Peru Balsam

by Lynn Culver
(Michigan)

Hello! I would like to make a soap that smells like chocolate and another that smells like vanilla. For the vanilla, I've already tried 20-fold vanilla and didn't achieve any scent at all. Might peru balsam work? Any blends that might mimic vanilla?


Thank you for your time!!

Answer:

The unfortunate truth is that you will probably never find a scent that will make a soap that truly smells like real chocolate or vanilla.

Some essential oils can give the general impression of a vanilla scent...peru balsam gives that warm creamy feeling to the scent but doesn't really smell like vanilla as we would all like it too. Even fragrance oils don't quite cut it....but some do come close. Unfortunately I can't recommend one since everybody's nose has a different idea of what a good vanilla smells like!

I believe the 20-fold vanilla needs to be used in fairly large amounts (3+ percent) to achieve a decent amount of scent.

Chocolate scents are even harder to find. I have yet to find one that made me feel like saying "This is it! This is the chocolate scent I've been looking for!" Hasn't happened yet....not for me at least.

Adding chocolate and cocoa powder to a soap helps but be careful of how much you add since they can both turn the soaps lather brown and can cause staining of wash cloths etc.

You could also try adding undeodorized cocoa butter which smells heavenly. I've not used it in a soap recipe in large quantities but I think it would be great to try to make a soap that replaced the palm oil with mostly undeodorized cocoa butter.

Good luck and happy soaping,
Cathy

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