|Serving Customers Since 1997|
Frequently Asked Questions about naturally based body care products:
What is a `patch test'? This is the process of placing a small amount of the ingredient to be tested on the inside of wrist or forearm, placing a bandage on top, and leaving on for up to 24 hours. If any redness or itching occur, discontinue use or dilute the ingredient, as in the case of an essential oil.
What is "soponification"? This is the process of adding a lye to fats and oils to make soap. The caustic properties of the lye are changed and evaporate during the process.
What is the difference between cold pressed soaps and commercial/mass-produced soaps? Cold pressed soaps are made at low temperatures by soponification and retain the natural glycerin that is produced. Commercial soap making uses a continuous process and generally uses animal fats, synthetic ingredients and fragrances. Glycerin, a valuable commodity, is usually extracted from commercial soap and sold or used for other purposes. Look for cold pressed soaps made in small batches that use natural vegetable oils and beneficial ingredients.
Why do the products that are 100% natural or nearly natural seem to cost more? Because synthetic compounds tend to cost less and, therefore, are more affordable to use in mass-produced body care products and for cost cutting.
What does "masking agent" mean? When you smell a product that is unscented, and it has no smell at all, sometimes it is because the aromas from the ingredients used to make the product have been "masked". In other words, other fragrances or ingredients have been added to cover up the natural smell of the ingredient/s in the product.
What does a "single note" essential oil mean? This is essential oil obtained from a specific botanical species. Single note essential oils can be blended with other single note essential oils to create a fragrant or synergistic blend. Essential oil of Lavender can be obtained from the genus Lavandula, species L. officinalis, L. latifoila or L. stoechas as an example of several kinds of lavender plants that provide an essential oil. Each genus and species produce slightly different scents and intensities which can further be affected by origin, climate conditions and method of extraction. Not all essential oils can be derived from so many species, however lavender is an example of a botanical that can and therefore makes a good study for this subject.
What is a fragrance or synergistic blend? Combining more than one single note essential oil together to form a new scent, or in the case of a synergistic blend, when the combined oils enhance the aromatherapeutic experience.
What do the terms top/head, middle/heart and bottom/base notes mean? Essential oils
are volatile. Therefore, when exposed to air an aroma profile begins to develop and
change. There are three main characteristics used to describe these stages of volatility:
Top/head notes dissipate the fastest and are the shortest lingering. They are the first to reach our sense of smell and emit a light fresh fruity scent that is sometimes biting. Examples are eucalyptus, grapefruit, lemon, lemongrass and mint.
Middle/heart notes are the soft, flowery scents. They are balancing and energizing, and are the heart of the perfume or fragrance. Examples are clary sage, Roman chamomile, lavender, myrtle, rose and ylang ylang.
Bottom/base notes linger and do not evaporate quickly. Usually prepared from herbs or trees and often used as fixatives to prolong a scent's presence. Examples are cedarwood, cinnamon, frankincense, patchouli, pine, rosewood and vanilla.
Some oils, in and of themselves, have constituents that will fall into more than one stage. When blending your own essential oils try to balance these various stages for a well-rounded and longer lasting blend.
What are the main categories that essential oils fall into? There are mainly nine categories that are used to describe essential oils, which include citrus; floral; fruit; grasses and hays; herbs; menthols; mosses, resins and roots; spices; and woods and barks.
Do all body care products or colognes use pure essential oils for aroma? No, most large scale products use fragrance oils which are derived from synthetics or constituents isolated from a botanical. Many high end colognes can contain a combination of pure essentials and synthetics. It is often hard to know exactly what chemical or compound has been used to create a scent as the term "fragrance" or "parfume" for example is an accepted term for labeling purposes. When products contain pure essential oils they are generally labeled as "essential oil" or "essential oils of...." Product prices depend on the compounds or essential oils used to make a fragrance which can impact cost. Botanicals are a commodity and are affected by things like scarcity, method of extraction or manufacture and the degree of difficulty to extract or isolate an aroma.