I am in a quandary. Whether you have tried our soaps or not, I would really like your opinion about this topic. Warning: this blog is long. I like to be wordy. If you want to skim, at least please read the paragraphs with *s.
As you may know, we are still relatively new to the business. We are growing quickly as a result of our wonderful customers who are loving our soaps. Yah! I'm convinced that it's the fresh, raw goat's milk that is truly the key to our soaps' success. We are very proud of our product and what it stands for.
However, as we grow in popularity, more and more people are enjoying our soaps and more and more people are offering their requests for ingredients, scents, and products--which I LOVE by the way, and have asked for. Originally, our business vision was to keep things the way we like them: all natural and as organic as possible. Of course there is such a personal preference when it comes to things like scents, textures, colors, and etc.... We wouldn't want to make ONLY what we like, as that would be ridiculous! For example, I love a highly exfoliating bar of soap and I love peppermint essential oil. My husband, Scott really dislikes both of those. He likes the sweeter scents and smoother textures. Would I only want to make one over the other? Of course not; we make both!
**Recently, we have had several very specific requests for certain scents that are only found in fragrance oils. As we aim to please the customer, we have responded by meeting those requests. Of course all of these soaps still have all the other high quality ingredients as usual: organic goat milk, organic oils and butters, and natural colorants/exfoliants. Also, I have researched to find the highest quality fragrance oils as possible and that are phthalate free. BUT, they are still a synthetic product. All of our products are clearly labeled and most of our products are still only using essential oils. Also, we don't ever mix essential and fragrance oils, but here's the part that is finally getting to my original question:
**The soaps with the fragrance oils are quickly becoming our best sellers! We only have 3 soaps currently (out of 20+) that use fragrance oils. Everyone who picks them up LOVES them. We have been getting more and more requests for different fragrance oil scents. This is taking us in a direction away from our original "all natural" goal. Part of me wants to jump on the band wagon and get many more fragrances that will sell like crazy, but part of me is bothered by this.
I personally don't like to use the fragrance oil soaps because some of them make my skin itch. We NEVER put fragrance oils in deodorants or body butters (products intended to soak into the skin) but research seems to indicate that although soap is a wash off product, still some components are absorbed through the skin. Maybe my skin is more sensitive than others, but it still bothers me to think that you may use our soap, have some sort of reaction to the fragrance oils like me, and think it's the soap as a whole and not realize it's the fragrance oil. Of course, many people have different allergies/reactions/aversions to all kinds of things including essential oils, liquid and solid oils, and even the gluten in the oatmeal used in some soaps. But if that is the case, you know who you are and as long as everything is clearly labeled, you can make appropriate choices. Fragrance oils are a propriety market and "secret" recipes are protected. So you really don't know what goes into them--thus what we're putting on our skin when we use them.
**So here are my questions that I would LOVE your opinions to:
-Would you like us to continue to offer choices: fragrance AND essential oils that are clearly marked?
-Does it offend you that we call ourselves "natural", yet offer a very few--and clearly marked--soaps with a tiny percentage of non-natural ingredients?
-Should we grow our fragrance oil selections to include more of the very wonderful and yummy scents that are made and that so many of you love?
Your opinions are VERY important to us. I am laying it out here in a very honest way, wondering what to do, and we would love your honest opinions.
3/9/2014 09:01:53 am
I too have had this very same issue!
3/9/2014 10:44:44 am
3/9/2014 10:49:55 am
First off, I agree 100% with Lisa's post. You get to decide the parameters by which you are comfortable. Others will like/respect it or not, but the decision is yours.
3/9/2014 11:37:45 am
I also agree with Lisa and Chris, you have to be comfortable with any decision you make. That being said, I LOVE the three soaps we have tried so far (beer soap, lemongrass & Walk in the woods) I don't think any of those has fragrance oils in them, did they? I think if you clearly label them, you could continue to do both. Either way, I will continue to get all my soap from you!
3/9/2014 12:37:13 pm
I love the fragrances! I think it's okay to have some soaps that are not 100% natural, just mostly natural, as long as you are always open and honest about it. Which you are.
3/9/2014 01:35:07 pm
The fact that you're asking these questions tells me that you're not all that comfortable compromising your vision with trying to please a broader base. Do you prefer to be able to say 100% natural ingredients and create a reputation (niche market) in that regard? Or do you think it's fun and ok to include a selection of still high-quality, but not totally organic products? Which feels most in your essence to do? You have done so many fun and unique versions of your soaps already and I'd bet you have many more ideas. Having a wider selection of scents may increase your sales, but having a reputation for organic only may also contribute to a faithful and supportive following. What matters most to you? How do you define personal success? (And as far as I'm concerned, I'm kind of drawn to the organic only idea, although I'm not sensitive to fragrance oils either.)
3/9/2014 02:39:55 pm
3/9/2014 10:41:07 pm
You folks are all so wise and insightful. We will continue to chew on this, but I'm sensing some clarity. Thank you again for your comments.
3/19/2014 11:21:47 am
11/30/2014 10:18:41 am
I find that I tend to be sensitive to fragrance- but keep in mind that Essential oils can irritate skin and allergies, too. With that in mind, make good quality products with beautiful scents, be thorough in your labeling, and be generous in your exchange policy in case a customer is not pleased. Also, some fragrances only become offensive in large quantities or when mingled wirh other smells. I wrap my soaps in biodegradable plastic to minimize the fragrance cloud and keep the fragrances from comingling.
1/31/2023 08:03:17 am
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1/31/2023 08:03:49 am
Thank you for the wonderful content.
I appreciate when you said that we can make our own choices for the soaps that we are going to use, because we know ourselves and they have labels on them. What I wanted to try for the longest time are oatmeal soap products, because they might be the answer to my sensitive skin. Especially during the winter season, I can irritable with he cold weather and get itchy most of the time. So I need something that can relieve that and still make my skin feel soft and smooth.
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Soapmaker, Homemaker, Mom, Goat milker, Gardener, and Jangly! That's me. :)