Who here makes soaps fragrance-free, essential-oil free exclusively?

Discussion in 'Lye-Based Soap Forum' started by plantiest, May 16, 2019.

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  1. May 16, 2019 #21

    amd

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    I used to make three unscented soaps in my lineup, I'm down to one unscented and when those bars are gone I won't be restocking. The few customers who were loyal to unscented soaps have no problem placing a custom order. I cure everything on the same racks, and the only scent complaint I get on the unscented soaps is that some customers can smell chocolate (I use cocoa butter). I made unscented soaps for the first 18 months or so that I made soap. I wanted to judge different soaps based on the recipe rather than scent.
     
  2. May 16, 2019 #22

    Obsidian

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    Another forum I frequent has a fair number of members who need or want scent free products and always have difficulty finding them.
    I believe there is a market out there for scent free, it just might be harder to find it. For those who do, they will appreciate what you are doing.
     
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  3. May 16, 2019 #23

    DWinMadison

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    I guess my question would be, “Why lock yourself in to anything ‘exclusively?’” I’m sure there is a market, albeit narrow, for color/fragrance-free, but unless you or someone in your house is allergic or overly sensitive to the fragrance (can’t imagine what the issue with color might be), then why not leave yourself open to serving a broader customer base? When you compete with other soapers, you are giving them a distinct advantage (i.e. they can provide every product you do, but not vice versa.) I’d go 100% of the time with more options....unless you make a plain soap that is SO unique, beneficial (and evident to the consumer) that the quality supersedes the desire for color and fragrance.

    I personally prefer EOs to FOs, but if my customer likes FO’s, then I love them too.
     
  4. May 16, 2019 #24

    DWinMadison

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    As for colors, there are so many options: botanicals, micas, oxides. Anybody allergic to all of them probably needs to be living in a plastic bubble. They’d be just as likely to be allergic to one of the base oils or the packaging material.
     
  5. May 16, 2019 #25

    plantiest

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    It was a custom order that arrived contaminated and launched me into soap making. Otherwise, I am happy to place custom orders.

    I think there is an increasing market for fragrance-free products, the more aware folks get of the problems that scent chemicals cause. But I also tend to run with people who are very aware of the negative impacts these scents cause.
     
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  6. May 17, 2019 #26

    plantiest

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    Just call me 'bubble girl'. People living in plastic bubbles still have personal care product needs though.

    When people have multiple reactions to different products, one of the best things they can encounter are simple products. The fewer the ingredients, especially unnecessary ingredients, the better. Color is not a necessity. Added fragrance is not a necessity. The necessities are base oil, lye, and liquid. The fewer the ingredients, the better shot those with reactions have of it working for them. It opens up the possibility that people living in a 'plastic bubble' at least have a fighting chance of having some semblance of normalcy.

    If you ever had to live in a bubble daily, you would understand the ongoing frustration. And you would understand the sheer relief when you find resources to make your daily life a little more normal. It is difficult to understand when you haven't lived it though.

    This is just one of those things that people either understand at their core, or they don't. Those who don't understand usually have not known someone who is deeply impacted by this type of condition. When you live with certain medical conditions like this, you have to value function over the superficial. Not everyone understands, and I can appreciate that completely.


    Why? Necessity. I need these products, and I know others do as well. Should I ever choose to make this a business of any kind, I would not be able to do anything with EOs or FOs because I cannot tolerate them at all. I'll never make soaps with FOs or EOs. I wouldn't be competing with the standard soap makers. I don't want their customer base. My customers would be a small niche market of people just like me. I may just make soap and give it away to those like me at no cost to them at all. It could be my own personal soap ministry!
     
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  7. May 17, 2019 #27

    DWinMadison

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    Hey, that’s awesome! Go for it.

    My point was sincere, if inarticulate. I get fragrance issues, but color? All color? Natural color from plants? Clays? Oxides? That’s like saying, “I’m allergic to blue.” I’m not trying to be unkind, but I don’t see how anyone with that much sensitivity to external agents wouldn’t be able to handle the supplies to make soap or touch them in order to to process them. That’s got to be a pretty small universe of people, and yes, if you can serve that niche, by all means do. My original point was for clarification about whether we were talking simply about preference or necessity.
     
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  8. May 17, 2019 #28

    shunt2011

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    I make one batch fragrance free and generally takes a couple years to sell it. People like great smelling soap. I carry 30-40 fragrances most times.
     
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  9. May 17, 2019 #29

    plantiest

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    I was trying to word my responses well, but I may have been inarticulate by accident, so no worries at all. Hopefully I didn't sound offended or offensive.

