Lavender eo Goat Milk soap with layers and skinny heart tube embeds

These were Such a hit, I had to make them again – improving the last batch (see here).

Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Lavender 40/42 essential oils: 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: No A, D, R.

The Plan:


Use 74 oz batter for 5 lb mold plus 12 oz heart tube embeds.
Embed Heart Tubes: 1 skinny Queens Purple, 0.4 Skinny Queens Purple, 1 skinny Plum, 0.4 Skinny Plum.

Master batch Oils #20: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
Frozen Goat Milk & Frozen Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams (Used 6 oz:9 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 16 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

74 oz batter/Colors/5 oz EO: (Used 1.75 BB & 3.25 BA eo’s)
Add EO to batter, then separate:
48 oz TD White (in distilled water)
15 oz BB Queens Purple (pour off 1 oz for top)
11 oz BB Plum (pour off 1 oz for top)

Layers:
14 oz layer of Queen’s Purple on bottom (stick blend and put in fridge to stiffen)
10 oz layer of Plum (next layer) (put in fridge to stiffen)
1/2 white, add heart tube embeds & rest of white.
Top with lines of colored batter swirled on top, spritz fine iridescent glitter.
Refrigerate until set, then put in freezer for 24 hours to prevent milk from overheating.
(BB = Bramble Berry, TD = Titanium Dioxide)

The Reality:


I used more of the BA essential oil than the BB just to finish the bottle (I find it a bit strong, so if mixing it with BB eo, I try to go half and half. I went ahead and added the fragrance to the oils, as I knew that it doesn’t accelerate trace (and I wasn’t testing any other scents).

I soaped the lye milk and oils at 84F & 88F, stick blending briefly until emulsified (using an immersion blender). Milk in soaps can accelerate a bit, so I wanted to start out very thin, since I needed to wait for each layer to set up before moving on to the next one.

I divided up the batter and added the extra to each container. I colored the purple, poured off 3 oz and stick blended the rest quite a bit, then poured it all into the 5 pound mold and put in the refrigerator to set up. (I used some of the 3 oz for individual molds and made sure to save over an ounce for the top.)

The purple set up quickly. I mixed up the plum – poured off some for the top and for individual molds, and then poured it over a spatula to prevent break through. The plum had thickened nicely, but was still very pourable, so no need to stick blend. I put the mold back into the refrigerator to set up, while I made a couple single soaps.

I prepped the white, which was now at a medium trace – but adding the titanium dioxide in oil thinned it out a bit (the batter was a very beige color from the goat milk). I spritzed the plum layer with Isopropyl Alcohol (forgot to do that with the purple to help each layer adhere to the next), then poured half of the white soap over a spatula, again to prevent break though.

I sprayed each heart tube embed with alcohol and set into the batter, then poured the rest of the soap on top. By now the colored soap I had set aside was very stiff, so I added a little warm Sunflower Seed oil, which thinned it out enough to plop bits on the top of the soap and swirl with a thin chopstick.

After spritzing the top with Isopropyl Alcohol a few times (to prevent soda ash), I sprinkled on some fine iridescent glitter and put in the refrigerator for several hours, then into the freezer to prevent heating up the milks.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

This was a well behaved soaping session. The Cylde Slide design inside the heart tubes is pronounced, which I am very pleased with. I always thought the skinny hearts look better than the fat ones, but it feels like there is too much white space between the heart tubes. Having them closer to each other would have helped. And using fat heart embeds would also take up more of the white, which I think I will go back to next time. I also like the ratio of the layers, which look more balanced (smaller layers, compared to the larger ones in the last batch – seen here).

Smokey Bay Leaf soap in tiger and hanger swirls

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Tobacco & Bay Leaf (TB): A rich & complex scent with top notes of bay leaf and fir needle, mingled with cedarwood and bergamot – warm, woodsy, & sophisticated. The fragrance has a fresh, clean aroma with well-balanced natural notes. CP: No A, Discolors to beige.
Vetyver (V): Has top notes of Lemon & Rosemary. The middle notes contain florals, Sandalwood and Patchouli and finally, the luscious blend finishes off with musk and vetyver. CP: water white.
Black Tea (BT): Tea leaves with tobacco overtones; top notes of Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, & orange; jasmine, cedar wood, amber, musk. CP: No D

The Plan:


3 lb silicone mold – 52 oz batter
Pour off extra soap for Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soaps (see that blog here)

Master batch Oils #20: 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)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Scent Blend: 3 oz total: 2 oz TB, 0.5 oz V, 0.5 oz BT

52 oz Batter/Colors/ 3 oz Blend:
26 oz TD White
26 oz MM Mint Green
(MM = Micas & More; TD = Titanium Dioxide)
Alternate pouring white & green into mold in tiger stripe pour (in center of mold).
Hanger swirl vertically.

