How To Make Custom Soap With Our Blends – Part Two

Woman wearing Botanie shirt pours essential oil into soap mixture behind text that reads "Essential oil blending is an opportunity to create something unique."
As a great place to start, Botanie’s soap-making oil blends ensure a more convenient soap-making process while still allowing you to create your custom soap. In addition to convenience, these blends are tried-and-true and have been proven to create wonderful cleansing bars that are hard and long-lasting, full of moisturizing properties, and produce a dense, creamy lather.
There are multiple ways to customize the oil blends, including adding additional oils or butters for superfatting, creating your custom essential oil scent blend, and adding specific herbs or botanical ingredients for different colors and exfoliating properties. In this post, we are going to specifically address soap scenting.

How Much Essential Oil Should You Use?

This decision is completely up to you. There are many soapmakers who have their own great recipes which may contain different essential oil quantities from what we recommend. The ultimate goal is to produce a high-quality bar that both you and your customers enjoy. With that said, we do have our recommended essential oil quantities that have been proven to work for us in our soap-making.
Before getting into the specific quantities, I want to first provide a little information on why using too much essential oil can possibly decrease your final bar quality:

  1. Bar Hardness — Too much essential oil can have an adverse affect on the bar hardness, creating a final bar that can be too soft. Softer bars will have a difficult time drying between each use, shortening the bar’s life and costing everyone more.
  2. Skin Sensitivity — In general, most people don’t get irritated from essential oils in bar soap, but there are some with sensitive skin who may notice higher essential oil levels. It can be worth keeping in mind that bars that contain higher essential oil levels have the potential to be a little irritating for those customers.

The following table shows the essential oil quantity range in ounces for our 14-pound and 35-pound blends. Also included is the essential oil ounce range per pound of oil:

Recommended Total Essential Oil Usage (In Ounces) For Oil Blends
Ounce of Essential Oil Per Pound of Oil 0.25 oz – 0.375 oz
14-Pound Oil Blend Range 3.50 oz – 5.25 oz
35-Pound Oil Blend Range 8.75 oz – 13.0 oz

The first row is useful in finding a good amount of essential oil to use for any size batch of soap. If you are only creating a 5-pound oil batch, simply choose a number between the range and multiply it by five (ex. 0.25 x 5 = 1.25 oz of essential oil). The second and third rows are pre-calculated ranges for our 14 and 35-pound blends, which have been calculated by using the oz/lb ratio calculation previously shown.

Tips for Essential Oil Blending

If you’ve perfected your own proven essential oil blend, great! It is always satisfying to achieve that wonderful scent that everybody loves and compliments you on. For those who might be a little newer to soap-making, here are a few tips we’ve put together to help you create your own lovely essential oil blends:

  1. Top, Middle, and Base Notes — Oils can be categorized into one of these three scent notes depending on their aromatic characteristics. Top note essential oils are more delicate and develop the fastest, middle notes are well-balanced and create the most developed aroma, while base notes are deep and rich and work well to round out blends.
  2. Softening the Edges — Some essential oils, when used in certain quantities, can be a bit sharp. A great technique to soften their edges is to blend them with a small quantity of an essential oil, such as patchouli (an earthy scent). In small quantities, the patchouli will soften the edges and round out the bar scent without showing through.
  3. Blending – When it comes to blending, have fun and let your creativity flow. There are no set rules on what works with what, so don’t limit yourself. Here are a few suggestions though to get you started:
    • Woodsy oils typically can fit into most any essential oil blends.
    • Floral, spicy, and citrus oils work well together. For example, one of our signature blends, citrus lavender, combines floral lavender essential oil with hints of orange, tangerine, and lemon to create a bright and calming scent.
    • Spicy oils can be overpowering, so you may want to hold back a little with them.
    • Minty, citrus, herbaceous, and earthy also work well together. Our lemongrass tea blend is a great example of citrus essential oils like bergamot, lime, and lemongrass, complementing herbaceous oils like sage and rosemary.

Have you been able to create that perfect blend? Feel free to share your essential oil blending stories in the comments section, and we hope our quantity recommendations serve as a useful tool for you in your soap-making!


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