If you have ever asked yourself and been unsure how to answer the question “How much fragrance do I add to this cosmetic or candle making recipe?”, then this is the perfect craft blog for you! We at Natures Garden would like to help you learn about essential oil and fragrance oil usage rates. So, you can know exactly how to scent your own homemade candles and cosmetic recipes. Not only will we provide a bit more insight on both our recommendations and IFRA’s, but we will help you figure out how to calculate the amount of scent you need for your homemade craft recipes. So, let’s get started!
How Much Fragrance Oil Do I Add?: What is the Usage Rate Used for?
Simply, the usage rate for a scent tells you how much of a scent you can add to your homemade candle and soap recipes. The usage rate is given in the form of a percent, which tells you the percent of this aroma that can be used in your candle, soap, and cosmetic recipes. So, you would take the overall weight of your craft recipe and multiply it by the percent to determine the amount of scent that you can include.
How Much Fragrance Do I Add: NG Recommended Usage Rates
For each fragrance oil we at Natures Garden have an NG Recommended Fragrance Usage chart. On the page of each fragrance oil, you can find a chart that provides you with the maximum amount of fragrance that we would suggest for various products. Once on the page for your scent, just scroll down and you will find the chart in the description. Each fragrance oil will have its own chart.
How Much Fragrance Do I Add: IFRA Usage Rates
What Is IFRA?
If you have never heard of IFRA before, they are a globally recognized organization that manages the safe use of scented oils. These guidelines are based on assessments from the Research Institute For Fragrance Material (RIFM). So, they will determine the amount of a specific scented oil that can be added to a certain product. So, the limits given by IFRA on the certificates are the absolute maximum that you can use in a product and should not be surpassed. Of course, you don’t have to add their maximum amount on every occasion. You can add less than this amount. This is the maximum scent limit that you should never go over.
Where Do You Find the IFRA Certificate?
You can find the IFRA data sheet for each one of our scented oils. Each Natures Garden fragrance oil page has a link to its individual IFRA Certificate. If you aren’t sure where to find this information sheet, then take a look at the picture to the left. The link that you are looking for is on the right side of the page beneath the “Add To Cart” button. If you click on the blue colored link that says ” Fragrance Oil IFRA Certificate”, then you will be shown the IFRA Certificate of Compliance with all the maximum usage rates for various products with that particular fragrance oil. This data sheet will pop up in front of the current page to either be reviewed or printed out. Note: On our mobile site, you can find this information at the end of the description, right above the videos section.
The IFRA sheet is broken down into eleven different categories. Each of these categories are based on different types of products. So, you will first need to know the product that you intend to make. The products are separated into categories because they are used different ways either in room scents or on the body. Each category is listed with the maximum level of fragrance that can be added. However, if you below that list, then you will find a description for each of the categories that were listed above. You can use these category descriptions to find where product that you want to make would fit in. Once you have determined which category that you scented product falls into, scroll back up to find the usage rate for that category. This will be the maximum amount of this scent that you can add to your handcrafted recipes.
Example of Reading an IFRA Certificate
For instance, let’s say you wanted to create a face mask recipe with the Angelica Fragrance Oil. You would scroll down and look for this product in the descriptions. A facial recipe would fall under category 5, which you know this because it is in the description for this category. Then, you would need to go back and look at the amount for category 5. For this scented oil, the most that you can add to this cosmetic recipe is 6%. While you can add less than this amount, you can’t add any more than the 6% to your facial recipe.
Is There An IFRA Sheet For Essential Oils?
There sure is! For each individual essential oil you can find an IFRA Certificate in the same area of the description that you would find in the fragrance oil description.
How Much Fragrance Do I Add: Why Is the Natures Garden Usage Rate Different From IFRA?
If you already know about the IFRA sheets, then you may have notices that the Natures Garden recommendation may occasionally be different. This is because there are two things to consider when adding fragrance oil to your homemade soap and candle recipes. First, the IFRA sheet will provide you with a maximum amount of fragrance that you can comfortably add to you various craft recipes. This amount is the most scent that you are allowed to use in a recipe before it is too much. If there is more that this amount of fragrance, it could potentially irritate the skin.
Second, we at Natures Garden have a maximum amount of fragrance that we include in products to maintain integrity of the recipe. While you may be able to add more scent to your homemade craft recipes, it is possible to add to much fragrance. If you add too much fragrance oil to your recipe, then it may leak out of the product or cause other possible issues. So, we have a set maximum that we use for various products.
How Much Fragrance Do I Add: Adding More or Less Than 5% Fragrance Oil
So, can you add more than our recommend scent amounts without ruining your products? Technically, yes when the IFRA allows it. But, you will need to experiment to ensure that your products maintain their integrity. Remember that just because you can do something doesn’t mean that its a great idea. We find that adding more than 5% of fragrance oil, when IFRA allow for it is just too much fragrance oil in soap. So, we will never suggest that you use more than 5% of the fragrance in our homemade soap recipes. On the other hand, there are some fragrance oils that have lower usage rates. Below, we will talk about both scenarios.
While we at Natures Garden never recommend that you use above 5%, but you will sometimes find that the IFRA will permit you to use more. For some, this difference can make it confusing as to what amount to use in their products. So, let’s look at a scent where the IFRA allows more than our suggested amount. According to the data sheet, you can technically add up to 15.2% of the Alpine Snowdrift Fragrance Oil to a homemade soap recipe. However, they do not take into consideration the quality of the product. Their recommendation simply means that you have the ability to add scent up to that amount without irritating the skin.
Another difference between our recommendation and the data sheet is when IFRA has no restriction for adding the scent to bath and body products. For example, the IFRA sheet says there is no restriction on the amount of McIntosh Apple Fragrance Oil that you can add to you products. However, it wouldn’t make sense to add 100% or 99% fragrance oil to your soap recipe. Think about it for a second. If you went to that extreme, you wouldn’t have a bar of soap.
Although our maximum usage rate for making soap is 5%, not all fragrances can be added at this high of an amount. If you check the IFRA sheet for this scented oil, you would find that category 9, which includes soap, and the carrot cake scent can only include up to 1%. While your homemade soap has the potential to carry more fragrance oil, you shouldn’t add any more than the 1% amount. This scent can only be included up to 1% according to the IFRA’s standards and anymore could irritate the skin. So, we provide a recommendation that is in compliance with IFRA at 1% usage rate for the carrot cake scent.
How Much Fragrance Do I Add: Need More Help With Percents?
If you aren’t necessarily math inclined, then you may benefit from practicing a bit more with percents. The Percentages in Real Life article from GCF Global will walk you through a few different situations that involved using percents. These real world situations use the same method as calculating the usage rate, so this practice will definitely help with craft making. Plus, you can use this knowledge to better navigate sales tax, markdowns in retail, and calculating a tip at a restaurant. So, you will definitely want to check this page out if you need the practice!
We hope that you have learned something new about how to add scented oils to your candle and soap recipes! If you have any more questions then feel free to reach out to us to ask your questions. You can talk to us on the phone, in the Natures Garden store, and online. An easy way to reach us online is through our social media. First, we are available on the Natures Garden Facebook page. Also, you can use the handle @ngscents to find us on both Instagram and Twitter. Not only can you use these social media platforms to ask us any questions that you may have, but you can share your own scented craft recipes, too! So, we hope that we hear from you sometime very soon!