Q:

“I am interesting in making an infusion using heather blossom flowers and was wanting to know which would be the best method in doing it. I was using a heather blossom product and I love the smell of it. I am wanting to try and make a soap with it. TIA”

-Khanhlee

*Note: this question is in regards to melt and pour soap.

A:

Hi Khanhlee

Thank you for your awesome question!

Heather blossom isn’t available as an essential oil, so most heather blossom products are scented with the synthetic fragrance oil. But there are ways to obtain the scent of flowers naturally (like in the product you tried!), though not all of the methods will work well to scent soaps.

The issue with adding scents to soaps is getting the scent to stick, since many natural scents can dissipate over time, are very light in scent (the smell is too light for most products), or just not come through in soap making (so they may be strong enough in non-soap products, but after adding them to soap, you can’t smell them that well). This is why many people usually use essential oils to naturally scent their soap, since most essential oils tend to stick better.

In addition, adding too much liquid and other ingredients to melt and pour soap base can affect the lather. I haven’t tried making a natural heather blossom melt and pour soap yet, so I am not 100% sure if the scent will come through or not. However, for other kinds of flowers I have used infusions (strong teas), herbal infused oil (herbs soaked in a carrier oil), or tinctures (herbs infused in grain alcohol or grape alcohol) with good success. But if you use these types of herbal extractions, the scent will be light, and not as strong as soaps scented with essential oils. Different methods may work better with certain plants too. In general, infusions will only give a very light scent to soap that may not be very noticeable (sometimes you can smell them in melt and pour soap and sometimes you can’t). Adding too much oil can affect lather, but personally I add greater amounts of oils to melt and pour soap base than other soapers recommend, and I haven’t had too much of an issue with a decrease in lather. Tinctures may evaporate if you add them when the soap is too hot (so add them when the soap is still melted but has cooled down a lot), and some may be too weak in scent.

I suggest making a double or triple infusion if making an herb infused oil or a tincture. So you’d want to infuse the blossoms in the oil or alcohol, and then after a minimum of a couple weeks, strain and infuse the same oil or alcohol again. Repeat if needed. By infusing a couple or a few times, the scent should be fairly strong. For infusions, you can infuse them a couple times too, but the scent will usually be lighter than tinctures and herb infused oils.

Lastly, other ingredients in the product’s scent you are trying to dupe may be contributing to the fragrance too, such as other flower extracts or honey. So you may want to add these to your soap too.


Li Wong ContributorPrivateContent
Owner , Expert Plant Alkemie
Li has over two decades of plant knowledge and experience! She is an aromatherapist (trained in clinical aromatherapy and advanced aromatic medicine), herbalist (trained in family, community, and clinical herbalism), natural perfumer, natural formulator, eco living writer, and environmental scientist/biologist.
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Li Wong ContributorPrivateContent
Owner , Expert Plant Alkemie
Li has over two decades of plant knowledge and experience! She is an aromatherapist (trained in clinical aromatherapy and advanced aromatic medicine), herbalist (trained in family, community, and clinical herbalism), natural perfumer, natural formulator, eco living writer, and environmental scientist/biologist.
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