Baby Buttermilk Bastille Unscented Carrot & Colloidal Oatmeal Soap with Red Palm Oil, using Impression Mat

I previously made a 3 lb batch of this and cured it for 3 months – it was a big hit, so I decided to use a 5 lb mold and make a couple changes:


What is Bastille soap?
Bastille is soap made with 70% (or more) olive oil and contains other oils or butters. Olive oil is extremely gentle, making it the perfect oil for delicate or sensitive skin. This recipe also uses luxurious and emollient buttermilk. Buttermilk is an excellent skin softer. It has lots of moisturizing properties, along with alpha hydroxy acids that are great for dry, sensitive, and delicate skin.

Carrot puree: Carrot is known for its antioxidant properties. It is also used for help in anti-aging, preventing wrinkles, speeding scar reduction, and can add elasticity & tone to skin.

Red Palm oil also bumps up the color and is regarded as one of the most nutritious oils in the world. Palm fruit oil contains mainly palmitic and oleic acids and is about 50% saturated. The health benefits are attributed to the high content of carotenes, which include beta-carotene and lycopene. (These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are more that tomatoes or carrots have.) It’s also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols – a powerful form of vitamin E.

Colloidal Oatmeal is wonderful for extra dry skin, is non-abrasive, and it also alleviates itchiness.

All these skin-loving and gentle ingredients make this bar great for babies, young children, adults with sensitive skin, and those who want to really pamper their skin.


The Plan:
Use 5 lb silicone mold & 86 oz soap, rest for samples
Use Dot impression mat on bottom of mold.

Recipe/Formula: 70 oz Oils (Makes 94 oz/5.8 lb soap)
5%     Castor Oil             3.5 oz          99 grams
5%     Cocoa Butter        3.5 oz          99 grams
10%   92F Coconut Oil     7 oz         198 grams
70%   Olive Oil                49 oz       1389 grams
10%   Red Palm Oil           7 oz         198 grams
NaOH/Lye 6% SF:             9 oz          255 grams
1:1 Frozen Buttermilk & Distilled Water: (6.13 oz disc/ 30% disc) 14 oz – Less 2 oz (for carrot puree) =               12 oz           340 grams    6 oz each/ 170 grams

Sodium Lactate (1%): 20 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 20 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (2%): 40 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Colloidal Oatmeal (1%): 20 grams (in oils)
Carrot Puree: 2 oz (in oils – can use up to 3.3 oz) (used 1.9 oz – all I had)

86 oz Batter/Colors:
86 oz natural soap poured over mat on bottom of mold.
Rest of batter used for samples and FO testing.


The Reality:
I trimmed a fondant mat to fit the bottom of the mold (which will become the top). Since the 5 lb mold is so long, I had to add another piece of mat to completely cover the bottom.

I soaped the lye and liquids at 105F & 103F, and poured the lye liquid through a strainer (no undissolved milk or any bits caught); stick blending about 4 times more than usual to reach a very light trace (using an immersion blender). I had thought of using my super powerful stick blender, but am glad I didn’t, as both milk and red palm oil accelerate trace. (In this instance, it meant instead of stick blending for what seems forever, it was less blending.)

I poured the batter into the mold at a very light trace, over a new impression mat cut to fit the mold. I waited for it to set for 15 minutes, then put it in a dedicated soaping refrigerator to prevent the milk from overheating.


The Cut:



I soaped quite a bit warmer than usual, but I knew it would take a while for the soap to set up, due to all the Olive oil in it (and the higher temperature would help it set up faster).

I was really surprised at how yellow this soap is – I expected an orange color from the Red Palm oil. I was also astonished when I cut it and found a big oval circle inside (see last photo). Despite putting this in the refrigerator for 24 hours, the middle of the soap had gelled. The circle dissipated some as it cured, but it is still very visible in all but the two soaps at each end of the loaf. Since the soap is so yellow, it makes me think of a big egg inside!

The gelling was probably helped by soaping at a higher temperature. Soaping lower and/or putting it in the freezer for a while would prevent this.

The little dots on the soap are caused from the wire cutter. Next time I will wait a bit longer before cutting.

Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soap

Version 2
Description of Bramble Berry FO’s and New Directions Aromatics EO:
NDA Orange 5X EO (O): A middle note with a medium aroma, Orange Five Fold has a sweet, citrus smell like the orange peels from which it is derived, but more intense and concentrated. The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting; encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion.
BB Yuzu FO (Y): A fresh and sparkling light Japanese citrus. It is also referred to as Japanese Grapefruit; with top notes of mandarin, tangerine, lemon satsuma, and ruby red grapefruit. A very subtle fragrance. CP: Water White. Very Light.
BB Kumquat FO (K): Similar to orange and is along the lines of pomegranate – bright, fresh, purple with notes of green. CP: No A, R, D Very light.


The Plan:
Use extra soap batter from Cedar & Teakwood soap (link here).
37 oz for 6 Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soaps, 2 Chrysanthemum soaps, and sample soaps.
Layer colors for eye, petals, and base of Sunflowers.
Use Clyde slide pour in Chrysanthemums.

37 oz Batter/Colors/ 4 oz FO/EO Blend: 1.5 oz (O), 1.5 oz (Y), 1 oz (K):
.25 oz BB Cappuccino brown mica
16 oz CC Yellow Locking Mica (only need 8 oz), 1.5 oz EO/FO
20 oz BB Nuclear orange, 2.5 oz EO/FO
Color soap before adding EO to make sure to get the right color.
Dark Brown for the eye of the flower – put in fridge to set.
Yellow for the petals – put in fridge to set.
Orange for rest of soap.


The Reality:
I used batter that I poured off from the Cedar & Teakwood soap (see blog here).

This was a straight forward layering of colors and letting it set between layers (making sample soaps while waiting.) I used a pipette to add the dark brown soap in the center of the flower, letting it set in the refrigerator, then poured a layer of yellow for the petals. The soap was pretty thick (light-medium trace), so I didn’t have to wait long for the yellow to set up.

I poured the orange layer over a spatula to prevent break through; spritzed with alcohol and put in a room with a heater on for 3 hours to promote gel. (After turning off the heater, I wrapped in towels to continue the gelling process.)

The Cut:

Version 2


These are always such happy soaps, begging for a close up photo. (You can see one of the Chrysanthemums soaps in the middle of a photo above.)

Apple Cinnamon Sugar soap in layers and rain drops

These are not requested often, and I haven’t had them for a couple years, but it’s really a nice scent combo, so I wanted to make them with the rain drop technique:


Description of Bramble Berry Fragrance oils:
Red Apple: This scent is actually a blend of a few varieties of Red Apple scents, along with some notes of Green Apple to temper the sweetness. The Green Apple notes add some wonderful depth and tartness to the scent. CP: Accelerates and discolors slightly yellow.
Tart Apple: Invigorating & fresh – it smells like you just cut into a crisp and juicy granny smith apple. CP: No A & D.
Cinnamon Sugar: More of a cinnamon sticky bun sweet than spicy cinnamon. The warm ginger, cinnamon and cardamom notes provide a wonderful base for many fragrances making this an easy blending fragrance. CP: Discolors Dark Brown, 14% Vanilla; Behaves well.


The Plan:
3 lb mold with 52 oz soap
2.5 oz Red Apple FO (light scent)
.5 oz Tart green apple
.6 oz Cinnamon Sugar (bottom, discolors brown)
Soap Cool.
Pour off 12 oz for samples & embeds.

Master batch Oils #15: 48 oz Oils (Makes 67 oz soap)
MB Oils: 48 oz/ 1361 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 6.77 oz / 192 grams
Distilled Water: (3.14 oz disc/ % disc): 12 oz / 340 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 14 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 14 grams (in oils)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

53+ Batter/Color/FO (3.6 oz):
8 oz Natural (D – Dark Brown), .6 oz Cinnamon Sugar FO (bottom layer)
5 oz TKB Red, .5 oz Red Apple FO & .5 oz VS (used .55 oz) (to prevent bleeding from brown) (2nd layer)
30 oz TD White, 2 oz Red Apple FO (used 2.1 oz)
5+ oz TKB Red, .25 oz Tart Apple (for rain drops)
5+ oz CC Granny Smith Apple Green, .25 oz Tart Apple (for rain drops)
Layer of Natural (will turn dark brow)
Layer of Red (with VS to prevent bleed from brown)
Pour all of white into mold and use small squeeze bottles with extensions for rain drops inside.
Rest of colored soap on top & swirl, add cappuccino mica oil & swirl.
(CC = Crafters Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide; TKB = TKB Trading; VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)


The Reality:
I soaped the lye water and oils at 86F, stick blending briefly (using an immersion blender) until just emulsified. My house was very cool (66F), so the soap thickened a bit more than usual on it’s own.

