Which EO/FO's and how much to use when a Beginner?

Discussion in 'Aromatherapy, Herbs and Essential Oils' started by Kelly Frizzell, Nov 25, 2018.

Help Support Soapmaking Forum by donating:

  1. Nov 25, 2018 #1

    Kelly Frizzell

    Kelly Frizzell

    Kelly Frizzell

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    I am not sure what EO/FO's to try, nor how much, etc. I have added only a few drops to a couple of the soaps (tried a few shakes of Pennyroyal in one and it turned out OK, but the couple of drops of Eucalyptus and then Lavender I tried in the other two soaps really did nothing), I was afraid of adding too much, but then the result was no real scent noticable.
    What would you recommend I do, as a beginner, to learn what soap recipes work best/better with which scents? What scents would you recommend starting with? LOL, there are so many variables with soap recipes and adding scents just makes it more complicated. Two of the five soaps I have tried thus far have created their own scents (pine tar and a milk based soap) so that was a good thing. But I would like to try rosemary/mint, or lavender, or orange. But if those are the scents I would like to start with, do I just use the scents as I have them listed? Or is there another scent that should be added (say to the orange) to help it smell better? I did not know until just reading one of the forum posts that there was such a thing as a fragrance calculator, so I have never tried one, but next time I have time to start making soap again, I would like to know how to use one.
    Anyway, any suggestions would be very welcomed. Thanks. I am loving this forum and all of the advice.
     
  2. Nov 25, 2018 #2

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    shunt2011

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,649
    Likes Received:
    7,105
    Location:
    Michigan
    You need to look up the usage rates for either the EO or FO. Lavender for instance, I use at 5-6%. Patchouli same. FO I don’t purchase unless they have at least a 5% usage. Suppliers should have that information listed or have the IFRA sheet available. Spices and some others have a low usage like cinnamon, clove.
     
    Chris_S and Kelly Frizzell like this.
  3. Nov 25, 2018 #3

    lsg

    lsg

    lsg

    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    12,004
    Likes Received:
    4,295
    Lavender, mint, orange, lemon, litsea cubeba, ceadarwood and patchouli are good starter EOs for a beginner. I usually don't go over .5 ounce per pound of oils. Rosemary has a strong scent so I would use less of it in combination with lavender, maybe with some mint, cedarwood and patchouli.
     
    Meena and Kelly Frizzell like this.
  4. Nov 26, 2018 #4

    SaltedFig

    SaltedFig

    SaltedFig

    Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    2,127
    Location:
    Australia
    In a general kind of way, citrus oils tend to fade, wood scents stick quite well, spicy scents tend to accelerate, as do most floral scents (but not all).

    There are exceptions to this (the same as any other general rule), but you can use this to roughly determine that an orange and cedarwood EO blend might smell nice to start with, but that the orange will fade over time and the cedarwood will remain, but neither should accelerate your soap too much.

    Another example might be clove (spice) and palmarosa (floral) ... both are accelerators on the list, so this would lead to a very rapid setting up of your soap.

    Once you have a rough idea of what happens very generally, you need to learn about the safety levels of different oils. For soaping, the usage amounts can be a lot higher than for lotions (which are left on the skin), but it is useful to know things like ... Peppermint oil can give quite a sensation on sensitive skin (to the point that it could cause a "burning" sensation if too much is used), Cinnamon oil can be very irritating for some people and can cause itching, Tea tree oil gives some people headaches ... and on it goes. Complex.

    For any blend, don't go much over about 5 or 6% (of the weight of your oils) in total; soap can only hold so much essential oil before it starts seeping out of the final product, so setting the upper limit at 5% (for instance) is a good habit to get into (lsg's example above is roughly 4% of oil).

    Most oils have usage limits, which means there are reasons why the oil cannot be put on the skin above a certain concentration. Getting to know these is important, so each time you add a new essential oil, it is worthwhile reading or asking about it. Quite a few people here who use essential oils check with the "Essential Oil Safety Guide" by Tisserand, to verify the safe usage amounts, however some of the information is freely available on fragrance websites, and asking directly here (for an individual oil) will provide good information. A lot of the common oils (like lavendar) have been discussed extensively, so you can find out quite a bit by doing a search too :)

    Your blend idea of Rosemary/mint would smell lovely - the rosemary will last longer than the mint, but the scent will stick around for quite a while. Use more mint than rosemary in your blend, and start no lower than about 0.5% the weight of your oils (below that and you are unlikely to be able to smell anything much in your final soap - quite a few people wont be able to smell it much below 1% - you can go higher to suit yourself).

