I’m honestly not a very imaginative person, so it was really hard to come up with essential oil blends recipes when I first started my homemade soap making journey. But essential oils are important ingredients in handmade soap.
So I would group up all my little glass bottles, into bottom, middle, and top tones, and gather up a bunch of q-tips, sit at the table, and try to pairings that smelled amazing together.
I think I nearly burned out my husband’s nose while trying to figure out base notes, middle notes, and top notes. One thing’s for sure, we came away from these sessions with clear sinuses! 😉
I love to use essential oils, but I just don’t have a lot of creativity. It’s really easy to just pour lavender essential oil into a batch of goat milk soap and call it good – let’s be honest, lavender’s a great scent!
Despite my lack of creativity, we eventually came up with some very simple blends that we absolutely loved! And I have to credit our all-time favorite to Gabriel.
When to add essential oils to your batch of soap.
This is going to depend on whether your soap recipe is for cold process, or hot process soap.
For a cold process soap making, you’ll add your oils when your soap reaches a trace.
For hot process soap, you’ll add it at the end, right before you pour the finished product into the mold.
How much essential oil should you add?
The amount of oils, again, is different depending on the type of soap you’re making.
Here is the general guideline:
- For cold process, you’ll add about .7 oz. for each pound of soap.
- For hot process, or melt and pour, .3 oz. per pound.
The measurements for these recipes are given in “parts” because I can’t tell you how much oil you’ll need in your particular batch of soap. You may like a strong scent, or you may like it a bit more mild. You’ll need more in cold processed soap, because the curing process “eats away” some of your essential oils, or if you’re making hot process soap, you’ll need less, because the curing is done before you add oil.
See what I mean?
Update: I’ve been asked by several people how much a “part” is, so here’s a simple breakdown: one part, is a fraction of a whole. You can measure in drops, teaspoons, cups, etc. So 4 parts of one oil, can be four drops or teaspoons, and one part of the second oil, would be one drop or teaspoon. Together, they make a whole of five drops (or teaspoons).
Essential Oil Blends Recipes
- 4 parts spearmint
- 1 part patchouli
If I only had on blend for the rest of my life, this would be it. Spearmint is so sweet, so soothing and mild.
Patchouli is earthy, musky, and gives this blend a slightly more masculine scent than spearmint alone would. I think that’s why we both love it so much.
- 2 parts sweet orange essential oil
- 1 part vanilla oil
I admit that sometimes I like this blend as much as the spearmint-patchouli mix.
It’s so sweet, so clean and homey. It’s orange creamcicle – my favorite ice cream treat ever as a child. (Also, orange essential oil is really cheap as essential oils go, so I like to use it a lot!)
I also think other citrus oils would be great in this, and cinnamon might also be a nice addition. Spices are always a nice addition to orange-scented soap.
- 1 part lavender
- 1 part peppermint
Separately, these are two of my favorite scents, and together, they’re just phenomenal! It may seem like an odd pairing, but the calming lavender, and invigorating peppermint go strangely well together.
The Man’s Man
- 1 part patchouli
- 2 parts bergamot
- 1 part cedarwood
This blend is 100% masculine. It’s perfect for the boy’s bathroom, or a hunting cabin, and for once, you could even give homemade soap to a guy as a gift and he won’t mind!
- 2 parts orange
- 1 part peppermint or spearmint
This is a mild, sweet, clean smelling blend, that’s so inoffensive, it’s a pretty safe bet when you want to gift someone who’s preferences in scent you’re not sure about. Tea tree, or eucalyptus might also be nice here.
These are some of the best essential oils blends, but Beyond these five delicious smelling blends, I’m a big fan of keeping things simple by making small batches of soap, and using a single oil in each batch.
One of my favorite things in the world is a strongly scented bar of rosemary soap. Or the deliciously clean smell of lemon or lime. One of our favorite essential oils for soap is lemongrass The possibilities of single scents and blends are truly endless. But that’s okay – it just means we get to make more soap!
Be aware that essential oils are not the same as fragrance oil, which can interact with your soap in a way that makes is sieze.
P.S. In the past, I have used several different essential oil brands in, and often use Now Brand essential oils for soapmaking (with the exception of the vanilla oil), because they are by far the cheapest that I could find, and seem to be fairly high quality.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to use oils to scent your soap. One of our favorite non-scented soaps is coffee scrub soap. It fills you with so much energy, and is great for waking up in the morning!
