Spiked Eggnog Cream Yogurt Soap in Pointy Layers with embed tube

Doing spiky layers seems to be all the rage now, so I thought I’d give it a try – but I failed miserably (however I do know why):


Description of Bramble Berry and Natures Garden Fragrances:
BB Spiked Eggnog (SE): Creamy vanilla and nutmeg blend to perfection with rum. A dash of sweet caramel, cinnamon and aromatic clove perfectly complete this delectable fragrance. CP: Mild A, Discolors Brown – 2% Vanilla.
NG Eggnog (E): Has strong notes of buttercream vanilla, with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Reviews: spiced cake/orange clove scent, seized immediately; spicy with cinnamon & clove scent & vanilla notes; smells buttercream, cinnamon & nutmeg; smells exactly like eggnog. CP: No R, Moderate A, discolors to almost black – 6.24% Vanilla.

The Plan:
Use 3 lb silicone mold.
MP Yellow Tube embed.
Layers of merlot, red, orange, yellow, & white with yellow MP tube in top layer.
Mica drizzle on top.
Pour off extra soap for individual holiday molds & embeds.

Master batch Oils #16: 60 oz Oils (Makes 86 oz /5.3 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.4 oz / 238 grams
1:1 Frozen Cream/Yogurt & Distilled Water: (1.79 oz disc/ % disc): 17 oz / 482 grams (used 8.25 C/Y & 8.85 W)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Carrot Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

47 oz Batter + 5 oz MP round tube mold/Colors/ 3 oz FO & VS (2 oz SE & 1 oz E):
9 oz BB Merlot mica & BB Red mica, 1 oz E, 1 oz VS
9 oz BB Red mica & TKB True Red, 0.7 oz SE, 0.7 oz VS
11 oz BB Neon Orange & BB Racing Stripe Orange (yellow) mica, 0.7 oz SE, 0.7 oz VS
9 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow & CC Yellow mica, 0.6 oz SE, 0.6 oz VS
9 oz TD White, No FO
5 oz Yellow MP Tube embed (in natural)
Layer colors pouring to create points/spikes
Add tube embed, into white layer and push down until covered with soap.
Top with yellow soap drops, merlot & red mica oil swirls.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TKB = TKB Trading; TD = Titanium Dioxide, VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)


The Reality:
I made a MP yellow tube embed a few weeks earlier for this project. I ran out of frozen cream and used frozen yogurt instead, as they both have similar properties for dry skin. I mixed the lye liquid and oils together at 82F & 88F, pouring through a strainer (in case of milk or lye not melting) and got a tiny 1/4 inch piece in the strainer. I blended until emulsified (using an immersion blender).

After dividing out the batter, I colored the soap and added the FO/VS blend to the merlot. I poured that for the bottom layer and put in the refrigerator to set up. After 10 minutes I poured the red soap (with FO/VS blend mixed in); put in fridge to set and continued with the other colors. By the time I did the yellow layer, the batter was thick enough to not have to wait for it to set up.

Each layer was slightly soft when pouring the next, as I wanted to create some spikes and uneven layers with the colors mixing up a bit. After pouring the last layer of white, I pushed the MP yellow embed into the soap until covered. I realized I should have either had the yellow at a lower point in the layers or had twice as much white so that the yellow tube mold would have stayed completely submerged in the white, instead of half in the yellow.

I topped with drops of yellow batter and merlot & red mica oils, then put in the refrigerator for 24 hours to prevent overheating the milk.


The Cut:


I blended the lye & oils just past emulsified, which worked to help stiffen the batter more quickly, but with all the side projects I had planned, the soap was a bit thick to work with, but still doable.

Next time I need to either have the yellow layer in between the red layers or use at least twice as much white so that the entire yellow tube is in the white area. Also, to get spiky layers I can’t push the tube into the soap, I need to pour around it. However, an egg effect came from pushing the yellow tube into the white, which looks kind of cool.

You can see last year’s version here.