I poured the first layer of natural, which will turn a dark brown and put in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to set up. While waiting, I prepped the green & red colors and made some embeds (for future projects). I then poured the next layer of red and put the mold back in the fridge to set. I expected some acceleration from the Red Apple FO and Vanilla Stabilizer, but I didn’t get any – expecting I would, I didn’t let it set long enough.

I prepped the white, added the FO’s, and poured the white over a spatula, but the red layer wasn’t ready and it moved around a bit – destroying what looked like a perfectly even layer. I then inverted the squeeze bottle of red and pressed firmly until I saw red in the extension tube, then put it half way into the white soap and continued squeezing out the soap, while I moved it the length of the mold. Unfortunately, there must have been some air in the tube, as I got a couple huge bubbles coming up.

I repeated the process with the green, moving the length of the mold 3 times (as I did with the red) at different heights from the top. Sadly, the same thing happened with the bubbles coming up. (Next time I need to press some soap out first before putting into the soap.)

I finished off with rows of red and green on top, and a little white (could have put down more white), then swirled with a toothpick. At the last moment, I decided to add some Cappuccino brown mica oil and then swirled again. I put my dedicated gelling room with a heater on for 3 hours, then wrapped in towels overnight.


The Cut:





The same thing happened with this batch as when I made Remember me – Rosemary Peppermint soap – the “rain drops” were just little flecks (seen here). I actually expected to get some big blobs as I did in Smokey Bay Leaf soap (seen here).

I realized that I need to have the diagonal opening of the straw on the left side of the mold as I pull it through the soap to the right – then the lines of color should look more like rain drops. Guess I need to try this technique again!

I think the top would have looked better with more white or no white and it didn’t need an extra swirl with the brown mica oils, as it made it a bit dark looking. I’m surprised the Granny Smith Green Apple color faded – that’s never happened before.

You can see previous batches of this soap here and here.



Sea Clay Avocado Facial Detox Yogurt bars with Easter Island head embeds

This is a remake with yogurt and the usual essential oil and fragrance blend of: Lime, Grapefruit, Lavender eo, Sweet Basil eo and Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) eo:


Added Ingredients that’s good for your skin:
Yogurt: Made from milk with all the goodies in milk: Contain alpha hydroxy acids that are great for dry, sensitive skin and delicate skin. People who suffer with allergies and skin problems including eczema or psoriasis may find milk soap more soothing than other types of soap. (All homemade soaps contain glycerin, which is known for keeping the skin hydrated because it naturally attracts water. Glycerin can soften and soothe the skin and it can decrease the chances for future skin problems.)

Clays draw out oils, toxins & impurities from skin; toning, stimulating; brings fresh blood to damaged skin cells; revitalizes complexion, tightens pores.
French Green Sea Clay: This clay acts as a mild exfoliant and is thought to have many properties around detox and cellulite reduction.It drinks oils, toxins & impurities from skin; toning, stimulating – brings fresh blood to damaged skin cells; revitalizes complexion, tightens pores. It originated as mud laid down under the sea millions of years ago.
Purple, Yellow & Red Brazilian Clays: Used to clean and purify the skin. Has mild exfoliating powers and like all clays, helps to detoxify the skin by drawing impurities from pores.


The Plan:
Use 9-bar slab mold with silicone liner & dividers.
Use 46 oz soap + 6.8 oz Easter Island Heads.
Pour off extra batter for samples & embeds.
Pour lines of color, then swirl with chopstick in star & circle pattern. Add embeds.

