I’m turning my attention and free time back to painting. I’ll probably continue to make soap until I use up some of my supplies, but after that I expect to only make soap Christmas gifts. I wanted to thank everyone here for your generous sharing of information it is really rare to find such a group of folks who are both so knowledgeable and so willing to share their knowledge of their craft. I haven’t been able to give back since I’m so new to this, but I thought I could at least share what I learned here about making soap in the last 18 months with any newer soapers who are reading. Below is my list of tips to help newer soapers.
The folks on this forum are mostly expert soap makers who are generous with their knowledge and experience so ask them if you aren’t sure about something. Soap Queen has lots of information and ideas too. See her videos for lessons on how to make soap.
Lavender is popular. Lavender Essential oil sticks better than most fragrance oils and can be found at nearly the same price if you look around.
Citrus is also very popular but almost all citrus FO and EO fade very quickly. Listea EO is a good way to get a citrusy scent that sticks. I found Listea very inexpensively from several suppliers. Check out Essential Depot for inexpensive but limited selection of essential oils.
Not all olive oils that you buy in the grocery store are really 100% olive oil. Check the expiration date on your olive oil especially if making Castile soap since you will need to age it for months even a year and you don’t want the oil going rancid before the soap is fully ready to use. Some folks really like Castile soap and not everyone makes it probably because you need to cure it for so long.
Calendula petals are the only botanical I found that did not eventually turn brown, they stay a pretty yellow color.
Scents that stuck well in CP soap for me:
Energy – Brambleberry- strong and sticks like glue!
Bonsai – Brambleberry this one is really strong be careful not to use too much (like I did)
Tea Tree EO
Spearmint and Peppermint EO
Sea Glass – WSP light but really fresh clean scent
Perfect Pumpkin – WSP- mostly the cinnamon spice part stuck but it did stick
Lemon Verbena – Brambleberry & WSP
Blood Orange & Goji Fragrance – WSP - really sticking well after 6 months
Autumn Wreath FO – WSP - maybe not a great scent for soap but it sure stuck
Lilac in Bloom Fragrance Oil - WSP- dead on lilac scent no fading so far 6 weeks
Honeysuckle Surplus FO - Brambleberry - sweet honey floral
Don’t be like me and waste a lot of money trying expensive oils you can make a perfectly good soap with just a handful of basic carrier oils and maybe a “butter”. There are a few formulas on this forum that are basic and quite good.
Don’t be like me and get all crazy buying a bunch of fragrances, just buy what you need for the next 2-3 projects.