Summing Essential Oil Blends Recipes
While general guidelines exist, such as including a base, middle, and top note, The main takeaway here is to use these blends as a starting place, but don’t be afraid to branch out and do your own thing too. Make your soap uniquely you, whether you pour a soap base you bought into molds, or making it from scratch with lye, milk or water, and a custom blend of fats.
It’s natural to feel intimidated if you’ve never done it before, so feel free to start with small batches, or divide your batches to test several different blends at once. But just get started and don’t worry about what happens.
You really can’t mess this up.
Recipes everyone can make!
Nourish your body with ingredients you already have in your kitchen!
Rebekah @ Naturally Blessed Mama says
I am going to have to try these! I have been wanting to make some soap and have tried in the past but I can’t find any soap bases free from sodium laureth sulfate. We have started buying the Ology brand castile soap from Walgreens for our hair. I was surpried that it lasted 1-2 months for three girls. That’s much cheaper that the commerical soap. Thanks for posting this. Can’t wait to try!
I’m happy to see a post from a Young Living EO user who also uses it in soaps. I’ve been struggling with the idea of using some much EO in my soaps to get them to hold a scent. I hate to waste a good thing but so many people want a scented soap. Do you have any suggestions on how to get the EO scent to hold in hot process soap? I’ve tried putting it right into clay first. Maybe I still didnt use enough? Do you have any tips? Thanks so much!
That’s one of the reasons I started making my own soap. You can’t often find real “soap” in the stores anymore. I suggest buying from a local craft soaper. They make soap from fatty oils and lye which saponifies and actually becomes soap (not just a chemical detergent like Sodium Laureth Sulfate). =)
Hi Kat, With hot process soap, you definitely want to make sure that the soap is finished and has begun cooling before you add the essential oils so that they don’t don’t burn off. I personally add it in just before I mold the soap.
Mary ann says
If you find out let us know!
i wasnt sure about using my yl oils for soap. Wouldn’t i need a LOT for a batch of soap?
Yes… or no. If you make cold process soap, some of the oil will burn off during the curing process, so you’ll need to add a little more. If you make hot process soap, it will take a little more time up front, but there’s no curing time, and you add the oil at the end, so none of it burns off, meaning you use less.
Samantha Hatcher says
I’ve been worried about the same thing. When I’ve made soap in the past I’ve used around 3-4 ounces. That is a LOT of YL essential oils. How much do you use and what size batch for that usage?
It depends on the oils, but I would say that I average an ounce of EO per 1.5 pound batch of soap.
Terry Mosley says
I’m new to cp soap making and was looking for essential oil combinations in “parts” and came across this page. I have tried all of these combinations, and LOVE them all but my favorite is the spearmint patchouli. The guys (and some girls) like the Man’s Man scent. The scents are just right and not too strong. Thank you so much for posting this.
That’s awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know! 🙂
Hello, I was comparing prices for Young Living & Bulk Apothecary. BA has significantly better prices & state that they have good quality, undiluted, therapeutic grade oils. Are they the same quality as YL, or does YL have better quality, and if so, better enough to pay significantly more?
I’m not familiar with how BA sources their oils, but the big advantage to Young Living is that they grow all of their own, so they’re one of the few you can know for sure are pure therapeutic grade oils. They’re also “beyond organic” in that they use essential oils for pest control, etc. during the growing process rather than something that could contaminate the plants.
Hope that answers your questions! 🙂
I have used Bulk Apothecary oils as well as YL oils, and I can say without a doubt that YL oils far surpass all others, including BA, in quality. BA oils smell nothing like YL, and it takes 3-4 times more in my products to get an equal amount of scent as the YL oils. It is quite apparent that the BA oils are not from the first distillation, and you will not be sorry if you use YL oils instead. I just couldn’t bring myself to use the BA straight on my skin, and many have warnings against taking them internally. I take YL oils can internally without any fear, and I have found them to be very beneficial. You won’t be sorry if you use them! I do use them for purchasing carrier oils, clays, and glass/plastic bottles. They do have wonderful prices for those items!
I’ve never use BA, so that’s good to know. Thanks for sharing!
Donna Balsavih says
So good to hear this conversation! I have not found a better productline than that of YL!
