(Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What is a Pre-Buy?

    A Pre-Buy allows you to create a purchase for an item that is currently not available on the site but reserves that item for you by paying in advance at 10% discounted rate. Fragrance oils must meet an average of 20 pounds reserved on Pre-Buy before the order is placed. In the unlikely event that any item(s) have not met the minimum by the end date, paid orders will be given the option of extending the Pre-Buy or receiving a refund. Once the Pre-Buy is closed the fragrance oil will be moved into the store and Pre-Buy discounts will no longer be available.





    DISCLAIMER: Any item is subject to cancellation at any time and refunds issued - at the sole discretion of Fragrance Laboratory.

  • What is a Group-Buy?

    A Group Buy is using group buying power to reserve the best price on an item by buying in bulk. Group Buys are usually done quickly (two weeks) with payment of goods paid for prior to the item(s) purchase. There is no profit for any individual or business in the initial purchase other than the savings passed along to all buyers. All participants pay at the same group discount rate. Amounts of purchase are on first come first serve basis and limits are set as to the individual specifications of the manufacturers.


    There are always two invoices for payment rendered to all participants. The first will be for the materials alone. The second invoice will be for any, equally shared, shipping cost for all materials sent to the host (Fragrance Laboratory), handling fees, bottles, necessary packaging materials, and finally shipping to the participant’s individual addresses. Participants are encouraged to purchase as much as they want using the group buying power as once a group buy is complete regular retail pricing will follow an in stock purchases made on Fragrance Laboratory site. Payment for the Group Buys can be in check, money order, or PayPal gift, however no items will be shipped until all payments have cleared.


    DISCLAIMER: Any item is subject to cancellation at any time and refunds issued - at the sole discretion of Fragrance Laboratory.

  • What are Aroma Chemicals?

    Aroma chemicals are the ingredients of fragrance. Some aroma chemicals are naturally isolated from botanical materials and some are purely lab created, synthetic materials. Aroma chemicals do not smell, in most cases, like any particular scent. Rather they are the parts and pieces of a scent. Some smell very good, some smell very bad, and some you can hardly smell at all; at least with the human nose. Individual aroma chemicals are chosen for their attributes and properties and blended together to create a fragrance. Depending on the end product, soap vs. fine perfume, different grades and materials will be used.


    Some aroma chemicals are liquid, some are solid or semi-solid, and some are powders and crystals. Some will require solvents and dilution prior to use. But with testing and experimenting all aroma chemicals can be used to make beautiful and unique fragrance concentrates. Fragrance Laboratory provides information on all our aroma chems including, CAS numbers, use limitations and blending suggestions. We are always here to answer questions about all our products including suggestions for further research in aroma chemistry.


    Each aroma chemical is identified by a CAS number. CAS numbers are unique numerical identifiers assigned by the Chemical Abstract Services to every chemical substance described in scientific literature, including organic and inorganic compounds, minerals, isotopes, alloys and non-structurable materials. CAS Registry Numbers are simple and regular, convenient for database searches. They offer a reliable, common and international link to every specific substance across the various nomenclatures and disciplines used by branches of science, industry, & regulatory bodies.


    Some aroma chemicals MUST be used within their percentage guidelines. Some aroma chemicals can cause allergies and are restricted. Amounts allowable for use are regulated by IFRA and RIFM further information about this can be found in the links below. Aroma chemicals used outside of IFRA guideline percentages can cause adverse reactions if the guideline percentages are not adhered to.


    Click here and here for important info from IFRA


    INCI: fragrance


    Please note: Some aroma chemicals are known to be sensitizers and use limitations are listed by IFRA. We suggest that if you are using any aroma compound that has sensitization issues to include that name your product label.

  • What are Essential Oils?

    Essential oils are obtained through a distillation process of extraction or steam distillation of the various parts of a plant; essential oils may be obtained from the roots, resins, flowers, leaves, seeds, twigs, and bark of a plant. A pure essential oil will be obtained from a single species and not be 'adulterated' with other botanical species or aroma compounds or chemicals.


    Essential oils are complex phytochemicals (phyto means “plant” in Greek) made up of volatile aromatic compounds. The chemistry of an essential oil is complex and, depending from which plant it was extracted or distilled from, the properties or constituents of an essential oil can vary. They are fat soluble, however, they do not include fatty lipids or acids found in vegetable and animal oils.


    Essential oils are very concentrated and can immediately be absorbed by the skin. Never apply any essential oil directly (neat) to the skin. Essential oils are for external use only and should never be ingested. Use of essential oils that are food grade can be used in lip care products and will carry the identifying acronym of FCC (Food Chemical Codex) which signify a compendium of internationally recognized standards for the purity and identity of food ingredients.


    Fragrance Laboratory works hard to provide our clients with a complete description and accurate information on all our essential oil products. We source our oils as "close to the still" as possible while keeping your fragrance budget a top priority. All fragrance oils and essential oils are bottled in lined aluminum bottles, unless amber glass is preferred (at an additional cost).

  • What are Fragrance Oils?

    Fragrance oils are concentrated blends of aroma materials that can include natural essential oils, isolated compounds, and synthetic aroma chemicals that are used to scent a variety of different materials. They are not intended for direct skin contact and should be diluted or incorporated into cosmetic or other body products. Fragrance oils come in a wide variety of scents with many mimicking naturally occurring plants and food items. They should never be used in any food or ingested product including lip preparations.


    Use rates vary by individual scents, Fragrance Laboratory provides a guideline for use ratios in each fragrance description. All fragrance oils perform differently in certain types of products, complete descriptions including performance is listed on our website. All fragrance oils sold by Fragrance Laboratory of the highest quality, thoroughly tested, and are skin safe for all cosmetic and soap applications, candle performance and testing is also listed in the fragrance description.


    Fragrance Laboratory offers a variety of sizes for all manufacturers and home crafters, 8oz, 16oz, and five pound bulk. All fragrance oils and essential oils are bottled in lined aluminum bottles, unless amber glass is preferred (at an additional cost). Lined aluminum lowers shipping cost and has an added benefit to insure an unbreakable, re-sealable and leak-proof container.


    All our fragrance oils are Phthalate free unless specifically noted. Phthalates are materials that are derived from the organic chemical phthalic acid. Diethyl phthalate (DEP) is the most common Phthalate found in fragrance products. We recognize the issues of Phthalates and why you may not want to use them.


    For more information on phthalates:

    FDA statement on Phthalates and Cosmetic Products



    Can’t decide? Too many to choose from? Balancing your fragrance budget? Just add one of our sniffy vial packs to your order and get started on sniffing your way into the Fragrance Laboratory.


    INCI: fragrance

  • What is a Flash Point?

    Flash Point


    Fragrance Laboratory is often asked why a flash point is so important and why we list it on our fragrance description pages. Knowing the flash point on a material helps you, the user, to determine many things; use amounts in candle making, shipping requirements, and storage being the main concerns.

    Putting direct flame to a fragrance oil requires a specific skill learned and practiced by chandlers. One of the first things they look for is flash point, some flash points are just too low to use in direct flame candle making products.

    Because there is far more to shipping than putting something into a box, we need to make sure that all our products are shipped in the safest method possible. To this end the federal government has provided a list of guidelines for shipping fragrance oils and these regulations are all based on flash points. Fragrance Laboratory is all about “Safety First” so we comply fully with all shipping regulations, it is for the safety and wellbeing of everyone who comes in contact with your box. All fragrance products are securely wrapped and sealed then padded and labeled for shipment in new boxes to arrive safely at your home.

    Once the items arrive at your home you will need to store them in the safest way possible to provide for maximum shelf life. How you store your items can have a direct relationship to their performance. Fragrance oils should never be stored in a warm or bright location. They should be stored in a cool, dry, constant temperature location – away from children, animals, and curious hands. Flash points on fragrance is one key to knowing when something should be kept cool. The lower the flash point the more necessary to protect the product.

    For more information on storage and protection of fragrance products please see our notes in FAQ.


    What is a Flash Point?


    Temperature at and above which a liquid gives off enough flammable vapor to form a mixture with air that can be ignited by contact with a hot surface, spark, or flame.


    The lower the flash point, greater the fire hazard.


    Common test methods of determining flash point include Pensky-Marten Closed Tester (ASTM D93-79), Setaflash Closed Tester (ASTM D3278-78), and Tag Closed Tester (ASTM D56-79). Since each test method may yield a different reading, the test method employed is usually indicated when a liquid's flash point is given in a material safety data sheet (MSDS) or in technical documents.

    Flash point should not be confused with auto-ignition point temperature at which combustion occurs spontaneously, without an external source of ignition.


    Read more


    US Postal Services provides an easy to understand list of shipping rules and packaging requirements, please visit them at USPS


    ASTM International - Standard Test Methods for Flash Point by Pensky-Martens Closed Cup Tester

  • What's A Fragrance Oil or Essential Oil Sniffy?

    Fragrance Laboratory Sniffy Fragrance vials are an economical way to smell a fragrance before purchasing a larger quantity allowing you to save money and sniff and choose a fragrance before you purchase a large amount. Each small glass perfume vial holds 1/8th of a teaspoon of fragrance oil or essential oil and is clearly marked with the complete name of the fragrance of your choosing. Building a fragrance library of all fragrance samples will allow you to refer back to a scent that you may look for in the future.


    But if you would like to find a use for all those little sniffy bottles of fragrance… may we suggest…


    A roller perfume bottle filled with jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil can make a personalized perfumed body oil to dab on pulse points.


     A small 4 ounce Melt & Pour bar of soap is just the right size for our sample testers.


    Bath Bombs are an excellent choice for make and mix individual treats.


    If your skin is dry and needs some exfoliation adding a sniffy sample to an 8 ounce jar of bath salts or sugar scrub or a body wash is just the ticket so chase away the last flakes of winter and make your skin summer ready.


    Need to make up a quick bottle of lotion to take to the summer BBQ, add a sniffy sample to an 8 ounce bottle and enjoy the day ahead.


    Household chores giving you the blues… dampen a cotton ball and place in your vacuum cleaner bag and scent the house while enjoying the scent of the day.


    Small wax tarts are all the rage today. Our Sniffy samples are just enough to make a small wax tart for your wax melter.


    If you have suggestions for use of our sniffy samples that we don’t already have listed, let us know and we’ll make sure to include an extra free sniffy with your next Fragrance Laboratory purchase.

  • Fragrance Usage Guides and Suggestions

    Customers ask us frequently about fragrance usage levels in cold process soaps. Each fragrance we sell is formulated to hold up well in Cold Process soap and has undergone a great deal of and results are posted on our website under the tab headed Performance. Fragrances sold by Fragrance Laboratory can be used for many other crafting purposes including melt & pour soap, lotion, scrubs, body parfaits, potpourri, incense, body and room sprays and candle waxes. Our testing processes focus on Cold Process soap making, because this is the most technical process for fragrance oils.  Our performance guidelines also provides information on acceleration, water discounts, and discoloration so you can best design and formulate your specific sold process soap formula.


    General Usage Guidelines for Fragrance Oils


    Cold Process Soap: Suggested rates range of .5 oz to .8 oz per pound of soap (3 - 5%). Remember to always weigh your ingredients, do not use kitchen volume measurements (cups and teaspoons are not accurate measurements). Each fragrance may vary slightly as to this upper and lower range due to personal preferences of intensity. Fragrance Laboratory highly recommends that you keep records of your formula and to include fragrance use amounts. Fragrance oils are an additive, they are not calculated in your SAP values for determining the required amount of lye to use with your 'base or carrier oils'; coconut, olive, palm, etc.


    Hot Process & Re-batch Soap: Because most of the saponification has already occurred during this process fragrance amounts can usually be reduced. Fragrance Laboratory suggests a range of .2 - .3 ounce (1 - 2%) per each pound of soap.


    Melt & Pour Bases: These soaps are already complete and only need a gentle reheating to add in colorants and fragrance. We suggest a range of .2 - .3 ounce per pound of soap base. Use less with strong fragrance, you can always add a few drops more if it is not strong enough.


