Grapefruit Bellini in tiger & hanger swirls with MP embeds on top

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Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Grapefruit Bellini (GB): This sparkling, fruity fragrance is a bright, happy scent. Top notes of Pineapple, Jasmine and Grapefruit are enlivened by Peach Nectar and Mango then finished off with Rhubarb and Sugared Musk. CP: Pale tan/yellow discolor; some fading of top notes, cures very light; accelerated last time used. Fades – use 1.5 oz/1 lb soap.
Pink Grapefruit (PG): Light, exhilarating, wake-me-up grapefruit. CP: wonderful, really hangs on, no fading.

 

The Plan:
Soap low temperatures to slow acceleration.
3 lb mold with clear MP embeds.
3 MP Butterfly embeds on top of each bar – 4.65 oz total.
Tiger swirl & hanger swirl in butterfly shape?

Master batch Oils #9: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Distilled Water: (1.54 oz disc/ 12.3%): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

54 oz Batter/Colors/ 4.4 oz GB + .5 oz PG FO:
18 oz TD White
9 oz BB Queens purple mica
9 oz BB Raspberry mica
9 oz BB Nuclear Orange & Racing Stripe Orange (turns yellow)
9 oz CC Yellow Locking mica & BB Fizzy Lemonade colorant
(BB = Bramble Berry; TD = Titanium Dioxide; CC = Crafters Choice Wholesale Supplies Plus.)

Use 47.35 oz for loaf mold; rest of batter for oval soaps.
Tiger stripe then hanger swirl in shape of butterfly.
Swirl Top.
Put 3 clear MP Butterfly embeds on top of each bar: (Pink, purple, yellow, orange) – 4.65 oz total.
Sprinkle with fine iridescent glitter.
Make 3 oval soaps, ITP swirl, with leftover MP butterflies on top (8 – 1.45 oz total.)
PUT IN FRIDGE SO MP EMBEDS DON’T MELT

 

The Reality:
I soaped at very low temperatures: 92F for lye liquid and 90F for oils, stick blending until just emulsified (using an immersion blender). After dividing up all the batter and mixing in the colors, I added the FO blend. It stayed very thin for several minutes, and then accelerated fast.

I quickly poured Tiger stripe lines in this order: purple, raspberry, white, orange, yellow, white – then repeated several times. I made very hefty pours, as I didn’t know how much thicker the batter would get. (It accelerated just past a medium trace, then stopped without thickening anymore.)

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The colors before any changes from FO or curing.

I then attempted to create a butterfly swirl inside with my thin hanger tool,  (from Bramble Berry, here) still working quickly, as I was unsure how stiff the batter was inside. I put the hanger in the middle of the mold and moved it half way down, then pulled it up and over to one side, zig-zagging a bit as I moved it half way down the outer side and pulled it up to the middle. I did the other side the same way.

When I brought it back to the middle of the mold the second time, I moved it down & out to the side, zig-zagging again from the edge down to the bottom, then pulling it up to the middle and repeated the other side. I was working blind, but trying to trace the outline of a butterfly inside the mold with the hanger tool.

I then swirled the top diagonally with a chopstick and zig-zagged it horizontally down the length of the mold several times; topped with MP butterfly embeds and fine iridescent glitter:

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With MP Butterflies and iridescent glitter on top

In this close up you can see the swirls underneath the MP butterfly embeds a little better, as well as the fine iridescent glitter:

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The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I know this was a huge amount of FO for 3 1/3 lbs of soap, but I actually worried that I hadn’t used enough. I remember the Grapefruit Bellini fading in this fragrance last time I used it, which is why I added some Pink Grapefruit FO. (I had 4.4 oz left of Grapefruit Bellini and wanted to finish it off. If I buy this again, it may be better to use a higher ratio of Grapefruit FO with it.)

After curing, this fragrance smells really amazing but is very light. The Grapefruit Bellini was almost 2 years old, so this may be one of those fragrances that have a short shelf life (although I remember it was light when new too).

I forgot that in the description of this FO, it says it discolors tan or yellow and I did not take this into consideration with my colors, however I didn’t get any discolor.

All the intricate swirls I made with the hanger did not produce a butterfly – it looks like a bird or rising phoenix to me. I’m not sure why I thought I could get a butterfly look – I truly had no idea – but thought I would try it anyway. However, I really like the unique design that was created.

It’s interesting that I used the same amount of purple & raspberry as yellow & orange, and yet the first two colors seem like accent colors and the last two appear to be the primary colors. I think this is because the white helps boost the lighter colors and contrasts with the darker ones.

I am very pleased with this design and would like to try it again sometime.

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Oval Soaps with ITP swirl & MP Butterflies on top

 

 

 

Sparkling Fig Cocktail Soap in Drop Swirl

I bought the introductory four-pack of 2 oz Cocktail fragrances from Bramble Berry, and this is the first one in the group that I tried:

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Description of Bramble Berry Sparkling Fig Cocktail FO: Sweet and fruity, with a healthy dose of fresh green notes, this cocktail is mouthwatering and intriguing. Top notes of exotic dragonfruit, orange, and green apple are balanced with peach nectar, pink peony and neroli. The shining star in this fragrance is the finishing note of fresh green fig leaves. CP: No A or D. 0% Vanillin. Preforms beautifully.

 

The Plan:
Use 2 lb mold and 2 oz of FO, with a complete drop swirl design throughout.
Leftovers in sample mold.

Master batch Oils #9: 28 oz Oils (Makes 40 oz soap)
MB Oils: 28 oz/ 794 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 3.99 oz / 113 grams
Distilled Water: (1.24 oz disc/ 13.3%): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 8 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 8 grams (in oils)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 8 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 8 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

37 Batter/Colors/ 2 oz FO:
10 oz BB Ultramarine Lavender (Light Purple – turned pink)
10 oz BB Ultramarine Violet Purple (Dark Purple)
10 oz MM Mint Green (Light Green)
10 oz MM Hunter Green (Dark green)
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More)

Drop swirl, build up top for full size bars.
Queens Purple mica & silver mica oil drizzle on top.
Sprinkle with fine iridescent glitter.

 

The Reality:
There were only two reviews on this new fragrance and neither said anything about the behavior of it while soaping, so I wanted to play it safe: soaping the Lye liquid and oils at 98F, stick blending until just past emulsified – not yet at light trace, (using immersion blender).

I separated out the batter and mixed in the colors. I then added the FO – it was slow to accelerate, so I quickly started working on a complete drop swirl design (something I had wanted to do in Oud to Owls (see here), but that accelerated too quickly.) About half way through pouring alternate colors into the mold, the batter got very thick – past a medium trace, and then it stopped accelerating.

I was worried that the batter would get too thick to build a soap top – fortunately it did not. I added lines of color and attempted to scallop the top with the back of a spoon, but this is not my expertise, and it seemed to just get muddy. I wasn’t satisfied with the look, so I added some Queens Purple mica and silver mica oils and swirled that in as best I could. I still wasn’t happy with the results, so I sprinkled with some fine iridescent glitter.

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Swirled top with mica oils before adding iridescent glitter

 

The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I was unsure about this color combo, and contemplated adding a contrasting color like white or yellow, but even though this seems a little dark, I like the diversity. I might change the pink next time to the light purple I had wanted. (I thought I would get that with the Ultramarine Lavender, but it turned pink.)

I still need to work on my drop swirl, as I don’t feel I achieved the look I was going for. I rushed through the pour a bit, because I was anxious about the FO acceleration.

I do not care for this fragrance at all – it’s overpoweringly green and just not for me.

