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Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils

Essential Oils Vs. Fragrance Oils

What is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each? When should you use each of them? To finance the time and research that goes into this blog we do use amazon links.

Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils

The positive benefits of essential oils

Essential oil have lots of benefits since they are the essence from nature. Plants, fruits, and herbs used to make them. So they are the more natural choice when it comes to scent. They are great to use for skin care products that want is more “natural”. Aromatherapy is definitely a thing. Essential oils like tea tree are great for acne, psoriasis, dandruff and general healing properties.

Natural is a problematic word.

Natural means different thing to different people but in the Oxford English Dictionary it means a “person or thing having a natural, unaltered, or unrefined quality or attribute. A natural thing or object; something having its basis in the natural world or in the usual course of nature. In modern use: a natural product, a product that has not been processed or manufactured.” I take this to mean if nature doesn’t create it then it is not natural. It is made with natural ingredients but if I created it, it is not natural. It has (especially in advertising) meant that the product hasn’t undergone chemical changes or is not manufactured in a lab.

There are plenty of things that are made in labs that are extremely beneficial like soap. Soap does not occur in nature it is a chemical process made using lab equipment (even if that la equipment is not designated as lab equipment, a bowl and a mixing flask serve the same purpose). There are also things that nature creates that are toxic and horrifying. For example, the different snake venoms or spider venoms are not something you would want to rub on your skin.

The Drawbacks of Essential Oils

Some of the drawbacks of using essential oils are that many of them are not recommended topically by themselves. They need a carrier oil which if you are using them in skin care products you are probably diluting them, but you must make sure to dilute them enough and thoroughly mix them into the carrier oil. You don’t want undiluted materials in your skin care product.

Another problem is that some are not recommended for use around dogs, babies, or pregnant women. Of course anything in excess is bad, even water can kill you if there is too much of it (drowning).

You also need to look at where you get your essential oils and the quality of them. While I have nothing against the oils themselves from young living and Doterra I do seriously have a problem paying so much for them to use them in soap. If I were to I would have to charge way more for a bar. Also I know that Young living is against you using their products to make other products and selling them. I recommend Plant Therapy. Their oils are a lot less money and a very high quality.

Another negative is that more essential oil needed to make the same scent as a fragrance oil. This can prove expensive very quickly and many essential oils have low flash points. So in soap or other processes where heat is involved you must use caution because if you add the essential oil  to soap and it then goes through gel phase (which can get pretty hot) then you lose your scent and just wasted the essential oils. Flash points are important and effect fragrance oils too, but not to the same degree.

To prevent the scent from degrading in soap

I recommend putting the essential oils you are going to use in Indian Healing Bentonite Detox Clay – 16 oz 100% Natural Powder Face Mask Reduces Acne – Aztec Organic Deep Pore Cleansing – All Natural for Skin & Hair Removes Toxins Premium Nature before making your soap. I use about a tablespoon clay to about 20 drops of essential oil. Then I put them together in a small covered bowl the day before then just add to the soap the next day. It is still heat sensative so add once soap has cooled if hot processing and after trace if cold processing.

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils offer a great variety of scents to choose from and hold the scent better. A lot of times an essential oil will fade as the soap cures. Fragrance oils are less expensive and you do not need as much of them most of the time. There are a vast array of choices out there some of which are naturally derived some of which are generated in a lab. Personally for soap I try to stick with Fragrance oils. For other products like bath bombs, lotion bars, lip balms, etc. I will

use either an essential oil or a fragrance oil depending on what I am going for.

For valentines day I uses a lot of champagne and roses and other flowery scents. If you have ever priced out flowery essential oils you will be astounded (young living charges $250.00 for 5 mL of rose essential oil) so I used a lot of fragrance oils. For natural plain jane creams and lotions though I use essential oils.

The only drawback of fragrance oils is that most are not “natural” they are made in a lab. There are some that are a blend of essential oils and fragrance oils if you choose to go that path.

What do you like and dislike about essential oils? fragrance oils?

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Bath Salts Tutorial

Bath Salts are a great addition to a bath after a long day. Whether it be a stressful day or a physically demanding day. The great thing about this recipe is that most of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery.

Bath Salts

Recipe for Bath Salts


2 Cups Epsoak Epsom Salt 2 Lbs – 100% Pure Magnesium Sulfate, Made in USA

2 cups coarse sea salt or Morton Salt Kosher Salt, 3 lbs

1 scoop Meyenberg Whole Powdered Goat Milk, Vitamin D, 12 Ounce

½ cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 5 Lbs

Scent (essential oils or fragrance oils)

Colorant (lakes preferred) if using mica add polysorbate 80



Mix it all together. Very simple. The colorant and scent are your preference. If making it for someone else remember you cannot smell the scent nearly as well as someone else. Don’t overdo it.

If using mica, it may stick to the sides of the tub if not used with polysorbate 80. The polysorbate allows oil based and water based to mix. Mica is oil based and will float on top of the water, leaving a ring.

