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I'm in the midst of gathering my supplies to try making CP soap. I am so excited and have found some great recipes using inexpensive oils. I don't think I would be satisfied without nicely scented bars. I'm very drawn to fragrances.

Do you recommend essential oils or fragrance oils and why? They are so expensive! Where is the best place to get them? Are there other ways to scent my soap inexpensively?

Thanks for your help! You are what inspired me to give this a try!
 

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hm, i dont use oils. dont want the chemicals in fragrance oils and have found that the eo's fade quickly. i have used lavender flowers and that keeps a nice gentle scent (and looks so pretty!)

i guess i'll hang around and see what the 'real' soapmakers use. i only make a couple of batches per year.
 

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fwiw, i was talking to a soapmaker today, and she uses a LOT of essential oil in her recipes (2-3 tablespoons per liter and a half of oil to be saponified), so that may be why my soap wasnt taking on much of a scent. i wasnt using anywhere near that amount. her soap smelled soooooooo yummy!!
 

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I use Sweetcakes fragrance oil which is among the most expensive but also the best. Every FO I have used from there has been great. I only used EO once and didn't like the smell as much as the FO. If you do decide to buy a FO or EO don't scrimp. There are some bad ones out there. It would be unfortunate to save $3 on fragrance only to have a lot of soap you don't like.
I have never been able to tell if there are any nice oils in my soap. Crisco feels the same to me as avocado oil. If you need to save money this is what I suggest.
Also if you know anybody with access to a military commissary have them buy olive oil for you. It is several dollars cheaper there than at Sams.
 

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I use sweetcakes eo and fo as well. They try to be honest about the qualities of their oils. If its going to do something weird to your soap they'll tell you. EOs are more expensive becuase they're pure non manufactured scents. That doesn't mean they won't be harsh on your skin. Many people have reaction to these oils. FOs are synthetic and less expensive scent blends. That doesn't mean they will all be harsh and unuseable. I use both types or none at all. Soapmaking isn't all about scent. Try to learn about ingredients that will add benefits to your bar. Milk instead of water will stink to high heaven when added to lye, but will cure into a nice rich bar. Tea blends and oatmeal are good exfoliators. Adding honey at trace will be good for toning. Using a high percentage of castor oil makes a good shampoo bar. Try to use things you can find and afford easily. Good soap doesn't have to be expensive. I agree with the crisco comment as well. Most people will be so amazed at the feel and quality of homemade soap they'll never know the difference between pure cocoa butter or all soybean oil. All the different soaps I've made have felt silky smooth on the skin.
 

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I use both EO and FO in soapmaking. I would not recommend skimping on either when deciding where to purchase. A good quality EO would require less EO per soap batch. You can also enhance the scent by adding dried herbs and such. Some of my most aromatic soaps contain no EO or FO at all - just herbal elements. I also use goats milk and 100% natural fruit juices in my soaps. Cranberry when added to the lye in place of water can give the soap a pretty pink color. I don't use dye in any of my soap recipes. Search the web for "cold process soap recipes" and try several. It may take some adjustment to get just the bar you like. Be creative in adding oatmeal, cornmeal, coffee ground, etc as well.

~Melissa
mom to 4 semi-crunchy kids
 

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don't give up on eo's for soap. the citrus ones don't "stick" well at all but some of the others do. you need to use A LOT. for instance, i use from 1-2.5 oz for every lb of fixed oil depending on the eo.

if you decide to use both eo's and fo's i would recommend learning to use eo's first. there is much more learning to do when mastering fo's. they can be really tricky to use.
 
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