POGY – Pineapple Orange Grapefruit Yuzu Pink Himalayan Salt soap in starburst and circle swirl with tropical flower embeds

The last time I made this it wasn’t as popular as it used to be – it was the only salt bar that didn’t have embeds and it had a bit of a flat color profile, so I made up some multi-colored Hibiscus embeds for this batch and amped up the colors:

IMG_0671

Description of Bramble Berry Essential and Fragrance oil’s:
Pineapple: A ripe, realistic pineapple scent, with hints of coconut, orange, cilantro, vanilla, musk. CP: Slight peach discolor.
10X Orange Essential Oil: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart”. It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors orange (after curing turns beige).
Pink Grapefruit: A juicy, ruby red grapefruit aroma. Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter, and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also said to be a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin. CP: Water white.
Yuzu: 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.

 
The Plan:
18 bar mold.
Pour off 4 oz for EO testing.
Lines of color, with starburst and circle swirl with tropical embeds on top.
Salt MB Oils #4: 60 oz Oils (Makes 86 oz/5.375 lb – plus 28 oz PH Salt=114 oz/7.125 lb)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 9 oz/255 grams
Aloe Juice & Distilled Water: (2.8 oz/14% disc): 17 oz/482 grams (8 oz Aloe, 9 oz water)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Carrot (2%): 34 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 28 oz (by weight)

POGY Scent 7 oz:
1.5 oz Pineapple; 1.5 oz 10X Orange; 2 oz Pink Grapefruit; 2 oz Yuzu

86 oz Batter/Colors/7 oz EO-FO/ 28 oz PH Salt:
22 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow Locking mica, 1.5 oz Pineapple FO, + 7 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Tangerine Wow, 0.75 oz 10X Orange EO, + 3 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Radiant Plum, 1 oz Pink Grapefruit FO, 0.375 oz 10X Orange EO, + 6 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Queens Mica, 1 oz Yuzu FO, 0.375 oz 10X Orange EO, + 6 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Aqua Pearl mica, 1 oz Pink Grapefruit FO, + 3 oz PH Salt
10 oz BB Ultra-marine Blue, 1 oz Yuzu FO, + 3 oz PH Salt

Pour lines of color.
Starburst swirl and then circle swirl with chopstick.
Add 4 oz embeds on top.
CPOP 5 hours, un-mold.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
I soaped the Lye liquid and oils at 75F & 95F, stick blending until just past emulsification (using an immersion blender). I could have and should have blended I little longer, but I also wanted to test some fragrance blends with the extra batter, so this gave me plenty of time to do that.

After separating and coloring the batter, I added the salt and EO/FO – eye-balling the fragrances measured out. I alternated pouring lines of batter until the bottom of the mold was covered, then did a Chevron swirl – just so the bottom of the bar would look nice. I continued to pour the batter until almost done and I had a nice color variety on top. (I weighed the mold before pouring, calculated how much it would weigh with the correct amount of soap, and then weighed again, adding until I had what I needed.)

I pulled a skinny chopstick through at a diagonal in several places (instead of doing a starburst). I then did a circle swirl, added the dividers and embeds, then some fine iridescent glitter and put into the oven for 5 hours to CPOP. (Pre-heating to 150F, turning it off, then brought it back up to 150F and off again at 2.5 hours.) CPOP (cold process, oven process) is so important with salt bars…if they are too set/hard, they can be almost impossible to get off the dividers without breaking them.

IMG_9748

 

The Cut/Un-molding:

Version 3

IMG_0672

IMG_0673

 

 

 

Conclusions:
I always try to keep the lye and oils within 10F when combining (and as close to the same temperatures as possible), but this time there was a 20F difference – the lye liquid was in an ice bath too long. But the fragrances are so forgiving, I didn’t have to worry about any acceleration from them and the salt soap formula is also very tolerant, so I knew I would be okay with these temperature variations.

This soap stayed so fluid that even when I placed the embeds on top, they sank in – which turned out to be really nice, as sometimes the embeds get in the way (if too high) when using the soap.

I liked that the design and colors are so vibrant. You can see previous POGY salt bars  here, here, and here.

Lemongrass Lavender Peppermint White Planes Pink Himalayan Salt Soap in starburst and circle swirl

This was a hit last time (see here), so of course I needed to alter it a bit – I upped the Lemongrass by 1/2 ounce and changed the Aqua to Apple Green. It’s always nice to do something a little different:

IMG_0684

Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Essential Oils:
BA Lavender 40/42: Similar to Lavender Provence essential oil, this is a mixture of lavender’s: 40/42 blends different kinds of Lavender for a consistent blend. The aroma can have a soothing effects on people suffering from stress, anxiety, and illness. CP: Water White, no A, D, R.
BA Lemongrass: Known for its invigorating and antiseptic properties, its astringent properties help fight acne and greasy skin. CP: has staying power; discolors yellow.
BB Peppermint 1st Distill: Smells minty fresh, like peppermint gum; herbaceous, sweet smelling; can improve mental performance, cognitive function, & digestion. CP: Water White, very potent.

 

The Plan:
Make 86 oz batter, (pour off extra 11 oz for tube embeds).
18 bar mold: 75 oz soap, 30 oz salt, 8.8 oz white airplane embeds
EO Blend Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint.

Salt MB Oils #4: 60 oz Oils (Makes 86 oz/5.375 lb – plus 32 oz PH Salt=118 oz/7.375 lb)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 8.89 oz/ 252 grams
1:1 Aloe & Distilled Water: (3.88 oz/20% disc): 16 oz/ 454 grams
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 30 oz (by weight)

Essential Oil Blend (3:2:1.5) = 6.5 oz:
3 oz Lavender
2 oz Lemongrass
1.5 oz Peppermint

75 oz Batter/Color/6.5 oz EO’s:
21 oz TD White, 7.5 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Ultraviolet blue, 7.5 oz PH Salt
18 oz CC Apple Green mica, 7.5 oz PH Salt
18 oz BB Radiant Plum mica, 7.5 oz PH Salt

Pour lines of color.
Starburst swirl and then circle swirl with chopstick.
Add 8.8 oz embeds on top.
CPOP 5 hours, un-mold.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 88F & 92F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender) and separated out all the batter. After coloring and adding the Pink Himalayan salt, I added the essential oil blend.

The batter was very thin, so I waited until it thickened to a light-medium trace, which was perfect for starting, but it quickly firmed up to a medium trace – still fine to work with. After pouring one row of lines of colored soap into the mold, I took a chop stick and swirled so that there would be a nice design on the bottom of each bar.

I continued to pour lines of batter until I had used all most all of it up. I then did a starburst swirl with a thin chopstick, and then a circle swirl:

IMG_9649I added the dividers, then airplane embeds (spritzed with alcohol), and finished with a sprinkle of fine iridescent glitter. I sprayed the top with alcohol, covered and put in a 150F oven (pre-heated and turned off) for 5 hours, bringing back up to temperature at the halfway mark. Then I un-molded.

 

 

The Cut (Un-molding):

IMG_0683

 

 

Conclusions:
I’m very pleased with how this turned out and really enjoyed making it.

Sweet Meyer Lemon Blackberry soap in diagonal, with cosmic purple heart embed

This was a fun design last time I made it (see blog here) so I decided to reverse the colors this time:

IMG_0651

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Sweet Meyer Lemon (SML): A lush, Caribbean garden bursting with the aroma of sweet lemons, horned melons, succulent kiwis, and ripe pineapple wedges. Sweet tropical florals complete this island wonder. CP: Discolors to a light ivory/tan, may get slight acceleration.
Blackberry Cybilla (BC): This ripe and juicy fragrance oil will take you back to the days of picking sweet blackberries off the vine during the long days of summer. CP: No A or R. .5% Vanilla. turns very green. (No green with VS added)
Earl Grey Lemon Tea (EGL): Meyer Lemons with Bergamot, heavy on citrus, light on tea notes; energized & positive; notes of citronella, marmalade & blood orange. CP: Sometimes A & R. No D.

