Make bath time extra fun! Embed an eraser into your bar of soap! You can put it a clear/see through (transparent) base so the kids can see that there is a surprise in there they can work towards! Or you can embed it in opaque soap so it’s a complete surprise when they start to see the eraser!
I know you’re thinking I’m crazy to be thinking about Christmas in April, but now’s when I need to start planning my Fall/Winter soaps. I’ll have to start making them in August so that the soap is ready come time for all the October Fairs!
I need your help. There are a lot of fragrances out there for the Fall/Winter. I have some great ideas for fall, winter and Christmas soaps, but I need to know what fragrances you’d like me to use. You can select as many fragrances as you want from this list. Just select them and once you’ve selected all that you want just submit your vote!
What is Lanolin: Lanolin is a refined derivative of the unctuous fat-like sebaceous secretion of sheep. It is obtained from the wax found on sheep’s wool; refined and purified to cosmetic specifications. It is widely used in cosmetic and skin treatment products including lip and body balms, lotions, skin creams, baby products.
What are its properties: Lanolin is a natural moisturizer with powerful emollient and protective properties. Lanolin helps prevent drying and chapping of the skin.
When I first got my lanolin I looked at it and went okay…I’m going to put this in soap? It just didn’t look all “yummy” and soap-material like. When I opened the jar and got a whiff of it I had even more doubts. It has a distinct odor…but I went ahead with using it. My recipe only called for a small amount–it only made up about 5% of the recipe’s ingredients…and once it melted with the other oils the odor wasn’t so bad. I added a bit extra fragrance oil, just to be on the safe side. The bar has cured nicely so far. It doesn’t smell like the lanolin either. I am curious to see if the odor comes through at all when it’s wet.
I am really interested to see the characteristics this bar has too. Everyone raves about it’s moisturizing properties and that it’s such a great emollient, so I hope it lives up to the high praise!
It’s time make my Spring and Summer soaps! Thanks to all of you and your input I’ve got our great list of summer fragrances! This is my slightly (okay, very :)) insane schedule for May!
May 2nd: Fragrance of the Month May 4th: Cupcakes (I’ve been dying to try these so I’m squeezing them into the schedule even though they’re not technically Spring/Summer related.) May 5th: Coconut-Vanilla May 7th: Blueberry Cobbler
Juicy Blueberry, Warm Butter, Rich Vanilla Bean, White Chocolate
May 8th: Farmer Market Summer Honeydew
Sweet Honeydew, Juicy Watermelon, Star Jasmine, Light Cucumber
May 12th: Summer Melon Spritzer
Cantaloupes, Watermelons and Canary Melons come together in this fragrance for a sweet, summery delight. Supporting top notes of Japanese Grapefruit, Crisp Apple and Pomelo bring a bright and cheery melding to the bottom note of Tonka Bean. The secret ingredient to this fragrance is Tonic Water (thus the ‘spritzer’).
May 16th, 18th, & 19th: Finishing up Eli’s Treasure Order
May 21st: Beach Breezes
This complex, sophisticated fragrance is actually a light Ocean-type scent. It has top notes of Bergamot and Cyclamen (a flower with a “white” scent), middle notes of Lilac, Jasmine and Lily of the Valley and rounds down to the mellow notes of Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Musk.
May 25th: Pink Lemonade
Lucious Lemon Accord, Sun Kisssed Sweet Raspberries
May 28th: Summer Fling
Smelling strongly of Raspberries and Peaches, this blend is toned down by the white notes of Magnolias, Lilies and Cyclamen
I know Beach Baby (Fresh Sun, Sand and Tanning Lotion. Vacation in a Bottle!) was a popular fragrance! I do plan to make it but it’s out of stock until the end of May, so I can’t make it till June when I can order the fragrance!
This basically fits the soap into the nights/weekends I have free It’s a bit ambitious (even for me, with working full time) but we’ll see how well I’m able to stick to it. Some of these soaps I’ll use my trusted (favorite) recipes for. Others I have plans to experiment with some new recipes.
