Our sense of smell is a powerful ability and it conjures up emotions and memories. It also affects our brain which has an effect on our stress levels, hormones, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Fragrance is highly subjective and we don’t all like the same scents and smells. What you like might not be what someone else likes!
What you need to keep in mind is the final application, as with certain products you will need to be accurate when mixing and blending. Mixing you own blend of oils can be a fun way to experiment. With so many essential oils to choose from it might seem a bit overwhelming.
Understanding Scent Notes
Scents have been separated into three distinct classes, top notes, middle notes and base notes. Determined by the volatility of the oil, lighter molecules evaporate quicker than heavier one. One note can influence the perception of the others notes. A well-rounded balanced fragrance should aim for a combination of all three notes. Top/Head Notes – The small light molecules of the top notes are strong, very volatile and evaporate quickly. They form the first impression of a perfume and are very important when selling. Middle/Heart Notes – This scent emerges prior to the top notes dissipating and is usually more mellow and rounded. They often mask the initial unpleasant base notes, which become more pleasant with time. Base Notes – This is made of large heavy molecules that evaporate slowly. Deep and rich they are the main theme of a perfume and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application or drying of the perfume. This is guide to essential oils and their perfumery notes, though this again can be subjective.
You might feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of blending your own oils and there is a wide range of pre-made blends already mixed together for you. It is not recommended that you try to mix or add to these blends, as the exact quantities can only be guessed and the outcome will be unpredictable. You are better off blending your own.
A good starting point when considering blending your own oils is to look at popular blends and their ingredients. The simplest approach is to start with a 1:1 ratio of the same amount of oil drops, and adjust from there.
If you are applying your blend to skin you will want to dilute your blend into a carrier to reduce the reactions essential oil can cause (see the important notes). Aloe Vera gel and unscented body lotions are commonly used to carry the oils to your skin, hence the name.
Additional tips on blending oils
• Make sure you store you blend correctly. • Leave air space in the bottle so oil can breathe. • If using carrier, fill the container half way, and then add the blend of oils. Add the rest of the carrier and turn it several times to mix. • It’s important to use good quality ingredients throughout your products. It doesn’t make sense to use good quality oils and • put them into poor quality gels, creams or lotion bases.
What percentage of Fragrance and Essential Oil should be in products?
This is the amount we use in our Soap Kitchen recipes, other recipes may call for different amounts. The allergen content of some Essential and Fragrance Oils may limit inclusion levels to less than these recommended amounts in some instances, especially cinnamon based ones for example. Some bases may differ and the manufacturer’s suggested maximum inclusion levels should be on the individual products.
• Bath Bombs – 3% (3ml per 100g) • Bath Crystals – 1% (10ml per 1kg) • Bath Foams & Bodywashes –0.75% (7.5ml per 1kg) • Candles – (EO5%) Fra 8-10% • Cold Process Soap – 2% (20ml in 1kg) • Creams – 0.5% (0.5ml per 100g) • Lip Balms(flavours)– 5% (5ml per 100g) • Melt and Pour Soap Bases – 2% (20ml in 1kg) • Shampoo & Conditioner – 0.75% (7.5ml per 1kg) •Shaving Soap – 1% (10ml per 1kg)
Want to keep it simple
If this all sounds a bit too confusing and you want to keep things simple The Soap Kitchen offers a range of basic bases that you can choose the colour, fragrance or essential oil and make them up yourself. You can then purchase a CPSR package as part of the process for getting your products on sale.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and some individuals and skin types may have allergic reactions to them, so it is important to always be safe and careful with them. For more information www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk