All posts by Andee

I'm a twenty something soap snob. I've grown up with hand made soaps and I love them! I really like making melt and pour soaps because they are so easy. My favorite scent is either Velocity or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 5

How did you do yesterday? I hope you came up with a blend that you like! I have a few blends that I’m kicking around in my head that were inspired by the photo yesterday. I’m going to challenge you again today. The only difference between yesterday and today is that I’m going to give you two photos for inspiration!

Cucumber mojito cocktail inspiration picture.
Cucumber mojito cocktail inspiration picture.
The first photo is of a Cucumber Mojito. This beverage isn’t just a mojito, but a mojito with a refreshing twist of cucumber. So let’s back up a little, what is a mojito? According to Dictionary.com, a mojito is “a cocktail consisting of rum, sugar, lime, mint, and soda water.” Our goal is find all these components in your fragrance stash and start blending! The lime and the mint are easy, but what about the sugar, rum and soda water? Look for bubbly or sweet scents like Champagne Sugar, Freckles or Warm Vanilla Sugar. Take the odor of alcohol out of the equation and work with the other components. You will find the blend will magically meld!

A mixed floral arrangement inspiration picture.
A mixed floral arrangement inspiration picture.
The second photo is of a mixed floral arrangement. What flowers do you see and smell? Let’s play around and start using our imaginations. Maybe this arrangement is the centerpiece at a fancy restaurant or used as decoration for a special occasion like a wedding, reunion or celebration. Once you have come up with how the arrangement and the venue smell, write down the descriptor words and then compare to your master list. Like yesterday, look for fragrances that jump out at you. You know your collection better than anyone else does!

I’ve had fun talking about fragrance blending with you and I hope I’ve encouraged you to try something new. Have some ideas and want to talk about them? Comment on this blog post and I’ll be more than happy to help!

If you want to see more blogs about fragrance blending, let me know! I’d love to play!

Andee

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Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 4

Today I am going to challenge you. I’ve walked you through three blends using inspiration from photos and memories and we have had some great fun! We’ve seen how blending can easily be done with two to four fragrances and I promise you don’t have to add to your bulging collection of fragrances. (Unless you really want to and then I can give you many suggestions!)

Candy inspiration. Photo credit to Steven Depolo, https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5941709828/
Candy inspiration. Photo credit to Steven Depolo, https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5941709828/
Now I’m turning you loose with some photo inspiration. We are coming up on Halloween, which just happens to be my favorite time of year, so I found this wonderful picture* that makes me think … CANDY!! Now I know that this photo may make your teeth ache just thinking about it or possibly have you concerned for my relationship with my dentist (I can guarantee that we get along well and I love visiting for my regular checkups because they go so smoothly with a “Come back in 6 months!”.)

All dental talk aside, this picture is meant to be inspiration for creating a blend that smells like candy to you. Let’s start brain storming! What does a candy stash smell like to you? If you are looking at your computer screen with an expression on your face that resembles confusion, think of it this way. Imagine a drawer filled with your favorite candies. Open the drawer, what does the air smell like to you? Write down everything that you “smell”. I’ll give you some descriptor words to help.

  • Chocolaty?
  • Fruity?
  • Toffee?
  • Spicy?
  • Minty?
  • Caramel?
  • Nutty?
  • Citrus-like?
  • Sugary?
  • Vanilla?

Have your words written down? Now this is where the fun begins! (Well, at least I hope you are having fun now.) Take your list of words and let’s compare them to your master list of fragrances. The names of your fragrances may not have these words in them, but you know what is in your stash and what has scents that are reminiscent of one or two words on your list. Pull all of the fragrances that jump out at you and then start mixing.

When I first begin blending, I place one drop per fragrance of two to four fragrances on my Sachet Card. I will wave the card under my nose to check if the blend has potential. If it does, then I will begin adjusting the amount of each fragrance used. I always start a new card for blend after a few minutes so all the scents are the same “age” and will age together. You don’t want to find a blend never smells like what you thought it would only to find that your card had the top notes dissipate before you finished blending.

Have you come up with some ideas? Let’s talk about them and come up with some blend ideas. Just comment on this blog with your blend ideas and get a chance to win some goodies from my private stash.

Andee

*This picture was taken by Steven Depolo and is available under the Creative Commons License.

