I think the dilemma every conscious soaper faces at least once in his/her soap-making endeavors is whether or not to use a fragrance oil to scent the soaps. The obvious best choice for scenting the soap is through essential oils that are packed with the beneficial properties of a plant or a flower. They not only smell earthy and beautiful (my favorite is the warm scent of lavender … I can be around the scent forever!), they have so many other benefits only natural products can produce. Meanwhile, there are fragrance oils, which are the lesser version of essential oils, with no real benefits of their botanical cousins, but can achieve the powerful and playful scents that drive all my senses crazy! I want to keep my soaps as natural as possible with no unnecessary additives but it’s hard for me to dismiss all the lovely scents too. It’s a dilemma!
Until I make up my mind, I’ve decided to test out as many batches of both all-natural and almost-natural soaps and see how I feel about it at the end. I guess there’s no real harm in keep making both … afterall, it’s not like fragrance oils are the potion of death or anything! Soaps made in the kitchen still have so much more benefits for the body and the environment compared to other mass-produced counterfeits, and the usage of fragrance oils won’t compromise the quality and integrity of handmade soaps!
So, here are the two batches of soap I made the other day. The first one is Baby Grand from the book, “The Soapmaker’s Companion,” with avocado, sweet almond, jojoba, coconut, and palm oil, and a little bit of shea butter. This is the first soap I’ve made without olive oil and I’m feeling a little weary about the end result. I used multiple tablespoons of Sugar Plum fragrance oil and my entire apartment is smelling lovely now!
Here is the all-natural soap I made – another gentle soap with olive, sweet almond, avocado, palm, and coconut oils. I used great quality lavender and bergamot essential oils. I used the wooden box as a mold, and used the cookie cutter for these heart-shaped soaps.
I took the leftover soaps and made small balls, which I’ll later wrap like candies!