Thursday, January 2, 2014

What do you want to know? Smells and appearance of products

In the What do you want to know? post, Sue asks: 1. Do you get bad reactions to certain colours of product?...eeeew! that's GREEN! (etc etc)
2. Is white the default setting for "posh" products?
3. What are the smelliest ingredients and how do you disguise that?! (neem oil is a classic....!)

These are interesting questions, and I think it would be nice to hear from the wonderful readers of this blog as to their opinions!

I have to admit that I like a white or slightly off white lotion, but I could have a slightly beige product using less refined butters and oils or a slightly yellow-y product thanks to orange coloured oils like carrot seed or sea buckthorn oil. I don't sell my product, I only give products to people I know, so I'll tell them why it's that colour, and I've not had a bad reaction yet. But I could see how certain colours - unnatural ones, like bright pink or green - might put people off. My mom is very visual, and there's no way she'd take a lotion that was a less than natural colour!

Is white the default setting? Readers? What do you think? 

I guess idea of smelliest is a personal thing as I can't stand anything earthy, like avocado butter or chamomile, patchouli, champa, and those kinds of essential oils, whereas some people love them. I have a really hard time covering up oils - for instance, neem oil - whereas I find it easier to cover up extracts or hydrosols with fragrance or essential oils. I can smell the fishiness of Incroquat BTMS-50 (but not Ritamulse BTMS-225), so I have to put fragrances in my conditioners! And I find some surfactants are a little off putting, but again, a little fragrance oil - usually 1%, but no more than 2% - will do the trick!

So what do you think, my lovely readers? Weigh in on these questions! I'm dying to hear what you think! 

What do you want to know? Visit the post and ask away!


melian1 said...

if my friends and relatives comments are anything to go by, smell is more important than color. if a product smells fresh and clean or appealing, the color (unless a seriously terrible muddy or nasty look) that is going to win the day. color matters, but far less than the scent.

but what is more interesting to me is how important the way it is packaged is.

one time just because the subject had come up on the dish forum and i was curious, i put the exact same cream into 3 different containers and gave to my testers for evaluation. a plain, flip-top plastic that looked very utilitarian, a plain white jar like you see at every supplier, and a pretty blue and silver specialty jar that i personally just loved - no longer available in under 5000 piece orders :(

every single person thought that the pretty blue jar had the best cream in it. better than the other two, and the plain flip-top jar got evaluated as the cream was too draggy and didn't soak in as easily. same exact cream from the exact same batch put into different containers. appearance is way more important subliminally than i had ever dreamed.

so of the two of color or scent, scent comes first because simply saying "no colorants at all in this, it is completely the natural color from the ingredients" will satisfy anyone i've come across so far. but with scent, folks just won't use it. but top of the value continuum seems to be appearance of packaging!

herbqueen said...

I agree that packaging plays a huge part and have had similar experience with trial testing the same cream in different pots. Quality of labels too has made an enourmous difference. I find most of my customers like natural looking creams as opposed to colours. They like colours in the soaps though.

Simona said...

since I started to formulate, I couldn't care less for the smell of raw ingredients - except neem oil. That I still cannot use and smell, I have 200ml that will soon go rancid so I will make a special neem soap with it :)

I am not a fan of proteins, but the scent in the product is not that strong so that's fine.

I once mare a lotion with passion flower seed oil that had a special smell (one of my friends thought that it smelled like gasolin!), and sometimes the chamomile floral water combined with my CO2 licorice extract do smell a bit funny! But I enjoy very scent of the raw ingredients and I feel it is like a complex alchemy, and I engoy it!

Packaging - I only use simple airless dispensers (white, opaque), and I try to compensate by using fancy labels (when giving to friends).

Colours - I have no problem in using brownish stuff (I have a licorice cream that oxidized, I forgot to use EDTA), green stuff (adding chlorophyll or other oxides), yellowish or pink ( I add a tad of clay for the colors) - but anyway, due to the extracts I use the creams have a yellow / brownish hue and I do not mind it at all!

The thing is - I know what I put in the products, I know it is good for the skin, so appearance really does not matter as long as I see the AWESOME effects!

Rachel said...

I sell the products I formulate and have found that packaging is incredibly important (as mentioned above). People love pretty cosmetic pots and especially anything a bit retro or vintage looking. Aluminium tins are also popular for balms, salves etc. As for colour, white or off white is preferable although pale pink seems to be popular (particularly if rose fragranced) but beige, brown, yellow etc is often met with a screwed up nose followed with an "eew yuk" type comment. Same with fragrance - in fact colour and smell are often linked, if they don't like the colour they also don't like the smell and vice versa. I seem to be able to get customers to understand the rustic colours and smells of the salves by explaining the therapeutic value of certain oils, and to create a white or off white salve would mean using highly refined ingredients which have little or no therapeutic value.

Unknown said...

I use neem oil in a cp soap at 10% and the smell used to make me gag as I blended it to trace. Same with a liquid soap. The smell during the cook would make me feel nauseous. Not anymore, got used to it and with the eo blend I use, the neem smell is very faint.
I also make a organic hemp seed oil and it is light green. The hemp seed oil I use is very dark green unrefined oil. I just tell people what the color is from and never have had a complain yet.

Deb said...

Years ago, I bought a Revlon product that was a medium green - it was supposed to counter my very pink complexion, which it did to some effect. I don't know if they still make it but I was wondering if the color was from natural ingredients (probably not), and what coloring agents might have been used. I was thinking of trying to make a lotion that would help temper a naturally too-pink skin. Anyone have suggestions?