 

 

Raspberry Porter Beer Soap in Tiger & Hanger swirls, with cp raspberries embeds on top

 

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Description of Bramble Berry Raspberry Porter: This fruity beer fragrance smells crisp and clean. It’s a fresh combination of Sun ripened Raspberry, Squeezed Lemon and a winey fruit scent with hints of Green Leaf and Rose. A discontinued fragrance. CP: discolors tan, .2% Vanilla. Behaves wonderfully in cold process soap but loses some of the sweet notes leaving you with a spicy raspberry scent.

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold 48 oz batter + 4.4 oz embeds
Dale’s Pale Ale (12 oz can), with alcohol cooked out & frozen, plus frozen distilled water.
3 oz Raspberry Porter FO
Tiger & Hanger swirl
Top with raspberry embeds

 

Master batch Oils #9: 50 oz Oils (Makes 73 oz /4.5 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.12 oz / 202 grams
Frozen Beer & Distilled Water: (2.5 oz disc/ 15.15%): 14 oz / 397 grams (9.75 oz Dale’s Pale Ale + 4.25 oz Frozen Distilled water)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 14 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 14 grams (in oils)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

48 oz Batter/Colors/ FO:
20 oz TD White
6 oz BB Raspberry Mica (dark pink)
6 oz BB Fired Up Fuchsia & TD (light pink)
8 oz CC Apple Green (Light green)
8 oz MM Hunter Green (Dark green)
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More, CC = Crafters Choice Wholesale Supplies Plus; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

Tiger & Hanger swirls, topped with 4 raspberries on each bar (36 total).

 

The Reality:
I let the frozen liquids thaw for 15 minutes, then added the NaOH. Soaped the Lye liquid at 95F and the oils at 92F; stick blended (with immersion blender) until emulsified, which took only a few seconds. (Beer causes the batter to emulsify quickly.) I forgot about this and it startled me a bit – I had thought about blending longer, but I’m so glad I didn’t.

I divided out the batter and started on embeds for future projects, as the batter needed to be very thin for the tube molds used. I didn’t have time to finish because the rest of the batter was getting thick.

When I got to my main soap, it was a bit firmer than I liked, but after adding the FO, it thinned out quite a lot, which I was very pleased about. But before I could complete my tiger stripe pours, it was getting thick again. I used my thin hanger tool (from Bramble Berry, here) and zig-zagged up & down, then finished off with lines of colored soap on top, swirling with a chop stick; adding CP raspberry embeds, and sprinkling with fine iridescent glitter.

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Top swirled with chop stick

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Top after adding raspberry embeds and before glitter

Put mold into refrigerator to prevent overheating.

 

The Cut:

 

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Conclusions:
Fortunately, the soap batter never got too thick to make tiger stripes. I am very pleased with the colors and swirls. There is not much distinction between the light & dark reds, unless you look at it up close. The white is more of a cream color, which tones down the “Christmas color” effect of the red & greens.

As the FO description states, it lost it’s sweetness and some of the tart raspberry scent, but is still a nice fragrance. I had thought of adding some Sun Ripened Raspberry FO to boost the raspberry scent, but I didn’t because I know how quickly that FO accelerates.

Lavender Bouquet Soap with 2 Hearts & ITP Swirl

I wanted to create the Lavender soap I had planned to make a couple months ago that I messed up (see blog here), using a different fragrance and colors.

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Description of Bramble Berry Lavender Bouquet Cybilla FO: Nice and strong with hints of lilac, carnation and baby’s breath. Reviews: no sharp herbal/medicinal scent; lovely sophisticated clean scent. CP: No A, R, D.

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold, 52 oz
ITP swirl with 2 Heart embeds

Master batch Oils #9: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Distilled Water: (1.54 oz disc/ 12.3%): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

44 oz Batter/Color/3 oz FO:
30 oz TD White
4 oz BB Neon Blue Raspberry (turquoise)
4 oz BB Aqua Pearl
6 oz BB Raspberry mica

ITP swirl
8.3 oz Heart Tube Embeds: 1 fat turquoise (4.7 oz) & 1 skinny aqua (3.6 oz – cut to fit mold)
Mica Oil swirls on top: Neon Blue Raspberry, Aqua Pearl, & Raspberry.

