Top Ten Essential Oils for Cold Process Soap 

Not too long ago, I began to realize that there are some essential oils that are crucial to me for Cold Process Soap Making. Even though I occasionally use oils that are not on this list, without these oils I would be hard pressed to make amazing soap at an affordable price.

The reasons that I use/choose these oils time and time again are:

  • The scent carries through very well.
  • They are reasonably priced.
  • Many of them blend well with each other to create a wide variety of scents.

Top 10 Essential Oil List

There are hundreds of essential oils available on the market, most of which can be used in soap.

Here's my Top 10 Essential Oil List:

  1. Lavender (.7 oz)
  2. 5-Fold Sweet Orange (.5 oz)
  3. Petitgrain ( .5 oz)
  4. Lemon (.9 oz)
  5. Litsea Cubeba (.5 oz)
  6. Spearmint (.5 oz)
  7. Lime (.9 oz)
  8. Peppermint (.5 oz)
  9. Rosemary (.5 oz)
  10. Anise (use .5 oz)

The amount listed by the name is the recommended amount per pound of oil/fat in your soap batch. We'll talk about how to calculate the amount to use in a moment.


One of the great things about this set of essential oils, is that they can be combined together to create literally hundreds of possiblities! My favorite combinations with these ten Essential Oils are:

  • Lemon & Litsea Cubeba
  • Lavender & Litsea Cubeba
  • Lavender & Any Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Lime, etc.)
  • Lavender & Any Mint
  • Lavender & Rosemary
  • Rosemary & Lemon
  • Rosemary & Spearmint
  • Lime & Spearmint (aka "Mojito")
  • Anise & Lavender
  • Anise & Sweet Orange
  • Petitgrain & Sweet Orange
  • Peppermint & Lemon
  • Peppermint & Spearmint (aka "Doublemint")

Calculating the Amount to Use

If you are using only one essential oil, the recommended amount to use per pound of oil/fat is listed in the Top 10 list.

If you are blending the essential oils, take the number of pounds of oil/fat in your recipe and divide by the number of essential oils being used. Use the result and multiply it by the recommended amount for each essential oil.

Remember - these are guidelines for CP Soap and only a place to start. After making your first batch, you can adjust the amounts until you find exactly the scent you are looking for.


(Originally published in Soap Guild Journal of March, 2010)

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