Soap Making

IFRA Rates and Fragrance Oil Information

Carrie Thornsbury 1 comment

On each fragrance oil product listing we post IFRA (International Fragrance Association) safety rates. For example, on our listing for Afternoon Tea fragrance oil, you will see the following information:

Nurture Soap's Afternoon Tea Fragrance Oil Information

The first thing you will see is how the fragrance looks in soap once it's cured. Second, you will see a graph provided you will see the IFRA rates for soap and lotion, as well as other essential information for working with fragrance oils in soap. Finally, you will see the IFRA logo which can be clicked on to download a document with complete IFRA information for all products.

How to Use the Provided Information

Soap Usage: This is the percentage that is allowed in soap without irritating the skin. This is the SAFETY percentage, not the use percentage. 10% of fragrance oil in soap would be too much! When there is high IFRA safety rate as we see here, we know to follow the rule of thumb in soap making. Fragrance oils are generally used at 5% per pound of oils when we have a high IFRA safety rate.

Warning! Always pay attention to the IFRA rates! Some fragrances have a lower rate than 5%!

Lotion Usage: The IFRA usage rate for Afternoon Tea fragrance oil in lotion is 2%. When I make lotions, I use a standard rate of 1% fragrance, but if you prefer a strong smelling lotion you may use this fragrance at a use of up to 2% and be safe.

Phthalate Free: This tells you whether the fragrance contains phthalates or not. Many people don't like using them in there products, and almost all of our fragrances are phthalate-free.

Flashpoint: This is the temperature that the fragrance will become combustible if exposed to sparks or flames. This is especially important in candle making, and less important in soap making. Flashpoints also determine the method of shipping. USPS will not allow shipment of fragrance oils of less than a 200 degree flashpoint via their service. FedEx will. If you choose a fragrance that is under 200 degrees flashpoint, your order will ship FedEx. Our Afternoon Tea fragrance oil has a flashpoint of 198 degrees, and would have to ship via FedEx.

Helpful hint! If you are shipping internationally or prefer to use USPS and get a better rate on shipping, choose fragrances that can be shipped via USPS here: Ship USPS Fragrance Oils

Vanillin: Vanilla in fragrance oils will turn soap brown! For oils that stay white and hold color the best and most true, choose oils that have 0% vanilla. Some fragrances will discolor even though they contain no vanilla, like our Dirty Type 1 fragrance oil. However, for the most part fragrances without vanilla will not discolor, and are preferred when working with micas and other colorants.

Discoloration: This lets you know if we experienced any discoloration in our testing of the fragrance oil. The picture provided in the listing is our soap testing after 4 weeks of cure.

Acceleration: Some fragrances oils can accelerate quickly! What does this mean? It means that you must plan on moving fast when working with this fragrance oil in soap. The soap will thicken more quickly when using a fragrance that accelerates. It is best not to use fragrances that move quickly when planning intricate swirls in soap. It is also a great idea to use full water in your recipe when using a fragrance that has a tendency to misbehave!

How to Use the IFRA Certificate

If you are making other products than soap or lotion, you may click on the IFRA logo to download the complete IFRA certificate that lists all product categories and their safety rates.

Afternoon Tea Fragrance Oil IFRA Nurture Soap

When looking at the certificate, look for the category that applies to what you're making. For example, if I'm making deodorant with Afternoon Tea fragrance oil it is category 2, and I can use 2% fragrance in my deodorant without it irritating the skin. The same applies to other products being made with the fragrance oil. Find the category and then find the safety rate for that product.

Hopefully this post helps clear up some questions regarding our fragrances and IFRA rates. Have more questions? Write us here and we'll answer ASAP!


  • LaCrystal Brown September 17, 2016 | 04:42 PM

    Are your fragrance oils 100% natural. I’m researching and learning and would like to know. Thanks.

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