Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Lori Nova's Top Ten Essential Oils

Big thanks to Lori Nova from The Nova Studio for this Guest Blog. Lori is going to be teaching her amazing swirl technique and colorant class at the Soap Intensive Weekend at Otion this year. Class attendees are in for a huge treat. Lori's Guest Blog is below:

While preparing for my upcoming 2-Day Soap Making Boot Camp, I began to realize that there are some essential oils that are crucial to me for Cold Process Soap Making. Even though I occasionally use oils that are not on this list, without these oils I would be hard pressed to make amazing soap at an affordable price.

The reasons that I use/choose these oils time and time again is...

1) they smell great in CP soap,
2) they are reasonably priced and I can afford to buy a 16 ounce bottle of them, and
3) many of them blend well with each other, creating dozens or more of possible combinations.

Here's my Top 10 List:

1: Lavender (use .7 ounces per pound of oil/fat)
2: 5-Fold Sweet Orange (use .5 ounces per pound of oil/fat)
3: Petitgrain (use .5 ounce per pound of oil/fat)
4: Lemon (use .9 ounces per pound of oil/fat)
5: Litsea Cubeba (use .5 ounces per pound of oil/fat)
6: Spearmint (use .5 ounce per pound of oil/fat)
7: Lime (use .9 ounces per pound of oil/fat)
8: Peppermint (use .5 ounce per pound of oil/fat)
9: Rosemary (use .5 ounce per pound of oil/fat)
10: Anise (use .5 ounce per pound of oil/fat)

My favorite COMBINATIONS with these ten Essential Oils:

~Lemon & Litsea Cubeba
~Lavender & Litsea Cubeba
~Lavender & Any Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Lime, etc.)
~Lavender & Any Mint
~Lavender & Rosemary
~Rosemary & Lemon
~Rosemary & Spearmint
~Lime & Spearmint (aka Mojito)
~Anise & Lavender
~Anise & Sweet Orange
~Petitgrain & Sweet Orange
~Peppermint & Lemon
~Peppermint & Spearmint (aka Doublemint)

How to figure out how much essential oils to use in Cp soap making:

Refer to "my list" above about for how much is recommended to use per pound of oil/fat.
How many pounds (of oil/fat) does your recipe have?
Let's say you are making a 4-pound batch of oil/fats (fyi - 4 pounds = 64 ounces)
You multiply 4 x the amount of E.O. recommended.

To demonstrate, I'll use Anise & Lavender.
Anise is recommended at .5 per pound of oil/fat.
So... 4 (lbs of oil) x .5 = 2.0 ounces of Anise (if you were using only Anise for the entire 4-lb batch).
and 4 (lbs of oil) x .7 = 2.8 ounces of Lavender (if you were using only Lavender)
Since you are using a combination of oils, divide each by 2.
So for Anise, it's 2 divided by 2 = 1 (ounce of anise for the whole batch, in combo with lavender)
So 2.8 divided by 2 = 1.4 (ounces of lavender for the whole batch, in combo with anise).

So the end result for an Anise & Lavender Soap would be:
1 ounce of Anise AND 1.4 ounces of Lavender

Remember - these are guidelines for Cold Process Soap Making only and this is only a place to start. After making your first batch, if it comes out smelling more like one oil and you want it the other way around, feel free to adjust the amounts until you find exactly the scent you are looking for.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this blog post and find it helpful in scenting your Cold Process soap.

Please feel free to post a comment below and share your favorite "can't live without" essential oils for CP soap making and also the combinations you love the most.