It helps if you have a background in soapmaking, but if your background is in bar soap, you’ll discover the blend specifics aren’t the same. It also helps to remember that liquid soap is simply different from bar soap, and it’s different in enough ways that approaching it the same as bar soap will wind up wasting you time, whether through missteps or wrong assumptions. It’s good to approach liquid soap scenting as if you don’t already know everything you need to know.
Why We’re Here
Here’s the good news. Since we have been where you are, and since we kept at the scenting tests until we got it right, you can benefit from our experience. Bear in mind, as with bar soaps, that essential oils don’t all behave the same, as individual scent components or as part of a mix. The numbers that follow are presented as percentages of total soap weight.
We recommend starting with 1% essential oil (1g oil to 100g of liquid soap base). In the majority of cases, that should be the right amount. If the scent isn’t strong enough at 1%, though, try 1.5% next. As mentioned above, essential oils don’t all behave the same. It’s takes far less clove oil, for instance, than orange to reach the same scent level. If you’re using multiple oils, your bar soapmaking background could certainly help in determining the balance required for the oils that you’ve chosen.
You might still need more tests. If 1.5% essential oils isn’t enough, try 2%, 2.5%, etc. There will come a point, though, when adding more oil won’t result in more scent. Knowing that can not only save you time, but money.
Another variable to consider is whether the liquid soap you’re using is Castile or foaming. With foaming soap, too much essential oil can affect the pump’s ability to create a light, creamy foam. What might work just fine for Castile might need to be tweaked a bit for foaming soap.