Perfuming Soap: Negative

I had originally hoped that the 2 drops of glycerin in my lather-scenting scheme would capture aromatics from EdT and counteract the destructive effects of its alcohols on lather. Earlier this year, I had heard of an outfit offering scents separately from their soap, and their drops were said to contain the lather-enriching glycerin.

In a further, nighttime experiment, I found it took three sprays (as much as I would wear on my person) to scent a small bowl of Williams lather. Even then, it wasn't strong, and the original citronella clearly shone through. Worse, results suggested that the additives had an unacceptable drying effect, as when I washed with the soap, the top layers of my skin looked dead. Previously untreated areas of the forehead were dry, and the my "razor burn" gained new life.

Williams is supposed to be a very good soap for washing, you will recall. Of course, I would have to repeat my experiments with just glycerin and Williams, without perfume, to determine how much of my irritation was directly attributable to the combination of glycerin with shaving soap. Alternatives might include mineral oil and propylene glycol. I will say that, with high-glycerin (incorporated in the puck) soaps, irritation hits relatively quickly, sometimes as soon as applied.

Trial #3

My third trial stuck with the glycerin, but adapted the "curing" method I had previously used for Witch Hazel, U.S.P. Two drops glycerin were smeared around the flat center of the bowl, and three sprays EdT applied to the slick. This rendered something with the viscosity of oil, so it seemed possible, at least, that I had reverse-engineered "fragrance oil," which is what soapmakers actually use in cologne scented soap, if not more natural "essential oils." I left this syrup to cure in the medicine cabinet, where it would hopefully off-gas the undesirable, presumably lower-molecular weight carrier-irritants.

Another thought then occurred to me: maybe the glycerin was so absorbent that the scent wouldn't be able to escape, even in soap solution. For having been sprayed three times, the little spot of syrup didn't smell very strongly. But hope was restored when I recalled I had clearly smelled fragrance in the previous experiments, when lathering was initiated.

I was not controlling for particular fragrance, cycling through the various "colors," and happening to use "black" in this case. I assume all shared the same carrier. (Preferred Scents, from Big Lots.)


By morning, the mixture seemed to have reverted to glycerin alone, two small blobs with little scent. Lather smelled primarily of citronella, with just an undertone of "black" whatever. CCS, at least, with a new, all-WTG pattern emerging, with just a couple ATG spots added. (Basically, small X's or asterisks on pass 1, big V's on pass 2.)

1 comment:


    Okay... just read again the post from "Why I Wet Shave," and the company with the unscented soap just had the scents in a separate shaving oil.

    Glycerin's in there, toward the end of the ingredients (just before fragrance) but probably just to balance the lather weakening effect of oil. Definitely going to try oil, then.