Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Newsletter, Winter 2014

Symphony Scents Notes: Winter 2014
SymphonyScents.com / 518-632-4802

Hello again and thanks as always for your business and for your referrals!

VACATION NOTICE: We will be closed for vacation the week of February 8 through 16, 2014. Orders through our website are welcome during that period and shipments will resume on Monday, February 17.

PRODUCT NEWS: Essential oils: Prices generally seem to be stable or even falling a tad. We have heard about a possible bad crop for clove this year, but have yet to see it manifested in prices.

Fragrance oils: Red Apple FO and Heather FO are on clearance sale and available while supplies last.

Thai Silk Fragrance Oil Thai Silk Fragrance Oil
An exotic fragrance, unlike anything else we have. Smooth top notes of citrus blend with blossom scents in the middle and light grassy notes on the bottom. Has to be smelled to truly be appreciated! $27.95 for 16 fl oz.
Cedarwood (Texas White) Cedarwood (Texas White) Essential Oil
Pure Cedarwood Essential Oil, Juniperus Mexicana. Originates in Texas, USA. This is a pleasant wood scent, good on its own or in a blend with spice scents. The Texas version is a little more pungent than the Virginia. $29.95 for 16 fl oz.
Sisal Soap Pouch, $1.95 each
Acrylic Massager, $1.95 each
Soap Saver Pouches, pink or purple, $1.39 each

John & Lori

Monday, November 11, 2013

Newsletter, Fall 2013

Symphony Scents Notes: Fall 2013
SymphonyScents.com / 518-632-4802

Hello again and thanks as always for your business and for your referrals!

SOAPMAKING TIP: Watch out for these three common mistakes made by soapmakers, in no particular order:

1) Having too many soap scents or varieties. You probably don't need 97 different scents in your line. (Okay, Symphony Scents has 106 scents, but that's different...we're a supply company!) Too many product choices make inventory hard to manage. Customers enjoy variety to a point; after that, a bigger menu just leads to something I think of as "choice overload". Try to keep your regular line under 15 or 20 scent varieties. You can always offer limited or seasonal editions if you want to branch out.

2) Claiming the soap is 100% natural. Even if you only scent with essential oils, and color with spices or other natural substances (not oxides or micas or dyes), you still have to use lye which was created at a chemical company. If you use melt and pour soap, you didn't ever handle lye but your soap base was made with it.

3) Selling at prices that are too low. Handmade soap can be anywhere from basic to luxury, so of course there are different price points for different soap companies. But unless you are selling complete no-frills unscented uncolored lard-based soap cakes, the minimum retail should be approximately $1.00 to $1.25 per ounce. Remember, most soapmakers need to wholesale to sell a decent volume, and you typically have to cut 50% off your retail price for wholesale. You don't want to be working to produce lots of wholesale soap and handing it over at cost.

PRODUCT NEWS: Essential oils: Clary Sage EO is back in stock but at quite a high price point. We now also offer Bergamot EO. I hear through the grapevine that the clove crop is expected to be bad this year. That may raise the price of Clove EO and some spicy fragrance oils containing clove or eugenol.

Fragrance oils: Eggnog FO is on sale and we are hoping to continue offering this one, but will have to buy it in smaller quantities so the price may end up being higher than it was originally. Red Apple FO is not yet on sale but will likely have to be dropped because we cannot buy this one in smaller quantities.

Neroli Fragrance Oil Neroli Fragrance Oil
An affordable reproduction of soothing neroli oil, which is distilled from flowers of the bitter orange tree. $27.95 for 16 fl oz.
Hot Cinnamon Hot Cinnamon Fragrance Oil
Wow, a powerful and long-lasting punch of red hot cinnamon for your nose, without feeling red hot on your skin! $19.95 for 16 fl oz.
Chamomile Chamomile Fragrance Oil
This chamomile is gentle yet lasting in soap. Try blending with lemon or tea scent for a memory-stimulating combination. $27.95 for 16 fl oz.
Bergamot Bergamot Essential Oil
Bergamot BF (bergaptene-free) essential oil (Citrus bergamia) from Italy. $39 for 4 fl oz.
Bicycle Soap Mold, $6.50 each
Guest Five Butterflies Soap Mold, $6.50 each

John & Lori

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Newsletter, Fall 2012

Symphony Scents Notes: Fall 2012
SymphonyScents.com / 518-632-4802

Hello again and thanks as always for your business and for your referrals!

SOAPMAKING TIP: How to swirl colors in cold process or hot process soap

This method works best with a deep cavity mold -- say at least 2 inches deep. While your soap is mixed but still thin liquid, separate out a portion of it into another container and add your colorant. How much to portion out depends on how much color you want -- probably a quarter to third, possibly even half the batch. (You can swirl two colors together, but at least for your first try, only color the smaller portion of the soap.) You may wish to premix your pigment into liquid oil first, to avoid clumping that could occur if you just dump the powder into the soap.

