Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Essential Oils in Soap & Skincare – Therapeutic Properties Versus Scent

So many choices and decisions to make when soaping - size, shape, properties, colour, scent, packaging etc. etc.

So, for those of you who use exclusively essential oils in your soaps and skincare products, do you create your blends based on how it smells or what it will do for your skin?
(My latest Potpourri Soap - with Lavender, Lemongrass, Fennel and Ylang Ylang Essential oils, a blend I created for the scent...)
I usually aim for therapeutic value…. But try to blend nice scents.  For example, our oily skin soap has a nice blend of Tea Tree with Eucalyptus.  Our sensitive skin soap has my favourite blend – Patchouli, Geranium and Lavender.
Sometimes it is more difficult… so many things to think about.  In creating our Rose Hip facial serum, as we are aiming this product at mature skin, I had a blend in my mind before ever smelling one of the essential oils I wanted in it… Then it arrived… I opened the bottle with so much anticipation (I am like a kid in a candy store with new essential oils!!), and YUCK.  Have you ever smelled Carrot Seed Essential Oil?  Well, it smells like DIRT.  I knew I didn’t want any citrus essential oils in a product specifically for the face because of photo-sensitivity and was sure I wanted Frankincense in it… so I finally came up with a blend that is loaded with therapeutic value for the skin, and has a pleasant but not a Wow scent.
Me, at our stand at the Artisan trade fair we did this past weekend in Murcia
Maybe I will grow to like Carrot Seed Oil?  That has happened to me with several oils in the past.  Oh how I love essential oils… blending… sniffing… inhaling… some are love at first sniff… the passion develops slowly for others… like patchouli (which I couldn’t stand at first but now love it but only in blends), and like my new obsession – Vetiver.  What a change from supplier to supplier… I recently opened my vetiver essential oil from a new, local, supplier and WOW!  Previously Vetiver was simply smokey campfire to me… unique but basic.  Had never created a blend I loved with it… but now?  I can’t get enough.  Alone, blended, whatever… the oil from this new supplier is incredible… it is more than smokey campfire, it is bewitching, lingering, enticing, sensual, reminiscent, luring, addicting, playful yet calming, up & down, feet-on-the-ground yet magic-carpet ride… I am in love.  
Questions for you:

1)      What are your favourite Essential Oil blends for soap and for other skincare products? Why?

2)      Does anyone out there like the scent of Carrot Seed Essential oil?  What do you blend it with?

3)      What are your favourite Frankincense blends?

4)      Can you contribute any soapy essential oil blends with Vetiver? 

5)      As the scent of essential oils changes during the soaping process, I have had certain blends turn out beautifully in soap, but then haven’t been able to achieve the same scent in a non-soap product! Like patchouli, geranium and lavender… I have been trying to duplicate my soap scent for one of my moisturizing creams… I have attempted so many different versions but it never comes out smelling like the soap.  Any tips?
Please feel free to share any thoughts on Essential Oils!
Happy Soaping!
xo Jen


Donna OShaughnessy said...

I love my blend of Grapefruit, Lavender, Geranium Rose, Lemongrass and Amyris which grounds it so well. Even though a lighter more female scent (you would think) men always buy many of the bars I make with there EO's. I have never used carrot seed oil so no help there. And I only make soap, no other product. So I guess I'm not much help. Can I still follow your blog? Please Huh Can I?

Jennifer Young said...

Donna, Love your blog and always love your comments. Of course you can still follow!!! I love all the diversity in soap making... your scent sounds DELICIOUS. xo Jen

Coco said...

I think you should try the carrot EO in a gardener´s soap. Blended with something like tomato leaf and basil or rosemary - the smell of a summer garden!

Jabones Aromas del Campo said...

Hola Jennifer, me encanta el aceite esencial de zanahoria, es mi ingrediente principal en mi crema facial y lo suelo utilizar en sinergia con a.e de geranio.
Precioso su stand:)Besitos.

Mika said...

Hi Jennifer, The blend of essential oils is my specialty ;)

1) Lavandin, because my lavadin Eo made in Provence!! It gives cleanliness and match with various note.

2) I'm not so big fan of it, but if I make blend with carrot seed EO, I use citrus fruit essential oils and Floraltype essential oils.

