Hello everyone! A here!
You know, sometimes I make a batch of soap and I’m just… satisfied. Not excited to sell it or even happy to photograph it. Maybe it’s the scent, maybe the look, perhaps both, but something in me is just unhappy with it. In these cases I usually try to remake it. And almost always, the second time is better.
Ambrosia. The first time I made this batch, the bars came out misshapen and ugly, though the scent was a delightful sort of effervescent dream treat. So I remade it. This time the recipe was delightful, though I changed the scent to represent something more honeyed. Unfortunately, between the oils (lots of butters) and the scent (clove, I’m looking at you), it seized before I could pour.
Disappointment. Can we talk about it?
Well. You win some and you lose some. So I tried again, using a bomb, new recipe and a new scent combination. Now, I don’t think I can call this soap Ambrosia anymore because the scent of clove and orange is a little less ambrosial to me… but I think I’m happy with this one.
The best thing about this bar is probably the recipe. It was the part I was the most excited about. Why? Sal butter. The recipe featured a ton of sal butter instead of just the usual shea butter. I know sal is great in skin care products so I happily added it to my recipe. SoapCalc has it on its lye calculator as well. Because I knew I wanted this soap to have a green tint, so I added my french green clay as well.
Look at how dark and green the oils and clay are! My usual oil recipe with this green clay is usually a light golden-green color, but the sal turned it this wonderful olive.
Because I knew the scent would contain clove, I substituted my usual ricebran with some olive oil. Even after stickblending the scent in, it stayed pretty loose.
Thin trace. It was delightful to work with.
Temperature shot. By the way, an infrared temperature gun is a soaper’s best friend. HOWEVER, you can absolutely soap without it–actually, you can soap without a thermometer entirely. I’ll talk about it in a later post; watch for it.
Since the trace wasn’t thickening up any time soon, I took the oppurtunity to make a flat top soap. I did a mica + oil swirl minus the mica and oil. Short squiggles across the width of the mold and long squiggles down the length. Then I topped the sides with a mixture of lavender, oats, and calendula.
I love this top. Do you see that line down the center? When the soap entered gel phase, it split right down the middle. By the time it cooled down, the split had disappeared. I find this happens with some of my batches. Watch your soaps go through gel phase if you have the time. It’s fascinating.
About eight hours later, it was time for me to unmold. The great thing about making waterproof, folded liners with minimal amounts of tape is the unmolding process. I get so happy once I remove the tape and carefully peel back the freezer paper; it’s like unwrapping a present!
After cutting, I tested the lather. The olive oil made the bars quite slippery. The bubbles are small and plentiful. The best thing about this bar was that the bubbles stayed. A bit foamy, sustained.
Nice. My skin felt wonderful; not too stripped, not too dry. Just clean.
Now until I used the bar, I wasn’t crazy about the scent; however, once I washed my hands with it, I loved the balance of orange and clove! Woot! I also cut these really chunky. So nice.
This batch was a success! What do you think?