A question asked by a lady in my FB soaping group, WillaRose Soap Club. Can I use perfume to scent soap? The following is my response.
When I first began soaping I had a alcohol body spray that I am in love with, but sadly was discontinued. It had a low alcohol base, and very high percentage of essential oils. In my excitement to use scent for the first time, I did use a bit, no catastrophic events occurred.😉. That being said, most body sprays have about 1/4 the alcohol as perfume. It’s like making a beer or wine soap, most of the alcohol needs to be evaporated out, or your soap will seize, without question. Sodium hydroxide & alcohol cause a much higher exothermic reaction than distilled water, which we know averages about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The exothermic reaction between Alcohol & NaOH is exponentially higher, which is what causes the soap to seize so drastically. Theoretically you could open the perfume and over a period of a week, maybe more, the alcohol would evaporate, but I don’t think it’s worth the risk of a possible volcano, unlikely, but possible. And I wouldn’t want you to waste your wonderful ingredients on a seized soap. I would stick to essential oils, and fragrance oils that won’t accelerate trace at all, until you have a great recipe under your belt. I recommend Natures Garden. There Fo’s are thoroughly tested, and they give very detailed descriptions on their performance in cp soaps. A few of my favorites are, coconut lime verbena, acai berry, and bamboo with white grapefruit. None of these FOs accelerate trace, rice, or discolor. A great jumping off point for a new soaper. NG also gives usage rates for all of their oils, which is also helpful.
One reason I started WillaRose Soap Club, on FB, was to help new Soapers, give support, and even share some recipes. I believe we should all support one another, not try to hold each other back, make rude & unkind comments, or refuse to answer questions like some other groups out there, due to their own insecurities. You will do wonderfully. Never be afraid to ask a question. Someone will always answer, and if we don’t know the answer, we’ll find someone who does.😊 Before I began buying in bulk I would buy eo’s from Vitamin world, and NG has great prices on sample sizes. If you need a starter recipe, let me know, I’ll be happy to share some with you. Soaping is a super fun creative outlet, and I know you’ll love it. Just take your time, ask any questions you may have, and you’ll have a blast. We have an amazing group of ladies and gentlemen in our group who are always willing to help.