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.


  1. Hi Sara,
    If you still have any of these wonderful soaps in about 6 weeks time would you please let me know if the scent is still pretty strong. I am tearing my hair out trying to get scent to stay in my soap as in the Caribbean my customers like soap they can really smell in the shower :+} Thanks much Dee at

  2. hi, when you added 10 drops of Patchouli essential oil, what was the total amount of essential oils? (10 drops per how much)?


  3. Use Orange 10x from Brambleberry. That is by far the strongest and longest lasting citrus EO I have found.

  4. I have made this soap to be very mild and extra moisturizing, super fatted at 8%, which means that I have added extra 8% oils to the recipe to make it nourishing for the skin, and lots of Cocoa butter. You don’t have to worry; the soap will not make your skin feel greasy. It will just gently cleanse your skin and leave it moisturized.To gate more information.

  5. Hi Sara,

    Thank you so much for posting about this! How did the scent hold up over time? Any new adjustments? Thanks!

  6. Have you ever done it HP, and added it after the cook? Im not sure of the flashpoint on mine. I wanted to do it CP, and just soap at a really low temp, but from everything I've read it won't hold its scent in the cure time. I have and ounce of Orange EO and need to use it somewhere. May end up just sticking it in a diffuser for my house. lol