Essential Oil Blends – Frequently Asked Questions - Wholesale Supplies Plus

Essential Oil Blends – Frequently Asked Questions

This article answers commonly asked questions regarding EO Blends, what they are and how they are used.

EO Blends – General Questions

What is an essential oil?
Essential oils are the naturally occurring oils derived from plants. They can be obtained by steam distillation or cold pressing (expression), and have the characteristic aroma of the portion of the plant from which they were derived. These 100% pure oils are "neat", meaning they have not been processed, diluted or manipulated in any way with solvents or other additives. Because they are naturally occurring, the particular species of plant harvested and distilled for its essential oil during one time frame in one region may produce a fragrance that differs from the same species grown in a different region, or in the same region at a different time. Also, because essential oils are pure, undiluted naturals, people can experience allergies to essential oils when they are sensitive to the plants from which they are derived.

What are Pure Essential Oil Blends?
These are blends of pure essential oils. Nothing has been added to the oils except pure essential oils. Typically every essential oil is listed in the ingredient list.

What are Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blends?
These are pure essential oils and additional natural aromatic ingredients. Additionally, there may be additional ingredients that are incorporated for the purpose of increasing the flashpoint. Typically, all of the ingredients are not listed as they are considered proprietary trade secrets.

Can I use Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend the same as essential oils?
In general they will perform as any other essential oil and/or natural ingredient.

How do I list Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend on my ingredient list?
The exact ingredients of the Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blends are proprietary trade secrets. Since they are used to aromatically fragrance a product, the appropriate INCI listing for ingredients is: fragrance oil.

What does proprietary mean?
The word proprietary indicates that a party has private ownership, control or use over an item of property.

What does trade secret mean?
A trade secret is information that is not generally known to the public and holds economic benefit to the owner.

Are Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend natural or synthetic?
They are natural.

How do I find out the exact ingredients in my Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend?
Essential Oil (EO) Natural Blends are considered proprietary trademarks and protected by federal law. The exact ingredients are only known to the owner of the formulation.

What does flashpoint mean and why it is important?
The flash point of a flammable liquid is the lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mixture in air. It is important in air transportation due to air compression. At this temperature the vapor may cease to burn when the source of ignition is removed. 

Any fragrance or essential oil with a flashpoint 141º F or less can only fly if a hazmat certificate is filed. Any fragrance or essential oil with a flashpoint under 100º F must have a hazmat certificate filed for ground. USPS has further restrictions pertaining to the quantity of oil that can go in one box. Do you remember years ago when a plane exploded in air over the Florida Everglades? I believe they found that it was due to items in the cargo area that were undocumented with a low flashpoint. After that the FAA really cracked down. 

Flashpoint does not necessarily correlate with aromatic volatility. For example, there are many fragrances that have a lower flashpoint and perform wonderfully in bases with higher temperatures. This is because (assuming they are immediately and quickly incorporated into the base) the aromatics are trapped and they cannot molecularly move through the base. 

There are some oils with a low flashpoint that have a weakened scent when added to hot bases. This is more related to the aromatic volatility than flashpoint. For example, Frankincense has a flashpoint of 95º F and is thought to be very strong in products such as cp soap while orange oil has a flashpoint around 115º F and it weakens fairly quickly and significantly. 

EO Blends – Business Questions

Why are your Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend bottles not filled to the top?
Our bottles are actually slightly larger and are designed to allow for air space. Each bottle is filled and sold by volume. It is considered filled by volume when the liquid reaches the shoulder before the bottle neck.

I have purchased one of the Crafter’s Choice “Comparable” or “Type” EO Natural Blends. Can I call my product by the same name?
The law is fairly clear in that you cannot create a product for the purpose of creating confusing in the market. You can have your own product and can legally compare to another product on the market. 

We recommend you brand your product a different name and then “compare it to” the item you wish to compare. 

If you are selling “comparable” products, you will want to contact an attorney in your area to ensure you are following your state and federal laws.

How do I find out if a name is already trademarked for use in soap, lotions or candles?
Go to the US Patent and Trademark website and chose “trademarks”. From there you can perform a basic search. 

The US Patent and Trademark website is

EO Blends – Safety & IFRA Questions

Are Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blends safe?
EO Natural Blends are very safe as long as they are used as recommended by IFRA.

What is IFRA and why are they so important?
IFRA stands for the International Fragrance Association. They are an independent international association with the main purpose of ensuring the safety of fragrance materials. This includes essential oils, fragrance oils and the components of fragrance oils. This is a very important agency because fragrances are considered “proprietary” formulas and it is only through strict self regulation that the public can be assured that proprietary fragrance formulas are safe for consumer as well as the environment.

What are IFRA Maximum Use Levels and why should I follow them?
All IFRA Standards are based on the latest scientific findings and are implemented following the recommendations of an independent Expert Panel, who have assessed all available data. They are part of the IFRA Code of Practice that makes up the self-regulating system of the industry. All IFRA affiliated companies must comply with IFRA Standards. IFRA affiliated companies represent approximately 90% of the global fragrance compound market. However, as the Standards are available freely to all producers via the IFRA website non-members may access and abide by these Standards. 

Wholesale Supplies Plus publishes directly on their website the “Maximum Use Level for Skin Contact” for each fragrance and essential oil. It is important that you follow the maximum use levels for skin contact because these levels have been set based on scientific data for the protection of the public and environment.

