How Are Colors and Scents Added to Natural Soaps?

Natural soaps have gained tremendous popularity in recent years due to their gentle ingredients and eco-friendly production processes. With a focus on using natural ingredients, soap makers often strive to create soaps that not only cleanse but also soothe and rejuvenate the skin. Adding colors and scents to these soaps enhances the overall sensory experience, transforming daily bathing into a luxurious ritual. In this blog post, we will explore the methods and techniques used to add colors and scents to natural soaps.

Adding Colors to Natural Soaps:

1. Natural Colorants:

When it comes to natural soap colorants, the options are vast and varied. Soap makers often opt for plant-based materials such as botanical extracts, herbs, spices, and clay to impart color to their soaps. For instance, adding spirulina powder can create a beautiful green hue, while turmeric brings a warm yellow-orange shade. This approach not only ensures the use of safe ingredients but also provides additional benefits to the skin, as many natural colorants contain antioxidants and other nourishing properties.

2. Pigments:

Although natural colorants offer a wide range of options, sometimes soap makers may prefer more vibrant and consistent colors that are difficult to achieve with botanical materials alone. In such cases, mineral pigments can be used as additives. These pigments are typically derived from naturally occurring minerals and are available in powder form. Mica, iron oxides, and ultramarines are some examples of mineral pigments used in soap making. It is important to note that while mineral pigments are derived from natural sources, their extraction and processing may involve some level of refinement.

3. Color Stabilization:

Certain colorants may fade or change over time due to exposure to light, heat, or other environmental factors. To prevent color fading, soap makers can add color stabilizers or antioxidants to their soap formulations. Vitamin E oil, rosemary extract, or natural preservatives like rosemary oleoresin can help mitigate color changes and prolong the vibrancy of the soap.

Adding Scents to Natural Soaps:

1. Essential Oils:

One of the most popular options for scenting natural soaps is the use of essential oils. Derived from various parts of plants, essential oils offer a wide range of fragrances, each with its unique therapeutic properties. Lavender, peppermint, lemon, and eucalyptus are just a few examples of essential oils commonly used in soap making. These oils not only provide natural and long-lasting scents but also offer additional benefits like relaxation or invigoration, depending on the chosen fragrance.

2. Fragrance Oils:

While essential oils are derived from plant-based materials, fragrance oils are synthetic compounds created in laboratories. Fragrance oils offer a vast array of scents that may not be naturally occurring, allowing soap makers to create unique and distinctive fragrances. However, it’s important to note that some fragrance oils may contain synthetic chemicals that could potentially cause skin sensitivity or other reactions, so it is crucial to source high-quality fragrance oils from reputable suppliers.

3. Blending and Curing:

To incorporate scents into soap, essential oils or fragrance oils are added during the soap-making process. These oils are typically mixed with the melted oils and fats before adding the lye solution. The soap mixture is then carefully blended to ensure even distribution of the scent. After pouring the soap into molds, it undergoes a curing process, where it sits for several weeks to allow the scent to fully develop and stabilize within the soap.


The addition of colors and scents to natural soaps enhances the aesthetic appeal and sensory experience for users. Whether using natural colorants or mineral pigments, the goal is to create visually captivating soaps while keeping the ingredients safe and beneficial for the skin. Similarly, scents can be added using essential oils or fragrance oils, allowing soap makers to create unique and therapeutic experiences. So the next time you indulge in a luxurious natural soap, take a moment to appreciate the thought and expertise put into incorporating colors and scents that make your bath a delightful and refreshing experience.

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Soaps & Scents has been making beautiful handmade soaps for over 20 years. We have bar and liquid soaps in a variety of fragrances and even some fun soaps such as our Ducky or Cupcake soaps. We make everything by hand in small quantities, and all of our products are free of animal products. We also use the highest percentage of essential oil and fragrance oil that you can use, so the products will maintain their wonderful scent even years later. In addition to our soaps, we also offer bath bombs, body lotions, room sprays, and more! If you haven’t had a chance to try our wonderful soaps and products, you’re in for a treat. Visit us online or stop by today for your first Soaps & Scents bar. We are available on Saturdays by appointment!