Four Embed Soap Batches for Valentine’s Day

After all the business of the holidays, I wanted to take a simple approach to my soaps and yet still do a bit for Valentine’s Day. So I went with some embed soaps, using four Heart tube molds and one moon tube mold.


Top: Lavender Mint (with two hearts). Left to right: Crescent Moon Orange Yuzu, Black Raspberry Vanilla, and Sandalwood Vanilla.


1st Batch:
Sandalwood Vanilla Goat Milk in Vertical mold with Heart embed,
Strawberry & Crushed Grape Seeds, Sal Butter, & Kaolin Clay


This first soap is almost as involved as my holiday ones, because of all the additives. I included Sal/Shorea Butter, which means imputing all of my Master Batch oils into the soap calculator. Plus I added Strawberry & Crushed Grape seeds, Kaolin Clay, Goat Milk, and a heart embed.


The Plan:
Use Vertical mold with divider. Brown on one side with all FO and crushed grape seeds; white on other side with no FO, strawberry seeds, and a brown tube heart.

I really like this vertical mold (with divider) that I got several years ago from Bramble Berry (they now have a nicer, updated version: The bars feel very uniform and with my 1 1/8 inch cutter, I always get 11  – 5 oz soaps, plus a sample.

I have found over time that the plastic liners have become pitted and will not release the soap (no matter how long I wait or how much Cyclomethicone I spray on it), so I have gotten into the habit of lining the liners with freezer paper. I know that sounds time consuming, but it’s pretty quick to do and really makes a difference (I have literally had to chisel the soap off with out the paper.)

Description and properties of Bramble Berry Sandalwood Vanilla: A warm and inviting blend that is sweet and creamy, yet woodsy enough for men. Discolors Brown, 4.5% Vanilla. Accelerates Trace very quickly – only enough time to mix & pour. Keep temps down below 100 degrees.

46 oz Oils Plus 2 oz Sal/Shorea Butter (run through Lye Calculator)
Master batch #5 oils (Blog Oct 10, 2016)
Oils: 46 oz
Sal Butter: 2 oz
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 6.75 oz/ 191 grams
Frozen Goat Milk & Distilled water: 14 oz (10 oz Goat Milk & 4 oz water)
Sodium Lactate: 14 grams
Kaolin Clay: 1 oz/ 28 grams in lye water

A note on Kaolin Clay: It has been ages since I’ve used it and I wanted to get back into the habit. Kaolin Clay has excellent absorbent qualities, which draw out impurities and toxins, thereby clearing the skin of excess oil, impurities, pollutants and other undesired residues. It is said to help stimulate circulation and is a light exfoliant. It is also supposed to add slip and help anchor fragrances. (Kaolin clay is named after a hill in China where it was originally mined from, Kao-Ling Hill.)

Batter/Colors/FO: Total: 60 oz Batter; 4 oz FO
28 oz TD White (Plus Brown heart 4.5 oz); no FO; 1.5 tsp of Strawberry Seeds
32 oz with hint of Cappuccino Brown mica & all FO; 1.25 tsp of Crushed Grape Seeds
1 Brown Tube Heart soap (4.5 oz)
Strawberry seeds & Crushed Grape seeds

Soaped Lye & Oils at 99 degrees and poured lye through a strainer. Stick blended till emulsified and poured off 32 oz for brown. Stick blended to light trace and poured off 28 oz for white.

Added colors and seeds for exfoliation (I had trouble dispersing the crushed grape seeds and will try a whisk next time or dissolving it in a little distilled water).

Spritzed the tube heart with alcohol, had mold ready. Added FO into brown, stirred quickly, then poured both colors simultaneously into vertical mold. Added Brown tube heart on right side. Removed divider and topped off with more soap. Swirled end and put into fridge.

I found that the crushed grape seeds colored the soap a darker brown than usual. Here’s the lighter brown I got when I made these in July 2015 (with 2 extra dividers added – sadly it set up too fast and the dividers got a bit wonky):


2015 Sandalwood Vanilla


The Cut:


I like the dark, rich brown this turned into.


I had not mixed the crushed grape seeds enough, as I got several powder spots on the soap.


The brown has darkened up even more than when I took these photos.



  • Sandalwood Vanilla in Victorian Heart, dusted with gold mica
  • Lavender Confetti in Victorian Heart, dusted with lavender mica
  • Almond Biscotti in Victorian Heart, dusted with gold mica

I found the confetti makes the top of the bar very rough. Next time I will pour some soap into the mold, than add the soap shreds into the rest of the batter before pouring.


2nd Batch:
Crescent Moon Orange Yuzu in Vertical mold
with yellow moon embed & red jojoba beads


Even though this is not a traditional Valentine’s soap (think being “over the moon” for someone), I wanted to continue with the embed theme. (I had made the moon for a project over a year ago and then changed gears, so I just wanted to make use of it.)

