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Cost and Value


Performance & Usage


Handling and Safety



Cost and Value

Do You Offer Volume Discounts On The Scent Works® Fragrance Oils?
Yes, for volume purchasers of our fragrance oils, we offer the following discount schedule:

Qty of Each Oil,[a]...

Discount Off 16 Oz. Price...

1 - 4 Lbs.


5 - 9 Lbs.

As Shown

10-24 Lbs.


25+ Lbs.[b]


[a] "Each Oil" means a single essential or fragrance oil. Discounts do NOT apply to combined quantities of different oils.
[b] 25-Lb. pail purchases may delay your order up to 2 weeks. Contact Customer Service for details before ordering.
[c] The Scent Works® Policies apply to these and all prices which are subject to change without notice.

Volume discounts will be calculated and manually added to your order after it is entered (assuming the volume quantity is not available to be ordered directly on the website).

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Why are The Scent Works® Fragrance Oils a Better Value?
Our Fragrance Oils have been formulated for strong performance without using an inordinate amount of product. Our formulations typically provide for needing no more than 0.7 Oz. usage per Lb. of fatty acids in cold-process ("CP") soap. Compare this to other manufacturers who may have very strong fragrance oils say, 0.5 Oz./Lb. usage... but at nearly double the price!

Thus, THE question is:  who's fragrance oils are most cost-effective? <Isn't that the way everybody really figures?>. Let's find out:

Say you've just purchased 1-Lb. of The Scent Works® very popular Frankincense & Myrrh Fragrance Oil @ $18.50, and a popular competitor's brand, advertised as being much "stronger" (at 0.5 Oz./Lb usage)... for $30.08[a].

Now you make 2 CP soap batches with 160 Oz. of total fatty acids: one using The Scent Works® fragrance oil and the other using our competitor's "stronger" fragrance oil. Now let's compare.

Frankincense & Myrrh Fragrance Oil… a comparison

per Lb.





The Scent Works®


0.7 Oz.

7 Oz.


$1.31 (14%!)

A popular competitor


0.5 Oz.

5 Oz.


[a] Actual prices as found on a competitor's website on Dec 14, 2009.
[b] Based upon publicly advertised differences.

In The Scent Works® batch, you use 0.7 Oz. fragrance oil per Lb. of fatty acids. That comes to (0.7 x 160 ÷ 16 =) 7 Oz. of our Frankincense & Myrrh, costing you (7/16 x $18.50 =) $8.09.

In the competitor's batch, you use their "stronger" fragrance oil at 0.5 Oz. per Lb. of fatty acids. That comes to (0.5 x 160 ÷ 16=) 5 Oz. of their F & M, but costing you (5/16 x $30.08=) $9.40! That's a difference of $1.31 per batch, or ($1.31 ÷ $9.40 x 100=) 14% savings!

Ooooops! NOW which one is "stronger"?

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How Carefully Do You Weigh My Fragrance Oils?
Each bottle of The Scent Works® Fragrance Oil is carefully weighed using a digital scale that is regularly calibrated to NIST Standards(2) in accordance with ISO 9001(3). Our scales are precise within 50 parts per million and accurate within ±0.01g (±0.00035 Oz.).

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Performance & Usage

What Grade Are The Scent Works® Fragrance Oils?
All of our fragrance oils are cosmetic-grade but not for personal use or neat skin application (see "Are Your Fragrance Oils Skin-safe?" for more information). This means they are suitable for use in toiletry formulations for external use only. Such toiletries include (but are not limited to) skin creams, lotions, perfumes, and shampoos & conditioners. Fragrance oils are also used in true soap(1) as well as detergent-based (i.e., "melt 'n pour") soap.

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What Are Fragrance Notes?
It is impossible to describe a fragrance according to its components because the exact formulas are kept secret. Even if the formulas are known, the ingredients are often too numerous to provide a useful classification. On the other hand, it is possible to group fragrances into scent families and describe them through the notes that appear as they slowly evaporate.

  • Top Notes:  scents that are perceived immediately on application of a fragrance oil or perfume ("Fragrance"). Top notes create the scents that form a person's initial impression of the Fragrance. Because of this, they are very important in the selling of a Fragrance. The scents of this note class are usually described as "fresh," "assertive" or "sharp." The compounds that contribute to top notes are strong in scent, very volatile, and evaporate quickly. Citrus and ginger scents are common top notes.