Do not store in glass for an extended amount of time. A chemical reaction happens between the baking soda and essential oils that will expand. I takes awhile but I have heard of glass jars exploding so to be on the safe side store in plastic or use within a month.

Bath Salts Printable Recipe

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Soap Safety -What do you need to know before you make soap?

Soap Safety

With everything you do there is some level of safety that is maintained. While making soap is very similar to cooking there are some extra precautions that are necessary. The chemical reaction between lye and water (or milk) creates a lot of heat and the steam (mostly water vapor) has sodium (or potassium) hydroxide in it and can make you cough or hurt your eyes if your face is near it.

Soap Safety

If you were making soap in a lab you would mix your lye and water under a hood which would suck the fumes away from you.

I know that I can t afford to have an industrial hood in my house, but there are other ways of dealing with this steam. The one I prefer is to use the hood over my stove. I turn on the fan and keep my face away as I mix the lye and water. Another way is to make soap outside. Once the lye vapor is diluted by the outside air it is much less harmful (everything is harmful in excess). Personally I don’t want to make soap outside because of the creatures and people in my small neighborhood. You could wear a mask (which is definitely recommended if you use SLSA, but that is another conversation), but I don’t prefer one. The vapor is created only for a few seconds and I find it easier to just look away.

Use Goggles. 
Safety glasses
(These are cute and pink.)

Your eyes need protection too. If you wear glasses that is all well and good, but some nice goggles with spatter shield are even better.

Another concern would be your hands.

Spills and splatter happen and not only is lye a base that will react with your skin (not nearly as bad as portrayed in “Fight Club”) but it can get as hot as 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to wear gloves. I like the dish washing gloves because they have some thermal protection and are washable so I don’t have to constantly buy new ones. I do not suggest latex gloves like doctors wear. Those can melt at the temperatures you will be dealing with, and you do not want to try to get melted latex off your skin while it is burning. Plus dish washing gloves go past the wrist and usually to your elbows or close to your elbows, offering more protected area.

Long sleeves and pants are also important.

I have spilled a gallon of oil on the floor, could you imagine if it was lye water instead. Plus oil is a slip hazard. (best way to get oil up is kitty litter) A little splatter on your clothes wont hurt you and will protect your skin. I wear an apron (partly for the cuteness factor), but mostly to protect my clothes. Oil is a pain to get out of clothes.

Keep the kids and pets away.

My kids love being right up near me, especially when I tell them to back off. Just like with cooking you don’t want a child to get burned. I put up a gate between my soap room and the living room. This way I can see and hear what the kids are watching but also keep them away and safe. Mostly I wait till they are sleeping, but if I did that as much as I make soap I would never sleep.

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Refreshing Bath Bomb

These are great for after a workout or a long sweaty day. When the biggest organ in your body (your skin) needs a refresh, a nice soak with this bomb can go a long way. For all of you who are starting a new fitness regime this at the end of a workout may be just the motivation you need to sweat your butt off.


Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients

Notice that I did not add and fragrance oils or colorants. After all that sweating I would not want to add anything “pretty” just functional, no added stuff you don’t need just the refreshing awesomeness.

  1. Melt coconut oil. You can use a double boiler a microwave or a crock pot. While this is melting you can move to step 2. If using a microwave do 30 second bursts so as not to scorch and stir in between. Microwaves do not heat evenly and are not prefered.
  2. Mix dry ingredients. I like to sift them through the strainer so I don’t get chunks. Make sure it is thoroughly mixed so you don’t get pockets of one ingredient.img_0891
  3. Mix wet ingredients. I like to put them in a small spray bottle so i can evenly disperse liquids. Make sure they are thoroughly mixed first. Once they are all mixed work quickly because if the coconut oil cools it will be solid again.
  4. Spray dry ingredients. While spraying the dry mixture mix it thoroughly. I find it is easier to mix with my hands which i why i use the gloves. It may fizz slightly and that needs to be snuffed out quickly. Make sure to disperse liquid as evenly as possible. It will help with molding later.
  5. For silicone mold you want to use more than you would regularly (right hand picture above) notice how the mixture looks in the bowl, not nearly as powdery. For the muffin bomb I put it in the spherical mold then put the sphere in a cupcake liner. Molding the cupcake bath bomb
  6. Then flip it and walk away. it will take about an hour to sink down into the silicone cupcake liner. This has taken me awhile to get right so it may not work the first time. If it doesn’t work then next time use more moisture. Don’t use too much or it will overly squish.

After about a day you can wrap them or use them whichever you prefer. I hope you enjoy your Refreshing after workout bath bomb. If you have any questions feel free to comment or if you are shy we have a contact page as well.

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Body Butter Tutorial- with printable recipe


I love body butter especially in winter. It is so moisturizing to my dried out skin and made completely with natural ingredients. I even have some customers who use it in their hair for their curls. It goes on like butter and melts into your skin just like butter and toast.