Orange Cranberry soap in tiger and vertical hanger swirl with embeds on top

This is a yearly holiday staple that is refreshing and fun:


Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Cranberry Chutney FO (CC): With notes of traditional cranberry chutney, this tartly sweet scent is supported by subtle spice notes, vanilla, golden raisin, cooking apples and musk and sweetened with delightful concord grape. CP: turns yellow/tan; Sometime turns blue, but will disappear within 24 hrs.
Cranberry Sweet FO (CS): This is a sweet, traditional single note Cranberry scent. Cranberry is a tart seasonal scent that is a wonderful foil for one too many spicy scents. CP: A – soap low temps, discolors yellow, but fades to cream.
10X Orange EO (O): Smells juicy, ripe and deliciously orange. CP: Turns bright egg-yoke yellow color (but fades to beige without any other colorant added). Sticks well.


The Plan:
Soap below 90F and stick blend only to emulsified for acceleration in Cranberry Sweet.
Use 81 oz soap + 5 oz embeds.
Pour off extra batter for snowflake soaps & tube embed.

Master Batch Oils #16: 80 oz Oils (Makes 113 oz/ 7 lb soap)
MB Oils: 80 oz/ 2268 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 11.2 oz / 318 grams
Distilled Water: (3.05 oz disc/ % disc): 22 oz / 624 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 23 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Carrot Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

81 oz Batter/ Colors/5 oz FO/EO Blend (1.6 O, 2.6 CC & .8 CS):
15 oz TKB True Red, 1.25 fo/eo blend
15 oz BB Nuclear orange & Racing Stripe orange (yellow), 1.25 fo/eo blend
15 oz BB Merlot mica & BB red mica, 1.25 fo/eo blend
15 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow mica, 1.25 fo/eo blend
21 oz TD White, No fo/eo
5 oz embeds (15 orange slices, 30 light & dark red berries)
Tiger pour in middle with vertical zig-zag hanger swirl (5 strokes – 3 up, 2 down).
Swirl top with toothpick, add 3 embeds on each bar.
Put in fridge to prevent embeds from melting.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TKB = TKB Trading; TD = Titanium Dioxide)


The Reality:
I made 15 of each: orange slices, light red and dark red berry embeds (mix of CP & MP) a few weeks before to put 3 on top of each bar (15 bars). I soaped my lye and oils at 78F & 84F, stick blending just until emulsified (using an immersion blender).

The batter was very thin as I divided it and colored. I worked on a few projects with the extra soap and waited a bit too long before starting on my main batter. I alternated pouring down the middle of the mold with merlot, orange, red, yellow, and white. I poured from high, so that the soap with sink into the previous line put down, as it was slightly thick.

I then used a gear tie for the hanger swirl and pulled it down the very edge of the mold, then zig-zagged up vertically, then down – going up three times & down twice.

I added a little bit of leftover white on top and swirled with a toothpick, then spritzed each embed with alcohol & placed 3 on a bar, and sprinkled with fine iridescent glitter. I put the mold in a dedicated refrigerator to prevent heating/gelling so that the MP embeds would not melt.


The Cut:


I didn’t feel like I got any acceleration from the Cranberry FO, but it seemed like when I was almost through pouring the lines of batter, it started reversing trace. As I was adding the embeds they really sunk into the top.

You can see previous renditions of this soap here, here, here, and here.

Fresh Snow soap in Coconut Milk with Snowman & Snowflake Embeds

I was really thrilled with how this came out last year when I made 3 pounds, and wanted to duplicate it in a 5 lb mold:


Description of Bramble Berry Fresh Snow FO: This fragrance is designed to mimic the feeling of peace and tranquility after a fresh snowfall. It is a very ozone-y fragrance, reminiscent of clean laundry or fresh cotton. The actual notes however are intriguing; crisp heliotrope, with supporting notes of spring water, juniper berry, vetyver and sandalwood. CP: NO A, D, R. Very Strong. Batter stays thin for a long time.


The Plan:
Use 5 lb mold; 66 oz batter + 25 oz embeds (snowmen inside & snowflakes outside)
Make 4 layers – each a different combination of blues & whites, with mostly white on top.
Add snowmen embeds after first layer.
Top with 15 aqua MP snowflakes and 15 blue & white CP snowflakes.
Pour off extra batter for special projects.

