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How Do I Choose a Fragrance for My Soap?

For most customers, the soap they choose has essential oil fragrances already determined for them and are labeled on the bar: Honey Lavender; Rose Absolute; Vanilla Almond; etc....BUT, what if you want to CUSTOMIZE your own soap, how do you choose fragrances to go together?

This is a photo of me at the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena, California, stopping to smell the roses!

Selecting essential oils for your custom-made products is not difficult, it just takes some basic understanding of layering to get your blend just the way you want it.

First, there are layers to essential oil blends, called notes. Think of it like wine, where you can smell different scents when you swirl the glass.

There are three notes to consider when selecting essential oil blends: TOP/MIDDLE/BASE. I will describe each below and offer some pointers on how to select your customized product.

TOP Notes:

These are the scents that you experience when you first open your product. Citrus oils are commonly used as top notes, such as Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Sweet Orange, Tangerine. Lavender can serve as a top note, as well.


Just as it seems, middle notes are those that lie in the middle of the blend and tend to balance the oils together. Folks also refer to middle notes as "heart" notes; they may not be as obvious to notice as top notes, but provide body to your blend. Some examples of middle notes are tea tree, ylang ylang (which I love mixed with citrus oils), and eucalyptus.

BASE Notes:

These notes are the grounding for your blend and usually are woody or earthy. Their nose lasts a while, longer than top or middle notes. Examples of base notes are patchouli (popular in the 1960s), frankincense, vetiver, and cedarwood.

Now that you understand a little about blending, here are some popular blends that I have seen or created:

Lime, Rosemary, and Mint

Lavender, Lemon, Honey

Rose, Vetiver, Patchouli

Lemon, Cedarwood, Honey

Pine Needle, Bergamot, Frankincense

There is no right or wrong, but you do want to test out a blend that is uncommon just to make sure that the blend does not overpower.

Sunrise Meadow Farm can help you decide what essential oils to use in your customized products, just ask!

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