Body Butter Tutorial

img_0795All you need is shea, mango or cocoa butter, coconut oil or tallow, and a liquid oil (like olive, jojoba, or babassu). I use Shea, coconut and jojoba usually, but I have some customers who are allergic to coconut oil so I modify the recipe for them. I melt down my butters and oils first. You can use your trusty crock pot or the double boiler method.

Once all are completely melted, blend really well. You can also add in scents (essential oils or fragrance oils but if you are going for natural go with essential) or even colors (I like mine naturally colored but you can use micas or other colorant). img_0796Once your mixture is thoroughly mixed remove it from heat and chill. This step takes about an hour or two depending on your fridge. You can also use the freezer but I never have room in mine. I like to use a freezer bag or cellophane to seal it before chilling so if there is stinky stuff in my fridge it doesn’t transfer to my body butter and via versa (Lavender carrots img_0797are just weird). It is done when it is no longer clear but starts to solidify.

If you forget about it you can still whip it it just takes more effort and doesn’t get quite the right consistency. For the whipping stage I love my stand alone mixer but the electric hand mixers work fine. Just whip away until it looks like frosting consistency. I like to use a piping bag and various tips to fill containers. Then put the containers in the fridge to set for about 5-10 minutes.

Printable Recipe:

Body Butter


I like to use these jars because you can get them with the sealing disks and it helps keep it fresh and professional looking. You can add labels to the top or sides of the bottle. I suggest waterproof labels since as the customer uses the product they may get oil on the outside. I for one hate when I can’t read the label and want more but can’t remember the name of the company.

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Bath Bomb User Guide- 7 tips, tricks and rules for a better bath bomb experience

Bath bombs are a big hit currently for everyone from teens to tired moms and even men are using them. They are amazing little things that make bath time fun and functional at the same time. There are bombs that moisturize, ones that are used to help detox, and there are bombs that even help with relaxation.


Sometimes there are duds though or warted bombs. Why does this happen? Is it really the makers fault or does the customer have responsibilities in the care and handling of these awesome creations? The following are a few rules to help make your bath bomb experience as magical as possible.

  1. Bath bomb storage.

    DO NOT STORE YOUR BATH BOMB IN THE BATHROOM. they are set off by moisture and are sensitive enough to start going off just from the moisture in the air when you shower. Even if they are wrapped in shrink wrap condensation is still a problem. The best place to store them is  closet or anywhere dry really. This will start as warts and progress to mush.

  2. Use your bath bomb. 

    When you receive your bath bomb or create your bath bomb you should use it at least in the first month. There is a chemical reaction between the materials used and once they are mixed together the chemical reaction starts to fade. After a month you will start to notice a decrease in the “fizziness”. If you wait three months the bath bomb may not fizz at all. You can extend this by storing in an airtight container. I keep my packaged bombs in large airtight storage containers while waiting to take them to shows.

  3. Not all bath bombs spin or float. 

    In fact some are made to sink. There are these butter bombs I love that have shea and cocoa butter and sometimes other butters that make the bomb heavy and therefore sink. They still put on a beautiful show of colors and moisturize very well. Even if they are made to float and spin they may not always behave. This is why there is testing before a batch is sold but even bombs from the same batch may not behave the same.

  4. If your bath bomb stains your tub.

    One of my tubs was resurfaced and even with precautions taken on the maker side of things some things still stick to my tub. Glitter and activated charcoal are the worst. Some colorants will too but they are all easily removed. Just clean your tub like you normally would. I use a sponge and body wash or soap and just scrub a little and it comes right off.

  5. Can bath bombs irritate the skin?

    Some are made with what are called surfactants which can irritate skin. Some may be detergents or emulsifiers. If you have problems with certain laundry detergents or soaps then ask the person making the bombs what are in them. A good bath bomb maker should know. Or you could google ingredients.

  6. If you are prone to yeast infections avoid bombs made with cornstarch.

    Cornstarch is used in some bath bombs as a hardener or filler. I don’t use it because I have a tendency towards yeast infections and I found that it exacerbated the issue. It doesn’t really do much for the bomb but make it less expensive to make. I would rather charge a little more and have a less irritating bomb. That is not to say that no one should use cornstarch just that I don’t.

  7. Why is my vanilla bath bomb turning brown?

    Vanillin is what creates the vanilla scent. It also turns everything brown from soap to bath bombs. Not immediately, but usually when it’s been on the shelf and I amimg_0808 about to take it to the next craft show. Some scents have vanillin in them like oatmeal, milk and honey but don’t really smell like vanilla and it sneaks up on you. As a maker you can check vanillin content and invest in vanilla stabilizer. The stabilizer will keep it from changing colors.

  8. You can not reuse a bomb.

    Yes I included a bonus one. Once a bomb goes off that is it. Bubble bars can be broken into pieces to use just pieces of, or foaming bath salts that are poured into a tub so that you can use a little or a lot. But bombs cannot be unexploded after they are set off.


Do you have more questions to add? Problems you have met? Things you have noticed? I would love to hear all about them.