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Bamagirl

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Hi everyone. I am looking at wanting to incorporate essential oils into my cp soaps. The problem is, I have no idea which ones I like :???: so I seen on one of the sites that sell soaping supplies that they have a variety or sample pack, I think they are in 1/2 oz sizes and was thinking this would be perfect because it would let me know if there are ones that I really like and ones to stay away from. However, I've only seen this listed on one site, so I was curious if anyone else knows of someplace that does this? Or someone has bought a variety pack and were pleased or displeased? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

WeaversPort

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I'm afraid I can't help you with the soaping part of the question, but when it comes to discovering what you like and getting sample packs I do have some thoughts.

One of the ways I discovered what I liked was just going to a natural health food store. Something like Whole Foods if you have one available. They often have a selection of essential oils in stock with samples, and you can smell some different options. Be aware that your nose will stop being able to distinguish between the nuances after about three or four (olfactory fatigue). If you haven't put on any scented products that day, you can sniff your inner elbow or your shirt in order to re-set the ol' sniffer.

As for sample packs, Bulk Apothecary has a fairly decently priced set with some of the most standard and popular options: lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, tea tree, and orange. It is a fairly inexpensive way to just get some to play with, and for the more common oils I find them "good enough".

If you want to seriously get into some therapeutic grade, exotics or high end oils, Rocky Mountain Oils has a brilliant selection and sample kits. They're not cheap (which is why I recommend checking things out at whole foods first) but they are quality and good with giving recipes and blends if you're looking for some of the aromatherapy properties.

If you have a resale number or think you might want to purchase large amounts, it might be worth emailing them to see if you can get a price break.

Kaye

P.S. I'm not affiliated with either Bulk Apothecary or Rocky Mountain Oils :)
 
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Zany_in_CO

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Hiya Bama,

Buying a sample pack is a wonderful way to try different essential oils with minimal expense. Here's one that I think is a good value for the $$$ invested:

https://www.thesage.com/catalog/EssentialOils.html

MAJESTIC MOUNTAIN SAGE (MMS) - AMAZING DOZEN - FREE SHIPPING

Place this Amazing Dozen kit in your shopping cart then add 12 one fluid ounce bottles of Fragrance Oils, Essential Oils, Extracts or Flavor Oils of your choice to the cart. There can only be 13 items in your cart (1 shipping offer and 12 one-ounce bottles = 13 items), no less and no more.
They also have a Fragrance Calculator that provides the recommended usage rates along with the typical usage rate range for the product you are making.

Their list of EOs isn’t as extensive as others, but I can recommend the quality without reservation. Excellent! Oops! All except the vanillas. Pricey, and not all that great. Fade fast. If I need a vanilla in the mix, I like their Tahitian FO best.
 

Susie

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Also, if you are making CP bar soap only, skip the citrus EOs-lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc. They fade super fast. They are wonderful in liquid soap, however.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Also, if you are making CP bar soap only, skip the citrus EOs-lemon, orange, grapefruit, etc. They fade super fast. They are wonderful in liquid soap, however.
Susie, is that true even if you use litsea cubeba to anchor? One of my faves is equal parts lime, lemon + litsea. I've never CP'D it tho. Hmmm.
 

Bamagirl

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Thanks so much everyone, this is exactly what I was looking for! I'm going to be checking these out today.

And Susie, thanks for the tip on the citrus, as that was on my list and I have only made CP and have no plan to change at the moment, so it would have been a waste!
 
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Susie, I learned this recently with an orange clementine fragrance I bought! Smells so nice in the bottle! I'll have to try again with melt & pour sometime, but I have been mainly focusing on cold process.
 

makemineirish

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However, I've only seen this listed on one site, so I was curious if anyone else knows of someplace that does this? Or someone has bought a variety pack and were pleased or displeased? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!
Camden Gray offers some reasonable prices and a reduced shipping of $8.95 on anything under four pounds (that they suspend during other promotions). It is easy to manage that with sample sizes and they have some EOs that are difficult to find elsewhere.