    Lavender is easy enough - you can use the maximum amount of any skin safe lavender. It does need to be as fresh as you can get it, because lavender has a fairly short shelf life and will cause oxidation in your soap if it is older or has been stored badly. It does smell nice, both by itself and in blends, so it makes a good first EO to use :)

    Good luck and let us know how you go! :)
     
  5. Nov 26, 2018 #5

    Zing

    Zing

    Zing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    499
    I use 0.5 to 1 ounce of essential oils per pound of oils. I use the fragrance calculator on Bramble Berry -- it's for both essential oils and fragrance oils, and they give results for mild, medium, and strong. I've learned to use the 'strong' value since the scents fade after a few months of cure.
    - orange 10X lasts longer than plain citrus
    - citrus combined with lemongrass lasts
    - I generally use a bit of cedarwood with everything.
    - ditto on @SaltedFig's reply. I made cinnamon soap that smelled heavenly but left me with bright red burning skin head to toe (I was the only one in my family to react) and so then just used it for hand soap. Peppermint is wonderful but can be very tingly on certain sensitive areas -- I like it, it wakes you up in the morning!
    - I've had great success with rosemary, litsea cubeba, lemongrass, cedarwood, lavender (my wife's favorite), orange 10X (her other fave), bergamot (my favorite), rosemary (my other fave), peppermint.
    - It might be my imagination but when I use orange 10X, my trace seems to speed up which is fine when I don't want any designs or swirling.
    - this is helpful, https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/top-ten-essential-oils-for-soapmaking-starter-essential-oil-blends/
    and
    https://www.lovinsoap.com/2015/08/essential-oils-for-soapmaking/
    - I enjoyed experimenting with the EO sampler pack from Bramble Berry.
    - After curing, I store soaps in shoeboxes with cottonballs soaked in the same essential oil that is in the soap.
    I love rosemary so tell me how you like it with mint.
    - Don't use drops, use weights.
    -I learned the hard way after a spill, cover your scale with a plastic bag.
    - Another rookie lesson, I now pour with a chopstick held on top of the bottle -- you don't waste any that way.
    Have fun experimenting and let us know how it goes!
     
    Georgia13, Meena and Kelly Frizzell like this.
  6. Jan 3, 2019 #6

    Kelly Frizzell

    Kelly Frizzell

    Kelly Frizzell

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Thank-you shunt2011, SaltedFig, Isg and Zing!! I could not find this thread until today (when I finally asked how to find my threads, duh). So, I apologize for not responding sooner, and I really do appreciate your help and suggestions. I appreciate so very much the time and attention you all have taken to answer my question and now I cannot wait to put your advice into action. It is the new year and I finally have more time to try more soaps, so, hopefully, armed with your advice, they will smell great now too.

    Thank-you, thank-you, Thank-you. I soooo appreciate the suggestions and help.

    Thank-you, thank-you, Thank-you. I soooo appreciate your suggestions and help, now I am very excited to try more soap.

    Thank-you so much, this is very helpful!!

    Thank-you, I do not have a supplier as of yet as my soaps are using basic ingredients from the groc. store or local health food stores, I have thought about adding spices, now I will.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2019
    Zing and SaltedFig like this.
  7. Jan 9, 2019 #7

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    KiwiMoose

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2018
    Messages:
    1,540
    Likes Received:
    2,444
    Location:
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    Thanks @Zing - this is kinda what I was looking for. I'm trying to build my own list of 'good' oils - both ones that don't accelerate and also keep their smell.
    For @Kelly Frizzell I would certainly say that in a lot of cases more is good. I started out putting nowhere near enough in my soap because I thought they might have been too strong. But when you consider that I buy my EOs in a 30 or 50ml bottle, and I make a litre of oils into each batch ( that's about 2 pounds) that's pretty much a whole bottle needed to go into a batch ( to get a 3 - 5% ratio). So the EOs fast become the most expensive thing that goes into your soap ( I pay as much for 30mls of some EOs as i do for an entire litre of Olive or Coconut oil).
     