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Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 3

Wow! Do you feel like your brain is over loaded yet? Suzanne asked yesterday about using fragrance blends in soap. Do the parts come through or do they need to be changed?

overwhelmedIt depends on what your fragrance blend components are. If you are making a blend that has a lot of the delicate vanilla or citrus components, you may need to change the blend for different uses. There is a big international brand that we all may be familiar with that produces lotions, body butters, shower gels, scrubs, hand soaps, electric scent diffusers and even candles that all have the same scent. Yet, each one of these products may have a slight change in the fragrance formula so the fragrance works to the best of its ability in the intended product.

Let’s look at the blend again from yesterday.

  • 55% Amyris
  • 10% Thyme
  • 18% Natural Vanilla
  • 18% Pink Grapefruit

For soap, we may change the Natural Vanilla to a vanilla that will be a little stronger in soap like our Vanilla Cream Fragrance. We could leave the Natural Vanilla in the blend and try the soap. It might turn out wonderfully, just like Taylor’s Chai Latte Blend

Make a test batch of soap. Test if your blend is soap worthy or if it needs a little change to make it just right. Don’t worry or panic if your test batch didn’t work out. Just like all fragrances we use, sometimes we need to make some changes before we can sell the finished product.

Iceberg photo inspiration.
Iceberg photo inspiration.
Today I’m going to share one of my favorite blends that was inspired by a picture of an iceberg.

When I looked at the picture and let my imagination go, I could feel the cold nipping at my nose and the crisp scent of cold water. I wanted to portray the biting winds, the frosty iceberg and frigid water. I knew my starting point would be with Peppermint Essential Oil as the naturally occurring menthol would help give the blend a “cold” scent. I looked through the catalog to find a “water” fragrance that would balance out the blend. The first fragrance to immediately jump out at me was Icy Water Fragrance Oil. I decided to start with the two fragrances and make a blend. After I tested the blend, I would be able to tell where I would need to make changes.

Continue reading Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 3

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Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 2

SmellMemorySo what did you think of yesterday’s blend? I think it was a fun start to our blending week! Did you notice the inspiration came from two things, a photograph and written memory? We can find inspiration from photographs or memories. You may be asking, how can we find fragrance experiences and inspiration in our memories? It is much easier than you realize because you already have a vast collection of fragrance experiences!

Smell is very important to us and our memories are often linked to scents. Think about it for a minute! Can you recall a memory that flowers, grandma’s house, romantic events, holidays, childhood summers or something else that also has a scent tied to it? I can! I can remember visiting my great-grandma and the smell of her perfume as it mixed with the scent of mandarin oranges and Little Debbie brownies that we would snack on as we chatted.

Yet, these scents and our memories are not single faceted things. There are many dimensions to scent as no scent is flat and one-dimensional. You may be asking “There has to be something that is one-dimensional. Surely roses are one-dimensional.”

Nope! You can smell any number of roses or rose scents and definitively say “That smells like a rose.” But, can you describe the different notes? Does the rose have a stronger musk, vanilla or citrus note? Are you smelling a cut flower? If so, are you in the grocery store or at your office or at home? Are you smelling a rose that is still on the bush? If so, was the garden recently watered? Is someone mowing a lawn nearby? Everything around you influences and contributes to the scent you are smelling.

Summer Flowers
Summer Flowers

When you are blending, don’t eliminate any fragrances immediately. Especially if you are smelling straight from the bottle. I’ll show you why today!

The photo to the right is of Black Eyed Susan, Purple Coneflowers, and White Swan Coneflowers. When you look at this picture, what do you smell or imagine?

  • Sunshine?
  • Flowers?
  • Earth?
  • Greenery?

Take a minute and write down things that you smell. I’ll give you some time to think about it, but come back here because I have some cool things I want to show you!

(hums Jeopardy! theme song)

Continue reading Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 2

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Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 1

The world of fragrance blending often seems like a mystical world we can’t reach and we find ourselves too intimidated to even try entering. I’m going to bring you on a week-long adventure and I hope to inspire you to try something new. Step through the wardrobe with me and let’s go on adventure in a new world! (Just remember we have to pass the lamp post to be in Narnia.)

A perfume organ in Grasse. Photo credit to Taco Ekkel, https://www.flickr.com/photos/33118864@N00/2771616756
A perfume organ in Grasse. Photo credit to Taco Ekkel, https://www.flickr.com/photos/33118864@N00/2771616756

The picture to the right is of a perfume organ in Grasse*. What is a perfume organ? It is a place where a perfumer sits and blends scents together. An experienced perfumer can blend 16, 30 or even 60 scents together to make a fragrance or perfume. Knowing that little tidbit, a perfume organ looks very intimidating, right? Absolutely! So … How do we stop being intimidated by a perfume organ and fragrance blending? We start small and begin building our fragrance blending experiences.

