Cranberry Orange ITP Swirl layers with Peacock Swirl top and 3 Butters: Mango, Cocoa, and Shea


I had previously made a sample soap of 1:1 Cranberry Chutney fragrance and Orange 10x Essential Oil. I can’t remember how much FO/EO I used, but both seemed very faint. My plan was to try a ratio of 4:3 Cranberry to Orange and mix it up a bit with another Cranberry scent. (All are Bramble Berry FO’s.)

Description and Performance of FO/EO’s:

  • Cranberry Chutney FO: With notes of traditional cranberry chutney, this tartly sweet scent is supported by subtle spice notes, vanilla, golden raisin, cooking apples and musk and sweetened with delightful concord grape. Turns yellow/tan; sometime turns blue, but will disappear within 24 hrs.
  • Cranberry Realistic FO: A realistic cranberry scent. Very tart & strong. Accelerates Trace. This is a discontinued scent.
  • Orange 10x EO: Also referred to as ’10 Fold’ Orange; which is a form of concentrating the oil and removing much of the lower boiling components, primarily d-Limonene. The higher the number, the more times it’s been folded, or concentrated. Unlike traditional citrus essential oils, this orange will actually smell good in CP. Turns soap a beautiful bright yellow-orange color.


The Plan:
Use a 9-bar slab mold and 54 oz soap.
2 layers with an In The Pot swirl and a third (top) layer in a Peacock swirl.
Pour off 20 oz of emulsified batter for test soaps.
Pour off 24 oz of emulsified batter for top layer.
Stick blend rest of batter to a light trace for two ITP swirl layers.

Two ITP swirl layers are also referred to as an Elemental swirl. I have seen Elemental swirls where one layer breaks through the other layer, and also where they remain autonomous. I am keeping these layers separate.

I used a lye calculator to add 1.4 oz of Mango Butter to my 50 oz Master Batch Oil recipe, which already has Cocoa & Shea butters, the addition of Mango will make 3 Butters. (Oct 10, 2016 Blog Recipe)

Master batch #5 oils: 50 oz Oils + 1.4 oz Mango Butter (Makes 74 oz soap)
Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
Mango Butter: 1.4 oz/ 40 grams
Lye 5% SF: 7.25 oz / 206 grams
Distilled Water: (1.96 oz disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate: 15 grams

3.5 oz FO: 1.5 oz of Cranberry Chutney; .5 oz Cranberry Realistic; & 1.5 oz Orange 10X Essential Oil

1st Layer (bottom): 16 oz: Merlot & Red ITP swirl:
10 oz TKB #30 True Red
6 oz BB Merlot Mica

2nd Layer (middle): 14 oz: Orange ITP swirl
10 oz BB Nuclear Orange
4 oz BB Nuclear Orange & TD (for light orange)

3rd Layer (top): Lines with no FO:
8 oz TD white
8 oz BB Nuclear Orange
8 oz TKB #30 True Red
Gold & Silver Mica Oils

  • Red, orange, white: Pour each color in thin lines across smallest part of 9-bar mold to create stripes, repeat until all batter used. Add Gold & Silver Mica oil lines for the last pass.
  • Use Peacock swirl tool #1 (small nails) and make one pass down small side of 9-bar mold.
  • Use Peacock swirl tool #2 (big screws) and make one zig-zag pass down small side of 9-bar mold.


The first layer was an In the Pot swirl. The batter was at light trace. After coloring, I added 2/3 of the Cranberry FO blend (Cranberry Chutney & Cranberry Realistic) and 1/3 of the Orange EO to the Red & Merlot batters. There was a bit of discolor – probably from the EO, so I added more color to bring it back to a deep red & merlot. I waited as it got a slight acceleration, poured the Merlot into the red pot, drew my spatula through the mix, then poured into the mold. It set up quickly.

The second layer was also in ITP swirl with bright orange and a lighter orange. I repeated the process above, with the rest of the Cranberry and Orange fragrances.