Master Batch Oils #16: 74 oz Oils (Makes 106 oz/6.6 lb soap)
MB Oils: 74 oz/ 2098 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 10.36 oz / 294 grams
1:1 Frozen Coconut Milk & Distilled Water: (2.17 oz disc/ % disc): 21 oz / 595 grams (used 11 oz of CM & 10 oz of water)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 21 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Aloe Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

68 oz Batter/Colors/2 oz FO:
14 oz BB Ultramarine Blue (dark blue)
20 oz BB Caribbean Blue (light blue)
20 oz BB Neon Blue Raspberry (turquoise)
14 oz TD White
(BB = Bramble Berry; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

Combine (using In The Pot Swirl):
Bottom layer: 11 oz dark blue & 7 oz turquoise
Add snowmen embeds
2nd layer: 3 oz dark blue, 10 oz light blue, 3 oz turquoise
3rd layer: 10 oz light blue, 7 oz turquoise, 3 oz white,
4th/top layer: 3 oz turquoise, 11 oz white,
Add on each bar: 1 MP aqua and 1 CP blue & white snowflake embed.
Leftover batter for samples


The Reality:
I made CP Snowmen embeds and CP blue/white snowflake embeds a few weeks before and wrapped them in cellophane so the cure would slow down and they would still be a bit soft (for ease of slicing through the snowmen when cutting the loaf). I also made aqua MP snowflake embeds and wrapped in plastic to avoid sweating. Plus I froze the milk & water ahead of time.

I realized that I had underestimated the weight of my embeds, so the layers planned had too much batter – I decided to just eyeball everything and wing it with each layer.

I soaped my lye liquid and oils at 81F & 91F, pouring the lye though a strainer into the oils (and did catch a tiny piece of undissolved frozen milk or lye.) I stick blended to just past emulsified (using an immersion blender) and poured off the extra batter before adding the FO. This fragrance tends to reverse trace, so I wasn’t worried about acceleration.

When mixing up the first layer (in an In the Pot swirl), I found the batter too thin to combine the turquoise into the dark blue, so I poured what I had, and put the mold in a refrigerator to thicken up. In the mean time, I worked with the extra batter on special projects. I spent a lot of time on that (15-20 minutes?) and when I got back to the main batter, the soap was at a light to medium trace – which worked well.

I scalloped the top of the first layer and added the rest of the turquoise soap (that was supposed to be in there), then added half of the second layer on each side of the mold and put down my snowmen embeds off to one side, finishing off that layer with the rest of the soap. I poured the third & fourth layers and added the snowflake embeds on the opposite side of where the snowmen laid. As I was trying to push those into the soap I realized the snowmen embeds were too high and too close to the middle. (I had made the snowflake embeds thicker than last year.)

I added a few tiny MP snowflake embeds, spritzed with fine iridescent glitter and put in the refrigerator to prevent the milk from overheating and the MP embeds from melting (preventing gel.)


The Cut:




I know this plan was very off the cuff and I should have adjusted my batter amounts in each layer, but it seemed to come out okay in the end. Next time it would be better to make the snowflake embeds half the thickness, as they would be easier to place on the top without worry of bumping into the snowmen below. (Also, less view of the edge of the snowflake when cutting the loaf into bars.) Another option would be to use all tiny MP snowflakes on top.

You can see previous renditions of this soap here, here, and here.

Pumpkin & Brown Sugar Buttermilk Soap with Pumpkin embed inside

Last year I mixed another pumpkin fragrance with Pumpkin & Brown Sugar FO, but the other pumpkin is discontinued – so with just this FO, it should really be called Maple Brown Sugar Pumpkin, as that’s what I smell, but maybe it’s just me that just gets a hint of pumpkin!


Description of Bramble Berry Pumpkin & Brown Sugar FO: This warm, buttery fragrance features top notes of butter and caramel, a heart of pumpkin and brown sugar, and is tied together with a base of maple and vanilla bean. CP: NO A, but D dark tan/orange/light brown (3% Vanilla).