    Lotions, Body Parfaits & Body Wash bases: Most pre-made bases offered today can handle up to 1 to 1.25 (1% per gallon) ounce per gallon of pre-made base. We suggest you check with your supplier as to specific fragrance use ratios or restrictions. Testing the fragrance in a small amount of base first before adding to the entire gallon, as some fragrances thin bases, others cause thickening, and some can disrupt any coloring you may have planned in your final product.


    Candles: Most waxes (soy, paraffin, parasoy) can usually accept 6% fragrance per pound of wax, or the equivalent of 1 ounce per pound of wax. Some specialty waxes can accept up to 9% or 1.5 ounce per pound of wax but make sure to follow recommended allowances as set by the manufacturer. Testing for changes to burn pool, wick smoking, and any fragrance 'weeping' before selling candles that are maximum loaded with fragrance is always advised.


    Bath and toiletries items such as Bath Salts, Bath Bombs, Bubble Bars, etc.: As a general rule of measure calculate your fragrance to around .5 percent of the total formulation but no more than 1% per pound of product.


    Discoloration: Fragrance Laboratory realizes that this can be a serious problem when using colorants or planning intricate designs or imbeds in cold process soap. All fragrance oils are tested for discoloration and results are published on the fragrance oil page as well as in our performance documentation page. We encourage you to read about the specifics for each fragrance oil prior to using it in your personal formulation. Keep in mind that different carrier oils can also alter the color of final products and also react to fragrance discoloration results. Some fragrances will discolor due to the ingredients used in manufacture of the fragrance. Most any fragrance that contains a “sweet” note or a vanilla note will discolor in any product. This mean that the warm vanilla and the pink sugar will both cause discoloration but so may a winter berry or a aldehyde marine note.


    Water Discount in Cold Process Soap Making: Some advance soap making processes use a water discount to provide a faster cure rate on the final soap. Many floral, especially white floral, and spice fragrances can cause acceleration due to high temperatures or super-heating, pushing your trace time in the soap pot. Fragrance oils and some essential oils have an effect on the temperatures making planning a necessary part of your formulations. If a fragrance is subject to heating or “fast trace” we do not recommend using any water discount. Keeping your soap oil temps low or room temperature and using cool water will also help slow down the super heat process.

  • Using Alcohol in Perfume Formulations

    Using Alcohol in Perfume Formulations

    Vodka • Everclear • Denatured Alcohols

    Where to find the answers


    When this subject first came about I almost did not respond because I knew that it would lead into this discussion. Anytime the federal, state, county, and city get involved in a subject it always gets very confusing. What I have provided below is all federal regulations, there may very well be additional regulations depending on where you live so you will need to do your research to make sure you are in compliance with all local laws.


    I've added a few links to the Fragrance Laboratory Reference Library under ATF - These are complicated rules but they are the basis for the regulations regarding denatured alcohol formulas in products.


    There is a difference between grain alcohols, shoot there are so many different types of alcohols it would make your head spin. This is the point I have been trying to make here. One of you asked the ATF if grain alcohol was ok to use in products and they said yes. I don't know who you talked to but they should have asked you a bunch more questions, especially the supplier of the grain alcohol. Ethyl alcohol is grain alcohol but there are different additives put into the alcohol for different intended uses. This is where the confusion reigns.


    Again... Everclear has no additional chemical put into the grain alcohol making it safe for drinking. You pay tax on this when you buy it; the sale is meant to be as you as the end user, in other words you will consume this alcohol. If you decide to put this Everclear into a product and then offer it for resale the luxury tax will have to be paid again. Since there is a possibility that the product could be distilled and consumed you would have to have a liquor resale permit and you would have to collect taxes for liquor. You would not be able to sell to minors, you would have to comply with all local and state regulations as to location (not near schools, etc.) Thus it is not legal to use in products because there is a chance it could be consumed again.


    Ethyl alcohol that you purchase as a perfumer's alcohol or one used for commercial purposes have specific processes that they must adhere to within the personal care industries. Here in California I purchase from a company called REMET they supply all BATF alcohol formulations. They have isopropyl and reagent formulas, natural and synthetic alcohol and they have ethyl alcohol that is considered Kosher as well.


    Remet - Alcohol Products



    If you folks are really interested in learning about the different types and uses for alcohol you can call or email them for more advice. They have offices and warehouses located throughout the world and many around the USA.


