Your % PPO when Testing New Fragrances in CP Soap

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Besides using the IFRA guidelines for max usage, how do you determine what % PPO to use when you test new fragrances? Do you have a general rule-of-thumb?

For my recent testing, I did most of the FOs at 5% (my typical usage rate), one I tested at 3% because it was strong OOB and one I used 4% because it was similar to one I previously used. I used a slow moving lard recipe. Each sample size filled a 2" × 2" × 1" cavity in a silicone brownie mold.

Just curious to hear how you decide how much FO to use. Where's your starting point?
 
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I pretty much use 3% all the time. I remember @cmzaha (I think?) saying that if you have to use more than that it’s not cost effective and you may as well find a better FO. Probably didn’t explain that right, but if it’s not a strong FO, then adding a greater percentage doesn’t necessarily make it stronger.
 
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I did a round of testing recently and did everything at 5% unless the guidelines said otherwise. But I usually use 4%. I like @KiwiMoose’s approach of using 3% and not buying again if it’s not strong enough. Honestly though I don’t think any of my fragrances would be strong enough at 3%. Maybe there are better quality fragrances in New Zealand?
Thread 'Fragrance testing'
Fragrance testing
 
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I pretty much use 3% all the time. I remember @cmzaha (I think?) saying that if you have to use more than that it’s not cost effective and you may as well find a better FO. Probably didn’t explain that right, but if it’s not a strong FO, then adding a greater percentage doesn’t necessarily make it stronger.
I only have a few that I find strong enough under 3% and I don't buy them again if I have to use more than 5%. That's my limit and that does get too darn expensive. I wonder if your fragrances are stronger than ours as @Vicki C mentioned?
I did a round of testing recently and did everything at 5% unless the guidelines said otherwise. But I usually use 4%. I like @KiwiMoose’s approach of using 3% and not buying again if it’s not strong enough. Honestly though I don’t think any of my fragrances would be strong enough at 3%. Maybe there are better quality fragrances in New Zealand?
Thread 'Fragrance testing'
Fragrance testing
I saw your thread. It's what motivated me to get serious testing individual samples!

I don't actually know the percentage but I use 1oz ppo as standard amount.
I thought 1oz PPO was about 6% but not sure.
 
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Our FOs are all imported from the USA as far as I know. Mostly I use ones from Candle Science and Nature's Garden because that's what we have here. There are others too but they don't say which company they import from.

To be more accurate i tend to use about 3.5%, because i always add a little EO (something complementary) for example: Love Spell 30g in 1000g oils with 5g sweet orange EO.
 
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Our FOs are all imported from the USA as far as I know. Mostly I use ones from Candle Science and Nature's Garden because that's what we have here. There are others too but they don't say which company they import from.

To be more accurate i tend to use about 3.5%, because i always add a little EO (something complementary) for example: Love Spell 30g in 1000g oils with 5g sweet orange EO.
Mmm that blend sounds yummy. Love Spell from Micas and More is the one I'm testing at 4%. Tomorrow is 2 weeks and it's pretty strong at this point.

I've never tested like this before. I've always just referred to the IFRA, reviews, the info on the fragrance listing and how it smelled OOB. Unfortunately that bit me in the rear a few weeks ago on one of my chunky confetti soaps (ocean theme). It wasn't supposed to discolor but unfortunately it turned yellow. I spent so much time planning & prepping that it just about made me cry when I removed the cover... The white on the top was yellow and the blues/teals were blah looking. I had to cut the tops off they looked so bad. What a waste! I decided at that point that I really should start testing.

I'm math challenged so I use MMS Fragrance Calc. Even though it's for their FOs I can usually find something close if using an FO from another vendor.

Thanks for the link @Zany_in_CO! Interesting that the table only goes to 3% on all the EOs & FOs I checked.
 
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Mmm that blend sounds yummy. Love Spell from Micas and More is the one I'm testing at 4%. Tomorrow is 2 weeks and it's pretty strong at this point.

