#1
(This post was last modified: 11-27-2018, 08:24 PM by davida.)
If someone understands shaving soap bases and their relationship to scent, I'd love to understand this element of soap making better. I've been wondering if there's an inverse relationship between the number of exotic tallows used in a soap and the ability of the soap maker to create beautiful scents. Or maybe its just the type of tallows used. For example, I've tried DG's ICARUS base and A&E's most recent base. Both excellent and "elite" performers. However, I find that both of these soap bases have a sort of "gamey" scent which, in my opinion, negatively affects the overall scent. I don't experience this phenomenon with tallow only soap bases or any of the vegan bases. Does anyone have a thought on the matter?
#2

Merchant
St. Louis, MO
(This post was last modified: 11-27-2018, 12:58 AM by dominicr.)
I have some very strong opinions on this subject! I don't have direct experience with some of those exotic bases you refer to, but how can any ingredient with it's own strong odor not have an effect on the overall scent of the product?
I'd have to say, as a person that makes soap and takes money for said soap, we have to maintain safety levels of the various essential oils and fragrance oils we use. While I don't know for sure, I can only speculate based on what a lot of you users say about some of these soaps, I suspect some of those levels may exceed safety limits.
So, in a nutshell, the scent added may be incapable of overcoming the base ingredient odor and there isn't any way around that if the maker deems that particular ingredient important to maintain in the base at percentage X.

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Shave Sharp, Look Sharp
#3
(This post was last modified: 11-27-2018, 11:18 PM by davida.)
Thanks for commenting. My apology, that was an ignorant question. I suppose I was wondering if there's a process that neutralizes or significantly reduces the scent of base fats--some makers using the process and others not. Its sounds like there's no such process. My example was mainly to state that some soap bases seem neutral and others not, especially the one's that contain multiple animal fats and/or milks.
#4
Let the soap air out for several days with the lid off.
A common greeting was 'Well, Gillette, how's the razor?' If I had been technically trained, I would have quit.

King C. Gillette
#5

Merchant
St. Louis, MO
(11-27-2018, 09:26 PM)davida Wrote: Thanks for commenting. My apology, that was an ignorant question. I suppose I was wondering if there's a process that neutralizes or significantly reduces the scent of base fats--some makers using the process and others not. Its sounds like there's no such process. My example was mainly to state that some soap bases seem neutral and others not, especially the one's that contain multiple animal fats and/or milks.

No apologies needed. It is a legitimate question. I guess you, as a user will need to decide if you feel the off putting base odors are outweighed by the performance you like. I'm very confident though, that there are top tier soaps that don't have those underlying odors. Big Grin Winking

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Shave Sharp, Look Sharp
#6
(This post was last modified: 12-01-2018, 08:05 PM by davida.)
Thanks so much. I have several wonderful shaving soaps from different artisans and none have gamey undertones. Unfortunately, I got caught up in pursuit of the latest "super-soap." One lesson that I learned from this period of delirium is that I can't sacrifice scent for performance. Another other lesson is that I like good performing soaps with basic natural ingredients that smell great. A nice post shave is a bonus too but its not that important to me because I use witch hazel or a nice moisturizer. A third lesson is that I could practice accepting and enjoying what I have because it's all more than worthy. Again, thank you! Smile Cool

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#7

Merchant
Maryland
Some animal fats will have a stronger smell if they are heated to too high a temperature, either when rendering the fat or melting it to make soap.  And some people just have very acute senses of smell and their noses detect a "meat" smell when other people don't.  When I render my own tallow, I "wash" it several times by bringing to a slow boil, chilling it and scraping any impurities from the bottom of the block of tallow.  It's time consuming but it results in a neutral smelling fat.  

Unrefined shea butter is slightly smokey or nutty, unrefined cocoa butter smells chocolate-y; the refined versions have less smell but it shouldn't make  much difference in the finished product. I personally prefer the unrefined versions.

Matsilainen, wyze0ne, shevek and 3 others like this post
#8
As mentioned, letting the soap air out a bit should help with any unwanted base ingredient scent. However, certain ingredients used in high concentration could add to this problem, these may be soaps you would want to avoid if the problem persists. Far too many choices to use a soap you don't enjoy.
#9

Member
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 12-11-2018, 07:46 PM by DanLaw.)
Just as info: some of us have such damaged and sensitive skin that even a thorough post shave routine of astringents, cleansers and balms yield what would be considered a bad shave by average standards. For us, post shave effects may be the most important criteria notwithstanding minimizing harm during the actual shave. Not flaming, simply suggesting such a grooup exists
Just an old slow fat man
#10
(This post was last modified: 12-11-2018, 09:25 PM by SCShaver.)
(12-11-2018, 07:32 AM)Mystic Water Wrote: Some animal fats will have a stronger smell if they are heated to too high a temperature, either when rendering the fat or melting it to make soap.  And some people just have very acute senses of smell and their noses detect a "meat" smell when other people don't.  When I render my own tallow, I "wash" it several times by bringing to a slow boil, chilling it and scraping any impurities from the bottom of the block of tallow.  It's time consuming but it results in a neutral smelling fat.  

Unrefined shea butter is slightly smokey or nutty, unrefined cocoa butter smells chocolate-y; the refined versions have less smell but it shouldn't make  much difference in the finished product. I personally prefer the unrefined versions.

I've owned several Mystic Waters soaps and I've never smelled fatty animal from them and you've explained how you overcome this and I'm grateful because again, I have never smelled tallow or animal when using one of your shave soaps.

I do have a question however. Could it also be the tallow source that some vendors use?  Some artisan soapmakers have bases where I smell fatty wet animal sometimes though.  I'm not running anyone down, just noting that I have a nose sensitive to this smell.  For instance, Reef Point, Mikes Natural, and some Stirling soaps, I smell wet animal and no matter how much airing out I do with them I can't get passed it.  I just smell that smell more dominant than the actual scent the soap is supposed to have and I end up getting rid of it because once that smell comes on strong during a shave, I loathe the entire shave with it.


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