Posted by Symphony Scents on 10/1/2016 to Fragrance oils
A: The official shelf life from most manufacturers is 1 year for EOs, 2 years for FOs. But they can last much longer if stored in amber glass bottles, in cool and dark conditions. We recommend removing any scent from the 64 oz plastic bottles if storing for more than a couple of months, or right away in the case of EOs. If you find an old bottle that you don't know the age of, if it smells fine and looks fine, chances are it is fine. The only thing I would be careful about was using that oil for products that need maximum shelf life themselves -- then, you might want to make sure all your ingredients are new.
Q: When should I add scents and/or colorants to my cold process soap batch?
A: We generally add them to our base oils, before even mixing with the lye water. This is not only simple but gets these ingredients maximum stir time with your stick blender, which is very important. You don't want the outer corners of your batch coming out with hardly any scent or with faded color. The only reason not to do it this way, is for trickier FOs that speed up trace. For example, our Rose Petals FO can accelerate trace to the point where it might be difficult to get your other ingredients mixed in well before you have pour, quick! So in this case, wait to add the Rose Petals until soap is nearing trace.
Q: How can I lighten up soap that would otherwise turn dark due to an FO such as vanilla?
A: Adding titanium dioxide (white oxide) to the batch won't work. Non-discoloring vanilla FOs smell awful in our opinion, which is why we don't carry one. There are supposed stabilizers out there but we're not sure what these are made of or if they really work either. You can cut your vanilla soap into chunks or peel it into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Then throw those pieces into a larger batch of unscented soap. Then you get a mostly white soap with dark chunks (or ribbons, or swirls) in it. Use extra scent in the vanilla batch to come out with the right level of scent at the end.