I wish you great success!
Beverly Gatewood says
I use Young Living oils for myself, but i have not yet incorporated them into my product line. I already have some customers who do not understand that essential oils cost more and that will reflect in the products prices.
I very much want to transition over to using YL essential oils in my product. Is it true, on an average i would only have to use 1/4 of the amount of essential oils i am presently using from other companies.The investment would be over my head, unless this is true about the smaller amt
This is an old post, but I will reply in case anyone comes across it like I did. I have purchased Bulk Apothecary essential oils in the past. While I still use them for some of my bulk supplies, I will never again buy their essential oils. (Nature’s Oil) Whatever they may say about them, they are NOT the quality of other essential oils I have purchased. (I do not particularly care for Aura Cacia either from Frontier.) Some of the oils didn’t even smell right. After purchasing other brands and comparing, it was obvious. Worth spending a little more and getting a higher quality because the scent is the reason you are buying them.
Thanks for the recipes! Can you recommend a total weight for the essential oil blend per pound fats for the man’s man cold process soap? Want to make it just don’t know how much to add.
I would say to start with a millimeter each of patchouli and cedar wood, and two millimeters of bergamot, and go from there.
Redie Lewis says
Please tell me where I can find a soap mold like yours
This: http://amzn.to/1SeAqUF 🙂
Hi – I am also new to CP soap making – have a castille recipe that has worked and may just keep on using that one – what i really need to find out is – how do i work out the size of mould i need – do i add up all the weights given for a recipe and have someone do magic with maths to get the volume??? cant find an answer to that one anywhere – and i also want to use your EO mixes but need to know what was the amount of soap mix you used for these mixes when you make it – i realise that some of the perfume is lost during the curing stage in CP soap making so is this part of the process by eye/nose??? the house was overpowered by lavender on the last batch and i used only 15mls and if i have worked out the volume of soap it was a 2 litre mix but now the soap doesnt smell as strong – or maybe my smell sense was burnt out with the last attempt – i hope you can help me – thanks
In my experience, the weight in ounces is very close to volume in ounces. so for instance,if I make a batch of soap with 1 pound of oil, 6 ounces of liquid, and 2 ounces of lye, totaling 24 ounces in weight, it will make close to 24 liquid ounces (3 cups) or soap. I use this silicon loaf pan (http://amzn.to/20pOdat) for a batch that uses 2 1/2 pounds of oil.
As for EO volume, I do just go by nose, and it depends greatly on the oil because some are stronger than others, but I often use about 10mls for that same 2 1/2 pound batch. And yeah, you pretty much have to mix your soap outside if you don’t want it to smell like your Eos for a while. 😀
Hi, I’m new to soap making, but I would really like to make some blends of essential oils to use in my soaps. Would you recommend bottling your blends without carrier oils and keeping them for use when needed?
I usually keep mine in their individual bottles, and pouring them directly into the soap. But it you want to mix them before hand, yes, a glass bottle will work just fine. And yes – no carrier oil. 🙂
Thanks to you and your dear husband for these combinations. I am a novice and will certainly try them.
I have also subscribed to your site.
Thanks again and have a great day.
Love the oil combos! I love my essential oils. I usually get my essential oils and soap making products from Bulk Apothecary. I have tried others but nothing comes close to bulk. I would recommend them to anyone.
These scents sound great! I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing!
Made the coffee scrub and its curing now. Looks wonderful. Tried doing orange and vanilla and it seized. Total failure.
This happened to us before using vanilla oil. Any ideas? I’m thinking it may be a bad batch of oil. Side note it was not the
brand you use but came from a reputable soap making company. Thanks for all the good ideas.
Hi Sheila, you may want to contact the company and ask about it.
There are chemicals in fragrances that can make your soap freeze, so if you got a “fragrance oil” or something adulterated with a fragrance oil, that could be the problem.
I have tried essential oils, but can’t smell them in the finished product. I even used an entire 5 ml in one batch, which can be expensive depending upon which essential oil selected. I typically use olive oil in soap making. When you use lard does it allow the essential oil fragrance to come through? When you say one part, how many drops or ml’s is this?
Hi Margie, I usually use a mixture of coconut, olive, and soy or corn oil in my soap, and I’ve never tried to scent lard-based soap, so I can’t really speak to how or whether it reacts differently.
