Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Fixing citrus essential oils in cold process soap making

I've been making soaps for many years now, but like many experienced soap makers I have had some trouble when making soaps scented with citrus essential oils. In the past I have tried using benzoin essential oil in an attempt to remedy this, but have never had complete success. Just recently I decided I really wanted to make a successful Lime scented soap and Orange scented soap, both of which have proved to be very popular especially in the hot summer months. So after some extensive research, using the web and various soap making blogs and reference books, I tried out a new formula. I am seriously impressed with the results and thought I would share my tips. First and foremost is to use castor oil to blend the essential oils in. I used an amount that is adequate to superfat a 3 kilo batch of soap and added my chosen blend to it and let it rest for an hour or so while I made the soap itself. To further anchor the citrus oils I used Litsea Cubeba or May Chang essential oil in both the orange and the Lime blends. This oil has quite a strong citrus scent in itself and mimics the scent of lime quite strongly, so I used less in the orange blend and slightly more in the lime blend. To each of the blends I added 10 drops of Patchouli essential oil, which also helps to fix citrus oils and a touch of Cedarwood for the same purpose. For the Lime soap I then used Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit and Bergamot essential oils, and for the Orange soap, Bitter Orange, Sweet Orange, and Bergamot essential oils. Both of the soaps are seriously citrusy and even though I then processed the Cold Process soap in the oven known as Cold Process Hot Process the scent remained intact- I can only imagine that without doing this the scent would maybe be even more intense. So if you've had problems with citrus essential oils, try this method for some seriously impressive results.