I’ve made a lot of new soaps the past few weeks and some are getting close to being ready to sell! Others still need time to cure. Here’s an update on what will be available and when.
1. Coconut-Vanilla Moisturizing Bar: 1st Week of May
2. White Peach and Hibiscus Shea Butter 3oz. Bars: 2nd Week of May
3. Shaving Soaps
Bergamot & Mandarin: 4th Week of May
Bay Rum: 2nd Week of June
Barber Shoppe: 4th Week of June
4. Baby Soap
No Fragrance: 1st Week of May
Bedtime Bath Fragrance: 3rd Week of May
5. Oatmeal, Milk & Honey: 4th Week of May
6. Cucumber Melon Delight: 1st Week of June
7. Cocoa Butter Berry Vanilla: 3rd Week of May
8. Green Tea and Cucumber Conditioning Bar: 4th Week of May
Note: The Shaving soaps are taking FOREVER to harden. They’re just still soft, soft enough that I’m giving them extra time to cure. Not sure why they’re taking longer to cure, but I’m giving them more time.
I’m constantly learning new things when it comes to soap making. The most recent lesson I’ve learned: Vanilla Color Stabilizer is VERY IMPORTANT when you’re using any fragrance oil that has vanilla in it.
Vanilla is by nature a dark oil. It’s a pain because colors the soap in wonky ways, typically making your colors go darker than you intended. That brown comes through and eventually shifts the colors of your soap.
So what is “vanilla color stabilizer” (hence forth referred to as VCS)? VCS is a liquid that is designed to keep soap a nice white or ivory color (or any color used to color soap). It can be used with any brown coloring fragrance, not just vanilla.
VCS is really meant for Melt & Pour soaps. It works marginally well in CP soap for up to 4 to 9 months before the fragrance eventually turns the soap brown.
Most fragrance oil (FO) that have a “baking” fragrance of some kind (and I have a bunch of those FO) have vanilla in them. So from now on when I do my MP cupcakes VCS will be my new best friend! There’s nothing wrong with “brown” soap, it’s just not as pretty.
Here’s an example of a MP Cupcake I made with “Buttercream” Fragrance oil where I didn’t use VCS. The first two weeks is was super pretty…then the color started to shift and this is what I ended up with!!
I have a bunch of different recipes I want to try still (the list seems to never end) and I have a bunch of different techniques I want to try. I’ll get to them all eventually. I’m sure some will work and others won’t but the fun is in experimenting!
Next up on my list (once I finish the order I’m doing for Eli’s Treasure) are cupcake soaps! And I discovered that there are “sprinkles” for soap! They’re called “jojoba beads”. They’re round balls that look like sprinkles. They’re a little smaller than what most people are used to with baking, but I still think they’ll be really cool. I also have some glitter I can use. The picture below is similar to what I’ll be trying: i.e. the goal is that my cupcakes come out looking similar to these. The recipe involves Shea Butter! Which has me so excited because I LOVE Shea Butter soap. The other picture are my jojoba beads! I can not wait to use them!
Gel phase is the part of the saponification process where the soap gets extremely warm and gelatinous. Basically the opaque soap will turn somewhat transparent for several hours, before once again turning opaque.
The oils and lye-water are mixed at a temperature above 100 degrees (usually the range can be anywhere from 100 to 140 degrees when you mix, depends on the soap maker and the recipe). After the soap is poured in its mold it is typically covered and insulated (a blanket put over it). This causes the already warm soap mixture to heat up before it cools down. The heating up is what causes the gel phase.
Soap doesn’t have to go through a gel phase. I find a slight color and shine variation between gelled vs. ungelled soap, but otherwise there isn’t much of a difference. I like the slightly “shinny-er” look I get when I gel phase soap. I’ve found that when soap goes through the gel phase I have less issues with soda ash too.
You can see here almost the entire bar (just the outside edges remained opaque) has reached the "gel phase". This will eventually cool down and the dark green you see now will lighten up.