Weak Frangrace in Soap

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I've become a little bit jealous of some competitors whose soap seems to just lock in the fragrance so nicely. I've notice that they are mostly using spice or flower type scents, while I'm using things like chocolate and citrus. However, it doesn't seem to matter whether I use 3 Tps or 15, the scent still fades. Does anyone know how I can make my bars smell more strongly?
 

Ginka

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I am not an expert, but from what I read, citrus smells don't hold well. My last example, I used tangerine and peppermint EO yesterday, same brand, same amount. You can smel peppermint more then tangerine. Also, brand is very important. One time I used sweet orange from "soap specialty" store here, locally. It worked very well. Yesterday I used "Now" brand. It's cheaper in many ways, including smell strength. Some scents like Lavander and Lemongrass hold much better.
 

Hazel

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Where are you buying your FOs? Even a reputable supplier has some FOs that don't stick in soap. You might want to check out the Soap Scent Review Board for information. You can also look through the FO section because people have discussed their favorites and how well they last over time. You also might find the Fragrance Oil Chart informative.


I recommend you weigh FOs instead of using teaspoons. One, it's more accurate and two, it's more helpful for other people because you can state the percentage or amount ppo you're using and people will know whether you're using enough for a batch. "3 Tps or 15" isn't informative because I don't know the size of the batches. It's helpful if you state you're using .5 oz ppo or 3% (or whatever amount you use) because then I don't need to know the size of the batch.

I noticed you mentioned competitors in your question. I thought you had just recently started making soap. Are you already selling?

eta: If you are using EOs, make sure you buy them from a reputable supplier. Some EOs which are sold have been diluted with other oils like veg oil and are very weak. You can generally tell from the price whether they've been cut. On the other hand, some are still expensive and have been cut or aren't a good quality oil. :lol:
 
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meeplesoap

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High heat will also kill many fragrances. Try to add your fragrance when your soap is as cool as it can get without turning into soap on a stick, and it'll last better. Of course, some fragrances accelerate trace too, so you have to get it down to an exact science to get the best soaping experience AND the best and strongest smell.

And yes, quality counts.

I forgot to mention, if you are using tsp as your measurement that likely is your problem. Soap scents are per oz weight, as it's much more accurate. Using a scale and going off .5 oz ppo (I like a strong scent), for a 4 lb batch you'd be using an entire 2oz bottle.
 
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To answer all questions, yes I just started making soap and am working on selling it. It is a nice fun hobby, but will not be sustainable if I cannot sell a bit to recoup for all of the expensive ingredients.

I used 15tps of Chocolate Fondue oil from New Directions in a 10 lbs batch and in a seperate 10 lbs batch 7 tsps of Orange EO and 6 tsps of Greentea.

I know that people are selling bars for $5 or so that have a very strong scent and it makes me wonder how they can afford to do that if they are measuring out oz's of essential oil that is so expensive. I figured there must be some trick to it. I read about Benzoin Gum Powder being used to lock it in, but it hasn't worked any magic for me. I was hoping there was some method that could help me out.
 

Marilyna

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The 10lbs you mention as your batch size - is that the weight of the oils only? If so, for essential oils I would use about 5 oz. For fragrance oils, I would use 10 oz. Yes, that is a lot and it is expensive! For the fragrance oils I use that would be about $10-12 in FO per batch. I usually buy FOs by the pound (after testing a 1 oz first).

You would probably want to do all your experimental batches in about a 1 lb (oils only) size, to minimize your waste.
 

dagmar88

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To answer all questions, yes I just started making soap and am working on selling it. It is a nice fun hobby, but will not be sustainable if I cannot sell a bit to recoup for all of the expensive ingredients.

I used 15tps of Chocolate Fondue oil from New Directions in a 10 lbs batch and in a seperate 10 lbs batch 7 tsps of Orange EO and 6 tsps of Greentea.

I know that people are selling bars for $5 or so that have a very strong scent and it makes me wonder how they can afford to do that if they are measuring out oz's of essential oil that is so expensive. I figured there must be some trick to it. I read about Benzoin Gum Powder being used to lock it in, but it hasn't worked any magic for me. I was hoping there was some method that could help me out.
Testing, for years.
 

OliveOil2

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You might want to work with smaller batches, and that way you can experiment more. For citrus Litsea Cubeba aka May Chang will help anchor your scent. I have had luck mixing my essential oils into the castor oil in the recipe and add at trace, some people recommend clay as an anchor. I agree you need to measure in ounces, and you can use soap calc to figure the percentage. Also some fragrance oils just stick much better than others, and those are the ones that you want to search out.
 

AngelMomma

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You do have to use as much as the above posts recommend or your scent will get lost over time. I have at times done things like premix the EOs or FO with a bit of clay and let that soak while doing all other prep work. That does seem to help. But even if you use that much of just plain orange EO, especially if its a low quality one......it just won't be a strong scent.

