An Honest Talk About Essential Oils VS Fragrance Oils

As a soap maker I wanted to talk about the differences between fragrance oils and essential oils in soap making.

The argument between the safety and efficiency  of natural oils vs fragrance oils can spark quite a reaction from many and as a soap maker who has chosen to only use essential oils and resins, I wanted to be able to go into detail about the pros and cons of both options.

As long as the person handling the oils is making sure to use skin safe oils, then both fragrance and essential oils are considered to be safe for most skin types which begs the question of what the difference between these two oils really is.

Fragrance Oils | First of all lets take a look at what fragrance oils are exactly.

Fragrance oils are a combination of various chemical components, some are natural, being extracted from plants and even animals occasionally as well as some synthetic components.

Pros | Fragrance oils are very cheap which means that anyone who uses them in their products will most likely be able to provide the most affordable options of products.

Fragrance oils often smell amazing and come in an endless variety of scents that do and do not come naturally in nature such as apples and lavender or sugar cookies and winter wonderland.

Most fragrance oils are much stronger in smaller quantities than essential oils are and also have a longer shelf life when it comes to scent fading.

Cons | Fragrance oils however, are not natural which not only exposes the user to more chemicals, whether they are considered bad or not, but also makes them more likely to be irritating to sensitive skin types or people with serious allergies.

Sellers of fragrance oils are not required to give out a full disclosure of the ingredients that are used in their fragrances which can not only gives the person making the soap less control over their product but also the customer. Someone who is allergic to specific things will most likely have to avoid products scented with fragrance oils since no one can be certain about the specific ingredients included.

 

Essential Oils | Essential oils are steam distilled plant extracts that come from the natural oils in plants such as cinnamon bark and orange rind.

Pros | Essential oils as you might have already guessed, are all natural and are considered by many to be the least harmful way of scenting products.

Essential oils not only scent soap but they also provide a number of natural health benefits that fragrance oils cannot provide such as tea tree which is anti-bacterial as well as many other oils that provide their own specific health benefits.

Much like the ability to provide health benefits, essential oils can also provide a variety of mental wellbeing and aromatherapy benefits that synthetic fragrance oils have yet to achieve. For example, a lavender fragrance oil has not yet been created with the same ability to relax and sooth like the origin lavender essential oil.

Cons | Since the extraction of essential oils is a lengthy process that provides a small amount of oil, they are more costly and so create more costly products.

Essential oils in their undiluted state are considered to be irritating to certain skin types which make the formulating and measuring of the oils very important for soap makers. Certain oils should be avoided by individuals who have a history of irritation but thankfully most soap makers will give a full ingredient list with no irritating oils hidden.

 

I hope that this list of pros and cons of fragrance oils vs essential oils has been found useful to some of you and has perhaps, helped you to better understand which oils you prefer.

 

Monthly Chats | Busy Bees and New Things

Shop Talk | October was nearly as busy as last month as I decided to get ahead in work and make all of the soaps included in my Christmas soap collection as well as a large local order for December.

I also had a pretty upsetting start to this month since I tested all of my Autumn soaps only to discover that there was something wrong with two of them and that they were unsalvageable.

Making mistakes is just a part of creating things and soap making is no exception since it can be quite a complicated process with easy to make mistakes. It is very much a science experiment that you can never really predict the outcome to.

Besides that unfortunate incident I have also been working on some new, none soap related additions that should be coming to the shop in the early new year.

Things such as bath salts, perfumes, and maybe even a few more soap sets.

 

Slow Moments | This months slow moments were basically forced on me as I came down with a chest cold of some kind mid October.

I had to allow myself to rest a bit more and just generally take better care of myself.

Working for yourself can be incredibly helpful when your sick but it also can be a bit tedious since its not as easy as calling in sick at work.

I found myself preparing orders and making soap and responding to messages all while tired and sick and admittedly in need of a few pain pills and a lie down.

It is extremely hard to put away the laptop and to ignore the pings coming from your phone when your sick or its the end of the day and you have earned an evening off. Running your own business is hard work and no one wants to let potential opportunities slip away.

 

Thoughts | This month has been a pretty thoughtful and emotional month for me which isn’t very surprising as this year is slowly coming to a close and I am forced to look back and reflect on the months that seem to have flown by.

I am a very motivated person who also can lean towards the perfectionist side of things which means that more often than not I tend to focus on what I havent accomplished instead of what I have.

My Etsy shop has been open since June and all things considering, it has been fairly successful within its five months of being open.

But as someone who is trying to really make a living from it, it hasn’t returned nearly as much as I have put into it which can be disconcerting no matter how successful it is.

All in all, I guess that this is all rounding back to the topic of personal achievements that I wrote on a bit in last months, monthly chat.

Being kind to yourself is definitely a learning process not an accomplishment. It will never happen instantly or just become a permanent part of you, it is a decision that we all must make daily.

 

Monthly Chats | Autumn Soaps and Personal Achievments

Shop Talk | The beginning of September was all about making all of the soap for my autumn release in October.

I had planned and planned and hoarded all of my essential oils and soap ingredients so that I would be fully stocked up for all of my holiday soaps.

It’s been a busy month of taking product photos and preparing listings ahead of time since I like the holidays to be as stress free as possible so this month has been all about preparation.

 

Slow Moments | Though taking product photos is part of my job and can be pretty time consuming and exhausting, I have found a love of photography through it.

I put on some music, lay out my white background and get myself into a rhythm that usually lasts for hours.

It is a unique way of me doing something that I enjoy doing but also something that is productive.

 

Thoughts | This month has been considerably productive for me despite roof repairs going on in my house and a laptop that likes to make up its own rules.

I have finished my line of Autumn soaps and have prepared ahead of time for my Winter collection as well and seem to be getting the hang of more in-depth, weekly planning.

Among all of those things I also received my diploma for my second natural health consultant course which has taken me a little over a year to finish.

But one thing that I have realized this month is that I am not very good at celebrating my own success.

I can see what I have accomplished and I often even promise myself a small celebration once I have reached a goal but once I am at that point I have a habit of brushing it off and setting my goal even higher. With the same promise to reward myself once it is accomplished.

This is a cycle that I have now clearly realized that I have created.

I consider my motivation and self-discipline to be some of my best attributes but they can also trip me up sometimes and turn me into someone who cannot acknowledge their own success.

And that is something that I desperately need to work on and if any of you suffer from the same mindset then I hope that you can recognize that as well and start to give yourself a pat on the back occasionally.

 

 

Weekly Chats | Holiday Soap Planning and Reading

Shop Talk | This week, or more like this month, has been all about getting into a stable work flow when it comes to the Tangerine and Me soap shop.

Instead of adding new soap listings randomly throughout the month like I was before, I have now started to create release dates for each month were I will be releasing groups of new products into the shop.

One thing that I am quickly learning about running your own business is that you must be on top of everything at all times. No slacking or loitering allowed!

Another exciting thing that I have been working tirelessly on is a holiday soap series. Though it may seem pretty early to be thinking about the holidays, soap takes at least four weeks to cure which means that you need to seriously plan ahead in order to have products ready on time.

Overall, I’ve been doing much more soap planning than actual soap making lately and though I do enjoy it, I’m looking forward to making soap again soon.

 

Slow Moments | Slow moments are still quite scarce since any spare time I have usually ends up with me falling asleep at some random part of the house.

Taking time for myself is something that I love to do but is also quite hard for me to allow myself, especially when you are someone who struggles with fatigue.

I am very easily tired which means that any energy I have is usually carefully planned to be spent doing something productive. I find it hard to simply take that time for myself when I know how rare a good day really is.

That, however, is something that I am aware of and am always working on since I know just how important it is to give ourselves a mental break as well as a physical one.

 

Thoughts | I’ve recently taken up reading once again after taking almost a two year break of hardly ever picking up a book.

I used to be a big reader when I was still in school and it always had a way of inspiring me to write more.

It amazes me at how easily I had forgotten how precious my reading time really was to me. I had forgotten the beauty of drowning in a good book and reading for hours without the slightest desire to stop.

Everyone finds inspiration in their own ways but I have always found it in books. In the characters, the writing style, and even the authors themselves.

This week especially, I have made the extra effort to have an hour of reading time every morning before I start my day.

It isn’t productive or in any way useful which makes it a perfect moment of self care, as a small but beloved gift to myself.

Tangerine and Me is Officially Open

I have never mentioned the fact that I have been working on opening a shop with the same brand as this blog so surprise, surprise.

I am opening a soap shop on Etsy which has been in the making for quite some time and I guess that I have never mentioned it strictly because it just didn’t really seem to fit into any of my content.

A little over a year ago I taught myself how to make soap since, as I have mentioned before, I love natural skincare.

Soap making is a pretty extravagant hobby since it takes a few pricey ingredients and is usually made in batches of ten bars and upwards which is quite a lot of soap for one person to use on their own.

My very first batch of soap smelled weird and looked even weirder but despite the numerous ingredient calculations and a mild chemical burn, I fell in love with the process of making something that most people would never think of making at home.

I remember anxiously waiting six weeks before I could try out my new creation and though it might have not been the best smelling or prettiest soap out there it worked better than any other soap I had used before.

So that was the beginning of my soap making adventure.

That being said, there is a much more detailed about page that I have written on my Etsy shop where you can read more about how my soaps are made, what the ingredients are, and what my shop stands for.

Tangerine and Me has been a long time in the making and I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the news to all of you who are reading this.

If you would like to check out the shop just click on this link here.