These two layers could not have behaved any more perfect for an ITP swirl and pour.

For the third layer, my batter was now at light trace and I poured each color in thin lines. (The proper way to do this is using squeeze bottles for more uniform lines, but I’m not a big fan of them – as they are so difficult to clean and so much soap is wasted; and if I can get away with not using them, I will. But my lines would have been more uniform if I used squeeze bottles.) When I was done with my 3 colors, I added silver and gold mica oil lines.

Then I used my swirl tools. They can be found at Bramble Berry:

They are for the 18-bar mold, but can easily be adjusted to the 9-bar mold for lengthwise or widthwise swirling. The one on the bottom of the photo is used first. I have outfitted it so that I can use it either direction (I used the left side for this project). The tool on the top is set to use widthwise on the 9-bar mold (I have removed several screws).


Swirl Tools: 1st tool: bottom of photo – left side for widthwise scoring, right side for lengthwise; 2nd tool: top of photo – for zig-zagging

Typically the Peacock swirl is done lengthwise – down the wide side of the mold. I did this widthwise, as I had tried this before and liked the result I got on the outside of my rimmed soap (see March 19, 2016 and April 1, 2016 Blogs).

One thing I haven’t tried before (or seen done) is adding mica oil lines on top. I really liked this look:


First scoring with #1 swirl tool dragged down the mold.


Here you can see the results of tool #2, after zig-zagging half way down the mold.


The final outcome – The Peacock Swirl


Close up.

After the dividers are in place, you can see that each bar will have some of the peacock swirl design:


(As much as I try to straighten out the plastic dividers, they still spring back to a bit wonky.)


The “Cut” (Un-molding):


You can see the different layers, but the ITP swirl is very subtle.


Check out the shimmer from the gold & silver mica oils:


Close up.


You can see that some of the bars got a little muddied in places with too much mica oils:


For a more detailed tutorial on In The Pot Swirls and The Peacock Swirl, check out the Soap Queen Blog.

I love the idea of adding the mica oil lines – I don’t know why I haven’t seen it done before! But they must be used with some restraint (hard for me to do), or you can get some blobs that will distort the swirl. After drying, the mica oils also leave a bit of a groove in the soap, which needs to be taken into consideration with the design (I think they look nice in this case).

Although it is not very well seen in these photos, the use of 2 layers of ITP swirl worked out well. I went this direction to account for the discoloring of the scents.

Adding the dividers disrupts the distinctive layers, as it pulls down the top design to the sides. Both looks worked well, it’s just a matter of preference. (Not using the dividers means hand cutting, which I don’t as accurately as I would like).


An Aside:
This is where I used 20 oz of batter that was poured off at emulsified: testing of some sent blends for future projects in Dragonfly with Cattails molds.

I had a plan on the ratios of scent I would use to make some new blends and I listed what I ended up using instead.

  • Pumpkin Latte 2:1 with Pumpkin Pie & Espresso Coffee – used 5:2 ratio
  • Vanilla Chai: 3:1 with vanilla – used 1:1 ratio
  • Peppermint Chai: 2:3 with Peppermint – used 2:2.5 ratio
  • Chocolate Chai: 1:1 ratio with Hot Cocoa

Clockwise: Pumpkin Latte, Vanilla Chai, Peppermint Chai, Chocolate Chai:

I love the Pumpkin Latte and the Chocolate Chai, but Chocolate soaps are usually not a big hit, (sadly, neither are the Coffee or Pumpkin, but at this time of year, I just can’t resist!).

The only one I just didn’t care for was the Vanilla Chai. But I think that my Vanilla’s have lost some of their top notes, as they are a couple years old.

2 comments on “Cranberry Orange ITP Swirl layers with Peacock Swirl top and 3 Butters: Mango, Cocoa, and Shea

  1. These are so pretty! I love the mica lines.


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