 
The Plan:
5 lb mold – 1.4 purple skinny hearts in cosmic purple
Pour off 4 oz for embeds.

Master batch Oils #17: 60 oz Oils (Makes 84 oz /5.25 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.46 oz / 240 grams
Distilled Water: (3.93 oz disc/ 21% disc): 15 oz / 424 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Fragrance Blend (5.2 oz FO):
1.4 oz Earl Grey Lemon; 2 oz Sweet Meyer Lemon; 1.8 oz Blackberry Cybillia; 0.75 oz Vanilla Stabilizer

80 oz Batter/Colors/FO Blend (5.2 FO + 0.75 oz VS = 5.95 oz Blend)
1st Layer:
43 oz BB Cosmic Purple, (pour off 1 oz before adding FO); 3.3 oz FO/VS blend
2nd Layer:
37 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow mica, 2.65 oz FO/VS blend
Cosmic Purple Heart Tube Embeds (1.4 Tubes – 6 oz)

Pour 1st layer at an angle, let set.
Then pour half of 2nd layer, add embed, pour rest.
Top with 1 oz of purple soap.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)

 

The Reality:
This was a very straight forward design and soaping session. The heart tube embeds were pre-made and I needed just under 1 1/2 tubes. I soaped the lye and oils at 80F and 88F, stick blending until just past emulsified (using an immersion blender). After dividing out and coloring the batter, I added the FO blend.

The mold was tilted as close to a 45 degree angle as possible and propped up to remain that way. I poured the cosmic purple and let it set. (While that was happening, I used my extra soap to make embeds for future projects).

I then righted the mold, poured half the yellow batter, added the purple heart tube embeds, then the rest of the yellow soap. I took the 1 oz of purple I had saved earlier and poured two lines of color down the top and swirled with a thin chopstick.

After sprinkling with fine iridescent glitter and spritzing with alcohol, I put the mold in a 150F pre-heated oven for 4 hours. (The oven was off until the halfway mark, then turned back on to bring up to heat, and off again for the remainder of the time.)

This is called CPOP – cold process oven processed. It helps the soap to come to a nice gel, which brightens the colors and sets the soap faster (for quicker removal from the mold and faster cutting). However, the embeds had been curing for a while, so I let the soap set for several days before cutting. (For CPOP in most areas, 170F is used. Because I live at 6,000 feet elevation, that is too hot and 150F works better.)

 
The Cut:
IMG_0655

IMG_0656

IMG_0659

IMG_0654

 

Conclusions:
I weigh my mold before starting and usually during and after pouring each layer – to get the exact amount of batter I want, and I planned to do that here. Except I couldn’t, as I had to keep the mold at an angle to set, (which I didn’t realize until I was pouring the soap), so I just estimated the amount of purple batter. I ended up a bit light on the first layer. (Next time I need to weigh the batter in the container before pouring and after pouring, to make sure to get the correct amount in the mold.)

I also didn’t swirl any of the opposite colored soap (yellow) in the first layer (as I did when I made this previously) – I just was in a mood to keep is simple – and I think it turned out okay. Next time though, I want to make the yellow a bit lighter or use a different tint, as this one feels a little heavy.

Since the heart tubes were made at different times, I didn’t get the colors matched exactly, and the partial tube used is more blue that the purple-blue (cosmic purple) of the first heart. When making the cosmic purple heart tube, I alternated dark and light purple to get a bit of design in the heart (see photos.) I did this in the last batch, when I used a yellow heart, but it was difficult to discern with yellow being such a light color (see blog here).