If you simply need to smell your options...Bramble Berry will send out sniffies of any of their FOs if you provide them with labeled, self addressed, and postage paid envelopes to mail them in. I did so before placing an order to help make my selections. Alternatively, they offer a 1/2 oz sampler pack for $21.95 (which may have been the one that you were referencing). Shipping will set you back a bit more.

https://www.brambleberry.com/store-policies-and-shipping-info.aspx#Samples

https://www.brambleberry.com/Best-of-BB-Fragrance-Oil-Sampler-Kit-P3340.aspx

Majestic Mountain Sage is a supplier that I really like that has an "Amazing" Dozen deal. It works like this: You add the "Amazing Dozen" item to your shopping cart. Then pick twelve EOs or FOs that you want in 1oz size, but nothing else. You will be charged the standard price for each of the scents selected, but receive complimentary shipping. FYI, this runs me a little more than $50 if I am primarily focused on FOS but can be spendier with certain EOs.

https://www.thesage.com/catalog/products/Amazing-Dozen-Free-Shipping.html

Nurture Soap has a number of dupes (and phenomenal customer service). Many are of LUSH scents (even discontinued ones)and recently added many of Mad Oils fragrances in response to MO's shift to bulk oil orders. If you have access to a LUSH store, you can simply smell what is there or check out the reviews of most of the fragrances on perfume review sites. They often have more complete descriptions of individual notes and proportion that I find helpful. Many soaping reviews focus more on the performance of FO's (acceleration, discoloration, longevity) rather than the actual scent.

https://nurturesoap.com/pages/duplications-chart

I don't really use that many different vendors, but that is what I know of those that I use. Personally, I usually hate the predetermined sample packs. It is likely that I will end up disliking or be ambivalent to most that are selected for me. Furthermore, the sizes are often too small to do much with (especially if you are still learning and things might go sideways). My preference is to request sniffies, read reviews, and select the scents I am genuinely excited about.

My suggestion is to check out the usage rates of the FO's in the sampler that you are looking at. Some suppliers are more concentrated than others. If you are looking at one of those , 0.5 oz might be enough to strongly scent a couple of pounds of soap. If not, you may need to restrict your batch size to a couple of small bars. That might be perfect if you are happy to pour into a few silicone muffin cups, but can be disheartening if there is a particular mold that you are planning to use.

As usual, I started out trying to throw in my two cents and ended up babbling out several dollars. I hope that it is helpful.

***Edited to add: I am embarrassed to realize that I completely overlooked the ESSENTIAL oils aspect of your post, but am going to leave the extraneous information about FO's in my post as it may be helpful to others. For EO's I usually use:
---Camden Gray (despite their accessible by email only customer service) because of the prices and selection
---Magestic Mountain Sage because of their phenomenal customer service and the "Amazing Dozen" package allowing me to mix and match 1oz sizes for free shipping.
---Mountain Rose Herbs because despite being pricey, they also offer great customer service, reasonable shipping (which can offset the price disparity on small orders), and are occasionally the ONLY supplier for a much sought after ingredient
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SheLion

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Bulk Apothecary quality seems to be fine but their shipping to the Eastern half of the US is stupid expensive.

I've recently ordered EOs from Plant Therapy (https://www.planttherapy.com/) and am happy with the quality. Their prices are good and they offer sampler sets, though they are full size bottles so not always inexpensive.

And a short rant on the term "therapeutic grade": all essential oils, by definition, are therapeutic. If the bottle contains 100% essential oil, it is also pure. "Pure" and "therapeutic grade" are nonsense marketing terms. Don't get sucked in by them. If you order from a reputable supplier, the EOs will be pure and therapeutic whether the bottle specifically says that or not. Also, the companies that claim their oils are superior because they are safe for internal use are full of crap. No essential oils should be ingested except under the guidance of a trained herbalist/aromatherapist/medical person. /rant

Thanks for reading. Misinformation annoys the bejeebus out of me. :-x

Edited to add: The suggestion to go to a Whole Foods or similar and sniff the testers is an excellent one. Coffee also serves to cleanse the olfactory palate so a small container with a few beans, or a spoonful of grounds, is good to have. Take a sniff in between scents so you can smell 'true'.
 

Soapmaker145

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Susie, is that true even if you use litsea cubeba to anchor? One of my faves is equal parts lime, lemon + litsea. I've never CP'D it tho. Hmmm.
Not Susie but FWIW: the only way to know if the citrus oils survive cp and you're not just smelling Litsea is to make testers with Litsea alone, Litsea with the citrus FO and the citrus alone. You have to compare testers side by side to get an accurate answer. Some of the concentrated citrus EO like the 15x orange EO do better than the straight orange. The high pH is more problematic than the temperature.
 

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