The Plan:
Add Pumpkin Seed Oil & Pumpkin Seed Butter to MB oils & run through lye calculator.
3 lb Silicone mold with CP pumpkin tube embed.
3 oz Pumpkin & Brown Sugar FO, 2.5 oz VS
Use 42 oz batter & 9.8 oz Pumpkin embeds
Green & natural/brown base, ITP swirl; pumpkin embed when set.
ITP swirl Gold base, with orange and red.
Pour off extra batter (32 oz) for special projects.

Master batch Oils #16: 49.5 oz Oils + 2 .25 oz Pumpkin Seed Oil & 2.25 oz Pumpkin Seed Butter (Makes 70 oz /4.5 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 49.5 oz/ 1403 grams
Pumpkin Oil: 2.25 oz/ 64 grams
Pumpkin Butter: 2.25 oz/ 64 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 6.99 oz / 198 grams
1:1 Frozen Buttermilk & Frozen Distilled Water: (2.34 oz disc/ 15%): 14 oz / 397 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 15 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Carrot Extract (1%): 15 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

42 oz Batter/Colors/ 3 FO + 2.5 oz VS:
1st layer – ITP swirl:
10 oz Christmas green (BB Chrome green & BB Hydrated chrome oxide – teal), .75 oz FO, .5 oz VS
3 oz Natural (will turn brown), .25 FO
2nd layer – set on top, partially into 1st layer:
9.8 oz Pumpkin embed
3rd layer – ITP swirl:
23 oz BB Gold mica, 1.5 oz FO, 1.5 oz VS
3 oz TKB True Red, .25 FO, .25 VS
3 oz MM Clementine Orange, .25 FO, .3 VS
Top with orange & red soap and gold & brown mica oils and swirl.
Put in refrigerator to prevent milk from overheating.
(BB = Bramble Berry; MM = Mica’s & More; TKB = TKB Trading; TD = Titanium Dioxide, VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)


The Reality:
I made two CP orange pumpkin tube embeds a couple weeks before – they are 8 inches long and I needed 10 inches total. I scented both with Pumpkin & Brown Sugar FO and one with some additional pumpkin fo.

I soaped the lye-liquid and oils at 85F & 95F, pouring through a strainer to catch any undissolved milk or lye (didn’t have any) and stick blended just to emulsified (using an immersion blender); divided up the batter and added color to each container. The milk did not cause any acceleration and while waiting for the soap to thicken for the first layer, I worked on unscented snowflake soaps in individual molds.

When the batter was at medium trace I poured 3 oz of natural (will turn brown) into the green in several places, made one pass through the container with a spatula to swirl the the two colors, and poured all into the mold. Next I placed 10 inches of pumpkin embed tubes on top of the green and snuggled it in about half way.

I then poured the red and orange batter into the gold in several places, swirled once with a spatula and poured on top of the embed and green batter. To top this off, I zig-zagged lines of red and orange soap on top, as well as gold and brown mica oil dots, then swirled diagonally the other direction with a toothpick and put into the refrigerator to prevent overheating the milk.



The Cut:



I wish I wouldn’t have pushed the pumpkin embed so far down in the green – I did that because I wanted to get a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch effect. I’m very surprised that I didn’t get more browning in the green area.

These bars smell amazing – I just can’t stop smelling them. I like the FO so much that I even made a room spray with it, so I smell it all over my house! I rarely get the pumpkin scent though – it’s all Maple and Brown Sugar to me, but maybe others will smell the pumpkin where I can’t.


Lavender Essential Oil with Layers & Heart Tube embeds 5 lbs + 1 lb with mat

The scent of lavender has shown to have positive effects on mood and can help to alleviate mild feelings of agitation or distress. Lavender has been thought of for centuries as an aphrodisiac and had been used to arouse passion. This is a bold yet fresh smelling Lavender essential oil, very similar to Lavender Provence.

Description of Bulk Apothecary Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil: The “40/42” refers to the balance of Linalool and Linalyl acetate esters, which is what gives it such a consistent floral scent, and means it is standardized in a lab to ensure consistency in smell. It also has a balsamic woody undertone with a floral, herbaceous fresh scent. CP: Water White, no acceleration.


