Funny smell or no smell at all ?

by Jane

I am new to soap making, and I've made some batches which smell wonderful and some which smell horrible or smell of nothing.

Is it to do with the oils I'm using? The ones that smell best seem to have an olive oil/ veg shortening base (I think vegetable shortening is the UK equivelent of Crisco). I'm using mostly fragrance oils rather than essential oils.

Could it just be the quality of the fragrance oils? I'm adding at trace and putting in about 200 to 300 ml of fragrance. Sometimes it works and other times it does not.

I've tried combinations and single fragrances and there doesn't seem to be any reason to it.

When I add palm oil that seems to make it smell horrible too. I'm using unrefined palm oil which is orange.

Many thanks.


Fragrance oils are not all created equally. Not by a long shot.

Be sure that the fragrance oils you are using are suitable for the cold process/hot process/room temperature methods of soap making. Some are only good for melt and pour type soap making or aren't intended for soap or body products at all.

Fragrance oils also differ from scent to scent in the amount required for use in each batch of soap. Some scents are strong whereas others are weak. Some last a long time and others do not.

Your best bet is to visit the Soap Scent Review Forum to see reviews of various soap making scents out there.

Test batches are also a good idea. Divide a small batch up into smaller parts and add various scents to each to test how the scent reacts to your recipe.

Note taking is a must and researching about fragrances and essential oils is a really good idea in order to understand them more.

Visit my page on Blending Scents. Even though it is about essential oils, you should find it useful since many fragrance oils contain essential oil components and will react similarily in soap.

As for the palm oil....if the bad scent does not go away after a week or so perhaps try a different brand.

Good luck,

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