Zero Waste Essentials: Scenting Unscented Products

Zero Waste Essentials: Scenting Unscented Products

If you're living that #zerowastelifestyle, you likely buy a few products in bulk that are unscented. Shampoo, lotion, shower gel, laundry detergent... unscented and bulk is great, but maybe you want a lovely scent to enjoy while you use your product!

At first, buying unscented might seem like a sacrifice. That is, until you realize the opportunity. By buying unscented products, you avoid any potentially harmful fragrances and can either keep things simple or add a natural scent using essential oils -- and that scent can be anything you like! The freedom!

Of course, you want to be cautious in adding safe oils in appropriate amounts. That's what we're here for! By visiting our Blending Bar (or making a note on your order), you can get just the number of necessary drops of essential oils added to your product, in any scent combo you wish, and pay for only those drops!

Alternatively, if you're playing along from home and you have an unscented product and some essential oils on hand, you can do this yourself! Here's what you need to know...

Choosing Your Scent

For shampoo and conditioner, we like the Water synergy. Water contains essential oils of cedarwood and ylang ylang, both of which are beneficial for dry or fragile hair, as well as a hint of spearmint which is always welcome in the shower. Other popular choices for hair products include peppermint, rosemary and our Walkin' on Sunshine synergy blend (a smile-inducing blend of juicy citrus and fragonia).

If you're scenting massage oil for personal use, we can't say enough good things about the Barry White synergy. This is a wonderful, sensual blend with notes of sandalwood, patchouli and jasmine. You might also like lavender; or a synergy blend of Zen Lotus or Sleep (Zzz...). If it's a baby massage oil you're making, look no further than Tranquil Touch, which is specifically formulated for infant massage, with mandarin, lavender, chamomile and petitgrain.

Tranquil Touch is also a great choice for a kids' bubble bath -- especially right before bed! If you're mixing up some foamy coco glucoside into a bubble bath for yourself and you're 12 years old or older, we recommend Zen Lotus synergy for the perfect relaxing bath experience. Zen Lotus is by far our most popular scent in the store, described as a "delicately balanced blend of citrus and floral organic essential oils." Other great scent options for bath foam include lemongrassbergamot or Goddess synergy.

Unscented lotion got you down? Start with an unscented lotion base and add Pick Me Up synergy for a great boost any time -- especially mid-day! Pick Me Up is a blend of citrus, mint and tree essential oils. The stars here are grapefruit and black spruce, which is an adrenal booster, making it a nice pick-me-up throughout the day.

Know Your Dilution Ratios

The most important piece of information you'll need in this process is how much essential oil to add, depending on the intended use of the finished product. You can always access our Safe Dilutions and Blending Info guide, or here are some guidelines for our most popular unscented products in the store.

  • Bath foam/bubble bath (adults): 1-1.5% or 20-30 drops per 100 mL of coco glucoside
  • Bath foam/bubble bath (children under 12): 0.5% or 10 drops per 100 mL of coco glucoside
  • Lotion: 1% or 20 drops per 100 mL
  • Massage oil (adults): 3% or 60 drops per 100 mL of carrier oil
  • Massage oil (children under 12): 1% or 20 drops per 100 mL of carrier oil 
  • Shampoo (close to your face and eyes!): 0.5% ratio or 10 drops per 100 mL

How To Add Your Essential Oils

  1. Remove the cap from your bottle of unscented product.
  2. Choose your essential oil and remove the cap. You'll see that each bottle of Apothecary in Inglewood essential oil comes with an orifice reducer already installed, making it super easy to count your drops of oil as you add them. NOTE: citrus oils come out very fast, while more viscous oils such as vetiver come out very slowly. For the latter, it may be helpful to employ a pipette to make the process easier.
  3. Add the oil(s) of your choice directly to your product, to a total maximum number of drops as instructed.
  4. Recap your bottle of (now scented) product and give it a good shake (we recommend a fairly gentle back-and-forth rocking motion) until the oils are well incorporated. Oils will incorporate quickly and easily into carrier oil or emulsifier; however with products like coco glucoside, lotion, shampoo or conditioner, it will take a bit more shaking, so when you think you're done -- shake it just a bit more.
  5. Alternative method: place your drops of essential oil into a bowl, and add your unscented product. Mix well using a spatula and then add back to the original bottle. 

And last but not least, enjoy!

Posted by Katie on 7/22/2020 to Ask Your Aromatherapist