    Kelly Frizzell and Zing like this.
  8. Jan 9, 2019 #8

    amd

    amd

    amd

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2015
    Messages:
    2,609
    Likes Received:
    3,189
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Please keep in mind that EO's (and FO's too) have safety usages. Make sure that you know the usage for the scent you are using and stay within it. Here's a starting guideline, it doesn't have all EO's but it does have some of the more common.
    https://www.modernsoapmaking.com/essential-oil-usage-rates-ifra-guidelines/
     
  9. Jan 10, 2019 #9

    Kelly Frizzell

    Kelly Frizzell

    Kelly Frizzell

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    I know, I used just a wee bit of EO’s in my first couple of batches. One was lemon and I added about 15 drops for about 500g of soap; you can smell it somewhat, but not much. I tried some Pennyroyal in another soap but not enough to really smell it. Two of the recipes I tried said they would smell on their own (Pine tar and a milk soap) and the PT sure did/does but the milk one ??? Meh, not so much.
    I really did not know what I was doing and just wanted to try something and use what I had on hand. I still have not made any more soap since getting all the wonderful advice here. But I have read and re-read it a few times. So much to take in, on top of trying to decide on what recipes to use, “ahhhhh!” (said while looking like a crazy woman and pulling out my hair).
     
  10. Jan 10, 2019 #10

    Meena

    Meena

    Meena

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2018
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    663
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    .... and this one's worth it's weight in gold!! I just put a stickie note on the box of my brand new scale!!
     
  11. Jan 10, 2019 #11

    Zing

    Zing

    Zing

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    499
    That was an expensive lesson, glad to know someone else has learned from it! :)
     
  12. Jan 10, 2019 #12

    Chris_S

    Chris_S

    Chris_S

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2018
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    604
    Location:
    Wigan, England
    Im still in the experimenting stage of things iv found a recipe i like and am in the process of trying small changes to see what i like best ect Last week i tested 5 eo and fo for acceleratipn so i could make notes so i know what i can use and for what because as i think zing said some accelerated but they can still be used no problem but they just wouldnt be suitable for a swirl soap or specific design i want to do, so one thing i would highly recommend is to make notes even if you think its insignificant it might help you later on when doing a recipe. I dont know how much experience you have but milk so and i am guessing but have never used it pine tar soaps would be something of a more advanced method so would also suggest maybe keeping it slightly more simple. It was only about 4 months after starting that i progressed to gm and beeswax in soaps. I have some batches planned with just one oil which is a oo pomace and canola oil blend i will be using this purely to test unknown fo and eo to see how they behave the reason ill be doing this is because it saves the oils and butters i use in my regular recipe.

    Kiwi i have been using more fo than eo but have made a few batches with eo. I started off buying smaller bottles from a local shop but decided it worked out far too expensive so i searched far and wide online and finially found a site that sells eo in 100ml plus bottles that work out far more economical to buy than the smaller bottles i had been buying. Iv been very happy with the stuff iv bought from this site i know your not in england so i wont bother sending you a link.

    If you post your recipe in the feedback or beginners section you should get some helpful advice. Personally i just went with a recipe i found online adapted it to the pils i had to hand and just got cracking then changed one thing at a time to see what iv liked best. Iv linked to a site that shows what you can use as a substitute oil ect which is how i got my head round what oils to use to replace what i didnt have. I absolutly love the experimenting that soap making involves. https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-...ow-to-substitute-oil-in-cold-process-recipes/ also soap queen and apparently soap 101 are great places to learn especially the basics

    Absolutely wish i had known this before i spilt eo on my brand new scales luckily all it did was melt the plastic to the scale pad but i now mostly use a small pocket jewelry scale that had a metal pad and i always keep aa paper towel handy incase of a spill dont like using a scale thats also used for food when im weighing out lye hence the cheap pocket scales
     
    Kelly Frizzell likes this.

Share This Page