Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Brainstorm - Essential Oil Anchors

I suppose we are all looking for ways to get our Essential Oils scents to stick in soaps... I have found some oils are better than others. Some don't hang around long... I would love to gather ideas from other soapers!

Some of my findings so far:

- Lemon Essential Oil is quite difficult to get to stay in soap - so a combination of similar smelling Essential Oils works pretty well for me - for example - lemon, lemongrass, may chang/litsea cubeba. Maybe Melissa as well? I have not tried Melissa
- I have found Lavender to be fleeting as well, would love ideas on keeping a strong lavender Essential Oil scent in soap
- Patchouli has been the best Essential Oil in soap for me so far. The scent sticks, lasts and even lasts on my skin
- Geranium has helped anchor Orange Essential Oil for me somewhat but Orange remains to be rather fleeting

I have heard the following suggestions but have not fully tested them yet...

- Cornstarch is said to help keep citrus Essential Oils in soaps. I have done 1 experiment with it so far and haven't really noticed much other than the odour is rather odd. I think I used too much
- My blog friend at Between Friends said that she freezes soaps, then lets them cure for longer (months) and the Essential Oil scents really stay!
- some Essential Oils anchor others
- I have been recommended 10 fold Orange Essential Oil but have yet to find it here in Europe, so I am currently using 5-fold

Can we pool our ideas? Anyone wish to contribute any tips on getting Essential Oil scents stronger and to stick in soaps?

Look forward to your ideas!

xo
Jen

15 comments:

Larissa said...

I'm actually trying to find a good anchor for vanilla EO. As we do research I'll keep you posted. Return the favor?

Springvale Soap said...

Cornstarch...
What I had heard about using cornstarch was to add 1 tbsp/ppo of it to some oil, mix well, then add the EO to that mixture. Add this mixture to the bulk of your oils before the lye goes in. The cornstarch helps anchor the citrus but also adds a silky feel to the soap.

I have not tried this myself. That is just what I have in my scribbled notes.

~Deb

Courtney R Beard said...

Jen, I just searched it on the Teach Soap forum. Seems that some folks think adding a bit of clay to each recipe helps anchor fragrance. Do you have any clay soaps you made awhile back? Maybe you could notice if it still has a stronger scent than a non-clay soap made around the same time.

Real scientific method of testing huh? :)

Ambra said...

Great idea. i'll certainly share all that i find out. I'm just such a cheapskate that I haven't used so much of EO's. But I shall be getting my "big" order soon (a bit of a delay due to some mix up) so then I'll have more scope to experiment. I did try cornstarch...well, here we use potato starch, supposed to be the same, We'll see :)

TheSoapSister said...

Love comparing notes! I've tried cornstarch, and it seems to help with grapefruit EO, at least.

Litsea seems to help my sweet orange EO hold.

Lavender holds really well for me when my recipe contains honey...weird?

I would love to be able to make scents "hold" better...the ones that hold well are not my favorites, usually! : ( ~Becky

Polly said...

I used Geranium and Sweet orange a few times, but gelled or ungelled, the scent fades. Although it does come through quite subtley when you use it.

I've read that Benzoin (sp?) can help anchor the EOs but I've not tried it, and that May Chang is another good one for anchoring.

Cocobong Soaps said...

Jen, there are a few methods of anchoring scents and I think I've mentioned some of them in blogs or to you..In the end, it all boils down to: some EOs last (patchouli/geranium/litsea cubeba), others take their leave after awhile, not matter the anchoring attempts (most real citrus scents..orange,lemon,etc) If it's last scent you are after, then a PO will often times do the better job. If it's the therapeutic quality you wish to preserve, then no worries there because that stays even when the scent fades.

Cocobong Soaps said...

me and typos..oh boy...
"If it's lasting scent you are after, then a PO will often times do the better job"

Between Friends said...

Hi Jen, in addition to freezing soaps, I've heard that glycerin helps too. Mix your EO with a little glycerin prior to adding it to your soap and this supposedly helps anchoring the scent. I've tried this method before, but I always forget to compare the results before I give them all away. :)

Splurge Sisters said...

The best way I know to make Lavender EO stick is to use a small amount of patchouli EO and it smells fantastic. I can't remember what amount i used but I know it was a small amount.

AromaBeauty Natural Soaps said...

I find May Chang helps with my Citrus soaps. If I add clay or premix my EO's with ground oatmeal or cornflour that helps as well, I think if you premix with any sort of flour or ground herbs it is supposed to help.
Haven't noticed a different smell with the cornflour added Jan, I use 20gr per 3000gr of oils, but I've read you can add up to 40gr per 1kg of oil. Would love to know a good anchor for Vanilla EO too Larissa.

Amy W said...

Great question! I haven't had any trouble using the 5-fold orange on its own in my plain lye soap. I've done a lavender-lemon blend that does tend to fade, but I think it helps that I shrink wrap all my soaps with a Smell-Through Shrink Wrap.

Wendy said...

Someone suggested to me Orris root as it is a great fixative.. I added a level teaspoon to each 1/2 kilo of soap ( I use grams) and put it in my Calendula and Orange (EO) soap and today added it to a batch of Lavender (EO) to see how it would go... Just an idea to try.

Donna Hendry said...

Was hunting for info re: anchoring and came across this chain...
Was surprised to see Lavender on the list, but I think I know why; When i make lavender soap, i always include rosemary EO...they are botanically related, and the soap i have is a year old, and still smells strongly of lavender.

Love cardamom lime...but the lime left...even with clay.(and i tripled the EO amount.)

Another scent that i would love help with is cedar. I make a Cedar lemongrass bathsalt/massage oil that i'd like to make soap to go with...but the cedar just poofed out of sight, not even a week into the cure, and i always add my EOs just before trace.

Know its an old thread, but curious to see if i get a response:)

Jennifer Young said...

Hi Donna, I may want to bring this post back up to the front as there are some great tips in here.... Strange, i do a Lavender Rosemary Salve but have never mixed those 2 in a soap!! I may try it! Thank you. Lime o Lemon in soap never stays for me... I have never done cedarwood on its own but I think cedarwood lemongrass should stay nicely in a soap. What cedarwood are you working with? I use atlas... xo Jen