FRAGRANCE OIL "NO-NO's":
Though you may be tempted to pour or spray in a little of your favorite perfume, don't. There are many designer or designer-type fragrance oils available; find one that matches or closely matches your favorite scent. The alcohol in perfume evaporates in the heat of melted glycerin, leaving little to no fragrance in the soap.
FRAGRANCE TIP #2
The soapy water qualities of liquid potpourri did inspire me to add it to my laundry. About one cup per load of laundry (although I've added more) makes a delightfully fragrant difference. I've not encountered a problem with the potpourri colors affecting my clothes.
HOW MUCH FRAGRANCE TO USE:
Though I tend to be a bit heavy-handed with fragrance, it is quite simply a matter of "taste". Nonetheless, if you are just beginning in soap making, I would recommend starting with only 4 or 5 drops per ounce of base soap used. You can always add a little more, but to diminish fragrance already added to soap requires melting and adding more soap base.
FRAGRANCE TIP #3
As the "dropper bottles" for fragrance are as contrary as those for colorants, take care when using them to avoid unintentionally adding intense amounts of fragrance.
HOW TO BLEND FRAGRANCES:
Creating your own signature scent is not as simple as it may sound. Too many floral fragrances altogether, for example, tend to make the individual flower scents virtually indistinguishable. Mix lemon and lime and orange and you get "citrus".
FRAGRANCE TIP #4
If you want to experiment with fragrance, do it on paper . . . specifically, a napkin, paper towel, facial tissue, etc. Place one drop of the selected fragrances on the paper towel and place the paper towel in a zippered sandwich bag to "bloom", mature, blend. Leave it for at least an hour, zipped shut. Now unzip and edit. Just to keep up with your recipe, write it directly on the zippered bag or on the paper towel (away from the scented area).
Cooking is one basis for scent blending, particularly desserts and treats: Chocolate + Mint; Cherry + Vanilla; Cherry + Lime; Bubble Gum + Watermelon; Sage + Rosemary; Orange + Clove; Apple + Cinnamon.
Think of a fragrant bouquet; better still, go buy one for yourself. Or take tips from the experts and make notes regarding fragrance blends that you find: Sweet Pea + Jasmine; White Lilacs + Lavender; Black Currant + Citrus; Sandalwood + Amber; Black Cherry + Plum. Vanilla, you might note, is often used in blends as a warm, sweet undertone. It blends well with numerous fragrances.
With so many from which to choose, you may also want to experiment with simple, solitary scents.
FRAGRANCE TIP #5
Some fragrance oils are colored. This can affect your soap colorants and may cloud clear glycerin. I suspect this is more of a possibility when using fragrance oils not specifically formulated for soap making. To be safe, stay with clear, colorless fragrances when possible.
I tend to match color and scent for "obvious" fragrances: orange fragrance, orange colorant; pine, lime, wintergreen fragrances, green colorants; rose, bubble-gum, watermelon fragrances, red and pink colorants; lemon, banana, dandelion, yellow family of colorants; and so forth. And, not surprisingly, colorants in fragrance oils also seem to coincide with the scent. But there is no law, of which I am aware, that mandates or stipulates that you can't (for example) make a blue, lemon-scented soap. Still, if you are making soaps for the purpose of selling or gift-giving, you may want to stick closer to tradition, matching fragrance and colorant.
Just because you find a fragrance oil, doesn't mean it should be used to scent soap. There are fragrances we enjoy to scent our homes and even our cars. But give thought to the translation of that smell on skin. Who do you know that loves "that new car smell"? Would they wear it? Case in point, the first project in the ADVANCED TECHNIQUES download is a football-shaped soap. Should you purchase this download, you'll better understand my pride in this creation. Sadly, it has nothing to do with the way it smells. I blended Fresh Cut Grass fragrance oil with Leather-scented fragrance oil. I didn't have a "Pigskin" scented oil, but I just knew I had a "home run" (not to mix sports metaphors). My son came in and I couldn't wait to wave it under his nose. When it wrinkled, I explained my logic and told him I was going for a smell that seemed to define "football" . . . Fresh Cut Grass (football field) and Leather (football). At my explanation, he said, "Well, you came close." I returned, very excited, "Really?" To which he replied, "Well, I said 'Close'. It's a shame you didn't get the game out of the locker room." OUCH! Despite his candor (which he may get from me), the criticism did bring home how my thinking it was an earthy, masculine scent didn't make it so. I still think I'm onto something, but there is, obviously, some fragrance editing and revising to be done.
FRAGRANCE TIP #6
Just because you can find the fragrance oil, that does not make it appropriate for soap making.
SIX FRAGRANCE TIPS
1. Label any unlabeled bottles immediately upon removing from packaging.
2. The soap water qualities of liquid potpourri are ideal for laundry. About one cup per load of laundry, in addition to your regular detergent, makes a delightfully fragrant difference.
3. Take care when using "dropper bottles" of fragrance. They can be as contrary as those for colorant.
4. If you want to experiment with blending fragrances, do it on paper. Place one drop of the selected fragrances on a paper towel or napkin and place in a zippered sandwich bag to "bloom", mature, blend. Leave it for at least an hour, zipped shut. Unzip and edit. To keep up with your recipe, write it directly on the paper towel (away from the scented area).
5. Some fragrance oils are colored. This may affect your soap colorants and could cloud clear glycerin.
6. Just because you can find the fragrance oil, does not mean it is appropriate for soap making. Think, always, about the application and the potential buyer or gift recipient.