*This picture was taken by Taco Ekkel and is available under the Creative Commons License.

When I begin fragrance blending, I do three things.

  1. I intentionally limit the number of scents that I work with. I will limit a blend to no more than 4 components.
  2. I often have a picture that is inspiration for me. I love using pictures that don’t have people and are of gardens, foods or landscapes.
  3. I use a note book to write down my ideas and blend experiments.
Pie photo inspiration.
Pie photo inspiration.

Today, let’s start with a fun and simple blend. My inspiration today is the holiday of Thanksgiving and specifically the day before when we make pies. The staples of my childhood are pumpkin, pecan and apple pies. When all of these pies are baked the day before, the comforting aroma of spices, fruit and sugar wafts through the house.

Continue reading Fragrance Blending and Perfumery 101, Day 1

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September 2015 Calendar

SeptemberBannerOk, seriously? Where has the year gone? September is mere days away! If you are on Pinterest much, you are probably seeing a spike in fall themed projects, meals and treats. Are you ready for the season of craft fairs and shows?

Don’t forget to plan your orders around the last of your summer play time! We’re fast at shipping your orders out and if your order is in by noon (Mountain Time) we will try to do our best to get your order out the same day.

On Monday, September 7th we will be closed for Labor Day. All orders placed after noon on Friday, September 7th will be processed on Tuesday, September 8th.

We’ve designed this monthly calendar that you can print for your desk or workspace. Print out a copy (or two) so you know what holidays are around the corner!

Click here to download your copy now!

Do you have anything fun planned for this month? Let us know! We would love to hear about your fun plans!

Andee

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2016 Calendar Contest FAQ

I know Taylor is in the middle of her Semi-Solid Shea Oil Recipe Focus week, but I would love to share some information with you about our 2016 Calendar Contest! Taylor will continue her Semi-Solid Shea Oil focus with a Body Lotion recipe tomorrow, a lip balm recipe on Friday and a Light After Shower Massage Oil on Saturday. (Thanks Taylor for letting me sneak in here!)

CalendarWe have gotten some wonderful submissions of products for our 2016 Calendar Contest and along the way, we’ve been asked questions about the contest. Here are the Frequently Asked Questions as well as a little bit of news about the 2016 Calendar Contest.

Q: Will I retain the copyright for my image(s)?
A: Yes! We ask that you grant us exclusive license for a calendar product. This means that you will not license these photographs for another calendar product, regardless of form displayed.

Q: What kind of photographs are you looking for?
A: Photographs of finished products, raw materials or processes! We are looking for crisp, clear images without distracting labels or watermarks.

Q: Will I have the opportunity to provide my contact information, website or e-mail with my photo?
A: Absolutely! You can provide any contact information you would like to give. It could be a website, company name, e-mail, phone number or even social media pages.

Q: Can I send you a picture of products that someone else has made?
A: No. You must be the owner of products in the photographs. Private label products may be considered on a case by case basis.

Now for the little bit of news! We have had so many wonderful submissions already that we have decided to print a weekly calendar (think weekly planner/organizer)! That means we have extended the number of fabulous makers in the 2016 calendar. Don’t miss this chance to share your EXTRAORDINARY products!

Andee

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Mosaics Soap Challenge

A mosaic sun.
A mosaic sun.
Attention all soap makers! It is time for another challenge and we want to see your soaps! The theme of this challenge is Mosaics. To get your imagination going, I am going to share several photos taken of a tile mosaic at the local university, Utah State University. We want to see how you would make these beautiful mosaics into soap.

A woman's face in mosaic.
A woman’s face in mosaic.
All participants must submit a photo of their soap and a description. The description must include a write up about the scent, and how the soap came about. Here is your chance to use some creative writing. Make us excited about your soap.

A pterodactyl mosaic.
A pterodactyl mosaic.
Your submission can be Cold Process, Hot Process or even Melt & Pour soap. You can submit your entry either via email (blog@thesage.com) or on Facebook. You must be an existing MMS customer to qualify. Submissions will be accepted until September 4th. The MMS staff will then vote on their favorite soaps based on appearance and accompanying description. Two winners will be selected. On September 8th, we will announce the winners and share their photos.