  • Heart Notes or Middle Notes:  The scent of a Fragrance that emerges after the top notes dissipate. The heart note compounds form the "heart" or main body of a Fragrance and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. Not surprisingly, the scent of heart note compounds is usually more mellow and "rounded." Scents from this note class appear anywhere from 2 minutes to 1 hour after the application of a Fragrance. Lavender and rose scents are typical heart notes. Top notes and heart notes are sometimes described together as Head notes.

  • Base Notes:  The scent of a Fragrance that appears after the departure of the top notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a Fragrance. Base notes bring depth and solidness to a Fragrance. Compounds of this class are often the fixatives used to hold and boost the strength of the lighter top and heart notes. The compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after the application of the Fragrance or during the period of Fragrance dry-down. Musk, vetiver and scents of plant resins are commonly used as base notes.

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    How Do Your Fragrance Oils Perform in Various Products?
    A fragrance oil's scent straight out of the bottle is rarely, if ever, identical in a manufactured end-product. Thus, a fragrance must be advance tested to learn how it will change during and after being subjected to the manufacturing processes of the various end-products in which it will be used. Part of our service is to perform some of these tests and provide reasonable, if limited, performance guidance to our customers.

    To that end, we test all of our fragrance oils (except Value-Line Fragrances), primarily in cold-process ("CP") soap. We are also testing an increased number of our fragrances in soy wax candles and, sometimes, in a cream or lotion base as well. We chose CP soap as our primary test product because the chemical and environmental impact of the saponification process is the toughest on fragrances.

    We rate each fragrance for a variety of key CP soap characeteristics including...

    CP soap testing is performed using several standardized recipes, including an all-veggie recipe (palm, coconut, shea, olive, etc) and a tallow recipe (palm kernel, shea, rice bran, etc). Finished CP soap test products are allowed to cure for a minimum of 6 weeks, some for much longer.

    We follow a standardized 5-point scale for grading scent strength in CP soap and soy candle testing. Specific terms are used to identify the finished product scent performance characteristics as follows:


    CP Soap

    Soy Candle



    “Outstanding” or “Excellent”


    “Very Strong”

    “Very Good”










      Additional Terms


    a weakening in intensity of a fragrance compared to it's original strength out of bottle (“OOB”).


    Short for metamorphosis, the term describes the change of fragrance character upon application.

    [1] We do not sell fragrances with performance level below a “3” rating.
    [2] Only basic elements (lye, oils, water) are used in these recipes (no special additives, colorants or the like).

    User Note: our commentaries are intended to provide only limited guidance for use and results may vary according to individual recipe.

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    How Close Are Your Perfume “Dupes” To The Originals?
    The Scent Works® does NOT sell perfumes nor do we compete with perfumers. Though certain fragrances in our scent library refer to names of known perfumes, these scents are NOT duplications or "dupes" (use of the term notwithstanding) but are OUR interpretations of the perfumes in question in fragrance oil form which are not for neat skin application (see "Are Your Fragrance Oils Skin-safe?" for more information). Buyers and users should not in any way construe these fragrance oils to be perfume duplicates.

    Our fragrances are especially designed to survive the intense lye-oil exotherm of cold-process ("CP") soap. As such, it is often impossible for these scents to remain identical to their original out-of-bottle scent, let alone to their original namesake. Sometimes fragrances are significantly different in CP soap. Certain notes will "burn" off; others will become more prominent. On the other hand, fragrances typically do not change significantly in conjunction with "leave-on" preparations (like lotions and body sprays).

    We extensively test all of our fragrances to provide as much performance data as practical so users may predict and obtain consistent results in their own end-products to the extent possible.

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    Can I Use The Scent Works® Fragrance Oils In Candles?
    Though we specialize in fragrances especially for toiletries, The Scent Works® Fragrance Oils are safe for use in both paraffin and soy wax candles. The concentration of fragrance oil in a wax candle is generally too low and too-widely dispersed throughout the wax to be ignitable.

    Of course, this only addresses the safety issue. Fragrance oils formulated especially for candles often do not have the complexity of their sophisticated personal-care brethren. Moreover, different fragrance oils will react differently with various waxes. You'll need to test each for fragrance appeal, hot and cold scent-throw, wax-blending, etc.

    Also and generally, those fragrance oils with a flashpoint of 170° F or higher are safe for use in gel candles but the same caveats as above apply. Always check each fragrance oil for it's flashpoint for safety. If the flashpoint is NOT listed, contact Customer Service for details before use.

