Thursday, August 23, 2007

Soapy Goodness

Yesterday I made soap for the first time in awhile. The soap business has been kind of slow and I've been inordinately busy so there's not been much time for soapmaking. For me, soapmaking is a wonderful creative outlet that isn't fattening. Sure, I could sell recipes or cookies or whatever, but there's something deeply satisfying about making soap. My house always smells wonderful on soap days - and usually for a couple of days after. My soap room smells good all the time.

The frenzy started with a custom loaf of lime hot process soap. Hot process soap is cooked to speed up saponification, so it's ready in a couple of hours instead of 6 weeks & the scent stays true because there's no lye left when the essential oils are added. I liked the smell of the straight lime so well that I'm going to include it in my regular lineup. It reminded me of margaritas.

I made an extra-large batch of the lime but only prepared half to send to the guy who ordered it. To the remainder I added gingergrass essential oil and swirled it with a moss green oxide colorant. Yum. This is what a spa day should smell like.

Next up was Mister. This is the one The Man uses, to the tune of probably a bar a week. I make more of this than any other just because of him. The scent is very sexy and manly - smoky and dark with vetiver, oak moss, patchouli, amber, bergamot, Texas cedar, frankincense, myrrh and a hint of black pepper. It's my number 3 seller, right behind Do Me Now & Lavender Dream.
I hadn't made any cold process soaps in awhile, so I made one that I'd run out of called Just Clean, which is a soothing shade of green and is scented with lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, pine and bergamot. This is the soap I reach for if I'm having sinus trouble or need mental clarity. This one and the next two will be ready around the first of October because cold process soap has to cure for several weeks to ensure that the saponification process is complete.
Then I realized that I am completely out of straight lavender soap. This is a big no-no for soapmakers. I have a huge bag of lavender buds, so I tossed a handful in the blender to smash them up really well, made a strongly scented lavender cold process soap, whisked in the pulverized lavender buds then scattered more buds on the exposed side of the soap once it was in the mold. One whiff of this and you're ready to face the day. A strong lavender scent's better than coffee to get you going.

The other soap is a brand new cold process soap that I'm going to call Paradise. It has a Caribbean blue and white swirl and is scented with Monoi de Tiare, Jasmine and Honeysuckle. The aroma will take you to the islands and make you want to put a flower in your hair and your toes in the sand. Where's my cabana boy?
My soapmaking stuff is still out & I plan to make more in the next few days. I plan to make my 3 winter holiday scents: hot cocoa, frankincense & myrrh and mulled orange for sure. However, I want to experiment with something different. Any ideas? Suggestions? Requests?


Loving Annie said...

Good Thursday afternoon Dr. Shedevil !

Those sound absolutely wonderful ! And to permeate your house with those luscious secnts for a few days -- yummm ! What a treat !

I'd love to know HOW to make them !

My favorites would include food smells like cinnamon, almond and vanilla - or lemon and oranges...

Dr. Shedevil said...

You just book yourself a ticket to DFW or Love Field, honey. I'll pick you up & teach you how.

You'd love the one I made today - mulled orange - yummy.

Tomorrow I'm making frankincense & myrrh with flakes of gold leaf, then next up is hot cocoa.

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

I'm totally sold. I want to start making soap and inventing my own 'recipes'! I'd better stay away from the all-food types though. I might not resist the temptation to eat it. I once confirmed claims regarding a houselhold cleanser's all-natural chemistry by drinking a small drop. Oh it was harmless alright but not pleasant. Quite far from pleasant, actually. Quite farther still than 'unpleasant'. Sort of in the wildly hellishly horrifyingly grotesque realm. Took a couple days to lose the taste from my mouth if I recall.

Um - please don't tell anyone about this.

Jesska said...

I love all things lavender and mint. I need to try the straight lavender soap, hmmmm.

Dr. Shedevil said...

Fwiggy, it's loads of fun but I'm with you on the non-food smells. They just make me want to eat - especially the Hot Chocolate & Mulled Orange. Holy cupcakes, Batman! My personal favorite is my secret stash. I don't even advertise it but it's a blend of exotic Indian attars that I whip up just for me.

Jess, the straight lavender will be ready around the first of October, but I have a few bars of lavender mint.

sacred slut said...

I had some lime and coconut liquid soap that was really yummy. I'd love to get that in a bar.

"Milk & Honey" scent would be nice. I have had liquid versions of that as well.

Green tea scent is great. I don't know if you can do something similar with natural scents. I'm sure they're using all kinds of fake stuff to make the soaps.