Friday, 10 September 2010

Essential Oil Brainstorm Summary

I have been meaning to post a summary of our brainstorm on Essential Oil anchors... so here are the ideas we came up with to help Essential Oil scents stay in soap. If anyone wishes to add anything, we can continue to grow the list! Or if anyone experiments with any of the suggestions, please post your findings!

- for a Lemon scent, an Essential Oil combination works well, such as lemon, lemongrass, may chang, litsea cubeba
- Patchouli & Geranium stay well in soaps
- Adding Cornstarch (1Tblsp per pound) may help. Add to some oil, mix well, add the EO, then 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. (NOTE - I have tried one experiment with this... and it has not worked that well for me, as it added a strange scent to the soap - similar to nail filings? I may have to try again.) One commented suggested that Cornstarch had helped with Grapefruit EO. I have not tried this yet.
- Adding clay helps. (Note - I have tried this and I must say that my clay soaps do seem to hold their scent quite well. I actually add the clay to the EOs and let them sit while I am preparing the rest of the soap. Then I add the EO/clay mix.)
- Litsea Cubeba seems to help hold Sweet Orange
- Benzoin is supposed to be a good EO anchor (Note - I have tried using Benzoin and I think the product I used wasn't very good because the soap kept seizing up on me. So, I would need to try Benzoin again but purchase from a different supplier.)
- Essential Oil scents will fade while Fragrance Oil scents stay, but if it is the the therapeutic quality you wish to preserve, that stays even when the scent fades.
- Adding a little Glycerine to the EOs might help anchor the scent
- Freezing soaps, then letting them cure for longer (months) might help the Essential Oil scents stay
- Adding Patchouli EO helps Lavender EO stick
- Not only clay or cornflour but apparently, ground oatmeal can help as well. Possibly premixing any sort of flour or ground herbs is supposed to help
- Orris Root is suppose to be a great fixative (a level teaspoon to each 1/2 kilo of soap)

Does anyone have a good anchor for Vanilla EO?
Are there any other suggestions for Essential Oil fixatives?

Hope this summary helps.

Happy soaping!

xo Jen


Elorajade said...

I use orris root powder to anchor most of my EOs. I've never had a problem with lavender not staying though so I don't bother with the root there. I use a 40/42 blend which is the top notch one for CP soap. All others I've heard do dissapear. The only problem I've had is EOs "turning" (lavender and Star Anise especially) if it gets too hot or humid. Since getting my dehumidifier though, this hasn't been an issue.

TheSoapSister said...

Thanks for all the work, Jen. What a helpful list -I'm going to print it out & keep in handy! BTW, that "Lava Lamp" soap I sent you has cornstarch in it. I don't know that it helped with the scent because I've never mad it without the cornstarch -however, I do think it added a nice feel to the lather as you said above! Thanks again for the research. :)

Between Friends said...

Hi Jen, I remember reading not too long ago at an online soap forum that there's no such thing as vanilla essential oil. I'm no expert in this, but she seems to know what she's talking about..

Splurge Sisters said...

Thanks for the tips Jen.

I've used a Boosted Vanilla Extract once a long time ago and it didn't go well for me. I now use Vanilla FO. I too haven't heard of a Vanilla essential oil but maybe it does exist.

How much Orris Root is added to the CP soap per pound?

Ambra said...

Great work ,Jen. I haven't tried all of these. I did try the corn starch, but not sure that it made a difference. I'm exited to try orris root. Just saw some in a specialty shop :)

Atenea said...

Por lo que yo he podido investigar por ahí, los aceites esenciales con notas bajas, son los que hacen que se mantenga el olor, como por ejemplo, la mirra, patchouli, benjui, sándalo, etc. Hay que quien le pone glicerina también para fijar los olores. Yo creo que el secreto está en saber la proporción que hay que poner de los diferentes aceites esenciales, dependiendo de las notas altas, medias y bajas. Lo que si he visto mucho, es que cada jabonera utiliza proporciones diferentes y que casi todas ellas, tienen problemas para que se fije el olor.

Cocobong Soaps said...

Great post, Jen! Thank you for your brainstorm. Vanilla can be had as absolue or as extract, but is quite expensive ( 5€ per ml), as most vanilla-y eos are (tonkabean, tolu balsam, etc). I have worked with Vanillin
for its scent and also for enhancing others. I still have more than I can ever use, so if you are interested...