Some essential oils are milder, and take more to come through than others. For instance, peppermint doesn’t take a lot, but sweet orange does.
One part refers to how much of one oil in relation to the other oils in the recipe. For the spearmint patchouli mixture, it calls for one part patchouli to four parts spearmint, so I could use 1 drop, or 1 ml or patchouli, and 4 drops, or 4 ml or spearmint.
I can’t give exact measurements for a batch of soap, because everyone is individual about how strong they want it to smell, but I personally probably average 5ml per 50 oz batch.
Thank you so much for these ideas! I am terrible at combining oils! I can’t wait to try these.
Debbie P says
I don’t have to go make those scents up to know they are wonderful. I can smell them in my head (that sounds kinda weird) and I love them. Thanks!!!
Question…do you have a general guide for the amount of oils you need per batch of soap? My recipe is rather large and makes 12 lbs. and I guess I’m a cheapskate, but I never seem to add enough to get any significant aroma.
It depends on the potency of the the oil your using (peppermint = potent, sweet orange = weak), but I’d say probably 1/2-3/4 of an ounce per two pounds of fat in the recipe.
I’m making a batch of cp soap of 1.8 lb., and was a little confused calculating the amount of the EOs for the Man’s Man, since the max recommended usage on the brambleberry fragrance calculator for bergamot was only 8 grams for this weight, while patchouli and cedarwood are around 34 g. Since there are 2 parts bergamot to 1 part for each patchouli and cedarwood, it seems it would end up being very little total EO even using the max usage for bergamot. For this weight, what amounts of ea check of these EOs would you use?
Marcie Burnett says
For a 3lb batch of soap, how much essential oil would you use? The Living brand
Is that 3lb of lard, or 3lb altogether? I would expect to use around 5 ml of essential oil per pound of lard, but it really depends on the oil (everything from what brand, to what specific oil – both influence how strong your oil will be), and how strong you like your soap to smell.
Betty L Harmon says
Elise: I am new at soap making also but I have found every person has a different viewpoint how to and how much of everything. I have come to the conclusion that whatever you like, than go with it.
Blends are hard for me and there are charts that confuse me. I would like to ask you if you know of a good blend using sweet orange essential oil? The recipe I am using makes about 3 pounds of soap.
Hi Betty, you’re so right! Everything is very individual.
I loooove the blend of sweet orange and vanilla. I use 2 “parts” (be it drops or spoonfuls) of orange to one drop of vanilla.
Sweet orange and mint is also very nice – again with 2 parts orange, and one part peppermint.
Another blend I’ve been loving in my diffuser, but haven’t tried in soap yet is lavender and orange. Heavenly!
Love your site and thanks for all the soap making recipes! Here is my question: I use YL essential oils and love them; you have vanilla in some of your recipes – since YL does not have a vanilla essential oil where do you buy your vanilla essential oil? Thanks for the help!
From what I understand, there is no such thing as a true vanilla essential oil, but it’s something called a resin extraction. I’ve ordered This vanilla oil from Fabulous Frannie, and been very happy with it.
Hi this might be a silly question but what it mixed through the spearmint and patchouli soap? Im guessing that the spearmint and patchouli are in essential oil form so just trying to work out what else it could be lol
It’s spearmint leaves, which I DON’T recommend doing – turns out they mold after a while. 😛
Tammi Turner says
I’m new to soap making but have been a Young Living essential oil user for years. I am only wanting to use essential oils for my soaps but am finding it hard to afford YL for soap making. How do you calculate essential oils for your soap making? Do you use a fragrance calculator?
Personally, I’m a very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person and put enough in to make it smell good. I’d say probably 5ml of essential oil for every pound of fat in a soap recipe.
claudia Jurgensen says
beautiful spearmint patchouli bar …I assume you put spearmint leaves on top-can I ask how you got the leaves inside the bar in a kind of trail/line?
I “cut” it down with a butter knife. 🙂
VICKIE DORMAN says
thank you for sharing.
It’s shocking to me that people will buy and use such oils as these. They are not therapeutic and are cut with carrier oils. They even got bad reviews from Amazon consumers. Better be careful and pay more for the real thing, or just buy fragrance oils.
Your parts of oils.. how much is that for? One pound of pour and melt?
