Best Place To Buy Essential Oils For Soap
Curious about where you can find quality essential oils to get started on using natural fragrances in your soapmaking and bath and body products? I've got you covered! Here's how to find the best essential oil suppliers.
best place to buy essential oils for soap
If you are looking for more information about using essential oils in soapmaking, I've written about my top ten essential oil recommendations to start with (+ blends using them), recommended usage rates and how to calculate the proper usage rate for your products, the safe handling and storage of essential oils, things you should know about using them in soapmaking, and a hit list of other industry leaders' favorite essential oils to stock up on.
Want to dive deep and learn everything about using essential oils in soap and cosmetics in one place? Well, I wrote the book on that! Snag your copy of Smellgoods: How to Use & Blend Essential Oils in Handmade Soap & Skincare
When you are looking for where to buy essential oils, you probably want the best bang for your buck (who doesn't?!) - especially if you have a business to run! One of the major struggles soapmakers encounter when first buying essential oils is not knowing what to look for.
First up, you want to make sure to compare apples to apples, and not apples to oranges! When selecting essential oils, you should know the botanical name of the essential oil and the country of origin.
Using a generic name like eucalyptus or lavender is not a strong enough identifier when selecting and using essential oils. All essential oils should carry their botanical name, which is the Latin name of the species of the plant from which the essential oil is extracted.
For this reason, I tend to purchase essential oils by first their botanical name, and then their country of origin. If possible, I consistently purchase the same specific species of essential oil from the same country from the same supplier.
The best essential oil suppliers will often have a certificate of analysis (CoA) available. A CoA is a document that shows the results of testing an essential oil against a set of parameters. They often detail at least the dominant constituent of an essential oil, and are helpful for comparing essential oils for fragrance purposes.
If a supplier gives access to CoA or GC/MS analysis, take advantage! Learn about the scent contributions of each constituent of an essential oil to identify what varieties and sources of an essential oil you prefer. You can also use CoA or GC/MS information to compare essential oils from crop to crop to find the most consistent scent profile before purchasing.
It's important to build relationships with your suppliers, and essential oil suppliers are no different! Here's some things you may want to do before settling on the best essential oil suppliers for you:
I personally am not as picky about essential oils used in soapmaking as I am when purchasing essential oils for perfumery or leave-on products. You can be as picky as you'd like, but be aware that a supplier who distills their own essential oils, performs extensive testing, etc., is likely to have far more overhead to account for in their pricing. Decide what is important to you, and choose the best essential oil suppliers for you using those criteria.
Before we move on to where to buy essential oils (oh, yes), I want to talk about places to avoid. If you are new to essential oils, you may be tempted to pick up the tiny 15 mL and 30 mL bottles of essential oils found at health and natural food stores. Please, save that cash!
Those types of stores are not the best essential oil suppliers for soapmakers. Their essential oils are marketed to consumers - not formulators! They may be diluted or adulterated, and they sit on a shelf 24/7, being exposed to light and fluctuating temperatures. Plus, they're really expensive when compared to purchasing directly from a supplier.
Now you know what to check before you buy and where not to buy, so how about we talk about where to buy essential oils instead?! Yesssssss. My goal with listing where to buy essential oils is to provide you with a lot of options, so you can do your own research. You might be more selective than I am about essential oils for soapmaking, or you may want to shop around for lower prices - it's up to you!
A few dozen fragrances houses make all of the soap-safe scent blends available on the market. Striking out on your own is one way to make your products stand out from the crowd. Since you've read past the title of this post, I'm guessing you want to create your own essential oil blends for soapmaking. And I literally wrote the book on that...
(Want to dive deep and learn everything about using essential oils in soap and cosmetics in one place? Snag your copy of Smellgoods: How to Use & Blend Essential Oils in Handmade Soap & Skincare.)
These essential oils can be found in a ton of my blends, blended with each other and all sorts of other essential oils. So, I think they are the most useful to add to your supply inventory (whether you want to use them straight or in blends).
Cost and availability ranges, but you can pick and choose which essential oils to add to your arsenal based on your budget and supplier availability. Also, remember that cost varies widely based on the season and crop yields of any given year - what is affordable right now may not stay affordable a year down the line!
