We received an email from a customer asking for clarification on the different types of perfume wheels. After I answered her, I thought I might as well turn it into a blog post & share it! Here is the conversation – and please feel free to join in by posting a question or comment below.
Hello Lori, I’m finally sitting down to play with scents and have discovered something unusual about the different scent wheels.
As you can see, the scents don’t line up in similar fashion, which I find confusing. So for someone like me, who is trying to understand “correct” ways to blend, this seems to me that there really is no correct way. I like your wheel since it does give me the top, middle, and base notes listed, so I can learn which scent are such.
So to use a basic example, a simple complementary blend, where you look across the wheel, are different with each wheel. Although, woody and fruity are pretty close to each other. Am I losing my mind?! Lol
So my question is, do I just pick a wheel (yours, since it is for essential oils, and still use accordingly – complementary, monochromatic, split and double complementary blends) even though every wheel looks different and has scents placed in different spots? I hope I’m making sense. Thanks for your help in understanding.
Hi Ann! It’s totally understandable that you’re confused with three different “tools” that are all called a similar thing (perfume wheel or fragrance wheel).
As I say in my Natural Perfumes eClass (& class handouts), there is no one correct way to blend essential oils – so you’re correct there!
Additionally, each of these perfume wheels is an attempt by the creator(s) to help people understand perfumery. Unless it’s specifically mentioned that things work similar to a COLOR wheel (as in the example you gave with the complimentary listing blending well with its counterpart), I would definitely NOT make that assumption.
Mandy Aftel’s natural perfume wheel tool is explained on the back. There is no mention of scents blending similar to a color wheel. I don’t know if the others are explained as well – I’ve never seen them in person… but I would take each on face value. If they are not explained, I would contact the company and ask for clarification. After all, these wheel’s are supposed to be tools, and what good is a tool if you don’t know how to use it! I would simply take from each of them what you can – but maybe stop trying to find similarities or expecting the information to jive – because that will drive you crazy (and lead you down the wrong path). Hope this helps – and feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
All of this reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by the queen of natural perfumery Mandy Aftel. “There are no real rules. If a beautiful new scent is created, that path to it is irrelevant.”
Was this info helpful for you? Do you have one of these (or perhaps another) Perfume Wheel? Comment below what you think of handy tools like this. Want to read more about our favorite Perfume Wheel? Click here! Check out our Natural Perfume Making Video eClass, which for a limited time comes with a free Aftelier Perfume Wheel in the mail!
Due to the high pH environment of raw handmade soap (made from scratch), coloring soap is most definitely NOT as easy as we would like it to be.
Have you had the unfortunate experience of your soap bars changing color on you, hours or days after unmolding? Are you having trouble landing that perfect shade of green for your next batch of “Springtime in NY” soap? Are you tired of wasting time & ingredients trying to get the right color to go with your signature soap scents? Want to stop reinventing the wheel and take advantage of tried-&-true experimentation from three soap experts?
If you truly want to understand all the ins-and-outs of coloring soap, and take the guesswork out of coloring soap, then you’ve come to the right place!
You may have seen that we have some pretty awesome resources to help you color your soap, written by soapers with decades of experience in the business. Several of these eBooks were created specifically for the annual HSCG soap conferences.
For soapers wanting to take their plain soap to the next level design wise, learning as much as you can about coloring soap & soap colorant choices really helps. To make it easy (and more cost effective for you), we’ve bundled together what we think is enough information to turn you from a soap novice into a soap color expert, in no time.
The Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild (HSCG) has an awesome HSCG podcast, where Adam Grogin interviews soapmakers on different topics they think would be of value to other soapers. A while ago, we told you about Lori’s other HSCG podcast for would-be teachers… on how much time it really takes to teach classes (in case you missed that one, you can listen in right here). Her second podcast on the topic of teaching classes, also available now (you don’t have to me a member to listen in!) can be found below. Just click on the green arrow icon to listen on your lunch break!
In preparation for her talk at the 2017 HSCG Conference May 2017 in Las Vegas, Lori chose topics that would be helpful to handcrafters considering teaching DIY classes to make extra money. It’s part of a growing list of Teacher Resources that we’ve put together for up & coming teachers.
This “part two” HSCG podcast is all about “What makes a great teacher?” It’s something to help those just starting out, who might be hesitant to try their hand at teaching if they’ve never taught before. It’s about 40 minutes long, so it’s perfect for sipping a cup of tea, or eating your lunch while listening!
