If you prefer to keep your products as natural as possible, essential oils are the way to go. It’s important to use them properly. If your product has too much essential oil, it can cause skin irritation.
The easiest way to find out how much you need is with our Fragrance Calculator. Just select what kind of product you’re making, the size of your batch, and which essential oil you want to use.
For example, here are the results for lemongrass essential oil in 48 ounces of cold process soap.
One important note - for fragrance oils, the calculator usage rates are based on IFRA (International Fragrance Association) guidelines. For essential oils, there's no official IFRA usage rate. The Fragrance Calculator recommendations are based on our tests and crafting experience.
Just like most ingredients in bath and beauty products, the usage rates may vary based on personal preference. Start with the light recommendation and make a small test batch. That way you can see if the scent is strong enough for your preference, and that the product feels OK on your skin.
If you want to create a blend, there are a few things to take into account. First, check the product descriptions of each essential oil for any recommendations. For example, clove leaf essential oil isn't recommended for leave-on products like lotion because it can irritate the skin. However, it works well for wash-off products like soap. Let's include it in a blend with orange 10X essential oil and litsea essential oil - they can be used in both wash-off and leave-on products.
Clove leaf essential oil usage rate for 48 ounces of cold process soap:
Orange 10X essential oil usage rate for 48 ounces of cold process soap:
Litsea essential oil usage rate for 48 ounces of cold process soap:
As you can see, they all have different usage rates. If you add all the strong recommendations to your recipe, that's almost 6 ounces of essential oil for a 48 ounce batch - way too much. The most you want to add is 2.9 ounces, which is the strong recommendation for orange 10X.
Let's say you want to use 0.5 ounces of clove and 1 ounce of litsea. To find out how much orange you need, subtract the 1.5 ounces from 2.9 ounces. That gives you 1.4 ounces of orange 10X. If you want to use more orange essential oil, you need to decrease the amount of litsea or clove. You can swap those amounts any way you like as long as you're not exceeding each oil's maximum or the 2.9 total. For example, if you love litsea you can add the full 2.4 ounces. From there, you can split the remaining 0.5 ounces between clove and orange 10X. That could be 2.4 ounces of litsea, 0.3 ounces of orange, and 0.2 ounces of clove. Or 2.4 litsea, 0.25 clove, and 0.25 orange.
Another method is to use a 1:1:1 ratio. In that case, you would use 0.5 ounces of each oil because that's the maximum for clove leaf. That gives you 1.5 ounces total.
The best way to find out what you like is to experiment! Work with a couple different blends until you find your favorite. Then, try it in a recipe. After a little practice, creating custom blends is easy.