Another element to making soaps and lotions is adding a fragrance. Whether that is an essential oil or a fragrance oil, that choice is up to you.
A fragrance Essential oil is a plant extract. Therefore a Natural chemical that is extracted from
the leaves, flowers, stems, roots or bark of plants. It takes a large amount of (such as lavender) plant matter to produce a very small amount of essential oil. This is the reason for the high cost of these essential oils.
Fragrance oils, on the other hand, are a blended synthetic compound. Chemists analyze the plants components and reproduce their chemical composition. Basically they take some natural essential oils and dilute it with a carrier like propylene, vegetable oil, or a mineral oil.
Fragrance oils are a more affordable alternative. And because you don't use a whole lot in a batch of soap or lotion it can be quite safe for the skin. But....read the labels to make sure .....not all are skin safe!
Also, keep on mind that some people have allergies to different fragrances, whether an essential oil or a fragrance oil. If you are one of those who are sensitive to many kinds of fragrances, test it out on a small batch of soap or lotion before you make a large quantity. I personally know people that react to lavender essential oil.
With all of that said, let's look at lavender essential oil.
Lavender is actually in the mint family. It's oil is used largely with herbs and aromatherapy, but is not limited to these areas.
Lavender essential oil is absolutely wonderful in soaps. You can use it alone or you can blend other scents with.
If you choose the blend other scents with it keep in mind that Lavender is a Top note scent. If you are going to blend it with another scent find a Middle note scent to go with it, such as a citrus. A top note fragrance is the first scent to reach your nose, therefore lavender will be the first scent you will smell. A middle note fragrance will provide the over all scent with a solid center.
Some lavender from my own backyard, harvested this year.
Have a great and safe weekend!