Master batch Oils #15: 46 oz Oils (Makes 64 oz soap) 8% SF
MB Oils: 46 oz/ 1304 grams
NaOH/Lye 8% SF: 6.28 oz / 178 grams
1:1 Frozen Yogurt and Distilled Water: (3.18 oz disc/ 21%): 12 oz / 340 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 13 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Avocado Extract (2%): 26 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

EO/FO Blend: 2 oz/ 58 grams
29% 17 grams Lime FO (used grams)
21% 12 grams Pink Grapefruit FO (used grams)
21% 12 grams Lavender EO (used grams)
17% 10 grams Sweet Basil EO (used grams)
12% 7 grams Litsea Cubeba (May Chang) EO (used grams)

56 oz (use 46 oz) Batter/Colors – use sparingly/ EO Blend 2 oz
14 oz French Green Sea Clay in water
14 oz Yellow Brazilian Clay in water
14 oz Red Brazilian Clay in water
14 oz Purple Brazilian Clay in water, with Alkanet oil
Pour lines of color, then swirl with chopstick in star & circle pattern.
Add dividers and Easter Island Head embeds on top (6.8 oz)
Put in refrigerator to prevent yogurt from overheating.
Use extra batter for samples.


The Reality:
I used a 1:1 ratio of frozen Yogurt and frozen distilled water for this soap. I mixed the lye liquid an oils at 84F & 90F, stick blending until just emulsified (using an immersion blender); divided up the batter and make embeds & samples with the extra soap.

I first mixed in the essential oil blend, as I knew it would not accelerate. I then added the clays to color each container – expecting some acceleration, but surprisingly I didn’t get any from the clay or milk.

I poured lines of color at a light trace until complete, then swirled with a small chopstick, first in a star pattern and then a circular one. I’ve been using this design a lot lately with salt soaps, as I really enjoy it. The soap was a little thin for the Easter Island embeds, as they sank down a bit, but I liked the look and added them all that way.


I put the mold in the refrigerator for 24 hours before un-molding.


The Cut/ Un-molding:



I guess I’m completely obsessed with this star and circle swirl, as I have done it several times. But I am enjoying experimenting with it and just can’t seem to stop!!

I was delighted by the fine lines and light colors that showed up after one day. (As I was pouring, the batter was slightly thin and the colors seemed to get a bit muddied. I kept expecting some acceleration from the clay, and didn’t want to get caught with too thick batter still needing to be poured.)

I am please with the way these turned out – the head embeds are a bit sunken into the soap, which gives it a different look and will make it easier to package (and I shouldn’t have to worry about squashed noses!)

It was difficult to photograph these – I couldn’t get the colors to pop in the photos, as they are a bit brighter. I steamed them a couple times, but there is still a little ash.

You can see previous batches here, here, and here.




LLP: Lavender, Lemon, Peppermint Pink Himalayan Salt with embeds

I made this recently and it was a big hit, so here’s a repeat with tropical embeds. The essential oil scents are the same – some are just from different suppliers that I like.

Description of Bramble Berry, Bulk Apothecary and New Directions Aromatics Essential Oils:
BB Lavender 40/42: 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 for centuries to arouse passions as an aphrodisiac. This is a bold yet fresh smelling Lavender essential oil, very similar to Lavender Provence. CP: Water white.
BA & NDA 5x Lemon: Reputed as being antiseptic, and as having refreshing & cooling properties. Research has also shown Lemon Essential Oil to enhance the ability to focus. 5 Fold essential oils are more concentrated than the regular citrus essential oils. This makes the fragrance much stronger, as in soaping the citrus oils dissipate quite a bit. CP: BA strong; NDA may get some fading.
NDA Peppermint Japanese: A top note with a strong aroma, Peppermint has a sharp, penetrating scent based on its high menthol content. The minty sweetness of the vapor makes it one of the most popular Essential Oils. The scent invigorates the mind and senses, while inspiring a sense of peace. CP: Water white.


The Plan:
18 – bar mold, with tropical embeds on top.
Pour off 14 oz for making embeds for future projects.
Pour lines of color, then swirl with chopstick in star & circle pattern. Add embeds.
CPOP: 150F oven for 4 hours, then un-mold while still warm.

