Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bye Bye Pomace

While testing some new fragrance oils for gracefruit.com today, I confirmed an old suspicion – olive pomace is a tricky soap-making oil.

I don’t usually use pomace, as I prefer refined olive oil for my soaps. My reasons for using refined are almost purely aesthetic -- it makes a whiter soap. When I first switched to refined olive, I was making only hot process soap (where thick trace doesn’t matter), and while I noticed the longer tracing time with the refined, it didn’t occur to me that pomace could be a culprit when it came to seized soap.

Today I CP tested nine different fragrance oils twice – once in a batch made with pomace and again in a batch made with refined olive. The pomace batch traced to a medium custard consistency in less than 2 minutes. The refined olive took closer to seven minutes to trace. And in every case the fragrance oil I was testing seized or riced in the pomace soap batter. The refined olive soap behaved much better and none of the fragrances showed anything beyond light acceleration – and two of these fragrances were floral.

When soaping tricky floral or spice fragrance oils, it might be a good idea to have an olive oil other than pomace to hand. Aside from a more attractive soap, you’ll have an easier time with swirls and other decorative effects.

13.02.08 -- Edited for clarity. :)


Raindrops said...

mmm now that is interesting. Never noticed this myself but I don't do many FOs and I always do other things to avoid problems as much as possible.

gracefruit said...

When testing fragrance oils to sale, I try to invite problems to see if a fragrance is going to cause problems.

I test with low temps, high temps, and different soap recipes. This was the first time I'd ever compared the two types of olive side by side, though.