Fragrance Oils - What should I use?
There are many (sometimes confusing) types of fragrance oil available for your cosmetic, soap, toiletry or candle making. In this guide we will try to clear up some of the confusion surrounding Fragrance Oils and their use - particularly in cosmetics, toiletries, soap, bath bombs and bath fizzy making. Aimed specifically at EU readers, we hope that you will find this guide helpful.
To begin with, there are a number of key points that you should be aware of and some terminology that you need to understand.
Fragrance oil (parfum on product labels) is a term generally used to describe a manufactured or synthetic fragrance that is used simply for its smell factor. Never use concentrated fragrance oil undiluted or directly on skin.
- Essential oils are derived from plant matter and are deemed to be natural. Essential oils are reputed to have therapeutic as well as fragrance value. Caution should still be exercised with use as some are potent and not suitable for pregnant women or the very young or indeed people with specific illnesses. Always use essential oils diluted and consult a trained aromatherapist.
For your safety, anything that you use to create a toiletry or cosmetic product MUST be of cosmetic/toiletry grade and approved for EU use. Be aware of imported fragrances that have not been certified for safety within the EU and note that US regulations differ from UK/EU regulations. If in doubt about the source of a particular product then ask your supplier/the person you are about to buy from.
There are two main types of manufactured fragrance - those intended for cosmetic applications and those meant for the home fragrance market - ie pot pourri, oil burners etc. Home fragrance oils must NEVER be used for products that will come into contact with the skin. On the other hand you CAN use your cosmetic fragrance oil concentrate for your oil burner!
Within the fragrance oil sector there are some fragrances that have been manufactured and certified as safe for both cosmetic AND candle use(despite what some sellers are telling you) - but you must not assume that this is the case with all that you buy - always ask your supplier as the majority of fragrance will only be suited to one application.
- Cosmetic grade UK sourced concentrated fragrance oils suitable for BOTH cosmetics and candles.
- Pure Undiluted Essential oils.
- Pre mixed blends of Base Oil & fragrance concentrate and Base Oil and Essential Oil. Both are aimed specifically at bath bomb makers.
- Unfragranced Pure & Natural Base Oils for use in soaps, bath bombs, general beauty products, aromatherapy and massage.
- Solid Oils - Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter. Solid at room temperature, 100% natural - some refined, some not (see each listing) Melt on contact with skin, multitude of uses.
If you make candles AND soap/bath bombs then the Fragrance concentrates that do both will be ideal - no need to keep separate fragrances for each application. Essential Oils are best used in Melt & Pour soap base as opposed to Cold Process which may degrade the therapeutic value of the essential oil.
Bath bomb makers - you have several options! (you lucky people) You can use concentrates in conjunction with a base oil or simply buy one of our own unique pre blended base oil & fragrance or base oil & essential oil BLENDS. Our BLENDS are always described as BLENDS in the listing - a mix of Grapeseed (chosen for its mildness) base oil together with cosmetic grade fragrance OR essential oil; pre prepared in the correct ratio for you to use "as is" with your bath bomb mix.
Melts can also follow the bath bomb advice.
Salts work well with concentrated fragrance or essential oils. Start with tiny amounts (one or two drops per 500g of Sea Salt or Sea Salt Mix)- a little more can always be added.
Whatever your application, please refer to your recipe for appropriate amounts of concentrated fragrance oil. Normal ratios for Melt & Pour Soap would be 1-3% concentrated fragrance per kilo of base. (10-30mls) Cold Process soapers can use a little more concentrate. Always test the strength of your chosen fragrance - they do vary between the different fragrances. Never exceed recommended maximums.
We hope that this is of use - if you are at all unsure - even after bidding or buying - please contact us for advice.
Finally - to reiterate...
Pot pourri or Burner oils/Refresher Oils (made specifically for the purpose) are NOT suitable for any cosmetic/soap/bath bomb/candle application - incorrect use can cause skin damage. On the other hand, your cosmetic grade fragrance or blend can be used in your oil burner!
And finally finally...If you are making lip balm... NEVER use fragrance or essential oils... ALWAYS use FLAVOUR oils. (now available in through our Ebay store & website)
Thank you for reading :-)