The Plan:
Use 95.5 oz batter for 5 lb & 1 lb molds.
Pour off 32 oz for tube embeds & FO testing
86 oz for 5 lb Mold: 72.5 oz batter + 13.5 oz embed tubes (for 15 bars)
23 oz for 1 lb Mold: 21.5 oz batter + 1.5 oz heart embeds with heart impression mat
Embed Heart Tubes: 1 Fat Yellow, 1 Skinny Aqua, 1 Skinny Plum = 13.5 oz.
Individual Heart embeds: 4 red, 4 pink = 1.5 oz.

Master Batch Oils #14: 90 oz Oils (Makes 127.5 oz/8 lb soap)
MB Oils: 90 oz/ 2551 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 12.72 oz / 361 grams
Distilled Water: (4.7 oz disc/ 17.5%): 25 oz / 709 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 25 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 25 grams (in oils)
Calendula Extract (1%): 25 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 25 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

95.5 oz Batter (use 72.5 oz for 5 lb & 21.5 oz for 1 lb/Colors/5.5 oz EO:
62.5 oz TD White, 4 oz EO
12 oz BB Aqua Pearl, .75 oz eo
10 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow, .5 oz eo
7 oz BB Radiant Plum, .25 oz eo
2 oz BB Raspberry mica. no eo
2 oz BB Raspberry mica with TD, no eo
13.5 oz heart tube embeds
1.5 oz heart embeds
(BB = Bramble Berry, TD = Titanium Dioxide)

For 5 lb mold:
10 oz layer: Aqua Pearl on bottom
8 oz layer: Fizzy Lemonade Yellow
5 oz layer: Plum
1/2 white, add embeds & rest of white.
Top with lines of colored batter swirled on top with & fine iridescent glitter.

For 1 lb mold, with heart impression mat:
2 oz BB Raspberry mica
2 oz BB Raspberry mica with TD (pink)
Paint mat red & pink.
ITP swirl with red, pink, & white
Pour 1/3 batter, add individual embed hearts upside-down; rest of batter.
Leave top white (will be bottom).



The Reality:
Since I can’t seem to keep this soap in stock, I wanted to try using two molds – my usual 5 lb and a 1 lb with a tiny little heart mat I have never used. (This meant one remembering to make the 1 lb upside-down, so that the heart embeds would be right side up.)

I soaped the lye and oils at 84F & 88F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). It took a bit longer than usual to blend the lye & oils (with such a large amount in the container) and because of that, the batter went right to light trace from over stick blending (next time a combo of hand stirring & blending would be better.)

I divided the soap into separate containers – adding colors & fragrance (all accept the white); stick blended the Aqua, poured the first layer and put in refrigerator to set, which happened quickly. I then poured the yellow layer (with no extra stick blending) and put back into refrigerator to set. While that was setting up I made some tube embeds; mixed up my colors for the 1 lb loaf and “painted” the heart mat with the red & pink.

After the yellow layer set, I poured the plum layer and put into refrigerator again to set. By now the 62.5 ounces I had for both main batters was getting very thick. I poured off 20 oz for the 1 pound mold and colored with titanium dioxide, poured the red & pink into it for an in the pot swirl and poured half into the 1 pound mold; added the 8 heart embeds (upside down, as the bottom with the mat will be the top); then added the rest of the soap.

By now the yellow layer was set, so I added titanium dioxide to the remaining fragranced batter and pour 2/3 into the mold, added the heart tube embeds & covered with the rest of the white. I topped off with one line of each color on top and swirled, spritzed with fine iridescent glitter and CPCP’d in a 150F preheated oven for 6 hours (turned off for two hours, then back on to bring up the heat twice, and off again.)




The Cut: (from 5 lb mold):



1 lb mold:



This soaping session was way too busy and took hours. In hindsight, I should have made a smaller batch and saved the fragranced testing for another time. After finishing with the two loafs I was making, the extra batter was so stiff it was tough to work with and made it that much harder to test individual fragrances in separate molds.

The 1/4 inch thick mat used in the one pound mold was too thick and it was difficult to get the amount of soap I wanted into the mold. Sadly, I’m not too please with the mat or the design – I used way too much colored soap in the ITP swirl.