Ellie Engelbrecht says
I see that you are using an unusual brand of vanilla essential oil. Have you always had success with it? The reason I’m asking is that I just cut a fresh batch of soap made with Sun brand rosemary essential oil and the lye must have killed the scent. Absolutely no smell at all.
I’ve only bought that brand once because I’m a little skeptical of anything that isn’t Young Living, and wasn’t sure I wanted to risk whatever might be in it again. That said, yes, I liked it. 🙂
Rosemary EO has a low flashpoint. If you used it alone and the soap got too hot (for Rosemary that is only over about 110) it likely burned off which would explain why you have no scent remaining.
I am going to try this in my homemade soaps and bath bombs. Thanks
I am just starting to purchase supplies on my new adventure of soap making..Please give me some advice on essential oils. My question is are the essential oils that are used in defusers the same oils used in soap making?
Yes. The higher quality your essential oil, the higher quality your soap. 🙂
I just tired this and for whatever reason could not get it to thicken up at all. The Lye I purchased didn’t have a scoop or anything in it so I measured out 2 oz on my kitchen scale…this is the only thing I was iffy about. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I used the cold method.
Can you share your The Mans Man soap recipe? I dont see a mans soap very ogten and this looks fabulous.
Hi Melody, I would use the oil blended listed in this soap recipe: https://www.frugalfarmwife.com/article/homemade-soap/
I’m new to make soap, and the essential oil blending is definitely a challenge for me! One question: I’ve made a couple of batches so far using the NOW essential oils as they were the only things local I could find, other than a couple of smaller bottles I found at Hobby Lobby. What problem did you have with them? These are my first attempts where I’m learning the process, but I hate to think I wasted 5 batches of soap! But at the same time, I hate to pay for expensive oils in practice batches, either!
Hi I’m new to soap making and I have been looking for a small recipe to practice with that I don’t have to have 40 ingredients for is there anyway you can help me please? I have olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, I live in a small town that is 2 1/2 hrs. One way to a slightly bigger town so it would be a day trip.so I hope you can help me.
Hi Bev, Try this recipes: https://www.frugalfarmwife.com/article/homemade-soap/
The measures given for essential oil combinations are good for melt & pour soap making too?
You may find you need a little less because the saponification process won’t burn off any of the essential oils, but otherwise, yes!
What herbs are on top of your spearmint and patchouli? Looks nice. I just ordered some corn mint do you think that will work with patchouli? Thank you for your favorite essential oil blends. Going to try them.
Hi, I just ordered cornmint essential oil do you think that will go with patchouli? Thanks for your blends going to try them, as l’m not very good at blending essential oils.
I have used several of these many, many times I do love them , very nice of you to share them. One question concerning vanilla oil, I have not seen this available from bulk, bramble , or crafters choice? Do you make it yourself?
Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge! 🙂
Hi Elise thank you for your recipes and your article. I find it both entertaining and informative. I’ve recently started collecting dried herbs , flowers and spices and infusing them to make my own oils for soaping. I also started buying essential oils but I’m a little slow with that one because I want to gather as much information as possible to learn how to blend and use in my own oils for soaps. I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles.
Moksha Essentials says
Blog is really amazing keep up the good for us…
Keep it up…
hananbazzi bazzy says
Why all essentials oils I used disappear after finishing soap making
Moksha Essentials says
Excellent post and wonderful blog, this sort of interesting posts I really like, keep it up…
Karinda Ristic says
Hi, thanks for such an informative post! The blends sounds lovely and I can’t wait to try it. I have one question (newby here). Do you simply blend the essential oils together as is (drop it into a bottle and mix), or do you use a carrier oil to blend it in? Thanks!
Thank you for the wonderful blends, can’t wait to try them! I’ve read that citrus oils dissipate in cold process soap, have you experienced this?
Thank you for the information. I am trying to do more diy projects and love learning all that I can.
Hi, I noticed that nobody has mentioned the other method, melt and pour. Why? I am very new to soap making, it’s something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do and have ordered everything I think I will need. Still waiting on a few items but in the meantime I’m learning about things I never even considered before! Like, the importance of using EXACT recipes, and the different methods there are. I was told by someone that because I was a rookie I should start out with the melt and pour method but now I’m learning that you can’t even add your own essential oils when you use this method! Is this true? I want to make QUALITY soap, this, to me, is the whole point of it all!!!