Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Testing Floral Waxes in Soap

Some very expensive perfumes are made from absolutes. These are incredibly expensive to buy. From my wholesalers you are looking at fragrances like rose, jasmine and mimosa starting at around $20 for 2 ml and these aren't even the particularly expensive ones. Obviously unless you have very deep pockets you aren't going to use them in soap. For those of you that don't make soap the rate of essential oil use in soap varies depending on the oil but is generally in the vicinity 2-6%.

A by product absolute production these floral waxes are full of lovely phospholipids and of particular interest to me they still retain a significant amount of the scent too. Last year I had the opportunity to import some through a co-op buy with some lovely US soap makers to try them out.

There isn't a lot of information around on using them is soap so I thought I'd just let you know my experience.

I'd received 4 waxes Jasmine sambuc, rose and mimosa from The Perfumery (previously the Essential Oil University) and narcissus from Premier Specialities.

Clockwise from top left - Narcissus, mimosa, jasmine, rose
The first 3 were strongly scented the Narcissus only weakly so.

Thoughts on the scents smelt straight up.

The mimosa smelt softly green with a slightly floral/lilacy scent. The scent was soft but very persistent. I quite liked it but found that it wasn't popular with customers in general.

The rose smelt very much like fresh green moss roses rather than heady floral rose. Lovely in a blend but perhaps not what someone would automatically expect as a straight rose.

The jasmine, extra strong heady jasmine sambuc with the musky notes from the indoles.

Anyway, I melted these in the microwave and added them in the thin stream while stick blending the soap at light trace. This seemed to incorporate them well. The melt point is relatively high so they start to re-solidify at room temperature very quickly, so ideally need melting immediately before use. The saponification value for them was very low. Even lower than beeswax so I ignored this when calculating the amount of sodium hydroxide for the batches and treated them purely as a fragrance.

I tested them all at 3% of the oil weight. At this the scent of the narcissus was lost completely. The rose was quite strong (about right), the mimosa a bit too soft and the jasmine overpowering only those that like their soap super scented would like it at that level.

Jasmine wax soap coloured with charcoal
The jasmine wax noticeably discoloured the soap to a light yellowish tan as shown in this photo. The colour of this soap base is typically off white. The other waxes discolouration wasn't noticeable.

Since I did the initial tests I've been using them in blends with quite a bit of success. If I get the opportunity again, I'll certainly buy the jasmine and rose waxes as they add to the range of affordable scents I can use in making my soap.

Mimosa wax soap with French green clay.
The mimosa I simply can't work out what to do with enough in soap to purchase again. Although if you were into making lotions I could see it being useful.

Note. None of these straight floral wax soap is left to sell. There are a few for sale containing the waxes in blends.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for making the effort to post this info. I just used jasmine floral wax in cp soap for the first time today. I'm hoping to be able to incorporate it into an affordable new line :)