Marrakesh Gold: Layered Soap with Mica Lines

The original plan was to do a Elemental Swirl, like I did with Marrakesh last year. I liked the simple design so much, I wanted to recreate it:


However, that idea faded very quick, due to extremely bad FO behavior. But I did get some nice gold mica lines and a pretty top:


Here is the description of the Bramble Berry fragrances I used:

  • Marrakesh: This smells like a Moroccan Spice market, with notes of Bamboo, Vetiver Grass, Vanilla Orchid, Myrrh; with a hint of Tangerine, Patchouli & Clove Leaf. This is a complex & very well-balanced scent, with the spices & earthy tones backed up by citrus and floral hints (I can not detect the citrus & floral). This is a discontinued fragrance – it’s wonderful, but immediately disappeared in the clearance section before I could buy anymore (I think it was dropped due to very bad behavior!) My notes on this: .9% Vanilla; discolors beige; holds beautifully. Clove leaf makes it accelerate trace – use extra water, soap at lower temps & super fat 7-8%; ACCELERATES & GETS LUMPY.
  • Amber:  A base note that is used in perfumery because it adds a sophisticated, warm notes to fragrance blends. This Amber blend also contains notes of Vanilla, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Musk. 3.2% Vanilla content; discolors brown; moves quickly.

I wanted 3 oz of FO, and had only 2.3 oz of Marrakesh left, so I added the .7 oz of Amber and they smell wonderful together. I remember the bad behavior of the Marrakesh the last time I made it, but in spite of that, I was able to do a little swirl.


The Plan:

I made this batch slightly bigger, just because I wanted to finish the jug of oils I had, and I added some Almond Butter. (I put it all through a lye calculator). Per my notes, I also upped the Super Fat to 7%.

Master batch #5 oils: 39.7 oz Oils + 2.3 oz Almond butter, 42 oz total oils (Makes 60 oz soap)
Oils: 39.7 oz/ 1125 grams
Almond Butter: 2.3 oz/ 65 grams
Lye 7% SF: 5.78 oz / 164 grams
Distilled Water: (2.86 oz disc): 11 oz / 312 grams (used 320 grams)
Sodium Lactate: 12 grams

Pour off 6 oz for test scents.

I was originally going to use a brown mica, but I had some Sienna Mica mixed up, so I used a bit of that instead (expecting the discolor to do the rest). I went with the Racing Stripe Orange, as it seems like a bright Pumpkin color to me, which I like (this was before I realized it morphed to yellow).

10 oz BB Sienna Sparkle mica; 1.25 oz FO
8 oz TD White; .5 oz Vanilla Stabilizer, no FO
12 oz BB Racing Stripe Orange; .25 oz FO (7 ml)
10 oz BB Sienna Sparkle mica; 1.25 oz FO
12 oz TKB #30 Red; .25 oz FO (7 ml)

Layer: Brown with 1/2 white; orange; brown with 1/2 white; red. Gold Mica lines in between layers and mica oils on top.

Top with Gold, Orange, Red, & Brown mica oils.

I added my 105 degree lye-water to 115 degree oils, stick blended to emulsified; poured of 6 oz for testing, as well as 20 oz into two containers that most of the FO would go into. I stick blended the rest to light trace, then separated & colored (mixing in the TD & stabilizer last, as it tends to thicken slightly.)


Colored batter.

I mixed up the first layer of brown with half the FO and it got super thick. I tried to add some white to it, but in just those couple seconds of delay, it turned into shards of what looked like wax. I persevered and smashed it into the mold with my gloved hand. (In hindsight, I should have gone to a Plan B – which I didn’t have, as the fragrance didn’t get this crazy last year when I made it. It may have been better to discard this soap and try something else.)


The first layer in the mold after seizing and squishing it down by hand.

I added a little more white on top to “smooth” it out a bit and dusted on my first gold mica line (using a fine mesh tea infuser). I wasn’t sure if I should have skipped the mica, as it may aid the soap in breaking apart.

In hind sight, I could have popped this soap out of the mold, cut it into chunks and mixed it with my next layer. I have never seen this done before with seized soap, but because it’s so hard, it seems like it would be a good way to deal with it.

I went on to my orange layer – only put in half of the FO I had planned (3 ml) and it accelerated quickly, but I got it poured into the mold, then dusted on gold mica. I continued with the rest of the colors. I worked very quickly with the second brown layer, adding the rest of the FO and getting it into the mold as fast as possible. Of course, I skipped the plan of adding the ITP swirl with white. I poured the red last and didn’t add any scent to it.

I added the mica oils on top and over did it, and they got a bit muddy in places. In the end I sprinkled on some dry gold mica too (not pictured):


I’ve been a little off my game with swirling. You can see the muddiness on the top middle of the photo:



Close up of mica swirls.


The Cut:

I realized another mistake I made – using Racing Stripe Orange. After the fact, I looked up it’s nuances and discovered that it morphs to a golden yellow – not the orange I wanted that would pop. (I used it in my previous Blog soap, but that was just the day before using it in this one.)


I like the little bit of dry Gold Sparkle mica sprinkled on top.





In spite of making a bit of a mess with this soap, I think it turned out lovely and it smells really wonderful! Sadly, I will not be able to make Marrakesh again, since it’s discontinued and all gone, which is very disappointing.

The seizing of the soap may have been due in part because the scent was a bit old. I have noticed that when some fragrances are over 2 years old, they have a propensity to accelerate. And since this one already had that tendency when new, it may have increased as it aged.


An Aside:
I love to test new scents, scent blends, or just make a one of a kind soap (all are dusted with Snowflake Sparkle mica):

  • Pumpkin & Brown Sugar in Oval Bird & Grass
  • Green Smoothie in Guest Fleur-de-Lis (got a sample of this; don’t like it oob or in cp)
  • Cranberry Grapefruit in Oval Bird & Grass (3:5 ratio), (top is pinker than the photo shows)

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