I learned a trick from one of my soapmaking friends on how to test a whole bunch of fragrances in cold-processed soap. What a great way to try out those samples you keep acquiring. That’s not just me, is it? The main purpose is to discover how they are going to behave. Lye does some pretty crazy things to fragrances sometimes.
First, you need to acquire some paper Dixie cups, disposable pipettes, and a plastic spoon. Then make a small batch of soap – today’s batch was made with 22 ounces of oils. Label your cups first with a sharpie, and have a pad of paper and a pen handy with the list of fragrances already written down. Then pour soap into the cups until they are about half full. Add about 2 to 2.5 ml of fragrance to each cup one at a time, stir with the plastic spoon, make quick notes, and rinse the spoon in between. I tested 13 fragrances with this method:
You can tell if the soap is going to discolor, accelerate trace, heat up, lose fragrance, or any other problems such as ricing, oil separating, etc. A couple of the scents I tested today had slight acceleration, and a couple of them are definitely discoloring already – which is what I would expect from spicy scents. The spicy scents were also the only ones that wanted to gel:
I had some soap left over, so I added some yellow coloring and more of the Hello Sweet Thang fragrance from Brambleberry (my new fave!). I may or may not have added a bit too much fragrance. Mmmm.
My only disappointment was with the Caramel Apple fragrance (NOT a Brambleberry scent). I wanted to test this scent specifically since I was hoping to add it to my fall line of soaps. The bottle smells absolutely divine! The soap – not so much. The caramel is pretty well destroyed. However, the apple comes through better in the soap than out of the bottle. I’m not giving up though. I ordered a full pound of this stuff, so I’m going to try it in hot process soap next…