Plane & Simple Unscented Pink Himalayan Salt Soap in starburst and circle swirl with airplane embeds

IMG_0645

The Plan:
18 bar mold with Aqua & Dark Blue airplane embeds on top.
Pour off 4 oz to make other embeds.
Lines of batter, swirl with chopstick & add airplane embeds.
CPOP 5 hours, then un-mold
Make 6+ oz bars

Salt MB Oils #4: 55 oz Oils (Makes 80 oz/5 lb – plus 32 oz PH Salt =112 oz/ 6.9 lb)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 8.15 oz/ 231 grams
1:1 Aloe & Distilled Water: (3.22 oz/ 18% disc): 15 oz/ 425 grams
Kaolin Clay (1%): 16 grams (in oils)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Ginseng Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 32 oz (by weight)

78 oz Batter/Colors/ 32 oz Salt = 110 oz Total + 9 oz (18 embeds) = 119 oz:
30 oz TD white, 12 oz PH Salt
24 oz BB Ultra-marine Blue, 9 oz PH Salt
24 oz BB Aqua pearl mica, 9 oz PH Salt
Pour lines of color.
Starburst swirl and then circle swirl with chopstick.
Add 9 oz embeds on top – 9 Blue & 9 Aqua airplanes.
CPOP 5 hours, un-mold.
(BB = Bramble Berry; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
This was a very quick and straight forward soaping session. I soaped my lye liquid and oils at 88F & 98F, stick blending until a very light trace (using an immersion blender). I poured off 4.5 oz of batter to make a tube embed, then divided, colored, and added fine Pink Himalayan salt to each container. Instead of waiting for the batter to reach the exact consistency (which is what I always do), I stick blended a little more, and then started pouring lines of colored soap into the mold.

After covering the bottom of the mold with batter, I swirled it using a small chopstick to ensure the base of each bar looked nice. I continued to pour lines of colored soap until I used it up. I then did a starburst swirl and a circle swirl, added the dividers and then the airplane embeds. I dusted with a little fine iridescent glitter, spritzed with alcohol, covered, and put in a pre-heated 150F oven for 5 hours (turning it back on halfway through to bring up to temperature, then turned off again.) I took out of the oven and when cooled – un-molded.

IMG_9724

Starburst & Circle swirl (green will turn aqua)

 

The Cut/ Un-molding:
IMG_0647

IMG_0646

IMG_0650

 

Conclusions:
I bumped up the salt a little (4 oz), because it seems like my salt bars weren’t exfoliating enough for me. But on un-molding and trimming them I recalled how and why I ended up with the formula I have been using for quite a while – which was a good reminder.

These bars were extremely difficult to get off the dividers (even though I sprayed them with Cyclomethicone). Some of the edges chipped, no matter how delicate I was with them. The bars are very hard…but I will go back to my old formula that has worked wonderfully for years and also gives me a hard bar of soap.

 

 

Lavender essential oil with Layers & Heart tube embeds

I liked this design so much the first time I made it (see blog here) that I wanted to do it again:

IMG_0619

Description of Bramble Berry Lavender Essential Oil: Similar to Lavender Provence essential oil, this is a mixture of lavender’s: 40/42 blends different kinds of Lavender for a consistent blend. The aroma can have a soothing effects on people suffering from stress, anxiety, and illness. CP: Water White, no A, D, R.

 

The Plan:
Use 74 oz batter for 5 lb mold plus pre-made tube embeds
Embed Heart Tubes: 1 Fat Aqua, 1 Skinny tangerine, 1 Skinny Plum = 12.5 oz.
Pour off 10 oz for embeds & FO testing
Master batch Oils #17: 60 oz Oils (Makes 84 oz /5.25 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.46 oz / 240 grams
Distilled Water: (3.93 oz disc/ 21% disc): 15 oz / 424 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

74 oz batter/Colors/5 oz EO:
Add EO to batter, then separate:
40 oz TD White
15 oz BB Plum
11 oz BB Aqua Pearl
8 oz BB Tangerine Wow