I recently did a private lesson for natural perfumery – so I’ve been looking through my notebooks & reviewing old recipes. I thought I would share one of the natural perfume recipes from my Making All-Natural Perfumes Class Handouts that comes with my Making Natural Perfumes Video eClass. We shared it a while back in a Nova Newsletter, but I can’t recall where it originated from. I played around with the ratios of course, if not the oils themselves… as I pretty much do with most things I make. Even though I don’t recall the original source, I do remember how good it smells & how it quickly became a favorite.
A Lover’s Perfume Recipe:
4 drops Geranium or Rose Geranium (middle note)
6 drops Ylang Ylang (middle note)
1 drop Rose Absolute (middle note)
1 drop Vanilla Absolute (base note)
2 drops Sandalwood* (base note)
4 drops Frankincense (base note)
Add the above 18 drops to 15 ml of very high proof (190 or 200) perfumer’s alcohol and package in a spray bottle. Or use 15 ml of jojoba oil and package in a roller-ball container. You can double the recipe & use a 1/3 ounce / or 30 ml bottle, which is a more common size.
If rose absolute is too expensive, use 5-10 drops of a 3-5% dilution of rose absolute in jojoba oil.
If vanilla absolute is too expensive, use 5-10 drops of a 3-5% dilution of vanilla absolute in jojoba oil.
*If Sandalwood is too expensive, use 10-20 drops of a 3-5% dilution of sandalwood in jojoba oil.
I would consider this a feminine perfume with an intriguing aroma that is somehow bold and delicate, all at the same time. It has the interesting characteristic of having a baby powder type scent, without containing any synthetics. It also doesn’t have any top notes (just middle & base notes), so it lasts a long time. I can’t believe my sample of this was made back in 2007(!) and it still smells fantastic.
If you get a chance to try this natural perfume recipe, let me know what you think of it!
If you’ve heard of this perfume or recipe before and know the source, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due! I purposely didn’t change the name.
Kenna’s super savvy “Suds & Success” online workshops have found a new home at The Nova Studio, and we’re so thrilled to be able to offer this awesome content to you. Our website is the ONLY place new students can get this information, and it’s incredibly valuable! For those who want to take huge leaps forward with their soap businesses, we’ve grouped her 5 BUSINESS topics together (all but Formulating Soap Recipes, which is all about making, not selling soap) & offered a whopping $100 off – that’s 30%! Note: Your discount will reflect in cart, once all 5 biz topics are added.
Here’s what Kenna’s NEW Business Bundle includes 5 Resources:
Going Social will help you laser focus your social media marketing efforts & start turning those hours wasted into minutes of pure marketing bliss. From knowing where to spend your time to how to create engaging social media content, this workshop will turn you into a social media superstar in no time.
The Money Shot: No one knows your products like you do, so turn that into a shutterbug advantage to showcase your hard work and passion. There’s no reason to shoot, re-shoot, and shoot again. The Money Shot will create a foundation of photography knowledge so that you really understand what works and what doesn’t, and exactly why.
Getting Ready to Wholesale will wrap up all your wholesale loose ends and tie it up pretty with a bow. Kenna covers all your wholesale bases and get you revved up & ready to rock wholesale connections.
Labeling & Marketing Soap vs. Cosmetics will help you determine what kind of products you are making (it’s not as easy as saying, hey, this is soap!) and how to properly label and market them in the USA within legal parameters set out by our regulations. It’ll give you ideas and tips for marketing your products within compliance, and guidelines on how to create your labels the right way.
Soapmaking for Business will help you stop focusing on making soap and start focusing on making money. From changing soapmaking processes of a hobbyist into efficient and well oiled production machines… to properly creating and maintaining cohesive product lines, this workshop will help you put down the stick blender and start seeing the numbers behind business.
If you love the bundle (we just know you will), don’t miss Kenna’s 6th topic – all about Formulating Soap Recipes. Though it’s not part of this bundle deal we think you’ll find great value in it, whether you’re a business owner or a serious soap hobbyist.
Again, to save 30% off ALL Kenna’s Suds & Success Business Workshops, simply add them all to your cart. You’ll automatically see the $100 savings when you go to check out. If you have any questions, as always, please feel free to Contact Us (our phone number is located on that page as well).
If your dream is turning your passion for soapmaking into profit, look no further. We are here for you!
Is there a facet of business that you’d like to learn about that’s not listed above? Let us know what it is… I bet we can help.
A true rebatch is grated and cooked again, then formed into soap. This method may be more accurately called “recycling” since I don’t heat it up but that makes it much easier to roll into balls!
How to Make Rebatch Soap Balls - YouTube
This project is made from grated Cold Process soap and reformed into a simple little ball. It’s super easy and I’ll tell you how it’s done.