3) simple Examples
{orenge sweet 2: tea tree 1: Frankincense 1}
{geranium 2: Frankincense 1: bergamot}

4) Vetiver has been used in many cosmetic fragrance or Perfume, It is one of the great base note. blend with essential oil of the same gramineous are good, but I like Cedarwood 2: vetiver 1: lemongrass 1.

5) EO of steam distillation method is suitable for soap. because they are strong in heat, less likely to deterioration.

sorry I'm not sure my description in English...but I hope my answers help you a little.


Ambra said...

I remember when I ordered Carrot EO to use in face cream. It does kinda stink :) But it's supposed to be so good for the skin so I used it anyway.

Jennifer Young said...

Coco, Thankyou! Love the idea... have always wanted to work with tomato since we live in the land of tomatoes here, I have been sniffing, sniffing and re-sniffing Carrot Seed EO and aside from dirt, do you know what it also smells a little like? Brandy. xoxox Jen

Jennifer Young said...

Jabones aromas del Campo, Muchas gracias. A lo mejor me acustumbro. Se que tiene propiedades buenísimas para la piel, pero es que no me está gustando el aroma del aceited esencial de zanahora! Seguiré probando diferentes mezclas... Jen

Jennifer Young said...


Thank you for the awesome comment. i love blending eos as well. i LOOVE Lavandin as well. Awesome that you get it locally!! I am a huge fan of using LOCAL ingredients. I don't want to blend citrus eos as this is for the face, but florals may be nice. I have tried geranium. Thank you for the frankincense blends. Can't wait to try your vetiver suggestion... Thankyou Mika. I am loving your latest soap - the one from Provence. xoxo Jen

Helen Prout said...

I've blended Carrot seed oil with Lavender and its come out really well, in the proportion of 2tbsp Lavender to 1-2 tsp Carrot seed oil - (almost) everyone loves it.

Jennifer Young said...

Ambra, Thank you for your comment! So so WISH i liked this eo and am waiting for it to grow on me.... it is now smelling like a mix of Dirt and Brandy... xo Jen

Jennifer Young said...

Helen, Thank you for your comment and contribution! I would love to use Lavender in this blend as lavender is so wonderful for your blend, but I use Lavender in SO MUCH and me other facial serum has lavender so I was aiming for something TOTALLY different... Is this blend that you suggest for soap? xo Jen

Karen Wakulich said...

I made a soap this spring using a lavender-vetiver blend...loved it!
I have also combined it with petitgrain in a lotion for myself.
Carrot seed oil kind of grows on you. Once blended in a facial serum, it`s not so bad! My own facial serum always has carrot seed oil, frankincense, lavender, chammomile, neroli and geranium in it.

Tierra Verde Handmade Soap said...

Such an appealing market display.

Jennifer Young said...

Karen, your facial serum blend sounds gorgeous. Thanks for the info!! xo Jen

Michele (Tierra Verde), Thank you!! xo Jen

Anonymous said...

I love rose geranium... both the benefits and the heady smell.... I also love lemongrass.... recently got one kg of it and can't stop using it! And my most recent discovery is rosewood... there is something just evocative about the smell that holds so well in CP :)
I can never seem to get Lavender to hold through.... nor orange, except when I blend orange with cinnamon and cloves... I love that combination!
Agree with you on carrot oil... it is therapeutic... wonder if lemon or lemongrass would help it along?

Anonymous said...

Love your market display

Jennifer Young said...

Guarimaini, Thank you for your comments! I only use Rose Geranium in one of my bars - my rosehip soap, and I find if I use too much, it REALLY speeds up trace. But smells rich and floral and sweet. I have always loved lemongrass and use it in a couple of my soaps... I have run out at the moment and am desperately waiting for more!! I like the scent of Rosewood a lot, but have decided not to work with Rossewood or Sandalwood because of the ecological implications. Non-renewable sources and I don't want to contribute to that. Lavender only holds in soap for me if I use a combination of different types with a base note of patchouli. I suppose either lemon or lemongrass could be nice with carrot seed essential oil but therapeutically, they are not oils I choose for the face. Re. market display - it has taken years to evolve to what it is now, and it continues to evolve. Thank you!!! xo Jen