Layers:
14 oz layer of Plum on bottom
10 oz layer of Aqua Pearl 2nd (middle layer)
7 oz layer of Tangerine Wow (last layer)
Then pour 1/2 white, add heart tube embeds & rest of white.
Top with lines of colored batter swirled on top with & fine iridescent glitter.
CPOP 4 hours
(BB = Bramble Berry, TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
I soaped the lye and oils at 77F & 95F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I poured off the extra batter, than added the 5 oz of Lavender to the main soap and divided it up for the different colors and layers.

This turned into a very long and difficult soaping session. I mixed up and poured the first layer, then put in a fridge to firm up – which seemed to take forever. After waiting 35+ minutes (for the set up), I poured the next layer over a spatula to prevent break through into the first layer. The batter was at a light-medium trace and it was difficult to get a smooth layer on top of the first one.

I only waited 10 minutes before pouring the third layer, as all the batter was getting pretty thick – however this did not give the middle layer enough time to set well. Again, I poured over a spatula, but there was some break through. I let this firm for about 10 minutes while I prepped the white – this batter was the perfect consistency.

I needed the white to be thick to be able to hold the embed tubes in it, so that worked well. I added half the white, then the embeds and the rest of the white. Then poured lines of colored soap on top and swirled:

IMG_9672

After dusting on some fine iridescent glitter, I spritzed with alcohol and put in a 150F preheated oven. (I turned it back on to bring up to 150F at 2 hours and forgot to turn it off for an hour, so I ended up leaving it in for a total of 6 hours. I had planned to only leave in for 4 hours.)
The Cut:

IMG_0631

IMG_0621

 

Conclusions:
I should have stick blended the batter for the first layer, so that it was thicker when poured and it would have set up quicker. I thought about it, but knew from experience that the leftovers for the top would then be super thick. (I could have solved that issue by separating out extra batter for the top.)

When I made the embeds, I used a lighter and darker version of each color and did a Clyde Slide swirl into a container, then poured into the embed tubes. The aqua came out with an especially beautiful design inside, and the plum is also nice, but not quite as detailed (partly because it’s a smaller heart). I really love the look. The differentiations in the tangerine are barely distinguishable, as has been my experience previously from making a two-tone embed with a light color.

In spite of the layers being wonky, I still find this soap lovely – because of the design in the hearts and the unusual color combination. Hopefully next time I can make a few adjustments and get the layers straighter.

Four Thieves #21 Advanced Tiger Stripe & Layers – including the story of the Four Thieves Blend

This is another remake of Four Thieves, which is my most popular soap:

IMG_0610

Information on Essential Oils used:
Clove: Is an aroma stimulant and an aphrodisiac; it helps with fatigue & depression, the respiratory system, muscle pain, and nausea. And it 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 oily skin. Its 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.
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:
Use 92 oz batter (leftovers for individual molds)
Pour off 21 oz for embeds.
5 lb mold in 3 layers
1st layer white with eo blend
2nd layer tiger wall pour (no eo, 6 colors)
3rd layer white with eo blend
Use 4 oz EO Blend

2.5 oz – 71 grams Four Thieves Oil: (Plus leftover blend) (may accelerate trace)
34%   Clove leaf:        0.85 oz       24 grams
30%   Litsea:               0.75 oz       21 grams
16%   Cinnamon:       0.40 oz       11 grams
12%   Eucalyptus:      0.30 oz         8 grams
8%     Rosemary:        0.20 oz         7 grams

Master Batch Oils #17: 80 oz Oils (Makes 113 oz/ 7 lb soap)
MB Oils: 80 oz/ 2268 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 11.29 oz / 320 grams
Distilled Water: (4.25 oz disc/ 17% disc): 21 oz / 595 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 23 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 23 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Ginseng Extract (1%): 23 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

92 oz (use 86 oz)/Colors/4 oz EO Blend:
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)
4 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow locking Mica
4 oz BB Nuclear Orange & BB Racing Stripe Orange (yellow)
4 oz BB Radiant Plum
4 oz BB Queens Purple
4 oz BB Ultramarine Blue
4 oz CC Granny Smith Apple Green Mica & BB Christmas Green
3rd Layer:
30 oz TD White 1.8 oz EO
Top with lines of colors (swirled) & fine Iridescent Glitter.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = WSP Crafter’s Choice; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
In preparation for this batch, I only made 2.5 oz of the Four Thieves blend of essential oils, as I had some left over from the last batch I made.

I soaped my lye and oils at 90F & 92F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I separated out the batter and colored. After adding the TD white to the 38 oz container, I poured in the 2.2 oz of EO blend, which turned it very yellow and accelerated a bit, as I quickly added more TD to lighten. I then poured 38 oz into the mold and let set while I made embeds for future projects.

For the second layer I tilted the mold and added unscented & colored batter lengthwise along the side – this is called an advanced tiger pour. I made four passes with each color in this order: yellow, green blue, orange, plum, and purple.

I then put in the fridge to set up. About 20 minutes later, I added 1.8 oz of eo blend to the 30 oz container, again getting some acceleration and having to add more TD to whiten. I poured this layer over a spatula to prevent any break through into the colored layer.

After topping with lines of colored batter and swirling, I spritzed with fine iridescent glitter and then with alcohol. I usually CPOP (oven process) soap when using the 5 pound mold, but I hadn’t been soaping for quite a while and I felt very rusty…to play it safe, I covered with plastic wrap and towels and set it to gel. (Memories of the Christmas Spice soap that was full of glycerine rivers was on my mind.)

IMG_9629

Top – before adding fine iridescent glitter

 

The Cut:

IMG_0614

I got a new mold from Bramble Berry – Succulents – that I had to try out with the leftovers:

IMG_0604

 

Conclusions:
I was a little startled at the acceleration I got from the essential oils, as it only happens about 25% of the time. But it was still very workable. (Unfortunately, by the time I poured the succulent molds, the batter was a little thick to get completely into the tips of the petals. Next time I will have to pour them with thinner batter.)

I was a bit surprised at how heavy handed I was with all the colors – but they are also very vibrant too. I am very pleased with how these turned out.

 

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. (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.)

POGY – Pineapple Orange Grapefruit Yuzu Shampoo bars

Wow, it had been so long since I made Shampoo bars…I should have studied my previous batches. Instead, I ended up with Giant bars and forgot a couple yummy things I have added in the past:

Description of Bramble Berry Essential and Fragrance Oils:
Pineapple: A ripe, realistic pineapple scent, with hints of coconut, orange, cilantro, vanilla, musk. CP: Slight peach discolor.
Orange Essential Oil: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart”.  It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors orange (after curing turns beige).
Pink Grapefruit: This is an exhilarating, wake-me-up citrus, with a juicy grapefruit aroma. Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter, and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also said to be a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin. Grapefruit is reputed to ease nervous exhaustion and relieve depression. CP: Water white.
Yuzu: 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.

 

The Plan:
54 oz in 9-bar slab mold with with impression mat on bottom.
Lines of color and chopstick swirl.
Rest of soap in 6 inch tube mold and Chrysanthemum molds – with clyde slide swirl.

Shampoo Master Batch Oils #3: 65 oz oils, 95 oz soap/ 5.9 lbs:
(Formulated to help promote hair growth & decrease hair loss)
SMB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH Lye 6% SF: 9.04 oz/ 256 grams
Distilled Water: 21.45 oz/ 608 grams
Nettle Extract (3%): 55 grams (add to oils)
DL-Panthenol (3%): 55 grams (add to lye water)
Sodium Lactate: 18 grams (add to lye water at <130 degrees)

Scent Blend 6 oz Total: (Keep Separate – do not blend!!)
2.0 oz Pink Grapefruit (water white)
2.0 oz Yuzu (water white)
1.0 oz Pineapple (slight peach discolor)
1.0 oz 10x Orange (discolor orange)

95 oz Batter (use 54 oz) /Colors/ 6 oz EO/FO blend:
50 oz TD white, 1.5 oz Yuzu, 1.5 oz Grapefruit
15 oz BB Fired Up Fuchsia Pink, 0.5 oz Yuzu, 0.5 oz Grapefruit
15 oz BB Nuclear Orange & Sunset Orange (turns yellow), 1.0 oz Orange
15 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow, 1.0 oz Pineapple

9-Bar mold: Lines of color, starburst swirl, circle swirl.
Tube mold: Clyde Slide swirl & pour.
Chrysanthemum single bar molds: Clyde Slide swirl & pour.
Stick blend for 2 seconds. NO MORE!!

 

 

The Reality:
I haven’t used the 9-bar mold in so long, it looked tiny to me! I laid down an impression mat and prepped the dividers, spritzing with Cyclomethicone for easier bar removal.

I added the DL-Panthenol to the oils, forgetting to read my notes to put into the lye water. I stick blended, thinking it would dissolved in the warm oils, but it did not (and the batter was a little grainy.)

I soaped the lye & oils at 89F & 91F, stick blending for exactly 2 seconds (using an immersion blender). I hand stirred before and after this until emulsified. I separated out the batter, coloring and adding the fragrances.

The soap was very thin, but I also knew that with shampoo bars, that can change instantaneously. I began with pouring some batter into the 9-bar mold over the mat at a diagonal, then swirled a little with a thin chopstick. While that was setting up a bit, I moved on to the tube mold, pouring alternating colors into the side of a cup for a Clyde Slide swirl. After filling, I poured into a 6+ inch tube mold (90 degrees from where I added the batter to the cup). I did this twice, and put the leftovers into the 9-bar mold.

I then continued with the 9-bar mold, pouring lines of color horizontally. Then I realized I had not weighed my mold empty, so that I could weigh it as I was filling and get the right amount of soap for the proper weight of each bar. So I over-filled it (worried about making them too small), adding way too much batter. I made a Chevron patter with a thin chopstick, then attempted a circle swirl. The soap was still so fluid, that the colors mixed together and I didn’t get much definition with the swirls.

When I went to put in the dividers, they barely fit without overflowing…guess I got enough batter in!

I moved on and did more Clyde Slide swirling and filled 5 individual Chrysanthemum molds with all the leftover soap.

I spritzed with alcohol, covered with plastic wrap, put in dedicated gelling room, and turned on a heater for 3 hours to promote gel (with thoughts that the soap heating up would also dissolve the Panthenol.)

 

The Cut & Un-molding:

IMG_0584

IMG_0597

 

Conclusions:
These bars were over 7 oz each. But the plastic mat I used would not come off cleanly, even after waiting 2 weeks – and it was very uneven when I took it off. So I ended up planing the bottom to make it smooth. That combined with curing brought the weight of most bars down to 6 – 6.5 oz each.

I forgot to add Silk Amino Acids and Aloe liquid. I’m not sure why I did not look over previous batch notes more carefully and why I didn’t weigh my empty mold. (In the middle of soaping, I though about digging out some old notes, but was afraid that would take too long and I would come back to soap that was so thick I wouldn’t be able to get it in the mold.) Fortunately, the Master Batch oils I used contained a lot of good-for-your hair ingredients.

Surprisingly, the batter stayed extremely thin throughout. Stick blending for 2 seconds has made a huge difference like this in the past. (And the DL-Panthenol did dissolve, making the bars smooth.)

Note: Even though the Shampoo Master Batch oils were made a while ago, I have had them in the freezer since combined, which has stopped the aging process of the oils. So they are as fresh as when first made.