Why Anchor Fragrances?
Cold process soap creates a hostile environment for fragrances including fragrance oils and essential oils. The searing temperature of raw soap coupled with the hostile chemical reaction of saponification challenges all fragrance notes to hang on until the end. Unfortunately, not all fragrance notes last the minutes, weeks or months after saponification. Some burn off almost instantly, some hibernate coming out once the smoke has cleared and some hold on like the warriors they are. Coconut fragrances, orange essential oil and light floral essential oils and fragrances are infamous for disappearing in soap whereas patchouli, ylang ylang and litsea cubeba fragrances are known to last. We can anchor problematic fragrances to help with their battle. Here are three suggestions for making the strongest smelling soap.
Cosmetic Clays, most commonly white kaolin clay, are often used to anchor fragrances in CP soap. Mix your fragrance with clay until the clay has absorbed the oil. Next, add the slurry to your traced soap. The clay protects the fragrance allowing more of the scent to survive the saponification process. Other types of kaolin clay generally work as well. Be careful with ultra absorbing clays such as bentonite clay as these clays may absorb some of the water from your recipe as well. We recommend ¼ to ½ tsp. of clay per pound of oils (PPO).
Starch powders such as cornstarch and arrowroot powder are also used as a fragrance fixative in cold process soap. These powders work the same way as clays by absorbing the scent and helping the scent last longer in soap. To use, mix your fragrance with the powder and then add to traced soap. We recommend ¼ to ½ tsp. of starch powder per pound of oils (PPO).
Fragrance/Essential Oil Anchors
Top notes such as citruses flee in the face of saponification, but they can be persuaded to stay longer with a friendly base note. Pair problematic fragrances and essential oils with CP recommended fragrances and essential oils for a stronger lasting scent. Some of the best anchor scents include patchouli, ylang ylang, litsea cubeba, vetiver, clove, rosewood, neroli, balsam peru and sandlewood essential oils. This method is commonly used for anchoring essential oils. For example, lemon essential oil is typically paired with lemongrass, list cubeba or lemon tea tree essential oil for the strongest lemon scent.