 

The Reality:
I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 102F & 104F, stick blending to emulsified (using an immersion blender). I worked on embeds for future projects and then had to wait a bit for the batter to thicken enough for an In The Pot Swirl. I mixed up my colors & added the FO, waited some more, then poured all the colors into the white and made one pass with the spatula, then poured about 1/3 of the batter into the mold. I added the turquoise heart tube, covered with more soap, then added the aqua heart tube, and finished with more batter.

I’m not sure why I didn’t add lines of leftover color on top – instead I just added some mica oil drops, then cut through them with a toothpick to create hearts and sprinkled with fine iridescent glitter, and covered with plastic wrap & towels and put in room with little heater to gel.

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The Cut:

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Which background highlights the soaps better?

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Conclusions:
When I cut the loaf I was surprised that the wide heart fell to the bottom – my batter wasn’t thick enough to hold it.

I should have waited a week before cutting, as the turquoise heart was fully cured and once again the bottom of the heart crumbled slightly, which happened with the previous Lavender Hearts soap here. (My theory is that if I wait a week the rest of the soap wouldn’t be so soft and I can reduce the fragmenting.) Fortunately, because it was at the bottom of the bar, when I trimmed the soap I also trimmed off the shards.

I was fast & loose with the ratio of colors to white, and once again feel that there is too much color in this. I need to go back to the “drawing board” and add less, making the colors more of an accent in the white.

 

 

 

Oud to Owls in (failed) Drop Pour swirl with embeds on Soap Face

I have been looking for an Ebony Oud or Oud Pachouli scent for soap that is similar to the Party Lite candles I have by the same names. Although this fragrance is not identical, it is the only one I have found.

A Yellow Cottage Soapery YouTube video prompted me to try the technique of adding  embeds onto the face of the soap – thank you for the inspiration Stacey!

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Description of Crafters Choice Wholesale Supplies Plus Oud & Incense FO: Deep notes of black pepper, oud and incense are brightened with lavender and berries. CP: No A, D, R. .2% Vanilla. Review: spicy, warm smell. (This ACCELERATED LIKE CRAZY!!)

 

The Plan:
Use 2 lb mold & 7 CP Owl embeds (1.45 oz)
Drop Pour Swirl
Use leftover batter for guest/sample soaps.

Master batch Oils #9: 28 oz Oils (Makes 40 oz soap)
MB Oils: 28 oz/ 794 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 3.99 oz / 113 grams
Distilled Water: (1.24 oz/ 13.3%): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 8 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 8 grams (in oils)
Dulse Extract (1%): 8 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 8 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

36 oz Batter/Colors/FO:
8 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade
8 oz BB Nuclear Orange
8 oz BB Red Mica (+TKB True Red)
8 oz BB Zippy Blue Mica(+Ultramarine Blue)
8 oz BB Queens Purple Mica (+Ultramarine Violet)

Pour sequence: Purple, orange, blue, yellow, red.
Build up top with thick soap and swirl with back of spoon.
CPOP for 4 hours?

Un-mold, cut, and “glue” owl embeds on face of bar with melted cocoa butter. (Or clear melted MP)

 

The Reality:
I choose several of the colors above because I already had them mixed up for a previous batch. Instead of adding to them when I needed more, I used a little of some other leftover colors (in parenthesize above). (I premix all my micas & colorants in heated oils. I find heating this mixture up helps them incorporate into the batter better.)

Soaped at 104F Lye & 120F oils – I was a little high on the temperature of my oils, as I got distracted while waiting for the lye liquid to cool, but I used to soap at 120-130F (always within 10 degrees with the lye & oils), and I figured this wasn’t too far off.

I stick blended (using immersion blender) and got to very light trace really quickly – I like to stop at emulsified. But since I was doing a drop swirl/pour I figured I needed it a little thicker anyway, so I was not worried.

