Changing a Scent – Naturally

Recently, I created a personalized whipped body butter. My customer loves how it works but asked if 'something could be done about the scent'. There was no added scent to the original version, which consists of, among other things, lanolin and organic cocoa butter.

Both of these ingredients can seem a tad heavy to the nose, and the effect is increased when they are combined.

The whipped butter has a deep, rich, chocolatey-spicy, almost musk-like scent. Now, that may sound great if you're making a product that is applied sparingly, but if you're slathering it all over your body, it can quickly become overpowering.

I promised my customer to 'make a few adjustments' and got to work.

To Mask or to Multitask

It is possible to mask a scent with a synthetic or 'nature-identical' perfume, but that's not really what LisaLise products are all about.

I work with essential oils.

You might argue that essential oils are used to make perfumes. And you would, of course, be absolutely right. But essential oils can do so much more than smell pretty. Because of their chemical make-up, they also function as actives. Essential oils are multi-tasking ingredients.

Take rose for example. Where a synthetic rose perfume is nothing more than a pretty smell, the essential oil encourages cell regeneration, offers calming, soothing properties to the skin,  and is even attributed as being mood lifting.

The fact that 100% pure organic rosa damascena essential oil smells so divine it puts every attempted synthetic duplication to embarrassment and shame is an added bonus that makes it even more enjoyable to work with 'the real thing'.

Ok, I admit it, I'm a total snob when it comes to scent.

Going With The Flow

Trying to mask the scent of any raw material with essential oils has never given me a satisfactory result. Trust me when I say it's not for lack of trying. There are numerous pages in my formula notebooks marked with 'unappealing smell', or 'smell too heavy' or, 'never mix these again - stinks bigtime!'

It took me ages to discover the key to working with natural ingredients. It's incredibly simple, but also incredibly difficult. The key to working with natural ingredients is to work with natural ingredients.

It is far more productive to incorporate the natural scent of a raw material as part of the end product – gently 'bending' it in the desired direction – than to try and cover it up with a stronger smell.

This means choosing essential oils that will not only bring the desired properties to the mix, but also transform the scent of product.

I won't lie. It's challenging. And it's hardest when you're starting out and just getting familiar with all of your ingredients.

But it gets easier.

After a bit of practice, you get a feel for each ingredient and find that you are more often than not reaching for precisely the right essential oils for the job.

Back to the Butter

Since this particular product is for very sensitive skin, my choices as to what to adjust the scent with were somewhat limited. Luckily, I have already made a few products for this customer and knew I had a few options. A combination of tea tree and lavender oils did the trick.

I hope.

After all, it's not my nose that needs to be happy, but his.

A tester size has been sent for approval. And while awaiting the reply, I added a 'new improved' type sticker that reads 'now with Tea Tree' to the label – just for fun.