First you need some odds and ends of cold process soap. My friend (and fellow Nova teacher) Erin Pikor of Naiad Soap Arts gave me a bunch of her scraps and pieces and the first step is to turn them from a bar into gratings.
Take your cheese grater and get ready to get a forearm workout. It’s best if you have a grater that’s specifically for bath and body products, but in this instance it’s OK if it’s your kitchen grater. If you were ever to use a grater on beeswax it would be ruined for food! On your tiniest hole for a smooth final texture, grate up your soap.
Once you grate up your whole bar, dump all my shavings into a mixing bowl. Add a little bit of water, probably just a teaspoon.
Now, start squishing it up with your hands. Knead it and knead it. If it’s looking a little dry and crumbly, coat it with some water and keep mushing it. After 2 or 3 minutes, you’ll have a stiff clay-like soap mixture. Roll it up into a smooth ball and let it dry.
Please keep in mind that since you’re adding extra water there is a small outside chance of introducing bacteria and other ickies into your process. Make sure your work surface, equipment, and hands are very clean, and keep an eye on your soap balls as you use them. Though we’ve never heard of a soap ball growing anything, it doesn’t hurt to keep an extra close eye on them just in case! And, distilled water would probably be the best choice.
We’d love to see pics of your recycled / rebatched soap balls! Feel free to post a link to a pic below in the comments.
Recently, a student named Cheryl ordered Jen & David’s Liquid Soap Making Class Handouts. Upon first glance at the recipe’s water and KOH (potassium hydroxide), she had an immediate question:
I noticed that the amount of lye used was exactly equivalent to the amount of water used, and was concerned, or did I miss something? Lol! I’ve always used 3 times the amount of water or glycerine to my potassium hydroxide, not equivalent or even close.
I enjoy your handouts…and use them as wonderful references and cross references to my style of soaping and product making. Thanks so much for being you and for providing such great products!
We approached Jen & David, who gave us these tips:
I love using a very strong lye solution when making the paste for liquid soap. Having minimal Potassium Hydroxide dilution helps speed up saponification (less water to interfere with the oil/KOH love dance) so that you have paste sooner and can dilute sooner. You certainly could add more water up front, but I am of little patience and I always wonder if I’m not just wasting water when I add it up front.
And Cheryl followed up with her 2 cents after trying the method:
May I just follow up by saying that I went ahead and tried the 1:1 technique and IT IS INCREDIBLE!!! Loved the way it performed, and KOH dissolved beautifully! I do LS making with glycerine, and will do a batch using the glycerine method this evening.
I was actually seeking different methods, (different recipes that make good, thick soap with excellent clarity) additive suggestions, etc.
My liquid soap recipe consists of the 3 oils used in your handout, but I use the glycerine method because I find satisfaction in immediately getting to, and observing all the stages quickly without a long arduous cook…and my soap comes out clear and thick.
I am a seeker of knowledge and do enjoy trying other methods. I am totally satisfied with what I found in your handout; and the water to KOH amount is perfect.
Your Class Handout wasn’t targeted for new artists, however your instructions are perfectly structured for someone just starting out with liquid soapmaking.
Thanks so much Cheryl for inspiring this blog post! We completely agree with you that the Liquid Soap Class Handouts are not for brand new saponifiers – for them, we’d recommend our Cold Process Soap 101 Video eClass. Have you tried the 1:1 ratio yet? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Our HUGE Holiday Sales Event starts right now! We’ve been hard at work on this for the past week… getting giddy over how we could creatively offer you considerable savings on our most popular and beloved resources & products.
We’ve included items that have not been on sale previously, and we’re offering larger discounts than ever before. You don’t even have to remember to use any coupon codes – your discounts will show up automatically, right in your cart.
Last year, we did a similar “12 Days” sale, but each item was on sale for 1 day ONLY. This year… we didn’t want you to stress about missing IT, and we wanted to multiply your savings over the entire 12 days (they all expire on 12/13).
This is the biggest & best sale we’ve ever had. It’s our way of saying THANK YOU to YOU… all our students & customers.
So, without further adieu, check out the hearty list of opportunities & savings below, and don’t hesitate to shoot us an email by hitting the “reply” button – we love to hear from you. If you have a friend who might be interested, please feel free to share!
3) Save $20 on Kenna’s New Releases: Suds & Success Workshop Video eClasses. If you’ve turned your hobby into a business & you need some guidance, you’ll want to check this out. This is exclusive Nova Studio content that you cannot buy anywhere else! We’re over the moon to be able to offer Kenna’s incredibly valuable information to you.
5) Free Shipping (in the continental US) AND a FREE eClass or Handout by Lori (up to a $49 value) when you purchase any complete National Shrinkwrap System from The Nova Studio. Simply add both to your cart to see your savings reflected at checkout.
7) Save $50 on Donna Maria’s4-Part Audio Business Boot Camp. Her awesome business advice never goes out of style, and at 50% off, can you afford not to take advantage of this deal? Looking to get just one or two topics? You can *save $5 off each individual day*.
9) BOGO SALE on Lori’s entire collection of Class Handouts. These are Lori’s original in-person class materials, and they will teach you what you need to know to make excellent products on your first try. Buy one & get the second of equal or lesser value, FREE.
10) Save $30 on our Color Expert eBook Bundle, with Soap Coloring eBooks by Lori, Ruth, & Kenna. PLUS get Kenna’s Battle of the Reds as a free bonus resource! If you’re a soap maker, you’ll value the wealth of research included in these instantly downloadable color resources.
11) Save $40 on Ruth’sNext Level Soapers Collectionof 4 Class Handouts: Alternative Liquids, Milk Soaps, Cupcake Soaps, & Cold Process Soap Design. Ruth is our most prolific soap teacher & you’ll be blown away by her beautiful pictures!
12) Save $50 on Jen & David’s Advanced Soaping Collectionof 3 Class Handouts:Liquid Soap Making, Transparent Soap Making, and Big Batch/Production Soap Making. For any soapmaker looking to gain knowledge about all forms of soap & soapmaking, these advanced topics are what you need.
The items above are in no particular order. ALL items are on sale for the next 12 days! We hope our big list of special offers will help you prioritize the resources & products that you need the most. We love supporting you in your journey to create amazing products by hand. Thanks for being you, and letting us, be us.
When you’re learning a new craft for the first time, the new vocabulary can be intimidating. One of the questions we get the most is “What is Superfat?” Thankfully, Ruth addressed this in her Cold Process Soap 101 Video eClass and we wanted to share it with you! Not only does Ruth go into detail about what superfat means for your bar of soap’s feel and the experience of using it, but she also describes on a molecular level what superfat means:
What is Superfat? (Cold Process Soap Making) - YouTube
We are so grateful to have a scientist like Ruth available to explain “What is Superfat?” to beginners in Cold Process Soap Making (CP Soap). You can see this clip in her full CP 101 Video eClass, which includes our Nova tested recipe, detailed instructions, ingredient info, supplier list & more.
Are you thinking about diving in to the world of soapmaking and picking up a new craft? Check out our previous blog post which rounds up 30+ posts all about soap making. You’ll also find loads of free resources in our Soap from Scratch category on the website. Cold Process Soap Making is one of the first products that Lori started learning to make when she was looking for a fun side project long before The Nova Studio was even an idea. We really like soap making and would love to be the ones to introduce it to you! For a sneak peek of the Video eClass, be sure to check out our preview video.
Already a soap maker? When you were learning about making soap from scratch for the first time, what term or vocabulary was the most difficult for you to learn? Share in the comments & maybe we’ll write a blog post on some of the best submissions to help other new makers looking to pick up new terms & phrases!
Have you ever wondered what was involved with making all-natural soap, from scratch in your own kitchen? Do you, a close friend, or a family member have skin issues that are easily irritated by store-bought soaps & detergents? Many commercial soaps contain cheap petroleum-based ingredients & synthetic detergents that can be harsh on sensitive skin. By learning how to make soap in your own kitchen, you can tailor it to suit any skin type as well as insure that only the most beneficial ingredients go into your finished bars.
But even thought we love making soap from scratch, we know it’s easy to be intimidated by the process & unfamiliar ingredients in soap making. And the biggest culprit tends to be the sodium hydroxide – or lye – that scares off potential future soap makers. But not to fear! Once you know how to treat your sodium hydroxide with respect, you don’t have to be afraid. Check out this free video, clipped from Ruth’s Cold Process Soap 101 Video eClass, where she explains that she wants you to be educated on lye safety, but not scared:
If you’re ready to dive into the world of making soap from scratch, check out Ruth’s full Cold Process Soap 101 Video eClass, a detailed handout and in-depth video, with no limits to how many times you can view/access it so you can be confident and certain when you decide to make soap for the first time.
If you’re an experienced soapmaker, do you remember what it was like handling sodium hydroxide for the first time? What would you say to someone to help them decide if it’s right for them while they’re trying to decide whether to pursue the craft or not? Put your experiences, tips, and thoughts in the comments. Who knows – you could be the comment that helps someone decide to take the next step into a craft that we all know & love!