There are thousands of varieties of lavender out there. And narrowing down which lavender essential oil to add to your supply cabinet will be a challenge in itself. A good choice for soapmaking is Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil. (Or you might try a Lavandin, such as Lavandin Grosso or Lavandin Abrialis, rather than a true Lavender.)
Lemon essential oil smells just like the fruit itself, with a bright, cheery, and slightly tart aroma. Folded varieties (as indicated by the prefix 5 Fold, 10x, etc.) are better for soapmaking and have stronger sticking power in blends that are exposed to the saponification process. You will want to use steam-distilled lemon essential oil for leave-on products, due to photosensitivity, but cold-pressed smells much better.
Cedarwood varieties range from woody and sweet to dry and smoky. My favorite varieties of cedarwood are Atlas, Himalayan, and Virginian. Not all cedarwood essential oils are actually cedar varieties, and some are from the juniper family, but all cedarwood varieties can add a wonderfully dry and woodsy base note to blends.
Patchouli usually evokes a love or hate feeling from soapmakers. But whether you love it or hate it, it can't be denied that it's a fabulous blender! Patchouli essential oil is a warm, earthy, musky, and somewhat sweet aroma. I personally prefer Dark Patchouli over Light Patchouli, as it's richer in scent. Unlike many other essential oils, patchouli gets better with age, and aged varieties tend to go for a premium.
Clary sage is a robust and unique scent, which is why it makes my top ten list of essential oils for soapmaking. It can be described as mostly herbal and floral, with slight earthy, fruity, and sweet notes. I personally prefer the Bulgarian variety, but I haven't met a clary sage I didn't like!
Like lemon essential oil, sweet orange essential oil smells just like the fruit itself, with a juicy and sweet aroma. Folded varieties (as indicated by the prefix 5 Fold, 10x, etc.) are better for soapmaking and have stronger sticking power in blends that are exposed to the saponification process. You will want to use sweet orange essential oil, rather than bitter orange essential oil, due to photosensitivity.
I just couldn't finish this list without litsea cubeba, also known as may chang essential oil. Litsea cubeba essential oil has a beautiful citrus aroma with a more complex crisp grassy undertone and slight spice compared to other classic citruses. It's quite similar to lemongrass without the heaviness. It works beautifully in blends with other citruses to give them more robust staying power in soapmaking.
As you probably noticed, most of theses essential oils work well together. Even if you start with blending the recommended essential oils for soapmaking with two essential oils evenly in a blend (1:1 ratio), you have fifty-five possible combinations!
Above I've included a favorite blend from our EOCalc.com with each essential oil listing. Here are a few more of my favorite starter essential oil blends using only my recommended essential oils for soapmaking. Get your creative juices flowing!
Places to source natural soap making supplies, including oils, lye, beeswax, essential oil, honey, and herbs. Includes ideas for sourcing locally produced ingredients, what to look for, avoiding suspicious sellers, and soapmaking suppliers by country.
The main bulk of any soap recipe is oils, fats, waxes, and butters. Some are familiar and inexpensive, such as sunflower oil, and others are exotic and expensive, such as mango butter. Good soap recipes usually include three to six oils and fats. You choose them for their fatty acid profiles, cost, and what they can contribute to a bar of soap. The most common oils used in soap recipes are coconut oil (76 degrees), olive oil (extra virgin or pomace), palm oil, shea butter, tallow, canola (rapeseed), and castor oil.
In many of my soap recipes, I include a link to where you can buy a relatively small amount of that ingredient. Online marketplaces, supermarkets, drug stores, and health food shops are great for getting enough ingredients to make small batches of soap. If you want to take up soapmaking as a regular hobby or business, you need to think bigger.
Dry goods, including spices and herbs, are soap making supplies that you can get from health food shops and ethnic food shops. Organic oatmeal, paprika, turmeric (dried or fresh), or even unusual fruit and oils. Ensure that the oil and dried products have a shelf life of at least a year, though.
Soap cutters can be as simple as a kitchen knife and cutting board or as fancy as a wire multi-soap cutter. To ensure your soap bars are uniform, the best tool to use is a specialty soap cutter. The cheapest solution is a miter box and a blade, and I used this set-up when I first started. There are soap cutters online too, and some of the best are made by independent sellers on Etsy. 041b061a72