This was a strange soaping session – when I divided my batter into 5 containers, I only had about 37 ounces of soap. I ran through my procedure of weighing everything out in my head, and I did not make any mistakes. I was especially worried about not weighing out enough oils, but I remember checking it in both ounces and grams.

I mixed up my colors, then divided the FO with a tiny bit less in the yellow & orange, in case of any discoloration with the .2% Vanilla. Everything was still very thin – too thin to pour – until it wasn’t. All of a sudden the soap accelerated at lightning speed and I had to glop the batter into the mold until I couldn’t even plop it any more. I tried texturing the top, but it was all too hard, so I sprinkled with some glitter and put it in the oven. I was so disgusted with it all, I didn’t even take a photo of the top.

Normally I would have warmed the oven back up to 150F after preheating it and opening the door to insert the mold, but the soap was so hot, I was afraid it might crack. (So not only did it accelerate like crazy, but it also got really hot.) I considered putting it in the fridge, but did not.

 

The Cut:
Since this soap was both very stiff and CPOP’ed, it easily came out of the mold within 24 hours. I immediately steamed & trimmed it so that I could affix the little owl embeds. I used cocoa butter to glue them on, but in hind-sight, I think using MP would be better, as that is soap on soap. While the cocoa butter may add an additional luxuriance to the soap, it already has 3 butters in it and it may take away some of the lather – or with the tiny bit used, it may have no effect at all. But the cocoa butter dried opaque and the edges around the owls needed to be cleaned off, while clear MP would remain translucent, with one less step to contend with.

I expected this soap to have lots of air pockets and blobs of color. Thank goodness I got neither. I was extremely happy with how they turned out – the design looks nice, there are no air pockets, and I think the owls make it adorable:

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Conclusions:
This was a new fragrance for me. I typically test new scents by making a sample/guest size soap. But since I only had 2 oz of this FO I took a chance without sampling it. The manufacturers notes said no A, D, or R, and there were no CP reviews. (There’s one from me now!)

I will admit to my part in the issues I had – soaping the oils a little high, at 120F. (Even at my usual 100-105F I would have had acceleration if it was going to happen – I just may have had a bit more time to work with it.)

I was very frustrated and disheartened after making this soap. But then I realized that it has been a really long time since I’ve felt like this while soaping – so I guess the soap gods caught up to me! Which made me feel especially grateful that all my holiday soaps worked out so stunningly (I was extremely pleased with my fall and Christmas soaps this season).

The FO was extremely strong when soaping with it, but it mellowed out quickly and within a week smelled so wonderful I would definitely buy it again. (I have several Ebony Oud and Oud & Patchouli candles that I cherish and have looked for a similar fragrance. This is not the same, but the closest I have found.)

 

 

 

 

Four Thieves soap #13 in Advanced Tiger Stripe & Layers

This is a remake of Four Thieves soap – and by the title, you can deduce that I have made it a dozen times before. There are other blogs on this soap with the tiger stripe here and here, and using the zebra swirl & impression mats here and here (where I won sponsors choice award and placed 7th overall).

Ever heard of Four Thieves Blend? Wonder what the story is behind the name? You can find out at the bottom of this blog.

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The Plan:
Make 106 oz soap batter
Pour off 16 oz for embeds/samples
Use 5 lb mold, 90 oz batter, 3 layers: 1st layer white with EO blend; 2nd layer tiger wall pour (no fo, 6 colors); 3rd layer white with EO

Master Batch Oils #9: 74 oz Oils (Makes 106 oz/6.6 lb soap)
MB Oils: 74 oz/ 2098 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 10.54 oz / 299 grams
Distilled Water: (3.42 oz disc/ 14%): 21 oz / 595 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 21 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 21 grams (in oils)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Four Thieves Essential Oil Blend: 5 oz /142 grams: (accelerates trace, discolors yellow)
34% Clove leaf: 1.7 oz/ 48 grams
30% Litsea (May Chang): 1.5 oz/ 43 grams  (can use lemon)
16% Cinnamon: .8 oz/ 23 grams
12% Eucalyptus: .6 oz/ 17 grams
8% Rosemary: .4 oz/ 11 grams