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    Why Are There Crystals In Some Of Your Fragrance Oils?
    Some fragrance oils, especially those with vanilla and chocolate scents, are prone to naturally occurring crystallization. There are some elements of the oil, like vanillin or maltol, which tend to separate in this fashion. Such crystallization has no adverse effect on the fragrance oil and does not preclude its use for any purpose.

    The fragrance oil in question may be reconstituted through gradual heating and mixing until the crystals are no longer detectable. This may be accomplished by immersing the bottle of fragrance oil in a hot water bath (105 to 135 °F), keeping the bottle opening above the water line to avoid contamination, until the crystals have gone back into solution. Remove and shake the bottle every 15 minutes as required. Crystallization may continue to occur when the fragrance oil is allowed to settle again.

    Also, once the decrystallized fragrance oil has been mixed homogenously with other components to make an end-product, there should be no further crystallization. However, it is always incumbent upon the Buyer to test their end-product under the various conditions to which they expect such products to be used and/or exposed.

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    Will Your Fragrance Oil Discolor My CP Soap?
    Many fragrance oils may cause varying degrees of discoloration in CP soap – from a light, creamy color to a deep, dark brown. Vanilla- and Chocolate-scented fragrance oils often cause especially dark discolorations in CP soap.

    Some of these fragrances that discolor CP soap very dark may also affect the color of the soap's lather, depending on the recipe you use. This will not affect the performance of the soap, and should rinse clean.

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    Do You Recommend Any Whiteners To Compensate For CP Soap Discoloration?
    No, we do not recommend using a whitener – neither Titanium Dioxide nor so-called Vanilla Stabilizers – to prevent a fragrance oil from discoloring CP soap. We have never had success with these methods. Moreover, the introduction of the chemicals may result in an unpleasant odor, chalky soap texture, and/or other such undesirable effects.

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    Do You Offer Any Phthalate-Free Fragrance Oils?
    Yes, we have formulated a number of fragrance oils without phthalates. This list may be accessed here.

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    Handling and Safety

    Are Your Fragrance Oils Skin-safe?
    Our fragrance oils are not for neat skin application. Except for a few oils from our Value-Line Fragrances, The Scent Works® fragrance oils may be used in skin applications only when properly diluted. These are not perfume oils but highly concentrated, industrial-grade aromatic chemicals, for use by professional formulators or perfumers only[a]. For more information, see Are There Any Health Hazards Associated With Fragrance Oils? below.

    We recommend an absolute maximum concentration of twenty percent (20%) in any solution[b] in accordance with IFRA(5) guidelines.

    [a] Fragrance oils are combustible or flammable, may contain hazardous substances that present physical and/or health dangers, and require special precautions and spill/leak procedures, with special protective equipment and control measures. Persons and/or organizations unfamiliar with these dangers should refrain from use.
    [b] You should always test your fragrance oil body compounds (bath gels, creams, lotions, etc.) for skin irritation and general safety. Our Limitations Of Liability provisions apply.

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    Are There Any Health Hazards Associated With Fragrance Oils?
    Fragrance oils are comprised of aromatic chemicals in highly concentrated form. Though the effects of overexposure are not currently known, certain health effects are known and it is prudent to follow certain precautions and first-aid procedures.:

    • Eye Contact - Immediately flush eyes with large quantities of water for at least 15 minutes. Remove contact lenses. Call a physician if irritation persists.
    • Skin Contact - Direct skin contact with eyes or skin may cause irritation. Wash with soap and water; flush with large quantities of water. Keep contaminated clothing away from skin.
    • Inhalation - Breathing concentrated vapors may cause respiratory irritation. Remove to fresh air. If breathing has stopped or is irregular, administer artificial respiration and oxygen. Seek medical help.
    • Ingestion - May be harmful if swallowed. If swallowed, immediately dilute with 8 ounces of water or milk. Contact physician immediately.

    For further information or to obtain a Material Safety Data Sheet for an individual fragrance, please contact Customer Service. General information about aromatic chemicals may be obtained through the International Fragrance Associates (IFRA) or Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) websites.

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    Do your Fragrance Oils Meet Any Internationally-recognized Safety Standards?
    Yes, all of our fragrance oils are manufactured using approved fragrance ingredients that have been tested and approved by the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (“RIFM”), and under the Code of Practice and Standards of the International Fragrance Association (“IFRA”) for the manufacture, handling and storage of fragrance products.

    The IFRA Standards form the basis for the globally accepted and recognized risk management system for the safe use of fragrance ingredients and are part of the Code of Practice. This is the self-regulating system of the industry, based on risk assessments carried out by an independent Expert Panel.