Salt MB Oils #3: 65 oz Oils (Makes 94oz/5.8 lb – plus 30 oz PH Salt= 124 oz/ 7.75 lb)
MB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 9.61 oz/ 272 grams
Aloe & Distilled Water: (4.45 oz disc; 16% disc): 18 oz/ 510 grams
Kaolin Clay (1%): 18 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 18 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 30 oz (by weight)

Essential Oil Blend 6.5 oz:
3 oz BA & BB Lavender
2 oz 5x Lemon (last of BA + NDA)
1.5 oz NDA Peppermint Japanese

80 oz Batter/30 oz PH Salt /Colors/6.5 oz EO blend:
(27 oz batter each color including salts (110 oz total)
20 oz BB Queens Purple, 7.5 oz PH Salt
20 oz BB Radiant Plum, 7.5 oz PH Salt
20 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow mica, 7.5 oz PH Salt
20 oz BB Aqua & TKB Blue Lagoon, 7.5 oz PH Salt
30 oz salt – 7.5 oz PH salt in each container
4 oz embeds: 6 aqua tropical leaves; 6 purple shells, 6 pink Hibiscus flowers.
Leftovers in sample rounds.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; NDA = New Directions Aromatics; TKB = TKB Trading)


The Reality:
I mix the Aloe & Distilled water 1:1 and put in the freezer to cool, then prepped everything else for soaping. (This is to prevent the Aloe from getting too hot when adding the NaOH, as it puts off an odor.) The Aloe water was 43F when I added the NaOH, and it heated up to 195F, instead of the usual 210F.

I soaped my lye and oils at 98F and 104F, stick blending to emulsified (using an immersion blender). After separating out the batter, I worked on making embeds (for future projects), then added the essential oils and salt to each container; pouring lines of soap in the mold. I used a small chopstick and drew a star burst from the middle to the edges. After that, I drew a circular pattern with the chopstick, creating this design:


Design before adding dividers & embeds (the green will turn back to aqua)

After adding the dividers and embeds, I CPOP’d for 4 hours, in a pre-heated 150F oven, turning it back on twice to bring back up to temperature.

Version 2

The soap was warm when I took it out of the oven and it easily came out of the mold and off the dividers. (Since warping the silicone liner, I’ve been lining the mold with freezer paper instead, and the bars seem to come out much quicker.)


The Cut/ Un-molding:


This was a strange soaping session, as I could not scrape down any of my containers and it took quite a while to figure out why the soap would “freeze” in contact with anything – it acted like wax on the side of a glass container. I finally realized that my house was so cold the soap was congealing quickly. (I had the windows open at night and cooled the house down to 61F before closing it up, as it was to be a hot day.)

With the cold temperature inside and using 70% – 92F degree Coconut oil in the Master Batch oils, I could easily have soaped at a much higher temperature.

I have been hoarding the BA 5 fold Lemon essential oil. I finally decided to use it before the scent dissipated, and now I am about out. Each year this eo has gotten more expensive and is now $12-18 an ounce! (It used to be $2/oz and I’ve waited for it to go down, but the price has just exploded.) So these are some really expensive soaps to make, and sadly I will have to forgo the Lemon eo in the future.

You can see previous batches of this soap here and here.


Four Thieves #18 Advanced Tiger Stripe & Layers, with 5 lb + 1 lb molds


Information on Essential Oils used:
Clove: Is an aroma stimulant; helps with fatigue & depression; an aphrodisiac; helps respiratory system, muscle pain, nausea; and has analgesic properties.
Litsea Cubeba (May Chang): Used for a Lemon, or a base note in more elusive citrus notes, this is a lovely, uplifting & rejuvenating essential oil. It can also be used to treat acne or for oily skin. It’s antibacterial and antiviral properties are said to make it effective against common infections like cold and cough. The oil is a tonic for the nervous system and can help with digestive problems as well.
5x Lemon: Is reputed to be antiseptic, and has refreshing and cooling properties. On skin and hair it can be used for its cleansing effect. Research has also shown Lemon Essential Oil to enhance the ability to concentrate.
Cinnamon: Properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic.
Eucalyptus: It awakens the mind and opens the lungs. It helps remove exhaustion & mental sluggishness and rejuvenates the spirits of the sick. It has a pleasant aroma and is effective as a deodorant, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial agent. Helps to clear sinuses.
Rosemary: Used as decongestant and for muscle pain, it is stimulating & energizing. Best known for its aid in memory and hair loss. (It is also considered a symbol of love, and the sprigs have been traditionally used in wedding ceremonies.)


The Plan:
109 oz total batter – use 86 for 5 lb mold & 23 for 1 lb mold.
5 lb & 1 lb mold in 3 layers. Leftovers for samples.

Master Batch Oils #14: 80 oz Oils (Makes 113 oz/7 lb soap)
MB Oils: 80 oz/ 2268 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 11.31 oz / 321 grams
Distilled Water: (4.4 oz disc/ 17%): 22 oz / 624 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 23 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 23 grams (in oils)
Dulse Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Ginseng Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

5 oz – 142 grams Four Thieves Oil: (accelerates trace) Save .25 oz for Samples/leftovers
34% Clove leaf: 1.7 oz 48 grams
30% 1:1 Litsea & 5x Lemon: 1.5 oz 43 grams
16% Cinnamon: .8 oz 23 grams
12% Eucalyptus: .6 oz 17 grams
8% Rosemary: .4 oz 11 grams

113 oz (use 86 oz for 5 lb & 23 for 1 lb mold) Batter/Colors/ 4.75 oz EO Blend:

5 LB MOLD: (86 oz) 4 oz EO
1st Layer:
38 oz TD white 2.2 oz EO
2nd Layer: 24 oz total – use 18 oz; No EO (2.5 oz & .5 oz for top); rest for 1 lb & individual molds)
6 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow locking Mica
6 oz BB Nuclear Orange & BB Sunset Orange
6 oz BB Radiant Plum
6 oz BB Queens Purple
6 oz BB Zippy Blue
6 oz CC Apple Green Mica
3rd Layer:
30 oz TD White 1.8 oz EO
Top with lines of colors (swirled) & fine Iridescent Glitter.

1 LB MOLD: (23 oz) .75 oz EO
1st layer:
10 oz TD white, .25 oz eo
2nd Layer:
left over colors from above, no eo
5 oz
3rd Layer:
8 oz TD white, .5 oz eo

(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = WSP Crafter’s Choice; TD = Titanium Dioxide)


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. Yes, I know, why not 2 – 3 lb molds? Because I really like that I can put the 5 lb in the oven to force gel and quicken the cure. I also thought I’d start small – I can always go to a 3 lb and I’ve been considering buying another 5 lb mold.

I soaped my lye & oils at 80F & 88F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I divided out all my batter and immediately mixed up the first layer for the 5 lb mold, put in the fridge to set and did the first layer of the 1 lb mold, also putting in the refrigerator to set.

When set, I pulled out the 5 lb mold, tilted it on it’s side and made 3-4 pours of each color in this order: yellow, orange, plum, purple, green, and blue. Back in the fridge in went to set, while I did the same with the 1 lb mold.

Since these colors did not have any essential oil blend in them, they took a while to set (the clove & cinnamon accelerate trace).

When set, I poured the third layer and finished off with lines of color, swirled, then zig-zagged lengthwise, and spritzed fine iridescent glitter on top (of both molds). I used the leftovers to make some individual molds.


The Cut:




I’m very pleased with how these turned out. Just like my last batch, the acceleration was less than it has been in the past and I had more time to mix in titanium dioxide – even after adding the essential oil blend & I was able to get a lovely white.

My colored lines are a little wobbly and I made them a bit thicker, so I only got 3 pours of the six colors (four pours are a little nicer, but then they are not as distinctive either.)

The one pound mold of this soap came out well – I got four bars that are over 5.5 oz each. They are taller, wider, and skinnier, so I’m not sure I like them as well, as I am very used to the size I’ve been making for ages.

Next time I want to make a larger batch it would be better to use two 3 pound molds or go really crazy with one 5 pound and one 3 pound mold (which would be preferable). I kick myself that I didn’t buy the 10 pound mold that was discontinued and on clearance a year ago.


The Story Behind The 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 their methods in return for their pardon.

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 and used them to clean anything they brought back. The powerful blend is now called Four Thieves Blend. (They did use 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. (Scientific evidence today is building support for these actions.)

Castile Soap with Impression Mat & ITP swirl (no colors or fragrance)

Cold process soap made with 100% Olive Oil is known as “Castile” soap. It is thought to originate in the Castile region of Spain – thus the name, Castile. Olive Oil is a staple soaping oil that can be found in many cold process recipes. Olive oil contributes moisturizing properties to soap. It also gives the bars a gentle and creamy (read: small, lotion-like) lather, making it a great choice for dry or sensitive skin.

Castile is considered the Rolls Royce of soap:


The Plan:
5 lb mold – 88 oz soap
Impression Mat on bottom.
Extra batter for sample size soaps

Recipe/Formula: 77 oz Oils (Makes 104 oz/6.5 lbs soap)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 77 oz/ 2183 grams
NaOH/Lye 6% SF: 9.7 oz/ 275 grams
Distilled Water: (4.69 oz disc/ 22% discount): 17 oz/ 482 grams (used 1 oz for clay)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 22 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Ginseng Extract (1%): 22 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 22 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Kaolin Clay (>1%): 20 grams (mixed separately in 1 oz water, add after dividing batter)

104 oz (use 88 oz) Batter/Colors:
80 oz Natural with added Kaolin Clay
24 oz Natural without Kaolin Clay
ITP swirl


The Reality:
I have a impression mat that I’ve never used, but it is a bit too wide for the mold and about an inch too short. Not knowing if I wanted to commit to this mold, I put the mat in and let it curve up the sides, which gave the bars a rounded top. (I added a scrap of a swirl mat for the last bar in the mold).

Castile soap takes longer to harden than most CP recipes that contain hard oils like palm or coconut. I read it could take up to 2 weeks just to get out of the mold and may take 6 months to 1 year to cure. Using a water discount and Sodium Lactate can help speed things along, as well as CPOP (Cold Process Oven Process).

I soaped the lye & oils at 88F – stick blending Forever! I experienced what other soapers do when they have a huge batch – my immersion blender got very hot and I was afraid it would burn out. I had read that it takes quite a while for the batter to trace, but I think they meant it takes Forever! NOTE to self: next time use the heavy duty stick blender. (I have what feels like a 5 lb immersion blender that is so powerful, it can bring regular soap to heavy trace in seconds. So I never use it – however this would have been the perfect opportunity!)

I split up the batter, putting the Kaolin Clay in one portion and left the other without – doing an ITP swirl with the two, hoping to create a little bit of a design with the clay-less soap being more translucent than the main batter.

I then put in a 150F pre-heated oven for 7 hours, turning it on twice, bringing it back up to temperature, then turning back off. (CPOP forces gel and quickens the cure.)


The Cut:





I was very, very surprised that I needed to stick blend this batter for so long – about 50 times longer than any other batch. When it came up to trace, it would then reverse trace and I had to blend more, which happened several times. I could have easily done a very dramatic water discount and would like to try a 40-45% discount next time.

I was astonished that the soap was so hard that I was able to take it out of the mold in less than 24 hours. I should have cut it immediately, but I still couldn’t believe the sturdiness of it. I waited another 24 hours to cut and I thought my slicer would break – it was that hard and nearly impossible to get the wire cutter through it. I feel like I could use this soap immediately – not waiting for even 4-6 weeks, let alone 6 months to 1 year! (I think the CPOP really helped it harden and cure faster.)

Yes, some people cure this soap for 1 year. I tested it numerous times only a week later and got a lot of wonderful, creamy lather. I continued to use the bar once a week for months. As it got harder, the lather wasn’t as immediate, but still very creamy. And the soap seemed to last forever.

I expected the part of the batter made without Kaolin clay would be a bit translucent, but that is not the case. The steeper water discount of some batter and less of other parts, did give the soap a bit of texture, which you can see in the last photo of the 2 bars.

The Extra Virgin Olive oil I used was very green – I am surprised the soap isn’t a darker green. I really like the design of the mat and how it curves around the sides. And I love the lather of the soap.