90 oz Batter/Colors/ 4.5oz EO:
1st Layer:
38 oz TD white 2.5 oz EO
2nd Layer 18 oz total: No EO
(2.5 oz in layer & .5 oz for top, save 1 oz for samples)
4 oz BB Ultramarine Violet Purple
4 oz BB Plum
4 oz TKB #40 True Red
4 oz BB Zippy Blue
4 oz CC Apple Green Mica
4 oz BB Nuclear Orange
3rd Layer:
28 oz TD White 2 oz EO
(BB = Bramble Berry, TKB = TKB Trading, CC = Crafters Choice Wholesales Supplies Plus, TD = Titanium Dioxide)

Top with swirl of colors & fine Iridescent Glitter.

 

The Reality:
Soaped both the lye liquid and oils at 102F and stick blended (using immersion blender) until emulsified. I separated the batter and added a lot of titanium dioxide for my first layer, knowing that as soon as I added the essential oil blend, it would yellow the batter and accelerate fast – which it did. I mixed in the essential oil blend as quickly as possible, then poured into the mold.

Next, I colored all my batters for the second layer. While I was waiting for that to thicken slightly (it was still at emulsified and too watery for an advanced tiger stripe swirl), I worked on making embeds for future projects. When ready, I titled my mold and poured a stripe of each color along the edge in this order: blue, green, purple, red, orange, and plum – four times. By the start of the third round, the batter was getting a bit thicker than I would have liked, but interestingly, it seemed to thin out again in the last pour.

I put the mold in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to let the 2nd layer set up quickly, then repeated the process done in the first layer, for the 3rd layer. By now the batter was much thicker than when I started, but I was still able to add the essential oils, mix and pour. While pouring, the batter started getting lumpy. After the pour, it seemed like the soap thinned out a bit in the mold and instead of staying slightly rounded on top, it spread out. This was a first for working with this blend.

I added two stripes of each color on top, swirled with a chopstick, sprinkled with iridescent glitter, and put in a 150F oven for 4+ hours for CPOP. (Typically a 170F oven is used, but at an altitude of 6,000 feet, where I live, this is too hot.) If I am working with a wooden mold, I find that using the oven helps the soap harden faster and makes it easier to un-mold. (I usually use a silicone mold, which doesn’t work well for CPOP.)

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Top before adding glitter

 

The Cut:

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Conclusions:
This soaping session worked well – I knew what to expect with the fragrance blend, as I had used it so many times before. It it always frustrating to get TD streaks, but at least they are very fine. I cut the soap with a crinkle cutter, as it seems to add a bit to the design.

 

The Story behind Four Thieves Blend:
The Bubonic Plague wreaked havoc in Europe off and on for about 600 years before peaking in the 1300s. Century after century, as late as the 1700s, outbreaks claimed up to half the population.

During the plague a group of four brothers began robbing the dead. At first, they were largely ignored, as everyone knew they would eventually pay the price by catching the contagion themselves but, to everyone’s surprise, they managed to avoid the plague and continued robbing graves, amassing a great deal of wealth. They became legendary and everyone wanted to know how they evaded the sickness.

When they were finally captured, they were asked for their secret during questioning. After much debating, they agreed to share it in return for their pardon, which was granted.

These men were the offspring of a perfumer and herbalist. They learned about essential oils from their parents during their childhood. They knew these oils would protect them so they rubbed them on their bodies, soaked their masks in it, and used them to clean anything they brought back. The powerful blend is now called Four Thieves Blend. (An aside: they used these oils & herbs in vinegar, and the vinegar probably played a big part in their wellness too).

An interesting note: There is a period of time when physicians wore dark robes, wide-brimmed hats, & masks with long beaks. These beaks held dried herbs, spices and essential oils which the physician breathed. The robe was doused with a similar fragrant concoction to help prevent catching any disease.

