I often have customers (or other soapmakers) emailing me to ask "WHERE do you get your scent oils from? Your all natural blends smell so natural! Your fragrances, like peach, smell like no other peach I've ever smelled before!"
Firstly, I don't usually reveal my oil suppliers, ...proprietay info and all that....a soapmaker has to have SOME trade secrets. But I will say this.....when I find a good supplier of quality oils, I am loyal as the day is long! And secondly, rarely are any of my soap scents just one *out-of-the-bottle* scent. I mix a little of this, a little of that, and strive for a pleasing balance of base, middle and top notes that create olfactory nirvana! And after 15 years in this biz, each and evey one of my over 80 soap recipes are committed to memory from constant making and re-making of soap batches. So it's in the diversity of my mixing that I come up with the scents that I do! We DO offer some single note scents such as lavender--there are simply some soap scents that remain old standards that everyone gets requests for, even though you can get it from darn near any soapmaker on the planet. But in the case of straight scent soaps like lavender, I search for the best lavender I can find anywhere!
I've also spent countless hours (and books) and continue to educate myself on the art and science of scent blending. There are a myriad of great books on the topic, but by far, my all-time favorites have been:
Essence and Alchemy by Mandy Aftel
Galaxy of Scents: The Ancient Art of Perfume Making by Mary Lynne
So let's establish...there's no substitute for a good perfumery education and a thorough understanding of the oils (and safety & quality issues of oils) you are using. We use both essential oils and fragrance oils...moving toward a line of fragrances that are all pthalate-free!
But if you want to know how I come up with some of my most-commented-on soap scent blends.....
PSSSST! HERE IT IS!........
I usually accumulate a number of soap bar slivers at the bottom of my tub or sink. It's one of the perks of being a soapmaker...I have tons of soap to choose from..literally, and pick a bar for any given shower depending upon my mood. My husband calls it Spoiled-Soaper-Syndrome.
When I'm showering and smell some of these delightful mixed scents wafting up to my nose, I take some of these slivers, wet them with hot water, and SQUISH!
The Simply Soap Squish n Sniff Method of scent blending!
(It's honestly how I've come up with some of my best-sellers! *wink*)
"One finds an ancient flask, and from it's spout
A spirit, now restored and much alive, pours out.
A thousand slumbering thoughts, dismal chrysalids
Within the shadows trembling like new butterflies,
Which set themselves to fly, as crumpled wings unfold
In tints of azure, frosts of rose, and flakes of gold."
- Charles Baudelaire, "The Flask"
Have an exquisie day, Ma Lovelies!