How to Test Fragrance Oils in Soap Making

How to test Fragrance Oils in Homemade Soap

Fragrance oil can be tricky when used in handmade soaps. You must test any new ingredients before adding them to large batches. In this tutorial I show you how to test fragrant oil in homemade soaps.



Why should you test your soap making scents?

The short answer is to save time and money. By testing your scents in small batches you can be confident that you will get exactly what you are expecting when making a larger batch of perhaps 5, 10 or 30 pounds at a time. Fragrance oils can be very unpredictable especially when they are new so save yourself some heartache and test in a small batch before committing to larger batches.

What are the most common problems with Fragrance oils in Soap Making?

Fragrance oils can cause ricing, seizing, acceleration and/or discoloration. Have you ever heard the term soap on a stick? Well that comes from seizing. In the blink of an eye your soap batter is nice and creamy to almost rock hard in a matter of seconds. This is usually caused by some kind of reaction to the fragrance oil you are using.

Acceleration is used to describe when your soap batter starts to get pretty thick faster than normal. This typically leaves you less time for fancy designs. Ricing describes when little beads appear in your soap. It is called ricing because it looks like rice. Discoloration is the sleeper of fragrance problems. Your soap appears to come out exactly as you had hoped but during the curing process it tends to discolor or even go brown.

Hopefully you don’t have a scent that causes all of these but if you are trying new scents it is highly likely you may run into one of these issues with your homemade soap. To learn more about problems and how to overcome them, checkout my book How to Make and Sell Soap. There is a whole chapter dedicated to troubleshooting pesky batches.

Until next time…


  1. Marie Lefebvre

    What an amazing job! As a chemist, I really appreciate how you had a control for the experiment. This was a very good scientific approach.

  2. Din Mohammad Sadiq

    Hello mam
    Will you please let me know how to make my own fregnance oil for soap . I want to make my own fregnance oil.

  3. Zakia Ringgold

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting

  4. Vynah Bae

    it is amazing

  5. cheli ortiz

    Great video! I loved how you explained everything in detail and step by step. You were very professional. I would like to see your eyes though… lol I was very engaged and now I cannot find the follow up from this video. The results?

    • Liz Burn

      i cant find it neither

  6. ASMR with Jung

    Help!? I hope you can help me? I’ve been looking at the regulation percentages and was confused on how to calculate them, and I’m having a hard time finding the info. If safety % are set per oil; and it’s 14% to put into soap. And it’s 100% in candles, what do you do? Do you cut it with something?

    • Zakia Ringgold

      I can speak more so to soap as I don’t make a lot of candles. With soap you would multiply the safety percentage by the amount of oil in your recipe. If you had 20 ounces of oil you could use a maximum of 2.8 ounces in your recipe which is 14%.

  7. Tominiquemylifemyway

    Hello, can you use designer fragrance oils in soaps?

  8. Cya1124

    Zakiaaaa love this. Thanks for sharing

    • Zakia Ringgold

      MarCya X you are welcome it was fun to make.

  9. Zakia Ringgold

    You have some truly talented soap makers in Philippines. One of our speakers at the virtual soap summit joined us from the Philippines her name is Emily Bonife.

  10. Joshua Bryant

    What soap base is this? And does it make suds well?

    • Zakia Ringgold

      Hi Joshua I don’t use a soap base this is a recipe made up of olive, coconut, palm and castor oil. Yes it lathers well

    • Jaya Ganesh

      Zakia Ringgold Hi, you are mentioned here oil what is the % pls list out thanks.

    • Ladylocs Asia

      @Zakia Ringgold I make soaps too. I use those same oils. I just hate the curing period.

  11. B Punzel

    Such a helpful video! Thank you!

  12. Formulation Teacher

    Hi I am imtiaz Khattak from pakistan are you help me some fragrance recipes for soap and Detergents powder

    • Zakia Ringgold

      What type of ingredients do you have available? Fragrance oils or essential oils

    • Olubukola Adebiyi

      @Zakia Ringgold please which fragrance oil can I use for black soap pls

  13. Just Blaze Trucking

    I would love to start a soap business but I’m bout to open clothing store in February. I like to add homemade candles and soap to the store

    • Zakia Ringgold

      Congratulations on the opening of your store! You can always do private label or wholesale from a soap maker to offer the soap in your shop. Have a few bars at the counter . As your customers are checking out, encourage them to get a bar of handmade natural goodness.

  14. Zakia Ringgold

    How do you test new scents in your soap?