Thursday, March 21, 2013

Made Some Soap Again

In September of last year I made soap for the first time in over a year.  (There is a post HERE with more information and background on my whole soap story.)  I've been talking about handcrafted soap with a couple people recently and had another urge to make soap, so last weekend I made three batches.

Vanilla Bombs (left) - 'Rich, sweet vanilla blended with brown sugar and sweet cream.'  There is a guy at work who always wants vanilla scents so I used to always be sure to have them in stock.  This is one I had not tried before and DANG is it nice!  It's almost like a butterscotch scent.  I need to find this scent in tart form!

Black Raspberry Vanilla (center) - '. . . our version of the popular B&BWs Black Raspberry Vanilla. Top notes blend black currant, grapefruit and mandarin. Middle notes of jasmine, apple and violet laid on a creamy vanilla base.'  This is hubby's favorite soap scent, going all the way back to the first time I ever made it.  This time the fragrance oil is from a different vendor but it's still basically the same Black Raspberry Vanilla we all know.

Coconut Lime Verbena (right) - '. . . our interpretation of the B&BWs type fragrance of the same name. Fresh coconut, lime and verbena softened by beautiful notes of fresh vanilla.'  Probably my sister's favorite, I used to sprinkle coconut on top but didn't have any on hand when I made this.  Again, not the same oil vendor I was using 'back in the day,' but still the typical Coconut Lime Verbena scent.

These soaps are cold process goat milk soaps.  All use the same recipe, and it is only the effects the fragrance oils have that alter the colors.  My recipe is very basic.  It's sometimes referred to as 'grocery store soap' because all of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery stores as opposed to more 'high end' soap makers who order specialty ingredients online.  I don't do fancy colors or swirls either.  I often feel self-conscious about it, that my soaps are cheap and boring ... it's part of the reason I quit back in 2011.  But then again, I don't plan on diving back into the business so I guess it doesn't bother me quite as much as it used to.

Back in my early soaping days I did a lot more experimenting with foodie type soaps like the honey-carrot one I made last fall.  I'd like to do some of those again, unscented but with things like real avocado, cucumber, mint, honey.  There are brown sugar soaps, and coffee soaps.  I've never done soap with aloe but would like to try.

There are millions of handcrafted soap vendors out there.  I have no intention of trying to get back into the business and trying to compete with them, but if you're ever interested in any of my soaps, just send me a message and we can work something out.

(Slightly blurry.  Ooops!)

As for the batches I made last weekend, it will be a minimum of four weeks before they are ready to use.  That is one of the downfalls of cold process soap . . . the long cure time.  Hot process soap is ready to use pretty much as soon as you've made it.  I've never made hot process myself but I have used some and have loved them.  They seem to lather better, which I love.  One of these days I might just try making some.

The far back row in the pic above is the last six bars from what I made last fall.  Those scents include Hansel & Gretel's House, Comforter (Lush dupe), and Christmas Morning.  Maybe you can see that they are smaller than the fresh bars?  That's because as they cure they actually shrink as moisture is evaporating out of them.  My ready to use bars are on the small end, only about 3.5 oz.

So anyway, just thought I'd share some soapy natterings.

14 comments:

  1. Oh my, did I just read The Comforter ? It's my favorite scent ever !
    Soap making is really a cool hobby, maybe I'll try someday :)

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    1. I've never smelled the real thing so I don't know how close the dupe is. Last fall, when I was thinking about making soap, someone had mentioned loving that scent so I found the oil to see what it was like.

      ~Deb

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  2. Thank you for posting this! Your soaps look lovely! I had no idea that they shrink after they cure.

    Also, that's funny about Black Magic and Country Bumpkin.

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    1. (The Black Magic/Country Bumpkin thing was in another post, for those who are wondering.)

      Yeah, I was so impressed for a while because I'd thought it was her own custom blend, and then to find that out it was like this huge letdown. lol

      And yep, there is some shrinkage. If I label them too soon the labels eventually become loose and slip off. Doh!

      ~Deb

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  3. Lovely! Even if you're just dabbling once in a while, what a cool thing to give to family and friends.

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    1. Thanks. I was bummed that more of my family/friends weren't into soaps like I'd hoped they would be. On the other hand, I've discovered loads of other people who ARE. :)

      ~Deb

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  4. Your soaps are beautiful and I love your descriptions of them! They look so decadent!

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  5. They look awesome! I definitely want some again, so scratch that other comment--I think my first order from other people will WAIT.

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    1. You better want some. I made your dang coconut one for you! :P

      These are ready after April 14.

      ~Deb

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  6. I absolutely love the tops.

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    1. That's funny because I didn't put much effort into them, figuring I'm not out to impress anymore. lol

      ~Deb

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    2. Ha!
      I especially love how it looks in the pic of the pre-cut batches.

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