    My particular issue is with fragrances, EOs and FOs. I have migrainous reactions to food colorings (like red dye #40), natural flavors, and artificial flavors as well, so technically there are people who are allergic to color, in a way. I honestly don't think at this point that I personally have issues with any natural colorants. I would avoid colorants for others though as a safety courtesy, because I know from first-hand experience that folks can be allergic or have reactions to things that just haven't hit my radar yet. For example, my sister is allergic to aloe. Aloe seems pretty benign to most, but not to her. Never hit my radar until she told me about her reaction and her struggles to find products without aloe.

    I don't have problems with base oils. If I can cook with it, I can soap with it. I don't have a problem with using lye, other than the normal precautions. I can soap safely, just not with EOs and FOs.

    I think I'm in that sweet spot, where I understand the EO/FO issue, but I still have the ability to create soap safely even with this limitation. And a very, very strong desire to support folks just like me who have more significant limitations.

    Again, hope I didn't come across cranky!

    My head seriously is swimming just reading about 30-40 fragrances! I know I'm in the minority, but my body just cannot function in the presence of fragrances. Even if I theoretically like a fragrance, my body doesn't care and will react violently.

    Honestly, I cannot get close enough to a soap vendor because of the fragrances to attempt to buy a fragrance-free soap. This could be why the fragrance-free soaps don't sell quickly.

    Thanks for linking Zany's recipe. These ingredients are safe for me, and I think I'll go ahead and make this recipe first this weekend.
     
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  10. May 17, 2019 #30

    Gaisy59

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  11. May 17, 2019 #31

    plantiest

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    We recognize "soap" as lye-made soap. But a lot of folks use the term 'soap' generically to mean cleaning product. Laundry 'soap' is actually detergent, for example.

    Maybe folks who cannot tolerate lye-made soaps are reacting to a bad recipe, where the lye is not completely consumed? Regardless, something to watch.
     
  12. May 17, 2019 #32

    Gaisy59

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    Thank you for that. Makes sense. I always do the zap test on my tongue once HP soap done cooking and i let soap “rest for at least six weeks just to be sure.
     
  13. May 17, 2019 #33

    cmzaha

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    No, they cannot use pure soap. I make very good soap and have done so for almost 10 yrs and have more than one customer that could not use "Soap". I also have one daughter that has to use synthetic beauty bars, she cannot Soap. Most of the customers tried more than one formula and still could not use it. Believe me, I make great soap as gentle as I can make it....

    By making and selling only one type of soap you limit yourself to a tiny customer base. I survive selling long enough by catering to all, including vegan, non vegan etc. It would be impossible for me to survive doing outdoor markets with only 1 type of soap. 99.9% of my customers buy for good smells.
     
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  14. May 17, 2019 #34

    shunt2011

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    Nope, I have a relative and a friend that cannot use lye based soap. Doesn't matter what kind. I've been making for over 9 years and have made different types of soaps for them to try.
     
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  15. May 17, 2019 #35

    plantiest

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    Very interesting! If you don't mind divulging more details, what reactions do they have? This is kind of what I was talking about. Every person's physiology is so unique. I like learning the reactions that exist. Awareness is important.

    If I do end up running a business, I expect that it would be microscopically small because of the clientele I would choose to be serving. I'm perfectly fine with that. I'd probably just run enough batches on the weekends to keep up with the demand, completely content with doing nothing more than breaking even, or even giving soap away.

    I'm more interested in getting the product into the hands of the underserved segment of the population like me, rather than trying to grow a business. That 0.01% of the population is what is most important to me.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  16. May 17, 2019 #36

    Deadgroovy

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    I make one too, but is very slow to sell. But it is lovely soap, always turns out nice and white. Strangely, I've had two people ask me if it would be any good as dog shampoo!
     
  17. May 17, 2019 #37

    plantiest

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    Very interesting. I wonder if these are skin-based reactions or others. Always interested in learning something new.
     
  18. May 17, 2019 #38

    MGM

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    Skin contact with artificial colours can cause tons of reactions, so many people seek uncoloured liquid soaps and products and ESPECIALLY toothpaste, because absorption of colour through the thin skin of the mouth is so quick.
    Fragrance reactions can be extreme and you don't always know that you're reacting to the fragrance, if it's not a headache/asthma reaction. Some people have anxiety reactions and others have anger. I once knew a kid who would melt down due to cinnamon fragrances...his parents just stopped taking him shopping between September and January ;-)
    @plantiest , check out Feingold.org if you don't already know about them, for a community that desperately seeks unscented/uncoloured products.
    Also, for those who say "I never notice scents transferring" it's likely because you're not sensitive enough to. Once you go scent-free for a while, fragrances around you become much more obvious. So if you live scent-free, you *notice* when something's been contaminated.
     
  19. May 17, 2019 #39

    DWinMadison

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    I understand your point, but as I stated there are many alternatives for use as colorants.
     
  20. May 17, 2019 #40

    melinda48

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    I have the same reaction to my fragrance-free, color-free soap. I make only one of that sort and sell a bar now and then.
     
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