The Reality:


I combined the lye liquid and oils at 84F & 92F, stick blending very briefly (using an immersion blender). Then divided up the batter for 2 soap projects (see blog here for other soap).

It had been a while since I did a tiger pour, so I wasn’t exactly sure about the thickness of my batter. I alternated lines of colored soap down the middle of the loaf until full. (It seemed like the perfect pour, but I also noticed how much the white & green merged while pouring.) I then did a vertical hanger swirl (alternating up & down 5 times), using my thick hanger (which is a gear tie).

I finished with lines of color on top and swirled width-wise with a toothpick, then zig-zagged length-wise, to get some very fine lines. Since this is a masculine scent, I restrained myself from adding some glitter on top. After spritzing several times with Isopropyl Alcohol, I put some plastic wrap on top and covered with towels to help promote gel.

The Cut:

If you look below at the soap on the left, you can see even more clearly how the edges turned pink.

Conclusions:


The making of this soap flowed smoothly and turned out beautifully.

This fragrance can do strange things with the colors. The first time I made it, it turned purple, then slowly morphed almost back to the original color. The last time I made it (see here), I used a light green that turned grey and stayed that way – very disappointing.

I made a sample soap a few months ago with these same colors and it stayed white & green, with no morphing. This time it came out slightly lighter than I had planned. And a strange thing happened when I cut it – all the edges inside were discolored – the green, a darker green, and the white turned into pink and sadly has stayed that way. But the scent is wonderful.

Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soap

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrance & Essential oils:
Orange 10X EO: 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).
Yuzu FO: 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.

The Plan:


Use 30 oz in sunflower molds for Sunshine Orange Yuzu soap.
Sunflowers: brown eye, yellow petals, rest orange.
Use soap batter (32 oz) from Smokey Bay leaf soap (see blog here).

30 oz Batter/Colors/ 2.5 oz FO/EO:
EO/FO Blend: 1 oz 10x Orange + 1.5 oz Yuzu FO
.25 oz BB Cappuccino brown mica
14 oz CC Yellow Locking Mica (may only need 8 oz), 1.5 oz EO/FO
16 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:


This was two projects in one – you can see the details on making the soap batter here.

I poured off a tiny bit of soap that I colored brown and used a dropper to put down the batter in the center of each mold, then put in the fridge to set. When set, I poured a layer of yellow (for the petals) and again put in the fridge to set. It was not 100% firm when I was ready to add the orange layer, so I poured the soap over a spatula to prevent break through into the yellow.

This was a pretty straight forward layered pour, just in individual molds. I waited several days, before un-molding (freezing for a bit to make sure the petals didn’t get damaged in the process of removing from the mold.)

The Cut:

Conclusions:


The two tricky things about making this soap is to not use too much brown for the center – as it will bleed into the petals – and making sure that the brown is completely set before pouring the next layer. Then when coloring the batter – get the exact color of yellow and orange before adding the fragrance blend, as the scent will turn the yellow into an orange and the orange a bit muddy. After setting, it will turn back to the true colors.

This fragrance is a lovely staple, with an uplifting scent of orange and a hint of grapefruit. The bars fit nicely in your hand and make happy gifts all year round.

Apple Cinnamon Sugar soap in layers, drop and hanger swirls

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Description of Bramble Berry Fragrance oils:
Red Apple (RA): 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 very yellow. Very Light Scent. NO A.
Tart Green Apple (TA): Invigorating & fresh – it smells like you just cut into a crisp and juicy granny smith apple. CP: No A & D.
Cinnamon Sugar (CS): 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
3.5 oz Red Apple FO (very light scent), 0.5 oz Tart Green Apple, & 0.6 oz Cinnamon Sugar.
Soap Cool.
Pour off 25 oz for samples & holiday embeds.

Master batch Oils #19: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 16 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

52 Batter/Color/FO (3.5 oz RA, 0.5 oz TA, & 0.6 oz CS FO, 0.5 VS):
1st Layer: with 0.6 oz CS fo (bottom layer)
8 oz Natural (Discolors Dark Brown)
2nd Layer: with 0.5 oz RA fo & .5 oz VS (to prevent bleeding from brown)
5 oz TKB Red
3rd Layer: with 3 oz RA + 0.5 oz TA fo
30 oz TD White
4.5 oz CC Granny Smith Apple Green
4.5 oz TKB Red
First Layer of Natural (will turn dark brow).
Second Layer of Red (with VS to prevent bleed from brown).
Then pour all of white into mold and drop swirl green & red, then horizontal & vertical hanger swirl.
(CC = Crafters Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide; TKB = TKB Trading; VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)

 

 

The Reality:
I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 86F & 92F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender), then divided up the batter.

I mixed up the first layer with Cinnamon Sugar FO, then stick blended it and poured into the mold – putting it into the refrigerator to help it set quicker (while I worked on Holiday embeds).

When the first layer was set, I mixed up the red with a little Red Apple and Tart Apple FO, then poured into the mold over a spatula, to prevent breakthrough, and put back into the refrigerator to set up. I measured the distance between the top of the red layer to the top of the mold and marked that on my hanger swirl (gear tie). It was between 1.5 & 1.75 inches.

When the second layer was set, I added the fragrance oil and colors to the rest of the containers, hand mixed, and poured the white over a spatula into the mold, again to prevent breakthrough. I then poured the green & red soap into the white from different heights, making 3 passes and two pours each to create a drop swirl.

I took a hanger (gear tie) and used it to swirl the colors just poured, moving it through the white both horizontally and then vertically, being careful not to put it in the mold below the markings.

I added some lines of red & green colored batter on top and swirled with a thin chopstick. I spritzed the top several times with Isopropyl Alcohol, and let it set a bit, then covered with plastic wrap and put in the curing room for two days before un-molding. I waited another 2 days before cutting.

 


The Cut:

IMG_1551

 

 

Conclusions:
I was worried about pouring the batter too deep into the white soap and touching the red layer, so I didn’t pour the drop swirl too far down. I also had that same concern when swirling with the hanger. The end result is that the swirls are concentrated on the top third of the bar, but I think that turned into a really nice look.

The brown layer has faded quite a bit and the contrast between the red & brown is not as distinct as right after the cut. It looks like the vanilla stabilizer in the red has migrated into the bottom layer, reversing the brown discoloration. In hindsight, I should have colored this layer brown – although in a few months it may darken again.

The soap behaved nicely and everything worked out well. I was a bit heavy-handed with the Red Apple fragrance oil, as it was a couple years old and had faded quite a bit, but that made the end scent quite lovely.

 

 

Maple & Brown Sugar Buttermilk Soap with layer & drop swirl

I made this last year with a pumpkin theme, but it wasn’t very popular. It smells so much like Maple & Brown sugar, I just changed the name, as I couldn’t smell any pumpkin anyway.

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

 
The Plan:
Use 52 oz batter & 3 lb Silicone mold
Pour off extra batter (32 oz) for special projects (Holiday embeds)
1:1 Frozen Buttermilk & Frozen Distilled Water

Master batch Oils #19: 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
1:1 Frozen Buttermilk & Frozen 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)
Mallow Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

52 oz Batter/Colors/ 3 FO + 2.5 oz VS:
1st layer: (1 oz FO – will turn brown)
14 oz BB Cappuccino Brown (very little amount, as will turn brown)
2nd layer: drop swirl: (2 oz FO & 2 oz VS)
9.5 oz TKB Soapberry Purple
9.5 oz TKB True Red
9.5 oz BB Neon Orange & Racing Stripe Orange (yellow)
9.5 oz BB Buttercup Yellow & Lemonade
Swirl top with small chopstick
PUT IN REFRIGERATOR to prevent milk from overheating.
(BB = Bramble Berry; TKB = TKB Trading; TD = Titanium Dioxide, VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)

 
The Reality:
I strained the lye liquid into the oils in case any frozen bits had not dissolved, and I didn’t find any. I soaped the lye and oils at 88F & 92F, stick blending until well emulsified (using an immersion blender).

I divided up the batter and made the first layer, stick blending to thicken it. I colored the rest of the soap, but waited until the right consistency before adding the FO and VS, making some holiday embeds in the mean time.

All of a sudden, the batter went from too thin to too thick. I mixed the FO/VS blend into each of the colors, adding a little more in the purple & red, than the orange & yellow – in case of some darkening from the vanillin (the soap seemed to darken a bit after several months last year, even with CP vanilla stabilizer).

I had originally planned to do a hanger swirl down to the brown layer and marked the hanger tool to be sure not to go deeper, but with the thicker soap I instead just laid down lines of color throughout, alternating between purple, yellow, red, & orange. When almost completed, I noticed the batter starting to thin out on top (reverse trace). But I continued with the drop swirl until the mold was full. I could have tried a hanger swirl, however, I didn’t know if the soap had thinned throughout the mold, so I stayed with what I had.

I swirled the top with a thin chopstick, spritzed with 91% Isopropyl Alcohol several times, then put in a refrigerator for a couple hours (to prevent the milk from overheating) and transferred to the freezer over night, as it was still feeling warm.

 

The Cut:
IMG_1478

 

Conclusions:
I wanted to kick up the usual fall colors with something else and I thought of purple. I had not used the TKB Soapberry Purple mica before, but when mixed in oil, it looked similar to BB Queens Purple, which I use frequently. In the batter it took on the appearance of a slightly muddy purple, but this could have been the result of the Buttermilk, which make the soap beige.

It took a while for the purple to come through; that with the yellow, really makes this pop.

The soap originally had a strong Pumpkin scent, but dissipated within a few days to a Maple & Brown Sugar fragrance, which I really love.

I was glad I didn’t do a hanger swirl, as I swirled some of the leftovers in a sample mold and it turned a bit muddy.You can see last year’s version here.

 

Lavender essential oil Goat Milk soap with 2 layers & heart tube embeds

IMG_1348

Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Lavender 40/42 essential oil: 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: No A, D, R.

 

The Plan:
Use 74 oz batter for 5 lb mold plus tube embeds
Embed Heart Tubes: 1 Fat Queens Purple, 0.6 Skinny Queens Purple, 1 Fat Plum, 0.6 Skinny Plum = 15 oz.

Master batch Oils #19: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
1:1 Frozen Goat Milk & Frozen Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams (Use 8:7)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 16 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Carrot Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

77 oz (use 71 oz) batter/Colors/5 oz EO: Used 2.15 BB & 2.85 BA eo’s)
Add EO to batter, then separate:
43 oz TD White (in distilled water)
19 oz BB Queens Purple (pour off 1 oz for top)
15 oz BB Plum (pour off 1 oz for top)

Layers:
18 oz layer of Queen’s Purple on bottom (stick blend to stiffen)
14 oz layer of Plum (next layer) (stick blend to stiffen)
1/2 white, add heart tube embeds & rest of white.
Use leftovers for single molds and samples.
Top with lines of colored batter swirled on top, spritz fine iridescent glitter.
Refrigerate for 24 hours to prevent milks from overheating.
(BB = Bramble Berry, TD = Titanium Dioxide)

 

The Reality:
The oils were a bit warm (102F) and I was not going to pour off any batter for fragrance testing or embeds, so to cool it off a bit, I added the lavender essential oil right into the oils, which surprisingly brought the temperature down to 92F. A significant change, but with windows open all night, the house had cooled down to 62F. With the eo blend sitting on the counter, I suspect it was also 62F.

I strained the lye liquid into the oils in case any frozen bits had not dissolved, and I did find 2 tiny pieces of goat milk. I soaped the lye and oils at 86F & 92F, stick blending until well emulsified (using an immersion blender) and added the essential oil to all of the soap.

After dividing out the batter, I immediately colored the purple, poured off 2 oz for the top, then stick blended it a lot. I poured into the 5 lb mold and it set up quickly, so no need to put it in the refrigerator to thicken.

I then mixed up the plum, poured off 2 oz for the top, and stick blended it a bit too much, as it was thick while pouring over a spatula (to prevent break through), so this top wasn’t as smooth as the purple was. (I just hoped it wouldn’t show too much in the bars).

After letting that sit for 10 minutes, I prepped the white. The batter had gotten thick quickly, but adding titanium dioxide in oil to whiten the batter helped thin it out a little. I poured about two-fifths of the batter into the mold (again over a spatula) and smoothed it out. I then spritzed my heart tube embeds with isopropyl alcohol and tried to lay them down on their side while putting them into the batter.

I then poured the rest of the white on top and added 2 rows of purple and 1 row of plum soap in the middle. (Both were very stiff, even though this was part of the 2 oz I had poured off before stick blending, so I mixed in a little bit of warm Sunflower seed oil, which thinned it out enough to pour). I then took a thin chopstick and made figure 8’s width-wise down the entire mold. But since there were still some big blobs of colored soap, I made circular swirls lengthwise 3 times over each color, which brought in some of the white and created a better swirl.

After spritzing with fine iridescent glitter and several times with alcohol, I put in the fridge for 24 hours to prevent the milks from overheating.

 

The Cut:

IMG_1350

 

 

Conclusions:
My house was about 66F when soaping, and with extra stick blending combining the lye liquid and oils, plus using a milk, the batter set up a bit faster than normal. But the only issue I had was in the over blending of the plum by a tiny bit. The bars still came out nice and there was very little unevenness on the plum layer.

This was a change than what I had been doing with three different colored layers and three contrasting colored heart tube embeds. Using only two layers, I made each one slightly bigger to compensate for one less layer. Next time I would like to reduce the amount of batter used for both layers, as they seem a bit thick.

Even though this was refrigerated to prevent the goat milk from getting hot, it seems to have a slight look of glycerin rivers in the white, which would indicate some overheating. Despite that, I think these turned out lovely.

Vanilla Latte Cream with coffee bean embeds on top

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Description of Bramble Berry & Essential Depot FO’s:
BB Vanilla Bean: Reminiscent of a classic sophisticated Vanilla liqueur, this is a creamy scent in soap. A more sophisticated, rich cousin of other Vanilla scents. CP: Discolors to a very dark brown, 10% Vanilla.
BB Espresso: The fragrance entices the senses with opening notes of bitter-sweet chocolate, coconut, and almond. Middle notes of honey and caramel while finishing off with notes of roasted coffee bean and burnt sugar. A traditional espresso coffee scent. CP: No A & R, discolors dark brown, 3.5% Vanilla.
ED Coffee Bean: The deep rich smell of freshly roasted coffee beans. CP: turns pink, then light beige. Slightly bitter scent, which goes away in the cure; very light scent.

 
The Plan:
50 oz for 3 lb mold.
5 coffee bean embeds on top of each slice (2 oz total).
3/4 light brown/natural bottom (will turn brown)
1/4 white – top and only Coffee Bean fo – with VS, white
Pour off 22 oz for tube embeds and fragrance testing.

Master batch Oils #19: 52 oz Oils (Makes 72 oz /4.5 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
+ Coffee Butter: 2 oz/ 57 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.31 oz / 207 grams
Frozen Half & Half : Frozen Distilled Water: (3.35 oz disc/ %): 13 oz / 369 grams (5.2 oz: 7.8 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 15 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 15 grams (in oils)
Dulse Extract (1%): 15 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Mallow Extract (1%): 15 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Fragrance 4.5 oz (+ 1 oz VS – to prevent bleed through):
Bottom 3/4: 1.6 oz Vanilla Bean fo, 1.4 oz Espresso fo
Top 1/4: 1.5 oz Coffee Bean fo (extremely light), 1 oz Vanilla Stabilizer

50 oz Batter/Colors/4.5 oz FO’s:
37.5 oz BB Cappuccino brown (light), 1.6 oz Vanilla Bean fo, 1.4 oz Espresso fo
12.5 oz TD White, 1.5 oz Coffee Bean &1 oz VS (to prevent bleed through)
(BB = Bramble Berry; TD = Titanium Dioxide)
Stick blend & pour bottom layer (brown); make wave with scallop tool. Let set.
Pour top layer (white).
Add 5 coffee bean embeds on each slice.
Refrigerate to prevent milks from overheating.

 

The Reality:
I poured the lye liquid through a strainer, in case of any undissolved NaOH or frozen cream. A couple very small pieces of what looked like half & half were caught. The lye liquid was so full of fats, it would not go through the strainer without some coxing (I dipped the strainer into the oils to help get it through.)

I soaped the lye liquid & oils at 93F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender), divided out the batter and first worked on tube embeds, as I needed it to be very thin.

I added a little Cappuccino brown mica in oils and the FO blend into the 37.5 oz container, stick blending to make it thicker, then poured into the mold. I let that set for a bit on the counter and tested a few new fo’s. As the main batter thickened, I used a zig-zag scraping tool over the top for some texture, let it set a while longer, then mixed up the 12.5 oz of batter with titanium dioxide and FO, pouring over a spatula to prevent break through.

After that set for a while, I added the coffee bean embeds on top, spritzed with alcohol and put in the refrigerator for 24 hours to prevent the milks for overheating.

 

The Cut:

 

Conclusions:
Soaping with milk or beer can be tricky and it may set up quickly – you just never know. Starting with a very light emulsion really helps, but with the temperature in the room at only 65F, it could have accelerated the trace – fortunately it did not. And since I was doing a simple layer, it wouldn’t have been difficult to deal with (however, I had a lot of extra batter to test fragrance blends, so that would have not gone well).

I neglected to look up how much vanillin was in the vanilla bean fragrance, so in hind sight, I didn’t need to color the batter brown, as it discolored so dark. I love the design of Hazelnut Toffee Coffee I made (see blog here) and would have loved to recreate that, but I was afraid the swirl would fade out as this darker color took over, so I did a scallop instead.

The only improvement I can see to make would to have maybe made the cream portion a bit bigger. What do you think?

Eucalyptus Mint Tree in layers and vertical hanger swirl

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Description of Bramble Berry and Make Your Own Essential Oils:
MYO Eucalyptus: 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. CP: No issues.
BB Moroccan Mint: A scrumptious blend of Spearmint, Peppermint and Corn Mint, with just a touch of black tea sprinkled in to provide a stable, full bottom note. Smooth & Complex – fulling rounded out. Calming & at the same time reviving; cool, crisp, refreshing. CP: No D, no issues.
BB Tea Tree (Melaleuca): Minty, earthy smell leaves you energized & revitalized. May be useful for treating a wide variety of medical conditions and shows promise as an antimicrobial. (Historically, the leaves were used as a substitute for tea, which is how it got its name.) CP: No issues.

 

The Plan:
Use 87 oz batter for 5 lb mold
Pour off 18 oz for making tube embeds & testing fragrances.
Layers with vertical swirl

Scent Blend: 4.5 oz:
1.4 oz Eucalyptus, 1.7 oz Moroccan Mint, 1.4 oz Tea Tree

Master Batch Oils #19: 75 oz Oils (Makes 105 oz/6.6 lb soap)
MB Oils: 75 oz/ 2098 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 10.58 oz / 300 grams
Distilled Water: (4.66 oz disc/ 20% disc): 19 oz / 539 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 21 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 21 grams (in oils)
Dulse Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Sea Buckthorn Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

87 oz batter/Colors/4.5 oz EO’s:
29 oz MM Hunter Green, 1st layer, 1.5 oz EO Blend
29 oz TD White (in oil), 2nd layer, 1.5 oz EO Blend
29 oz MM Mint Green, 3rd layer, 1.5 oz EO Blend
Layers, then vertical hanger swirl
Top with white dribbles and 3 circular swirls

 

The Reality:
I soaped my lye and oils at 92F & 102F, stick blending until just emulsified (using an immersion blender). I separated out the batter and worked on embeds and fragrance testing with the extra soap, while waiting for the exact consistency to pour each layer and hanger swirl. I may have paused too long between pouring the layers, as when I started to do the vertical hanger swirl, I had a difficult time breaking through the bottom layer.

After swirling, I plopped a little white on top and made three rows of circular swirls. (I had thought adding some hunter green mica oils would be nice, and I tried a bit on each end bar, but just didn’t like the look.)

I spritzed with alcohol, then put in a pre-heated (off) 150F oven to CPOP for 4 hours. (At the 2 hour mark, I turned the oven back on, got up to 150F again, and turned it off.)

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 swifter cutting & curing). (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:

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Conclusions:
It was very cold in my house (62F), so I knew things would set up quicker than usual, but I also knew that these essential oils would not, and may even stop or reverse trace (they slowed trace a bit).

I had not done layering with a vertical hanger swirl in ages, so I knew it would be a little tricky to pour each layer without much break through (no worries if there was any, as I would be swirling) and yet have the batter thin enough to be able to accomplish a nice vertical swirl.

I neglected to save some Hunter Green soap to put on top, but the white on the light green looks really nice. I love the simplicity of this design, that is both elegant & straight forward, and yet has enough details to catch the eye. Each bar is uniquely different and the colors & swirls are very calming. I am quite pleased with how these turned out and I hope others will be too.

 

Four Thieves #23 Advanced Tiger Stripe and Layers – including the story of the Four Thieves Blend

I tweaked the Four Thieves essential oil blend I’ve been using for years, as I have read how Clove and Cinnamon can be irritating to the skin. However, this is a wash off product, so I don’t think it’s much of an issue (and after years of use, I haven’t had any problems, nor have I had any complaints from others).

The blend still has about the same scent, just slightly lighter, so I used more. With a little less Clove & Cinnamon, I hoped that the soap would not turn as yellow (so I can use less titanium dioxide to whiten it), plus there was a slight decrease in acceleration, giving me a little longer to work with the batter. Both wins on the making side!

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Soap from 5 lb mold

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Soap from 3 lb mold

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 86 oz batter for 5 lb & 52 oz for 3 lb
Same 3 layer design as before.
Use 7.2 oz EO Blend (made 7 oz + use extra from last batch)
Leftovers in sample or individual molds.

7 oz – 114 grams Four Thieves Oil: (might accelerates trace)
Original:                MADE 7 oz:          Grams:      Percent:
34% Clove leaf:    1.75 oz                   50 grams      25%
30% Litsea            2.10 oz                   60 grams      30%
16% Cinnamon:   1.05 oz                   30 grams     15%
12% Eucalyptus:  1.05 oz                   30 grams     15%
8% Rosemary:      1.05 oz                   30 grams     15%

Master Batch Oils #18: 100 oz Oils (Makes 142 oz/ 8.87 lb soap)
MB Oils: 100 oz/ 2835 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 14.11 oz / 400 grams
Distilled Water: (4.55 oz disc/ 14% disc): 27 oz / 765 grams (Used 24 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 28 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 28 grams (in oils)
Dulse Extract Extract (1%): 28 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Nettle Extract Extract (1%): 28 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

5 lb Mold: Use 86 oz/Colors/4.6 oz EO Blend:
1st Layer:
38 oz TD white (in distilled water), 2.4 oz EO
2nd Layer: SEE BELOW
18 oz No EO (2.5 oz inside & 0.5 oz for top – each color)
3rd Layer:
30 oz TD White 2.2 oz EO

3 lb Mold: Use 52 oz/ 2.6 oz EO Blend):
1st Layer:
23 oz TD white (in distilled water), 1.4 oz EO
2nd Layer: SEE BELOW
11 oz; No EO (1.3 oz inside & 0.5 oz for top – each color)
3rd Layer:
18 oz TD White 1.2 oz EO

2nd Layer for Both Batches: 30+ oz No EO
5+ oz BB (6 oz) Fizzy Lemonade & BB Yellow Mica
5+ oz BB (6 oz) Nuclear Orange & BB Racing Stripe Orange (yellow)
5+ oz BB (6 oz) Radiant Plum
5+ oz BB (6 oz) Queens Purple
5+ oz BB (6 oz) Ultramarine Blue
5+ oz CC (6 oz) Granny Smith Apple Green Mica
Top with lines of colors, swirl, spritz with alcohol & fine Iridescent Glitter.
CPOP for 5 hours.
(BB = Bramble Berry; CC = WSP Crafter’s Choice; TD = Titanium Dioxide)
The Reality:
I combined the lye liquid and oils at 99F & 101F, stick blending just until emulsified (using an immersion blender). I had thought I would soap each mold separately, but instead I combined the amount of both first layers in one container and the batter for the third layer in another. I had already planned to combine the colored batters for both molds in each of the six containers.

I mixed in the titanium dioxide – and stick blended very briefly because it was in water and that seems to be the only way to get it mixed in well. I then added the EO blend (2.4 oz + 1.4 oz); put the first mold on a scale and poured in 38 oz; then set the second mold on the scale and added 23 oz.

I then mixed in the colors in all the containers and waited for them to get a bit thicker. But they would not thicken enough, so I stick blended each a bit. (In hindsight it would have been better to pour out the batter for the first & third layers, stick blend the rest and then divid it into 6 containers, as this ended up being my downfall.)

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 three passes with each color in this order: yellow, green blue, orange, plum, and purple. I then put in the fridge to set.

It took an inordinate amount of time to set, and still the large mold (which I poured first) was not hard enough and when pouring the third layer, it broke through (even though I poured over a spatula to break the fall.)

By the time I added the titanium dioxide for the last layer, the batter was so thick I wasn’t even able to stick blend it in. I then added the EO blend (2.2 oz + 1.2 oz) and mixed that in. Of course it accelerated as usual, and I had to glop it into the molds. Then I smoothed it out and added lines of color on top, swirling with a chop stick first the short way, then made a squiggly line down the long way of the mold (3-4 times).

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Top of 5 lb mold

I dusted with fine iridescent glitter, spritzing on alcohol before and after this, then put the 5 lb mold in a 150F preheated oven for 5 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). (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 3 lb mold was covered with plastic wrap and towels to keep warm and promote gel. (It’s a silicone mold, so it can’t be put in the oven or it will sweat. The 5 lb mold is a wooden one.)

 

The Cut:

3 lb Mold:

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5 lb Mold:

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Conclusions:
This was a Huge batch for me to make, and using both a 5 lb & 3 lb mold I maxed out the capacity of my container. (I have a second 5 lb mold and would like to use both for one batch in the future. I just need a bigger container or make two batches side by side.)

When pouring my second layer I was worried about not having enough for both molds, so I skimped too much on the 5 lb mold and added a little more to the 3 lb mold. (Next time it would be better to separate out these colors for each mold.)

I used titanium dioxide in water, instead of oil (as I need so much of it to whiten the batter), and decreased the total water used by 3 oz – which was a lot and added to the faster thickening of the white batter. But I didn’t go to bright white as usual, and instead, when I added the eo blend and it darkened it to a cream/pale yellow, I left it that way and I think it looks lovely.
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 (formulated to help promote hair growth & decrease hair loss)

How to use Shampoo Bars: Wet hair thoroughly. Rub the bar in circles on your head and work up a really good lather. (Alternatively, you can rub bar in hands and then use that later to clean your hair). Pull fingers through your hair before rinsing off, and it will be squeaky clean with little or no tangles.

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Description of Bramble Berry FO/EO’s:
Pineapple FO: A ripe, realistic pineapple scent, with hints of coconut, orange, cilantro, vanilla, musk. CP: Slight peach color.
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 FO: 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 FO: 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: No A, R, D Very light. Water white.

 

Additives that Helps Promotes hair growth and decrease hair loss:
Aloe Vera liquid: Restores scalp health by conditioning it while balancing sebum production and pH levels. This, not only curbs hair loss, but it also promotes hair regrowth.
Argan oil: Contains lots of vitamin E, omega 3 and 9 fatty acids, and antioxidants, all of which do amazing things for damaged, dry, coarse or otherwise unmanageable hair.
Avocado oil: The proteins will help fill in damaged areas in your hair’s cuticles, repairing damage that’s already been done and preventing future breakage and frizz
Coconut oil: High in vitamin E and other nutrients, and your hair can absorb them all. The result will be hair that is thicker, shiner, healthier and has stronger roots. It also contains lauric and capric acid, which have amazing antimicrobial powers – meaning it will make your hair and scalp healthier and prevent dandruff, itchy scalp and infections.
DL-Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5): Improves stratum corneum hydration, reduces redness and inflammation, increases wound healing by stimulating skin epithelialization, improves skin barrier mechanism repair, mitigates itching and soothes irritation, and behaves as a humectant.
Jojoba oil: High in vitamins A, E and D and is great for all hair types. It helps repair damage to your hair and promotes new, healthy hair growth.
Mallow Extract: Hydrates hair and support moisture balance within the shaft of the hair. Added to a rinse, mallow helps soften hair and enhance elasticity – especially useful for damaged and fragile hair.
Moringa oil and powder: Contains thiocyanate which strengthens the hair follicles and prevents hair fall. It is used as a natural conditioner and promotes new hair growth.
Neem oil & powder: Has high anti-bacterial properties and improves blood circulation to the scalp, which is helpful in tackling thinning hair and premature graying. It also helps to boost hair growth.
Nettle extract: Stimulates the scalp, improves blood circulation and protects against further damage and breakage.
Olive Oil: Promotes hair growth.
Silk Amino Acids: Can penetrate very deeply into the hair cortex to strengthen and repair hair. It protects hair from moisture loss and conditions it to provide a silky smoothness.

 

The Plan:
53 oz in 9-bar slab mold with with impression mat on bottom.
Lines of color and circle swirl, then starburst swirl.
6 Chrysanthemum & 6 Sunflower molds – with clyde slide swirl or layering.

Shampoo Master Batch Oils #3: 65 oz oils, 95 oz soap/ 5.9 lbs:
SMB Oils: 65 oz/ 1843 grams
NaOH Lye 3% SF: 9.32 oz/ grams
1:1 Cold Aloe Juice & Cold Distilled Water: 21.45 oz/ 608 grams
Mallow Extract (1%): 18 grams
Nettle Extract (2%): 36 grams (add to oils)
DL-Panthenol (2%): 36 grams (add to lye water)
Sodium Lactate: 18 grams (add to lye water at <130 degrees)
Silk Amino Acids: 18 grams (add to lye water when hot)

Note: Add NaOH to 10 oz cold water, then add silk. At 130F incorporate Panthenol.
When dissolved, slowly added cold Aloe to side of container (to prevent volcano effect).
Combine Oils & Lye: Stick blend for 2 seconds, add EO blend, then mix by hand.

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)

9-bar mold:
95 oz Batter (use 53 oz for 9-bar mold)/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 TKB #10 Yellow, 1 oz Orange
15 oz MM Mint Green, with 0.5 tsp Moringa powder & 0.3 tsp Neem powder in oil, 1 oz Pineapple
Lines of color, starburst swirl, circle swirl.

42 oz for Chrysanthemum mold & Sunflower molds:
6 Chrysanthemum, Clyde Slide swirl & pour.
6 Sunflower, 3 Clyde Slide swirl & pour, 3 layered (batter too stiff for Clyde Slide).

 

The Reality:
I poured the lye into 10 oz of cold water, stirred, added the silk and stirred some more until dissolved. At about 130F, I poured in the DL-panthenol and mixed out the lumps, then carefully added the partially frozen aloe. (The reason you never add the liquid to the lye is because it can produce a volcano effect and “boil” over. So I am carefully going against the rules here to be able to add the silk into a hot mixture and also use cold aloe to prevent an overheating the aloe.)

When the lye and oils were at 90F, I poured the lye liquid into the oils and stick blending with only 4 quick bursts (using an immersion blender), then hand stirred briefly and divided up the batter. After mixing in the colors and FO/EO’s, I started on a Clyde slide swirl for the individual molds, alternating each color with white into the side of a container until full. I then poured from the spout (90 degrees away from where I added each color) and filled 5 Chrysanthemum molds.

Now the main soap was a tiny bit thicker, so I poured into the 9-bar mold, alternating the white with the colors again until I had 53 oz in the mold. I then did a circle swirl and starburst swirl with a thin chopstick.

I went back to filling a container for more Clyde slide swirls and 4 more molds – the last Chrysanthemum mold and 3 Sunflower molds. Now the batter was too thick for more of this swirl, so I layered the other 3 Sunflower molds with soap.

I spritzed with alcohol, covered with plastic wrap and put into a dedicated gelling room, blanketed with towels and ran a little heater for about an hour to get the gel process started.

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The Cut:

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Conclusions:
The house was about 64F, but that didn’t seem to have any effect on the soaping process. I’m glad I started out with the Clyde Slide swirl in individual molds, as the batter was a little thin and merged together quite a bit.

After finishing the 9-bar mold, I went back to the Clyde Slide to work on the rest of the molds, and halfway through pouring the colors into the container for the Clyde Slide, it was getting really thick, so I only got 4 more molds with that swirl. Which worked out well, as I had wanted to do some layering in the Sunflower molds and was able to do that with the last 3.

I usually do the Starburst swirl first and then the circle swirl, so this gave a different effect on top of the 9-bar mold. I included a mat on the bottom for extra interest. I normally use an orange color when making POGY, but used green this time so that I could include Moringa and Neem powders, as they are good for the hair (and are green in color.)