    Trying to get information from the ATF without a direct contact that specializes in ethyl alcohol for cosmetic uses will be very difficult. As I have said I have spent countless hours trying to get a straight answer on all of this. Sometimes it is better to go to the source (supplier) and ask them about using their products and the legalities involved.


    Everclear is bottled by the David Sherman Corporation aka Luxco


    David Sherman Corp


    5050 Kemper Ave

    St Louis, MO 63139

    (314) 772-2626


    Here is the link to the Everclear page:



    They do not have much information about this product but you can see that they do make a 150 and a 190 proof. Keep in mind that the “PROOF” is about half of the alcohol content, so 150 Proof will be 75% alcohol and the rest water. While 190 Proof is 98% alcohol and the rest water. Most vodka’s will come in around 80 Proof so the alcohol content is only 40% alcohol.



    Here is a link to the BATF for formulas of specially denatured alcohol authorized for use in cosmetic products or processes.


    BATF - Formulas




    This is the link to the electronic code of regulations; Title 27: ATF, Part 21 - Formulas for denatured alcohol and rum. Subpart C actually gives the formulas for specific product use and unless you are really willing to make your own formula that complies with these regulations you will need to purchase alcohol that is already in compliance.


    Electronic Code of Regulations - BATF



    Ok, so if you folks go there are really read this stuff through I think you will begin to understand why this subject is so complicated that even an ATF agent will have a hard time answering your general questions.


    As I have said you should go to the supplier, they have to keep up with the regulations. If you buy from a regulated supplier and something goes wrong then they take the heat not you. But if you use Everclear and something goes wrong then you will take the heat for not complying with the federal regulations and for not having a liquor license too.


    One more thing, if you are making perfume or body sprays for your own use I don't see a problem using Everclear. Since there are two different proofs (150 & 190), depending on your state laws, you might not be able to make the 150 proof work in all compositions. Always try and use the highest proof available in your alcoholic perfumes.


    Most of our aroma materials will require a high content of alcohol to dissolve completely in order to produce a clear perfume. This will be especially true for resinous materials and often solvent extracted materials like absolutes. Even with the highest percentage of alcohol you may still need to do a cold filtration to remove materials that are insolvent and clouding your perfume concentrate.


    ~Jo Lasky




  • Proper Storage and Handling of Fragrance Materials

  • Common Soapmaking Acronyms

    Acronyms Commonly Used In Soapmaking:


    ACV - Apple Cider Vinegar

    CM - Cows Milk

    CP - Cold Process

    CPHP - Crock Pot Hot Process

    CPOP - Cold Process Oven Procedure

    CPITMHP - Cold Process in the Mold Hot Process

    CSHP - Closed System Hot Process - (See HP but with a lid)

    DBHP - Double Boiler Hot Process

    DOS - Dreaded Orange Spots

    EO - Essential Oil

    E-Wax - Emulsifying Wax

    FO - Fragrance Oil

    GM - Goats Milk

    HP - Hot Process

    INCI - International Nomenclature (naming convention) of Cosmetic Ingredients

    KoH - potassium hydroxide (lye used for liquid soap)

    LS - Liquid Soap

    MP (or M&P) - Melt and Pour

    MWHP - Microwave Hot Process

    NaOH - sodium hydroxide (lye used for bar soap)

    O/W - Oils to Water

    PPO - Per Pound of Oils

    SB - Stick Blender (aka - immersion blender)

    TD - Titanium Dioxide

    UM - Ultramarine

    W/O - Water to Oils


    Acronyms commonly used on lists, groups, and pages:

    OT - Off Topic

    DD - Dear Daughter

    DS - Dear Son

    DH - Darling Husband

    MIL - Mother in law

    FIL - Father in law

    SIL - Sister in law

    BIL - Brother in law

    TTYL - Talk to you later

    HTH - Hope this helps

    <G> - Grin

    <BG> - Big Grin

    <VBG> - Very Big Grin

    LOL - Laughing out loud

    ROFLMBO - Rolling on the floor laughing my butt off (sometimes used with an "A" rather than a "B" - lol)

    LMBO - Laughing my butt off (also sometimes used with an "A")