The IFRA Maximum Use Levels for my best selling essential oil natural blend just changed. What do I do now?
Each year IFRA makes recommendations based on the previous year’s research. They publish their findings and their recommendations to the public on their website. As more and more information becomes available, it is likely that you will see minor changes. Once a recommendation is published, a company has two years to comply with the change. This gives you time to use your inventory or alter your formula. It gives Wholesale Supplies Plus time to reformulate fragrance formulas so that we can keep the use levels in an ideal range.

Are the IFRA Standards recognized by any national or regional authorities?
Yes. The European Cosmetics Directive incorporates a number of IFRA Standards in Annex II & III, the Brazilian policy makers have adopted the IFRA Standards into Law. ABIFRA, the Brazilian Fragrance Association is currently proposing to the MERCOSUL group of countries – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela - the official adoption of IFRA Standards for fragrance ingredients across the region. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Cosmetic Directive (ACD) which took effect on January 1, 2008 explicitly refers to the IFRA Standards as far as fragrances in cosmetic products are concerned. Chinese authorities are also looking to include the IFRA Standards into their regulations at the end of 2009.

I sell my products in the USA. Do I need to follow IFRA recommendations?
We highly recommend that you do follow them. This will benefit you and your customers. Following standards and guidelines shows that you are serious about producing a safe product.

I am using an essential oil natural blend that has a maximum use level of 100% in lotions. I am confused as to how much fragrance to add.
I understand this can be confusing. The Maximum Use Level is simply a guideline for the amount of fragrance that can come in contact with the skin. It is not a amount of essential oil natural blend that correlates with ideal product performance. 

For example, some lotion formulas become thin with 2% fragrance while others thicken nicely at 6%. Basically, use what is safe for skin contact and smells good to you. Then test to make sure it performs as you desire.

How do I dispose of a essential oil natural blend that I no longer want?
You will need to contact your local waste disposal management company. Some may say for small quantities, flush it down the toilet. Some may say to bring it directly to a landfill. It is important to tell them that your oil is non toxic and not hazardous. They may want to know the flashpoint.

Why do Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blends contain “Best Used Dates” and “Batch Labels”?
Best Used Dates: This is the date in which the aromatic character of the scent should not change. It has been set based on safety and performance standards. It is recommended you closely follow this date and not use any scent longer than the date on the bottle. 

Batch Labels: As with any ingredient, it is important that you keep record of batch labels used in production. In the event of a product recall, this is your way of tracking products your customers purchased.

EO Blends – Application Questions

How do I decide how much Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend to use in a formula?
  1. Check the recommended amount in the application it is being used.
  2. Check the recommended amount for maximum skin use.
  3. Check the maximum amount that can be used for the packaging you are using.
  4. The lowest of numbers 1 - 3 will be the maximum amount of fragrance you can use.
Let's look at an example for producing a container candle with IGI 4633 Wax and Crafter’s Choice Bergamot Grapefruit Natural EO Blend:
  1. Fragrance in 4633 Wax (Application): 1-8%
  2. Fragrance Bergamot Grapefruit Natural EO Blend Recommended Max for Skin: 100%
  3. Fragrance in Glass Jar Packaging: 100%
  4. Maximum Fragrance for Formula: 8% (lowest of 1-3)
Let's look at another example for producing lotion using the Crafter’s Choice Goats Milk Lotion Base and Crafter’s Choice Eucalyptus Spearmint Natural EO Blend:
  1. Fragrance in Goats Milk Lotion (Application): 5%
  2. Fragrance Angel Food Cake Recommended Max for Skin Contact: 1.8%
  3. Fragrance in PET Plastic Bottle: 5%
  4. Maximum Fragrance for Formula: 1.8% (lowest of 1-3)
My EO Natural Blend thinned my lotion. Is there anything I can do to thicken it?
Some essential oil natural blends will thin lotions. If this happens you can add 0.25-1% of melted stearic acid to your formula. This will thicken the lotion nicely.

My EO Natural Blend thinned my shower gel. Is there anything I can do to thicken it?
Try adding less scent in another batch. You also try adding 5-10% Crafter’s Choice Bubble Wash Concentrate. Make sure you test each scent because some scents actually thicken shower gels into a paste.

My EO Natural Blend clouded my glitter gel base. Why did this happen?
Most scents will cloud body glitter gel. This is because body glitter gel is mostly water and polymer. This combination plus the addition of oil causes the gel to cloud.

I am making cold process soap, when do I add the EO Natural Blend?
Most soap makers add fragrance at trace.

How do I know if a Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend will cause my cold process soap to seize?
The vast majority of our essential oil natural blends will not cause cp soap to seize. As with any new scent, make your soap and take it to trace. Remove a small amount of soap from the main batch and test the fragrance.

Is there anything I can do to the scent to prevent cp soap seize?
Try heating the oil to 110º F before adding it to soap batch. Avoid using a stick blender with new and/or temperamental oils.

I am making lotions, when do I add the Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend?
When making lotions, add the scent to the oil portion of your formula. You may also add it after the emulsification of oils with water.

I am making shower gel, when do I add the Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend?
When making shower gel, add the scent just before adding color and pouring into bottles.

I am making candles, when do I add the Crafter’s Choice Essential Oil Natural Blend?
When making candles, add the scent just prior to pouring the wax. Note that adding the EO Natural Blend will lower your wax temperatures. You may need to reheat the base to the recommended pour temperature.

My base is 150º F and my EO Natural Blend has a flashpoint of 135º F. Can I use a EO Natural Blend that has a lower flashpoint than my base?
You can use EO Natural Blends with lower flashpoints. Upon blending, you may find that some of the top notes dissipate into the air. This is okay because the scent has been formulated to take this into account.

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