Cranberry Fig

August 23, 2012

That year I tried about 20-25 different fall and winter fragrances.  It was my first year I had no idea what would go over well and what wouldn’t.  I learned a lot.  This year I narrowed down my Fall/Winter soaps to thirteen (technically fourteen cause I’m going to add in a pumpkin soap :)).

Here’s a list of what I went with:

  • Peppermint
  • Applejack Peel
  • Fresh Snow
  • Frankincense and Myrrh
  • Holiday Berry
  • Mulberry Spice
  • Christmas Wreath
  • Cedar & Balsam
  • Spiced Cranberry
  • Santa’s Spruce
  • Apples n’ Oak
  • Buttercream & Snickerdoodle
  • Cranberry Fig

There are a couple new ones in this list, but the rest were the most popular ones from last year.  My goal was to just have ten Fall/Winter soaps (but I’m awful at narrowing my choices down ha!).

Anyway, I’ve got them all started.  So over the next couple weeks I’ll take and post pictures of them!  I had to say I have had a lot of fun so far.  I’ve got a great variety of color and design!

The Cranberry Fig is a different design from last year (almost all are different from last year…I can’t say I was overly impressed with my designs from last winter!).

Last years Cranberry Fig:

This year I decided to go with a purple-yellow theme.  I’d been wanting to do that for a while and this FO I knew wouldn’t discolor my soaps. I also thought it’d be fun to embed some tubes.  Here’s what I ended up with:

This was just after I poured it.  Here it is sliced:

My fall/winter soaps will be ready starting at the end of September.  And by then (fingers crossed that all goes as planned) my webpage with be up!!!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Soap

July 15, 2012

I’ve decided to do a set of pie soaps.  I like them, they’re fun, so why not?  The second batch I made was Strawberry-Rhubarb.  And interesting fresh smell I think will go over well.  Next up will be Cherry and apple (with cinnamon of course), possibly blueberry and blackberry.  We’ll see :)

Here’s the Rhubarb Pie Soap during the stages of creation:

I swirled a deep pink and white. Love the color. It’s so rich and pretty. Then I embedded strawberries on top.

Here’s the top pipped on.

And finally some finished pictures!


Peach Pie Anyone??

June 6, 2012

I wanted to do a lattice pipped crust over a batch of soap a couple weeks ago, but the two that came to mind were cherry and blueberry to do as a pie.  I already had cherry almond soaps and didn’t want cherry and while I LOVE blueberries the fragrance I had isn’t my favorite and it discolors big time.  Then I was going through my fragrances and realized I had peach and I could make a pie out of that!

First step I poured a small batch into a PVC tube.  Cut it into slices then cut the slices in half so they kind of looked like peach wedges.

I did an in the pot swirl of orange and white.  Then I laid the peach slices over the top and finally pipped the lattice pie top over that.  I love how it looks in the mold.  I didn’t want to cut it!

Just after pouring/piping:

Before cutting:

Sliced Peach Pie Soap (can you say yum!):

I’m going to do an apple/cinnamon version too.  A little bit later, probably for the fall/winter.

Sample Packs – Coming soon to my Markets!

May 18, 2012

I’ve started to change how I cut my bars so now I’m left with small end pieces. Great for sample bars for someone who wants to just try out a soap or scent before buying more!  The prices range from $1.00 to $2.50 (based on weight).

I love how the packaging worked out.

I’m excited to see how these go over at the fairs.  :)

Strawberries & Champagne

April 27, 2012

This post is just a lot of pictures!  I took so many and I couldn’t decide which ones were the best so I decided to post all them :D

Soap Challenge #5: Essential Oil/Fragrance Oil Blends

April 21, 2012

I do not blend essential oils well—mainly because I have a picky nose. There are a lot of scents that I just don’t like and even more that I’m allergic too. I rarely use flower scents because most of them make me sick. And essential oils I find hard because they’re plant based and I tend to have the same problems as with flower fragrance oils. Some essentials oils all I need is a whiff of them to make me sick for the rest of the day. It makes creating essential oil blends hard. I do best with the fruit and spice scents so I tried to create a combination with those.

Awhile back I’d read the description of cassia essential oil and it intrigued me, so I bought a 3oz bottle of it.

Aromatic Scent: Cassia Essential Oil has a pungent, warm scent. Cassia contains 1% to 2% volatile oil (cassia oil), which is mainly responsible for the spicy aroma.

It didn’t smell like what I’d expect. It was much stronger than I’d expected (even though it’s said to be have a strong strength). And it didn’t have the spicy aroma I was expecting…maybe it does to others but I just don’t smell it. I started my blend of with this keeping in mind the follow characteristics cassia had:

Note: Top

Strength of Aroma: Strong

Blends well with: Benzoin, Clove Bud, Coriander, Cardamom, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme.

I came up with the following essential oil blend for a 5lb batch of soap:

Cassia – 7/8 oz
Clove Bud – 7/8 oz
Ginger – 3/8 oz
Grapefruit – 1 oz
Lemon – ¼ oz

I’ve tried a variety of methods for creating blends and found that none of them ever help me really come up with a good ratio so I just kind of blend as I go now. I added an equal amount of clove bud in hopes that some of the spiciness I was initially expecting came through. The grapefruit and lemon I added to give it some fruit undertones.

I used this blend in a garden soap with pumice. I think it’ll work well for cleaning dirty garden hands as well as leaving a scent behind on the hands. Despite my blend the soap still just smells like cassia to me. Which isn’t a bad thing, but not what I was going for.

Since I was using an essential oil blend I stuck to natural colors. A very earthy feeling soap. It matches the fragrance and I think works fine for a hand soap.

Winter Fragrances Announced!

