in the wild”. It is freshly made without much effort, just the right amount to be used up with one shower (no waste, no stockpile), yet repeatable if I like it. I take notes before and after, of course.

Impressive that differences between direct smell, cotton ball test/sniff bag, and this shower test are indeed noticeable. With not much experience in formulating scents, I'm under the impression that this method might be advantageous, with scent development reasonably close to the target situation (wet skin in a humid atmosphere). Of course, with no time for “ageing”, I still have to rely on existing expertise wrt scent longevity.

Opinions?

Today was 1 drop juniper, 3 drops templin (fir cone), and 2 drops each of tea tree and lemon tea tree. I will have to find ways to dilute base notes further, the juniper was just too dominant.
 

earlene

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Sounds like a good way to test fragrances. If you have the LS already made up, it seems fast and easy. As far as longevity, I would suspect that would be much better with LS rather than bar soap because it doesn't get exposed to evaporation quite as much.

But it still won't tell you if the fragrance changes at all with exposure to lye. I always wonder about that. It would be interesting to know if a particular scent is the same or different in the two types of soap. It's not something I have ever given a lot of thought to, though since I don't use or make LS very often.
 
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Yes. I have an embarrassingly large inventory of LS, and this is a good occasion to utilise it with a bonus.

A possible logical step towards bar soap would be the soap dough route. No need to decide for scents at soapmaking time, tiny batches; and during cure, fragrances would have air contact, just like scented CP soap bars would. Via lye-heavy soap dough it's even possible to expose the fragrances to (low levels of) lye (if one does it more cleverly than me back then).

To be fair, I don't intend to start making scented CP soap (at least any time soon). For several reasons, lye stability of fragrances is is one of them. My current bar soap EO pathfinding adventures are limited to post-cook HP and rebatching/salting-out, and that's already straining enough for my olfactorius.
 
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Yes. I have an embarrassingly large inventory of LS, and this is a good occasion to utilise it with a bonus.

A possible logical step towards bar soap would be the soap dough route. No need to decide for scents at soapmaking time, tiny batches; and during cure, fragrances would have air contact, just like scented CP soap bars would. Via lye-heavy soap dough it's even possible to expose the fragrances to (low levels of) lye (if one does it more cleverly than me back then).

To be fair, I don't intend to start making scented CP soap (at least any time soon). For several reasons, lye stability of fragrances is is one of them. My current bar soap EO pathfinding adventures are limited to post-cook HP and rebatching/salting-out, and that's already straining enough for my olfactorius.
Adding single eos to small batches at the time they’re made and then blending small bits of scented dough that have been through saponification would be an interesting way to go. It would add lye exposure and heat into the equation, but not any magic that might happen when eos are mixed together in advance of adding them to the pot.
 

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