A spider mosaic.
A spider mosaic.
Winners will receive a $50 Gift Certificate, a 100 pack of Jumbo Heat & Seal Tea Bags and a 1 oz bottle of my favorite fragrance, Wicked! You won’t want to miss out. We will be doing a special project with the Heat & Seal Tea Bags after winners are announced. Happy creating and good luck!

Andee

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Throwback Thursday: Lemon and Basil Lip Balm

Summer is here and I’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sometimes I’ll toss a bit of fresh basil and a squirt of lemon juice in with the diced tomatoes. Yum! While I’m making you hungry, join me as I make another batch of Taylor’s fabulous Lemon & Basil Lip Balm! I’ve followed her recommendation to change the recipe ever so slightly, so if you want to try the original recipe, click here. If you get a sample of this yummy lip balm, I hope you enjoy!

Andee

The Finished Lip Balm
The Finished Lip Balm
The skies are a beautiful blue with fluffy white clouds and bright sun. I am loving it! It is also making me ready for fresh flavors. I am dreaming of strawberries, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. Yum. I think I am ready to visit the local farmer’s market!

In the spirit of the growing season, I wanted to make a lip balm that takes two very popular flavors and blends them together for a delightful treat. Lemon and Basil with a hint of sweetness. With such fantastic weather, what could be better? Come join me in the blog kitchen for a creamy lip with fresh new flavor.

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Cherry Seed Oil
Apricot Kernel Oil
Palm Kernel Oil
Beeswax
Mango Butter
Avocado Butter
Basil Essential Oil
Lemon Essential Oil, USA
Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe: (Makes 10.08 ounces or 285 grams)

Recipe in Grams
57 grams Castor Oil
28.5 grams Cherry Seed Oil
28.5 grams Apricot Kernel Oil
43 grams Palm Kernel Oil
57 grams Beeswax
57 grams Mango Butter
8.5 grams Avocado Butter
0.5 grams Basil Essential Oil
2 grams Lemon Essential Oil, USA
3 grams Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Recipe in Ounces
2.02 oz Castor Oil
1.01 oz Cherry Seed Oil
1.01 oz Apricot Kernel Oil
1.51 oz Palm Kernel Oil
2.02 oz Beeswax
2.02 oz Mango Butter
0.30 oz Avocado Butter
0.01 oz Basil Essential Oil
0.07 oz Lemon Essential Oil, USA
0.10 oz Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Recipe in Percentages
20% Castor Oil
10% Cherry Seed Oil
10% Apricot Kernel Oil
15% Palm Kernel Oil
20% Beeswax
20% Mango Butter
3% Avocado Butter
0.1% Basil Essential Oil
0.9% Lemon Essential Oil, USA
1% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Weigh everything except the flavor oils in a microwave safe container. Heat everything gently until it is crystal clear. Add the Lemon Essential Oil, Basil Essential Oil and Sugar Baby Flavor Oil. Stir well. Cool slightly. You don’t want to put a superheated lip balm into containers. Pour into containers and allow to cool completely. Label and enjoy!

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Note to self: This lip balm was a huge hit. It was smooth, creamy and slightly sweet. I am sending over 100 samples of this lip balm to the shipping department. Try one for yourself!
Taylor

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils
Melted Lip Balm
Melted Lip Balm

Putting warm lip balm into containers. Creating a little bubble will lessen the divot that occurs when the lip balm cools.
Putting warm lip balm into containers. Creating a little bubble will lessen the divot that occurs when the lip balm cools.
Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Adding Flavor Oils
Adding Flavor Oils

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New Promotional Samples with Orders!

Have you placed an order recently? If so, have you noticed the new Promotional Sample options when you choose your shipping option?

Samples offered for orders over $100.
Samples offered for orders over $100.
If you place an order with a product value over $100, you are given several options of products you can get for free! The current Promotional Samples for orders over $100 are:

Samples offered for orders over $200.
Samples offered for orders over $200.
The goodies are even better if your order has a product value over $200 dollars! (You still get the FREE Shipping* too) The current Promotional Samples for orders over $200 are:

Really cool stuff, huh?

Click on the pictures for close up examples of what you should see when your order qualifies for these awesome goodies! The Promotional Samples will change, so don’t always expect to see the same products available. Who knows, maybe you will find a new favorite product through the Promotional Samples!

What is one product you think everyone should not be able to live without? Tell us!

Andee

*Free shipping applies to customers within the 48 contiguous United States. If you are one of our remote friends in Canada, Alaska, Hawaii or the U.S. Territories, you will get a shipping discount!

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