November 2, 2011

Remember about a month back when I got to test out eight mystery fragrances!  Well the three that made the cut have been announced and they were all in my top four!  In fact my top two made the cut!

Mystery Fragrance #4 was my favorite (I gushed and gushed and gushed over it!) and it made the cut (thank goodness, I don’t know what I’d have done if it hadn’t made the cut! HA! Yeah I’m being overly dramatic!)

Anyway here’s the three that made a cut, their new name and descriptions that will leave you drooling!

Pinot Grigio: This fragrance was a winner of the 2011 SOAP Panel for Fall. It is ideal for wine based soaps and products though stands on its own rather nicely. The main notes to make up this fruity wine scent are sparkling bergamot, peach nectar, apple, Italian white grape, black plum, violet rounding out with supporting notes of warm clove bud. It smells like a very adult, fruity floral grape juice. This scent softens a bit in cold process soap and goes a warm yellow

Bordeaux Blend: This fragrance is designed to be a big, bold spicy red wine fragrance. With notes of tawny port and cognac being sweetened up with lighter softer pinot noir, vanilla and raspberry, Bordeaux Blend is toughened up with spicy notes of cinnamon, clove and vineyard dirt. This fragrance can move quickly in CP soap so be prepared and after a full cure, the spice notes come out more than the grape notes.

Plum Tea
: This clean fruity floral has a beguiling soft freshness that one 2011 SOAP Panel Tester described as “autumn rain on flower garden”. After beautiful white tea and damask plum and herb notes, this fragrance is beautifully supported with sweet notes of honeydew melon, quince apple, lily of the valley and chamomile. The fragrance finishes with a touch of black tea to add depth and tamp down on the sweetness.

I think I was the first to order them today…and if not the first, close to it :D They should get here in a week and then I’ll be making THREE more batches of soaps! They’ll be ready in time for Christmas!

One Month Later (S.O.A.P Panel)

October 19, 2011

This weekend I was smelling all the soaps I’d tested last month for Bramble Berry.  Mystery Fragrance #4 was by far still my favorite!  However, I’d noticed that a couple of the scents seemed to have mellowed a bit and I had different opinions on some of the fragrance.

#1 – Still liked it, definitely in my top 4

#2 – This one grew on me.  It’s probably my second top choice now.

#3 – I like this fragrance (more than originally), though it was still a little light in the soap.

#4 – You all know I love this one at this point :D Nothing’s changed.

#5 – Not as much a fan of this as I initially was, but it’s still a pretty scent.

#6 – I like this one much more now.

#7 – Still not a huge fan of it, but I could smell it now without my eyes stinging and it did grown on me a little bit.

#8 – My least favorite of the bunch still.

Head on over to Bramble Berry’s Blog Soap Queen!  The results of which three fragrances made the cut should be posted any day now!  I’ll be making an order for them right away and making some batches which should be ready just in time for the holidays!

S.O.A.P Panel Results: Test 5 – Color (pink)

September 23, 2011

I find that the two colors that are the hardest to work with in soap with fragrance are pink and purple.  They morph too easily with even the slightest color to a fragrance.  I tested pink.  I used the Bright Cherry LabColor (diluted).  I used about a 1/4 teaspoon of color to 3oz of soap.

The pictures on the right are just after I poured the soap and the pictures on the left are 36 hours after pouring.

Mystery Fragrance #1
This one initially had a yellow/orange tint to it, but surprisingly it cured to a nice deep purple-pink after 36 hours.

Mystery Fragrance #2
Light pink when poured.  It got a little deeper as it cured you can see hints of yellow-orange affecting the pink making it a bit more muted, but still a pretty color.

Mystery Fragrance #3
This one was really light when I poured it and got nice and dark as it cured.  That surprised me.  One thing I noticed is that this time the soap didn’t get flaky/crumbly at all.  Makes me want to do more testing with this scent since I got two completely different results.

Mystery Fragrance #4
Well I expected this one to go orange when I poured it.  You can see the pink trying to fight through but it’s really much more orange than pink.

Mystery Fragrance #5
Light pink to pour that turned a dark rich pink.

Mystery Fragrance #6
You can see hints of orange-yellow muting the pink a little in this one. It almost has a purplish feel to it.

Mystery Fragrance #7
Definitely colored orange a little bit.  Still don’t like this fragrance.  Still made my eyes sting!

Mystery Fragrance #8
Pretty much the same results as #7 color wise.  Really not a fan of this fragrance.  It’s my least favorite of them all.

S.O.A.P Panel Results: Test 4 – Soaps after 10 Days

September 22, 2011

So I like to see how soap looks after about 10-14 days from pouring and cutting it.  Usually whatever it looks like at that point is what the final soap will end up looking like.

Mystery Fragrance #1
This fragrance got a little bit darker-more yellowish over the ten days.

Mystery Fragrance #2
Slight color change, but overall this soap remained fairly white/off-white.

Mystery Fragrance #3
Definitely started to get a tint of yellow to it.  However, I expected this to happen because even after taking the soap out of the mold it had the faintest hint of yellow.

Mystery Fragrance #4
*sigh* This one got more orange.  In fact it quite significantly changed colors.  But I still love the fragrance and I’ll use colors that will work with the fragrance!  Bramble Berry you HAVE to keep this fragrance!!!

Mystery Fragrance #5
More color morphing.  This one went from yellow-tan to orange-brown.

Mystery Fragrance #6
No color change.  Started white, ended up white.  I’m transferring my dreams of white and pink swirled soap to this one (since I like this fragrance too :D)

Mystery Fragrance #7
Some change.  Went from white to tan to brownish.

Mystery Fragrance #8
It got a little darker but pretty much remained yellow.


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