When Fragrance Oils Go Rogue

My hands-down-most-popular summer special last year was my Lemon Verbena Confetti, so obviously I had to make it again this year.  It has a white base colour, is crammed with multi-coloured soap shavings and is fragranced with an amazing smelling Lemon Verbena fragrance oil.  I LOVE lemon verbena – it’s fresh, crisp and citrussy with herbaceous notes, but sadly, this particular lemon verbena fragrance does NOT behave itself in cold process soap.

I knew from my experience using last year that it was a fast mover, so I thought I was well prepared this time. The soap shavings were ready to go, the oils and lye were at room temperature, I didn’t discount the water, and was prepared to work quickly. It wasn’t enough…

Soap shaving ready to be added...

Soap shaving ready to be added…

I added my titanium dioxide AND the Lemon Verbena FO to to my oils, added the lye water and KAPOW!  it solidified immediately. I refused to be beaten.  I splodged the stick blender in and loosened it up a bit before adding all the soap shavings. How much soap shavings you use is entirely up to you – I don’t measure it out, I just mix in more and more until it looks like enough <not helpful sorry>:

Soap shavings added

Soap shavings added

I mixed as far as I could with a spoon but in the end I had to plunge in my (gloved!!) hands to give it a thorough mix. It was the only way to get everything properly combined without breaking up all the soap shreds with the blender.  I also used my hands to get the whole lot into the the moulds (one benefit of making confetti soap – two batches with added confetti makes enough soap to fill three moulds – yey!)

Moulds filled with confetti soap

Moulds filled with confetti soap

It was only then that I realised that one of my gloves had split and I had the beginnings of a lye burn on the end of one of my fingers – ouch 😦

Two days later I unmoulded and cut, and the result wasn’t too shabby:

Confetti soap, the cut

Confetti soap, the cut

It has a few small air holes here and there, trapped during the mould filling, but it’s pretty good, considering!

Incidentally, the company from whom I bought this FO claim on their website that it causes no acceleration in CP soap, but when I asked in a FB group whether anyone else had had an issue with this particular FO, it seems to be fairly common. Ah well, forewarned is forearmed eh?!

11 thoughts on “When Fragrance Oils Go Rogue

  1. Great idea – mixing the shavings in! Looks so appealing. I have lemon verbena in the garden – thinking I might try an infised oil with it…
    Sarah 😊

  2. Nice job! I guess that is something that I love about soaping, it is always a surprise 🙂 Starting from making it until cutting it! Everything is well planned in our mind and under control and then we start soaping and get a surprise! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Bathbombs and Specials – The Week in Soap: 11th June ’17 | The Soap Mine

  4. I recently discovered your Blog (from the interview with soap witch) and have really enjoyed reading the last several months. Thank You! You make really beautiful soaps.

    That FO sound like a real trouble maker. I always mix my colors in after reaching emulsification and separating out the batter – I Never add my FO to the oils – who knows what can happen!
    If I used this FO and was making 3 batches, after mixing the lye & oils, I would divide it into three, and do a third at a time with the FO & Confetti.

    I hope the burn wasn’t too sever…I have gotten a couple on my face (between the goggles & mask) and was so focused on my soaping I didn’t notice it for 45 minutes – that was a horrible burn that I hope I never repeat! It’s a miracle I don’t have a huge scar on my face!
    I look forward to your next blog.
    Happy Soaping!


    • Hey Sly! Adding the fo to the oils works well for me (usually!) – I’d used this one before successfully – I can only think that the formulation changed. Anyway, I knew what to do to control the next batch and it worked a treat – I’ll must remember to share pics soon. Thanks for reading!

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