Deadly Weapon Cedarwood with Jojoba beads and CP gun embed on top

This is a remake of my gun soap – with slight refinements from previous batches (seen here, here, and here).


Description of Natures Garden and Bramble Berry Essential & Fragrance Oils:
NG Deadly Weapon FO: A rugged and masculine scent with the perfect balance of intense spices including black pepper, cardamom and clove with a touch of sweet mandarin that sets the scene for the introduction of rich leather, smooth frankincense and edgy woods. Top: Mandarin, Black Pepper, Cardamom. Mid: Clove, Vetiver, Leather. Base: Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Musk. .057% Vanilla. CP: No R, D, A, S.
BB Cedarwood Virginia EO: Deep, woodsy aroma; has the wonderfully sweet, earthy aroma of the cedarwood trees. CP: discolors almond, may cause slight acceleration.

Jojoba beads are created from jojoba oil, which is a luxurious liquid wax derived from the seed of the Jojoba shrub. The round shape gives you a light exfoliation.


The Plan:
64 oz batter and 12 black MP gun embeds (6 oz)
12 bars: 5 lb mold (7 soaps), 3 lb mold (4 soaps), plus 1 rectangular mold
Red Jojoba Beads
1:1 mix of Deadly Weapon FO & Cedarwood EO (1.75 oz of each)
Pour off extra batter for testing and holiday embeds.

Master batch Oils #16: 65 oz Oils (Makes 91 oz/5.7 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 9.1 oz / 258 grams
Distilled Water: (3.35 oz disc/ 16 % disc) 17 oz / 482 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 18 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 18 grams (in oils)
Dulse Extract (1%):18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Sea Buckthorn Extract (1%):18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

64 Batter/Colors/ 3.5 oz FO-EO Blend:
64 oz TD white, 3.5 oz FO/EO
1 tsp Red Jojoba Beads
Mix jojoba beads into white batter, pour and add guns on top.
Put in refrigerator to prevent gel, as Jojoba beads can melt above 130F.
Leftovers for samples. 


The Reality:
I made the CP gun embeds several weeks earlier, as they usually take about a week to get out of the mold. I soaped my lye and oils at 86F & 92F, stick blending until emulsified – which seemed to take longer than usual (I used an immersion blender).

After pouring off extra batter, I added a lot of Titanium Dioxide to whiten the soap. Since it was in the main container, which is red, the color could have been obscured a bit by the bowl, but after I added the EO/FO blend & jojoba beads and poured it into the molds, the soap was still a tan color. This could also be caused by the Cedarwood Virginia EO as it may discolor darker than the Cedarwood Atlas I usually use.

The batter was very thin when pouring into the molds, and I was prepared to wait a bit before adding the embeds to get a smooth top. I may have gotten a bit of slow acceleration, as it was only a few minutes and the soap was thick, so I added the gun embeds on top.

I spritzed several times with alcohol and covered with cellophane, then put into the fridge to prevent the jojoba beads melting (which could happen if gelling above 130F).


The Cut:


I liked the more traditional looking soaps I got on the last batch using the 5-lb mold as a horizontal mold, versus the chunkier bars, and went with all of the former by using the 5-lb and 3-lb molds.

The MP (Glycerin) embeds are more intricate, but I went with CP this time as they are more durable in hot weather.

I’m still not sure if I got any acceleration from the Cedarwood or if the soap set up quickly because I stick blended longer, as it took longer than usual to reach emulsification.


2nd Batch: Oatmeal Milk & Honey Buttermilk soap with colloidal oatmeal, buttermilk, & honey; drop & hanger swirl with honeycomb top

I usually only make this once a year – in the fall, but someone wanted 13 out of 15 bars, so I decided to make another batch:


Why Buttermilk, Colloidal Oatmeal and Honey?
Buttermilk is an excellent skin softer. It has lots of extra moisturizing properties, along with alpha hydroxy acids that are great for dry, sensitive skin and delicate skin. The natural sugar in buttermilk helps increase the bubbles in soap.