    The Expert Panel is made up of renowned independent experts from the fields such as dermatology, toxicology, pathology and environmental sciences. Their role is to evaluate the data on a fragrance to see if it supports the current use level, to make sure that there is no risk for the consumer. In cases where the safety assessment does not support the current use, the Panel instructs IFRA to issue a Standard either restricting or banning a material.

    The Standards amount to 174 substances which have been either banned or restricted in their use in fragrance products. All members of IFRA are required, as a condition of membership, to observe the IFRA Code of Practice.

    IFRA provides information on the exposure situation (usage concentration, variety of use, volume of use), chemical composition as well as the olfactory profile and olfactory potential (importance) of a fragrance ingredient to the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), the scientific arm of IFRA. RIFM then prepares comprehensive dossiers on the materials including all available safety data and, if necessary, initiates and organizes any missing safety studies on the fragrance ingredient.

    The Standards are established according to the following process:

    1. IFRA provides information on the exposure situation (usage concentration, variety of use, volume of use), chemical composition as well as the olfactory profile and olfactory potential (importance) of a fragrance ingredient to RIFM;
    2. RIFM prepares a comprehensive dossier on the material including all available safety data and, if necessary, initiates and organizes any missing safety studies on the fragrance ingredient;
    3. The RIFM Panel of independent experts, evaluates the data to see if it supports the current use level, to make sure that there is no risk/danger for the consumer; if the safety assessment does not support the current use, the Panel instructs IFRA to issue a Standard*;
    4. IFRA prepares a Standard in accordance with the Panel's instructions and conclusions;
    5. The draft Standard is consulted with the IFRA membership and stakeholders for a period of about a month, to ensure that IFRA/RIFM are aware of all data on the material and to provide holders of additional data that might alter the outcome of the Panel's risk assessment with the opportunity to share those with IFRA/RIFM;
    6. If no additional information is received via the Consultation phase, the final Standard is published in a notification procedure as part of an “Amendment to the IFRA Code of Practice”.

    * The final decision on the content of the Standard is solely in the hands of the Expert Panel, not IFRA or RIFM.

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    Why Are My Bottles Of Fragrance Oils Filled To Different Levels?

    The Scent Works® sells fragrance oils by weight, not volume. This is best illustrated by the picture above. Both bottles shown weigh virtually the same (within less than 1/2 gram or less than 2/100ths of an ounce). Yet the Lebermuth Bay Rum on the left, with a specific gravity of 0.95, is filled nearly to the top while the Shaw Mudge Vermont Maple Syrup on the right, with a specific gravity of 1.12, is only 3/4 filled! How can this be, you ask? The answer is Specific Gravity.

    Just like a pound of lead takes up much less space than a pound of feathers, the difference in fill level you see in the bottles of fragrance oil is predicated on the specific gravity (or density) of each.

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    How Do You Package Your Oils?

    • Essential Oils:
      Unless otherwise specified, amber glass bottle, with black phenolic Polyseal® cap with conical polyethylene liner, with tape seal.
    • Base Oils and Fragrance Oils:
      Unless otherwise specified, HDPE(4) plastic bottle, with matching F217®-lined plastic cap, with tape seal.

      *F-217, a registered trademark of Tri-seal Holdings, Inc., is a three–ply seal co-extruded of a foamed Low Density Polyethylene core between two solid layers of Low Density Polyethylene.

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    Why Should I Keep Your Fragrance Oil Bottle Sealed?
    Some fragrance oils are prone to oxidation when exposed to the air and will develop a characteristic rust-like color. To insure maximum shelf-life, we recommend that you keep unused portions of our fragrance oils sealed in their containers, in a dark, well-ventilated area at a relatively constant room ambient temperature (65–75 °F).

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    May I Return Fragrance Oils If I Don't Like Them?
    We're sorry but for obvious health reasons, The Scent Works® Fragrance Oils are NOT returnable. Please refer to our complete policy on Exchanges and Returns for further information.

    To avoid unnecessary loss, we strongly suggest that customers who are unfamiliar with particular fragrances purchase the smallest size made available of them.

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    (1) Soap products consisting primarily of an alkali salt of fatty acids and making no label claim other than cleansing of the human body are not considered cosmetics under the law (Ref: 21 CFR 701.20 and 21 CFR 740).

    (2) The National Institute of Standards and Technology maintains Standards for all weights and measures to which all instrumentation is referenced and calibrated.

    (3) ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized standard, produced and maintained by the International Organization for Standardization, for Total Quality Management.

    (4) High Density Polyethylene

    (5) International Fragrance Association.



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