Karma Sea Clay Avocado Detox Buttermilk soap, with tiger & hanger swirls, & clays for color)

I made a batch of this soap last year, but I wanted it to be lighter and brighter. (You can see the previous soap blog post by clicking here.)

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Bramble Berry Karma Essential Oil Blend: A mixture of patchouli, orange, lavendin, pine, Lemongrass, & Elemi Oils, and Gardenia extract. It is inspired by Lush’s Karma fragrance and smells deeply sensuous and alluring, with base notes of Patchouli and Orange. (I don’t get the orange, and I think it smells much better than Lush’s version.) CP: Accelerates and discolors beige. (Soaped last time at 95-100F degrees with no acceleration.) This EO blend has been discontinued, but fortunately I have a nice stash left.

 

The Plan:
3 lb mold 52 oz, tiger & hanger swirl
62 oz batter – pour off 10 oz for unscented sample soaps

Master batch Oils #9: 42 oz Oils + 2.02 oz Argan (Makes 62 oz soap) 8% SF
MB Oils: 42 oz/ 1191 grams
Argan Oil: (4.8%) 2.02 oz/ 57 grams
NaOH/ Lye 8% SF: 6.04 oz / 171 grams
1:1 Frozen Buttermilk & Distilled Water: (2.52 oz disc/ 17.35%): 12 oz / 340 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 12 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 12 grams (in oils)
Ginseng Extract (1%): 12 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 12 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Batter/Colors/ 2.5 oz Karma EO:
22 oz BB Red Brazilian Clay in water – use a lot to counter beige
10 oz BB Green Sea & Green Zeolite Clay, with a touch of Spirulina – use sparingly
10 oz BB Yellow Silt Clay in water – keep light, use sparingly
10 oz CC Orange Illite Clay in water – keep light, use sparingly
(BB = Bramble Berry, CC = Crafters Choice Wholesale Supplies Plus)

 

The Reality:
I took out the frozen distilled water and Buttermilk and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 91F & 95F, stick blended (with immersion blender) until emulsified. I then separated out the batter and colored with clay, expecting some acceleration from them, but didn’t see any.

Note about the clays: The yellow was a very muddy beige and the green had a lot of specks in it – I think that was from the Zeolite clay.

This was the first time I used the Orange Clay – it actually turned to a dark pink – the same color as the Red Brazilian clay. Even though I had wanted this to be a pure clay soap, I fudged a bit to adjust my colors and added a little BB Nuclear Orange I had already mixed up – which really helped this towards the orange spectrum.

I added too much Red Brazilian Clay and it felt too dark, so I put in a tinge of BB Red Mica. However, when I mixed in the essential oil, it turned this back into an orange-pink – I increased red mica just a bit, until it was a color I liked.

I added my Karma EO to all my containers and quickly stirred, but again, no acceleration. Still expecting a little, I started pouring a tiger stripe with the batter a bit too thin and it looked quite muddied. I did get some acceleration and thickening half way through my pour.

I zig-zagged vertically with my thin hanger tool; added 3 lines of each color on the top, then swirled with a chop stick. I should have quit after the first swirl, but just had to add some circular swirls too, which I think muddied it up a bit:

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I put the soap in the freezer (only because the fridge I use had a Moose in it – yes, my sweetie pie is a hunter.)

 

The Cut:

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Conclusions:
I used an 8% superfat so that this can be used as a facial soap. (I have several people that won’t use a dedicated facial soap, but will use this.)

I really love this essential oil – so much so, that the last time I bought it, I got a 16 oz bottle. I wise choice, as it was soon discontinued. But I have enough left for several batches of soap. It’s an expensive eo blend – probably too expensive to use in soap, but I like it so much. (Bramble Berry has come up with a FO “dupe,” which I immediately sampled, but they are so different I’m surprised they have the same name, and I don’t care for it at all.)