Colloidal Oatmeal is a micro-fine, ground oatmeal and is one of the most gentle exfoliants you can use. It’s a great additive for those with extra dry skin and is used to alleviate itchiness. It’s also known for it’s soothing properties and has all the benefits of oatmeal without the scratchiness. It also makes skin feel smooth & refreshing.

Honey adds additional humectant properties and helps create bubbles. (A humectant is an ingredient that absorbs moisture from the air.) Humectants are great for the skin, as they can help the skin retain moisture. Honey also contains antioxidants and natural sugars which can increase the lather of soap.

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Oatmeal Milk & Honey Cybilla (OMHC): Warm oatmeal, with creamy milk & honey. CP: discolors to dark beige/tan; 1% Vanilla. Discontinued.
Oatmeal Milk & Honey (OMH): Sweet & toasty milky oatmeal, with hints of almond & honey and butter cream. CP: 2.5% Vanilla. (Possible green-brown discolor and acceleration.)


The Plan:
5 lb mold, 86 oz soap
Layer natural batter with colors, hanger swirl middle.
Top with bubble wrap.
Use 5.6 oz FO: the last of the OMH Cybillia (1.1 oz) & the rest in OMH (4.5 oz).
Leftovers for samples.

Master batch Oils #17: 65 oz Oils (Makes 90 oz/5.6 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 9.17 oz / 260 grams
1:1 Frozen Buttermilk & Distilled Water: (4.5 oz disc/ 22% disc) 16 oz / 454 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 18 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Colloidal Oatmeal (1%): 18 grams (in oils)
Honey Powder (1%): 18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Carrot Extract (1%): 18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

90 oz Batter (use 86 oz)/Color/5.6 oz FO blend, 3 oz VS:
34 oz Natural, 2.5 OMH FO, .5 oz VS
20 oz Natural, 1.15 oz OMHC, .45 oz OMH FO, 1 oz VS
12 oz BB Purple Brazilian Clay (brown), in water .25 oz, 1 oz OMH FO, No VS
12 oz MM Turmeric Root Powder Orange, in water, .25 oz, .5 OMH FO, .5 VS (hint of Nuclear orange mica)
12 oz TD White; No FO, .5 oz VS
2 oz TKB Yellow Shimmer Pop mica
Pour 30 oz Natural, layer colors/drop swirl, pour 20 oz Natural, then hanger swirl.
Swirl top with toothpick and add bubble wrap.
PUT IN REFRIGERATOR to prevent milk from overheating.
DO NOT cut for 4 days.
(BB = Bramble Berry; MM= Mica’s & More; TD = Titanium Dioxide; TKB = TKB Trading; VS= Natures Garden Vanilla Stabilizer)


The Reality:
I froze the buttermilk and distilled water ahead of time, soaping the lye liquid and oils at 92F and 86F, and poured the lye liquid through a strainer (no undissolved milk or any bits caught); stick blending past emulsified, but stopping before light trace (using an immersion blender).

I separated out 34 oz and added the FO blend, pouring into the mold and putting into a refrigerator to set up for about 15 minutes. While waiting, I divided up the rest of the soap, and added color & fragrance to each container.

The batter behaved very well and I could have easily stick blended it more. I had 2 oz extra batter, and mixed up a little yellow mica, for a tiny accent color.

I drop swilled the 4 colors of batter, keeping the pour low so as not to go all the way to the bottom (just for something a little different); then hanger swirled (using a gear tie) – doing two figure eights in the batter. I added the 20 oz of natural – first a little to break through the other colors, with the majority poured on top.

After topping off with a few rows of colored soap, I zig-zagged with a toothpick horizontally, creating very fine lines, then again lengthwise. I then added bubble wrap on top and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours to prevent the milk from overheating.


The Cut:





This was a very well behaved batch of soap, which made it really enjoyable to create. The tiny bit of yellow accent color did not show up in most bars and the ones it did, it almost looked like some kind of discoloration, so it really wasn’t worth adding in.

There is more contrast between the darker, bottom half and the lighter top half of the Natural (uncolored) soap poured, which really pops more than the first batch (seen here).

I wish I would have had more OMH Cybillia fragrance, as I like that FO better than the straight OMH, but the former has been discontinued, and I used the very last bit of it. (The combination of the two is the best!)