help me recreate a fabric softener fragrance
November 5, 2005 5:53 AM   Subscribe

Essential oil users: how do I recreate the fragrance of Comforts's former Green fabric conditioner fragrance?

Once again the fabric conditioner I like is being discontinued. It's torture picking out another one (smelling them at the supermarket makes me sick and they smell differently after using them on clothes) so this time I am trying it on my own. I have a recipe (2 cups vinegar,2 cups baking soda,4 cups hot water) and I need that essential missing ingredient - fragrance!

so essential oil users, please help me with the following -

If you know the smell of Comforts's former Green fabric conditioner fragrance, please give me your guesses on what goes in it (I don't have any clues. Where I live it was just called the green fragrance. and if by any chance anyone out there is a Unilever employee and can help me with this - please do! So far I have had no luck with emailing Unilever on this one).

If you don't, alternative suggestions for coming up with a fragrance for the recipe would be welcome!

And last of all - how much oil would you add to the amount I'm making?

posted by mirileh to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Well, I don't know anything about this, but nobody else is jumping on it. We have essential oil stores in the mall in our area. If you have access to such a place, do you have anything left that smells right, like an empty bottle or a piece of clothing stored in a confined space, that you could take into the shop and have them smell it and guess?
posted by unrepentanthippie at 10:45 AM on November 5, 2005

I'd imagine the industrial fragrance people would have more complicated things than essential oils to play around with.

Something herbal might be good like Basil.
posted by lunkfish at 11:44 AM on November 5, 2005

Well, I'd familiarize myself with the types of scents that I like. Scented candles, for example, are available for a wide variety of desirable scents -- vanilla, camomile, lemon, orange, pine, etc. I'd find out which ones I like and then figure out how to apply that to my clothes.

Personally, I really liked hanging a cedar bar in my closet.
posted by dhartung at 2:21 PM on November 5, 2005

From the websites I pulled up, it doesn't look as though Comfort was naturally scented ( though I could be wrong). As far as replicating a professionally developed scent goes, I think it might be possible to tackle a single note such as "cedar" or "vanilla" with reasonable success, but it takes very special talent and training to be a perfumer. Those people are paid the big bucks to come up with fragrances that ultimately are the product (your post attests to that), and countless hours of research, recipes, and trials are what ultimately develop a marketable scent.
I think I'd go with unrepentanthippie's advice and visit an essential oil shop so you can sniff the products in person. One combination of EOs I particularly like on sheets is orange and lavender, though I generally just scent a bandanna or lonely sock and toss it in the dryer with the laundry.
As far as amounts to add- that depends on your personal preference, the oil in question, and what comes out in the wash, so to speak. EOs like clove bud oil or peppermint can be outrageously strong and linger a good while, while vanilla seems to go away almost instantly.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:10 PM on November 5, 2005

Response by poster: unrepentanthippie, thanks for the idea! problem is they changed the fragrance with no warning and by the time I found out I was left with no samples.

oneirodynia, I need some indication of an amount, because the recipe I have calls for 20 drops of lavander oil, which to me sounds like causing a lavander smell for miles (am I wrong?). I don't expect anyone to tell me exactly how many drops, but more of a range.
posted by mirileh at 4:03 AM on November 6, 2005

I think twenty drops sounds reasonable, but I don't know for sure unless I know the potency of the oil- sometimes oils are in a base of carrier oils, sometimes they're old, or from a different type of lavender, or made from different parts of the plant. I think I'd try 10 drops if you're wary, and bump it from there. If you buy a different type of oil next time around, you might need to do a bit of experimentation again.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:32 PM on November 7, 2005

Response by poster: good thing i peeked here again. thanks oneirodynia!
posted by mirileh at 5:53 AM on November 8, 2005

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