How Much Essential Oil to Add to Soap? 12 Essential Oils for Soapmaking


Essential oils are widely used in soap making because they are natural fragrances that also add useful properties to the soap. These oils are quite volatile, which means they quickly evaporate as soon as they contact hot water. This is especially true for citrus essential oils. Add them last, when the soap mass has already cooled a little. 

Essential oils and soapmaking

Essential oils for handmade soaps are a wonderfully fragrant and useful ingredient. They are very concentrated products and should be added with caution, following the instructions and not exceeding the specified rates. Usually, it’s an average of 5 ml per 100 grams of soap base, or 1 to 7 ml per 100 grams if you make soap from scratch. An excess of essential oils can cause allergic reactions and burns. Besides, it makes soap crumble and change color.

To make the fragrance of these natural essences truly shine, add them to the cold soap base at the last moment, before pouring it into molds. Too hot a base will simply kill the vulnerable aroma.

Essential oil blends

You can create your personal aromatic compositions from essential oils that will gradually unfold in the soap like an exquisite perfume. Add them to the soap in sequence, from more to less. For example, if your composition includes 10 drops of citrus, 5 drops of woody, and 3 drops of amber fragrances, add in turns: 10 drops, then stir, then 5 drops, stir and 3 drops, and stir again.

Or better yet, mix the oils ahead of time, maybe with a small amount of base refined oil. In this case, all the components of your blend will have time to infuse and create the right aroma. Remember that essential oils and their blends must be stored in a dark glass container.

How do you combine various oils?

  • For a pronounced citrus aroma, combine citrus essences with lemongrass, petitgrain, citronella, and leuzea.
  • Floral fragrances are usually quite volatile, so you should combine them with patchouli, rose, ho wood, clove, geranium, and palmarosa.
  • Nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, cedar, anise, all woody, and spicy scents are the most persistent.
    Combine mint and herbal essences with cedar, sage, nutmeg, or patchouli.

How Much Essential Oil to Add to Soap?

If you use a pre-made soap base, add 5 to 7 drops of essential oils per 100g of soap base. This is enough to flavor the soap well without getting a burn or allergic reaction.

In case you make your soap from scratch, add fragrant essences based on their volatility. 

For heavy, low-volatile oils (cedar, cinnamon, rose, nutmeg): 0.5-1% of the mass. Moderately volatile oils (peppermint, geranium, fir, lemongrass) 1.5-3% of the mass. Volatile essential oils (citrus, basil, tea tree) up to 7%.

NB: This dosage refers only to soap. These doses are too high for cosmetics.

Top 12 essential oils for soapmaking

Orange (Citrus sinensis) has a sweet, characteristic citrus aroma. It improves body tone, enhances mood, and invigorates. Combines with other citrus oils, as well as sage, ginger, and lavender.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) offers a delicate fruity spicy aroma. It has antiparasitic, antifungal, and aphrodisiac properties.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is thick viscous oil with a characteristic woody balsamic odor. Calming, relaxing. Combines well with lavender, mandarin, and patchouli.

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) has a sweet, delicate scent reminiscent of freshly baked products. It’s an aphrodisiac, relaxing and sensualizing.

Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) have a spicy aroma with soft fruity notes. Increases the body’s inner strength and gives a positive orientation. The aroma is very saturated, so in soapmaking, it’s used in minimal quantities.

Jasmine (Jasminum officinale) is one of the most expensive essential oils. Its aroma is sweet and exuberant. It has a beneficial effect on the central nervous system, improves mood, and excites. It’s also a powerful aphrodisiac.

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) has an unusual floral scent. Calming and relaxing. Beneficial for the skin, relieves inflammation, accelerates healing, including burns. Combines well with patchouli, clove, tea tree, eucalyptus, and citrus.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) has a distinct herbal citrus aroma. Tones and stimulates the body. Softens and tones the skin. Excellent combination with peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) has a cool fresh minty aroma. Soothes, relaxes, normalizes the nervous system, blends well with eucalyptus, lemongrass, basil, lavender, citrus.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is a viscous thick amber-colored substance with a strong woody aroma. It’s an aphrodisiac and has an antiviral effect.

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) has a cool woody-mint aroma. It has a pronounced antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect. Helps to cope with stress, hyper-emotional, fatigue, sleep disorders.

Suitable for inflamed acne skin helps to cope with dandruff. 

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a clear essence with a characteristic camphoric aroma. It has powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s ideal for oily skin. Combines well with lemongrass, mint, and lavender.

These are the main essential oils used for soap making. As you can see, their properties and effects on the body are quite extensive, which makes them popular for use in making a wide range of cosmetic products, including soap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *