I tried soaping with this Bramble Berry fragrance 2 years ago and it turned into a disaster: the batter really accelerated, the oils separated out, then it all riced, and turned into a gloppy mess, which I managed to plop into a slab mold in very uneven layers with lots of air pockets. I had made some MP berries, which I put on top and drizzled with leftover unscented white batter. It didn’t look that great, but it smelled SO wonderful:
Here is the description of the fragrance: This tropical fragrance smells of melons, pineapple, acai berry, ripe nectarine, dripping guava, baobab fruit, pomegranates with herbs, grapefruit, cassis and tropical water top notes. It’s a mix of of all the best fruits of the tropics without any of the calories. Deliciously tart, sweet and fruity all at the same time.
I swore I would never use this FO again, but now that I have a lot more experience soaping, I wanted to give it a second chance. I’m pretty good at bringing the batter to just emulsified, which is what I did this time – I poured 28 oz off for my base, stick blended the soap a bit more for the colors and measured them out.
I used my usual oils & butters (Master Batch Oils #3 – see April 29, 2016 Blog for recipe), discounting the liquid about 10% and using frozen coconut water instead of distilled. (I put the coconut water into a 1 gallon freezer bag, then laid it flat in the freezer for 3.5 hours, to get a nice thin sheet of ice that easily broke up and blended with the lye.)
Here’s what I have found out about Coconut Water: It has B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folate to help nourish and hydrate skin and hair. It also contains minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc. The lauric acid gives cold process soap extra hardness and promotes a luxuriously fluffy lather. Research studies suggest that cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) in coconut water are found to have significant anti-ageing and anti-carcinogenic effects.
I had previously made some CP berries for the top and planned on doing an In The Pot swirl using a tall skinny mold…if the soap got too thick, I would switch to a spoon plop. The scent is light, so I used 3.35 oz.
Batter & Colors: 52 oz (plus 6 oz of berries)
28 oz Base: BB Radiant Plum (all the FO)
6 oz – BB Blue Raspberry Mica
6 oz – BB Ultramarine Violet
6 oz – TKB #30 True Red
6 oz – BB Tangerine Orange (pink)
Topped with raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, & pineapple (yellow slices)
The lye-coconut water got to 102 degrees and I added it to 120 degree oils. It turned orange, and I used more color to compensate. (In the past, the colors didn’t seem too affected, this time it took a lot more color to get my Blue Raspberry more blue than green. And my Radiant Plum was light – in hindsight, I should have added more colorant.) I forgot that the FO info stated that it turns the soap yellow, as it didn’t seem to discolor in my first attempt. With that & the coconut water, the base color turned very orange….
I first colored all my soap, then added the FO to the base soap. (I had saved about 3 oz of my oils that I combined with my FO & warmed, before pouring it into the base soap.) I had plenty of time to work with my soaps (no acceleration, ricing, or applesauce.)
I attempted to add the berries on top in a random order, but I’m not very good with random:
I didn’t care that much for the yellow pieces used for pineapple (too light), so I only put a few on top.
It wasn’t until later that I realized that I forgot the swirl part of the ITP…so this is more of a modified Clyde Slide swirl.
The base color eventually turned more pink, but not the color of the berries on top (which were done in the same radiant plum color). Both my Tangerine (which usually turns a light pink) and my Ultramarine Lavender colors completely disappeared. The only colors seen inside are Blue Raspberry & Red:
A very weird thing happened in the middle of many slices: there is a glob of rough, white, cracking soap. I’m not sure if this overheated when gelled; or if after pouring, it started ricing, hence the blob-pocket in the middle. (If anyone else has had this experience or an idea of what this is, please let me know.)
I did a Ph test – just in case, and it came in at 7-8, so it’s not a lye issue.
This was a very disappointing outcome. I was confident I could work with this FO again. Part of the problem was not taking into account the yellow discolor of the fragrance. I may need to be more careful gelling, when using coconut water too.
Even though this is a fail, the soap smells fabulous!
I made 6 Large Victorian Hearts testing different BB scents and they all turned out great:
- Apple Sage with variegated LabColor Apple green and forest green jojoba beads (dusted with snowflake sparkle mica)
- Unscented Soap (ITP colors above & dusted with snowflake sparkle mica)
- Almond Cybilla Confetti (natural – will discolor brown & dusted with gold sparkle mica)
- Passionfruit Papaya with multi colored jojoba beads (white with ITP colors above & dusted with gold sparkle mica)
- Southern Peach (Tangerine & Red & dusted with gold sparkle mica)
- Violet (Ultramarine Violet & Blue Raspberry & dusted with snowflake sparkle mica)
Clockwise: Apple Sage, Unscented, Almond Cybilla Confetti,
Passionfruit Papaya, Southern Peach, & Violet.