I've never tested like this before. I've always just referred to the IFRA, reviews, the info on the fragrance listing and how it smelled OOB. Unfortunately that bit me in the rear a few weeks ago on one of my chunky confetti soaps (ocean theme). It wasn't supposed to discolor but unfortunately it turned yellow. I spent so much time planning & prepping that it just about made me cry when I removed the cover... The white on the top was yellow and the blues/teals were blah looking. I had to cut the tops off they looked so bad. What a waste! I decided at that point that I really should start testing.



Thanks for the link @Zany_in_CO! Interesting that the table only goes to 3% on all the EOs & FOs I checked.
OOB smelling is not quite accurate to go by for soaps. I soaped with NG's Cotton & Blossoms (I think). Lovely scent OOB, great for use for a room spray but the scent is greatly reduced to a linen-y type fragrance in cp soap. It actually disappointed me.
 

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I'm math challenged so I use MMS Fragrance Calc. Even though it's for their FOs I can usually find something close if using an FO from another vendor.
This approach would work for essential oils, but I don't think it's a very good idea with FOs. For example:
Energy fragrance oil IFRA - MMS 3.32%, Brambleberry (IFRA 48) 5%, Micas and More (Burst of Energy) 6.46%, WSP 6.46%
Lilac fragrance oil - MMS 9.2%, Bramble Berry 2.10%, WSP True Lilac 1.9%/Lilac in Bloom 5.9%, Nurture Lilac Blossoms 30.9%
Sea Salt - MMS 28.1%, Bramble Berry 1.25%, WSP Sea Salt & Driftwood 9%/Ocean Mist & Sea Salt 100%

So, sometimes it is okay and sometimes it is not. Most suppliers have IFRA guidelines for their FOs. A [email protected] calc will do the math for you.

To answer @gardengeek's question, I test at my normal usage rate, which is 1 oz PPO which is 6.3% (unless of course the IFRA guidelines are lower). If the FO seems to be particularly strong (like just about every almond scent I've ever smelled) I will just guess and use .5 or .75 oz PPO.
 

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I don't actually know the percentage but I use 1oz ppo as standard amount.

I'll be honest...the whole "percentage" thing really confused me in the beginning. Was it a percentage of oils or percentage of batch weight? SoapCalc SEEMS to use PPO, but I can't be totally sure because there is nothing in the Instructions. Entering 1oz with 13.5oz Oil, 20oz Batch Weight it says 0.84 oz FO. Now if I got to BB, I guess I am using Batch Weight because it asks me "How much are you making?" and then it varies depending on "Scent Strength" from 0.60 oz (3%) to 1.20 oz (6%). Interesting to note that the IFRA Max (for the FO) is 0.52 (2.6%).

I personally think that the IFRA is just a big racket, but at the same time I'm not stupid...it's why I use a scale. I'm also not made of money, but at the same time, I want to make money selling soap and customers are going to be really unhappy if they go to open that bar of soap three to six months and it doesn't smell like Roses or Chocolate or whatever smell they bought the soap for. And I am fortunate to live in the United States so I can tell the IFRA to kiss my butt and do what is best for my business AND for my customers.

To which...1 oz PPO seems to be a good middle ground (this is for FOs only). I might go a teeny bit higher...say if SoapCalc says 3.94 oz, I'll round up to 4.0 oz, but if I don't have good scent retention at eight weeks, I'm not going to waste money or jeopardize my customers by going higher. There are just way too many scents out there and too many reputable companies whose formula might just be a tiny bet better to do so.
 

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@TheGecko Truly, all you can do is give it your best shot, put it out there, and hope for the best. And therein lies the answer to what works for your customers.
Exactly. I personally don't like a strongly scented soap. I want to enjoy the moment, not live in for the rest of the day.
 
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I test at 1 oz ppo or IFRA at lower. I test to determine that the fragrance soaps easy enough and that it survives over time (still sellable at 6 months). Once it meets those tests I can decide whether I like the fragrance enough to order and what rate I want to use for sale. It is easier for me to compare fragrances and how bad fading can be if I use the same rate to test them all.
 
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