Just my opinion, but soaping should be practiced and perfected for a long time (or many, many repeats of the same recipe) before selling. There really are so many details like this one that will come up. Maybe you could trade oils for soap with friends or family that could test your soaps for you. That might help with cost for your experimenting. In addition most states have various laws that may require you to have insurance and or license to sell soap. Some states require site inspection for where the product is being made also.
 

meeplesoap

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Part of being a supportive community sometimes means telling someone what they don’t want to hear, sadly. And if you only just made your first loaves, there is no way you are ready to safely and confidently sell a product. Try trading with friends and family for other stuff while you learn!
 

newbie

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Even if you read every pointer, every book, every post by experienced people, it STILL requires you doing your own testing and trials and tweaks because you will still make all the mistakes we all make. You will not escape it (ask all the experienced people). You generally need to develop your own recipe. Then you have to learn how it works best, how it handles with different FO's/EO's/temperatures/how colorants work and endless other things. I'm afraid there are no real shortcuts when making handmade products.

I've been making soap for 3 years and I don't make just 1 batch a week. I make a LOT of soap and I don't sell. Still learning. It's an expensive hobby but you can barter for other things with your testers, testers may be willing to return something for your ingredients, or you can donate it to a shelter/food pantry and take a tax write-off. If you sell, make certain you have insurance so someone doesn't take you to the cleaners (lots of litigious people out there looking for an opportunity).

I would urge you and practically beg you not to make 10 pound batches at a time. If you mess up the batch, it's super expensive for you and you've already found you have 20 pounds of sub-standard soap because it's not holding its fragrance and most people don't want to buy soap that doesn't smell like much of anything. Start with 1-2 pound batches, seriously. And be prepared for an expensive hobby. If it's too expensive, you may need to switch to something that is easier on the pocketbook.
 
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I am feeling a little bit bullied right now :sad:. Was more looking for some helpful input then to be put down. It's not like I open a store, just sell some soap through mother in laws bath bomb group. I like to make soap and I'm getting good at it.
 

OliveOil2

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Try not to take the comments personally, when you say you are getting good at it, that is just the point, you will continue to improve your soap making skills on an ongoing basis. Take some time to review some of the suggestions, they were meant to give you the information that you are asking for, and not an attack on you or your soap making skills. Maybe your mother in laws group would be glad to pitch in for supplies.
 

newbie

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No one is meaning to bully you. I think the problem is that the tips and pointers you seek from the forum are not the ones you were hoping to get. THe biggest pointer we can give you is to work and practice and try until you have everything down, and not to sell your products to anyone other than your friends or family until you have your product at the point you want it. You said yourself your soap wasn't standing up to your competitors, so we encourage you to work on it until it is! And there were some definite tips about why your soap was not fragrant enough.

Everyone who sells early is given the same advice (because it's good advice!) and hardly any of them are happy to hear it. It's the way of life, I guess.
 

Hazel

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I am feeling a little bit bullied right now :sad:. Was more looking for some helpful input then to be put down. It's not like I open a store, just sell some soap through mother in laws bath bomb group. I like to make soap and I'm getting good at it.

Please don't feel bullied. The advice is really to help you from jumping in before you've developed a high quality product. You can destroy your chances of having a successful business if you start selling soap which won't hold up over time. One unhappy customer can tell 10 people and it's very difficult to rebound from negative publicity. You want to be positive the scent won't fade and the soap won't go rancid since you don't know how long someone will keep a bar or where it will be stored. You really only need one good recipe. It will save money in the long run if you have basic oils and you buy them in bulk. You can alter the recipe by using additives like oatmeal, clay, calendula, pumice, etc. You can also use different liquids like tea, beer, wine, different milks and cream.

What is your target group? Older women with aging skin who prefer more conditioning, soft colors and traditional scents? People who prefer fragrance dupes and brightly colored soap? People who like scents which are muskier, more exotic, or are scented like incense and patchouli? Is there a market for fun, novelty soap which appeal to children? Is there a market for spa salt soap? Is there a niche or theme you can use based on the area you live in or something associated with the region? What sells well in one part of the country may not sell in a different part of the country.

Have you considered having your MIL give out samples so you can get feedback? You could also write a list of questions for people to answer about the samples. This way you could get more feedback about your soap. What fragrances are used for the bath bomb group? It might be a benefit to use fragrances which are the same or complementary to the bombs. Of course, this also requires experimentation because what smells great in a bath bomb may not work in soap. Some fragrances morph when going through saponification. Also, keep in mind not everyone likes scent or colors. You might want to consider offering an unscented soap, too.

We really are trying to help you. Give us a chance, read through the forum about the successes or failures of other members, advice they given to others and their opinions of different fragrances and suppliers. This forum has a tremendous amount of information on it plus links to other sites with more resources. Researching and getting feedback will also help reduce the expenses for you and hopefully prevent costly mistakes.
 

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