My soap does not smell good.

by Vahe
(Newhall, CA, U.S.)

It was my Second time I made soap and asked people to give me honest feedback.

I used avocado, coconut, olive, palm, walnut and 2 oz grape and almond oils for super fatty purpose and 11 teaspoon rosewood therapeutic grade essential oil* but it does not have strong smell of rosewood.

It smells like bunch of oils and a little bit rosewood. I don't want people get allergic reaction but they are not happy with its smell.

What can I do?

*Can I add alcohol based perfume in it? I am thinking alcohol isn't good in soap but I read a book about soap making where they added alcohol and made clear soap .

*Do you think in case one day I want to sell my soap people really care about E.O or fragrance oil because it's cheap and artificial?

Thank you for your advice
Vahe .M


You may not have used enough rosewood essential oil for the recipe. You can use up to 5% by weight of the base oils. For example, if you have 500 grams of base oils in your recipe, you can use up to 25 grams of essential oil.

You still have to be careful since some oils are sensitizing and should be limited in a recipe.

Most essential oils are best used in combination with other essential oils. For some reason a blend of scents is more effective and pleasing to the senses. I like rosewood myself but it is a bit expensive to use all by itself.

Alcohol based perfumes are not a good idea to use in soap making since the alcohol can cause a reaction that can sieze the soap base. Transparent soap does contain alcohol but that type of soap making, though similar, is still quite different. The alcohol is added after the soap has reached trace and then been cooked. The alcohol is used as a solvent to dissolve the soap paste.

You ask if people care if the scent used is a fragrance or an essential oil. Some people do and some people don't. Just like everything else in life, people have varying opinions.

Be aware that though some fragrance oils are fairly cheap, not all of them are. Many can be even more expensive than essential oils. It depends on the quality of the fragrance oils you purchase.

Good luck,

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Scenting Soap
by: Cathy

You haven't done anything wrong at all.

Soap is a wash off product designed to wash away dirt and oil. The scent is mostly just released into the air as you use it.

Your soap would have to contain a large amount of essential oils in order to leave a scent behind on your skin for very long.

Some people add up to 5% essential oils by weight of your base oils. In other words...if our base oils weigh 100 grams, the essentials oils would weigh up to 5 grams.

If you want a topical scent experience, you might be better to save the scent for lotion or other leave on product as you will get more mileage out of your expensive essential oils that way.

Soap smell
by: Sebastian

I had a question. I made a batch of soap this summer. Cold soap process, with olive and palm oil and lavender essential oil. It smells good, is nice on the hands and all, but my hands dont smell like lavender after washing. Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you!

oil smelling soap
by: ideysmamie

I have the same problem with my soaps smelling "oily" for lack of better word. I am wondering if my crock pot gets too hot. Its funny though some of my soaps smell like they should and then others with basically the same oil ingredients smell well off.I can smell the smell under my fragrance. My family has also stated they smell the off smell. All my oils are fresh mostly organic. My fragrances are from several different suppliers.So I am suspecting my crock pot. Did you figure anything out? I would really love to know what I am doing wrong. I plan on purchasing a new crock pot so if it makes a difference I'll let you know :) Here's to hoping :)

by: Anonymous

I find grapeseed oil to be AWFUL in soap. I can smell it a mile away, that might be the problem. It goes rancid quickly...and potentially the mix with other oils is the problem? Avoid it, and probably should avoid avocado oil to avoid rancidity as well.


These oils don't have as long a shelf life as some of the others so it is important to use the freshest you can find. They should also be stored in the refrigerator to prolong their life.


Flash Point
by: Laurie

I am a newbie, and still learning about scenting but this may help. I found that I was adding the scent too early and some actually have flash points-they evaporate if they reach certain degrees. So now I add it after a good trace and found the scent sticks around~ all better now. I also read somewhere to add like 1 1/2 teaspoons per pound for strong scent and 1 teaspoon for light scent.
Good luck!

by: Gene

If your soap is smelling"off", your oil may be rancid-exposed to air for too long, oxidized.

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