Once your colorant is well mixed in and the soap is nearing trace, pour your larger (uncolored) portion of soap into your mold. Then pour the colored portion into the uncolored, pouring quickly so as to stir up the soap in the mold as much as possible without it splashing out. This pouring action should swirl the colored and uncolored soap together into nice patterns that will be seen once you cut the soap. It is important that the soap is not too close to trace or too viscous when poured, so that it is free to swirl around.

That's it! It may take some practice to get some good swirling effect. You can also swirl two colors together. It is best to use contrasting colors, and use oxides or ultramarines for the best stable, non-bleeding color possible.
PRODUCT NEWS: Essential oil and fragrance oil prices: Mostly stable prices with just a few minor ups and downs.

Frankincense & Myrrh FO reformulation: This fragrance is temporarily out of stock while we wait for a manufacturer's reformulation to arrive within a few days. The new version seems nearly identical and we have tested it with no problems found. The price will remain the same.

Pale Ale Fragrance Oil Pale Ale Fragrance Oil
Add fun to your line of soaps with this beer scent -- for summer, Oktoberfest, or any time of year. $23.95 for 16 fl oz.
Aloe Vera Liquid, $4.50/pint or $29.00/gallon
Also known as aloe vera juice and aloe vera extract, liquid aloe has the appearance and viscosity of spring water. This is 100% distilled aloe. It requires no refrigeration or special handling and contains no preservatives or additives.
Mango Butter (refined), $11.00/lb
White in color and odorless. Quite similar to refined shea butter in properties and benefits.
Guest Rose Soap Mold, $6.50 each
Potassium Hydroxide (pick up only), $5.95/lb
Red Crown Potassium Hydroxide (KOH), in flakes. Used to make liquid soap products. Only the 40 lb size can be shipped; smaller sizes are for pick up only.

John & Lori
256 Broadway, Fort Edward, NY 12828 USA

Monday, May 14, 2012

Newsletter, Spring 2012

Symphony Scents Notes: Spring 2012
SymphonyScents.com / 518-632-4802

Hello again and thanks as always for your business and for your referrals!

SOAPMAKING FAQ: Q: How long will FOs (fragrance oils) / EOs (essential oils) last before they go bad?
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.
PRODUCT NEWS: Essential oil and fragrance oil prices: Patchouli EO has come down to $59.95/lb (previously $89.95)! Otherwise mostly stable prices with just a few minor ups and downs.

NEW: Cosmetic Clays: These are in our colorant section, and we currently have two colors available: Burnt Orange and Blush. These are in powdered form similar to oxides, but can be simply mixed with water to make facial masks, or added to soap or liquid soap for mild, earthy color, silky lather, and certain skin benefits.

NEW: Organic & Sustainable Palm Oil This is an alternative to regular palm oil and is only slightly more expensive.
Blush Cosmetic Clay Blush Cosmetic Clay
Blush (AKA Rosa) Natural Color Clay originating from the Mediterranean coast of Spain. COLOR CLAY ROSA reduces irritation thanks to sodium and potassium content. It is specially recommended for anti-stress treatments. $3.50 for 1/4 cup
Burnt Orange Cosmetic Clay Burnt Orange Cosmetic Clay
Burnt Orange (AKA Cedrus) Natural Color Clay originating from the Mediterranean coast of Spain. COLOR CLAY CEDRUS helps oxygenation and metabolic functions of the skin thanks to the iron content. $3.50 for 1/4 cup
Handmade Cedar Soap Dish, $2.20 each or $1.95 each in pack of 20
Garden Seeds Soap Mold, $6.50 each
Guest Bee Soap Mold, $6.50 each
Goat Milk Picture Soap Mold, $6.50 each
Fleur de Lis Soap Stamp, $12.00 each
Loofah Facial Pad, $1.50 each
Purple Bath Pouf, $1.00 each

John & Lori

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Magnolia Fragrance Oil now available

We have finally found a magnolia scent that we like enough to carry!

A fabulous and easy-to-use fragrance oil. Causes no discoloration, little to no trace acceleration, and smells wonderful.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Basil Essential Oil now in stock!

After several requests, we are now carrying Basil Essential Oil.

Ociumum basilicum, originating from India.

This has a wonderful herbal note to it.
2 oz - $5.50
4 oz - $9.50
8 oz - $17.00
16 oz - $31.95

Blends well with clove bud, rosemary, lime, and clary sage!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Essential versus fragrance oils

Lori just posted an article on Suite 101 about the difference between essential and fragrance oils. Click here to read more!