I usually use 10x Orange and Orange Valencia with Yuzu and call this Sunshine Orange, but I decided to mix it up a bit this time.

Description of Bramble Berry scents used:

  • Orange Peel Cybilla: Sweet juicy orange with the zest of the peel. No A, slight off-white, sticks well.
  • Yuzu Cybilla: Based on the Japanese fruit of the same name, Yuzu is a fresh and sparkling citrus. CP: Water White, scent last, stays clear, light.


The Plan:
Use 4 lb vertical mold. 1 divider, 2 sides: Orange (Orange Peel fo) & White (Yuzu fo) with yellow moon in white side & red jojoba beads on orange side.

Oils: 50 oz (Makes 73 oz /4.5 lbs soap)
Master Batch #6 Oils
Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.11 oz / 202 grams
Frozen Coconut & Distilled Water: (2.5 oz disc): 14 oz / 397 grams
Sodium Lactate: 14 grams
Kaolin Clay: 14 grams

Batter/Colors/FO: 2 oz Orange Peel; 2 oz Yuzu; (62 oz batter)
29.4 oz TD White with yellow moon (2.6 oz) and 2 oz Yuzu
32 oz BB Nuclear Orange with 2 oz Orange Peel
1 Yellow Tube Moon soap (2.6 oz)
Red Jojoba Beads, Large – 20/40 (425-850 microns)

I went with Coconut water for two reasons: I have a lot of it and I wanted to get some of the properties that 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 was found to have significant anti-ageing and anti-carcinogenic effects.

Mixed 11.4 oz of almost frozen coconut water with 2.6 oz frozen distilled water. Lye-liquid heated up to 120 degrees; put in ice bath until 84 degrees, mixed with 82 degree Oils. I stick blended to light trace and poured off 10 oz for leftovers. Then weighed out 29.4 oz for white and 32 oz for orange.

I stick blended both, then added the colors and FO’s and waited until they thickened up. The white got thicker much quicker, so I stick blended the orange a little more.

At the last moment, I decided to change things up and put the yellow moon into the orange side, with the red jojoba beads in the white side. It felt like I would get more of a “pop” on both sides this way. I had just enough white to complete the project, with enough leftovers of orange to make a single bar.

I’m not sure why I went so crazy at the last moment. The moon embed was a very bright yellow and the Nuclear Orange was very orange, but as they settled down, the moon took on a bit of a green hue and the orange settled into a lighter orange. In hind sight, I it would have been better to stick to the original plan.

I wrapped in towels to gel.


The Cut:



This is the closest I’ve been able to photograph the bright nuclear orange that this soap really is (it seems to turn more yellow in all the photos):


I’m not thrilled about the outcome of this soap. The bright orange is just way too bright and I don’t like the layout. But it does smell wonderful!


Leftovers in Victorian Heart molds:

  • Sunshine Orange (Orange Peel Cybilla leftovers)
  • 1:2 Pineapple Lemon Verbena Confetti (4.5 ml: 2.25 ml)
  • 1:1 NG Honey Bunny (slight A) & Earl Grey Lemon Confetti (A & R) (4 ml: 4 ml)

Pouring some soap into the mold first, then adding the soap shreds/confetti into the rest of the batter really made a big difference (compared to the confetti soaps in the first batch) – producing a smooth top.


3rd Batch:
Black Raspberry Vanilla in Vertical mold
with purple embed heart & purple jojoba beads


Black Raspberry Vanilla seems the quintessential Valentine’s Day scent.

Description of Bramble Berry & Nature’s Garden scents used: (I used two different FO’s to finish one brand and start another.)

  • BB Black Raspberry Vanilla is multi-layered with decadent fruity notes to create a sublime scent. Fresh, vine-ripened raspberries and blackberry notes are mixed with Italian bergamot, California Bartlett pear and softened with notes of plum wine, vanilla orchid and a silky, cashmere musk. Overall, it’s sweet, silky and mouth-watering. Very light (add extra) – smells great. No D, A, or R. 0% Vanilla.
  • NG Black Raspberry Vanilla: An enticing blend of blackberries and raspberries, with middle notes of white floral greenery, and bottom notes of musk and vanilla. Very Mild. No D, A, or R. 0% Vanilla


The Plan:
Use 4 lb vertical mold (64 oz). 1 divider, 2 sides: Purple & White. White on one side with purple jojoba beads & Purple heart; and Purple on the other side.

50 oz Oils (Makes 73 oz /4.5 lbs soap)
Master Batch #6 Oils
Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.11 oz / 202 grams
Coconut & Distilled Water: (2.5 oz disc): 14 oz / 397 grams
Sodium Lactate: 14 grams
Kaolin Clay: 14 grams

Batter/Colors/FO: 60 oz; 4.5 oz FO (used: 1.75 oz NG & 2.75 oz BB)
28 oz TD (Plus purple heart 4.5 oz)
32 oz Ultramarine Violet Purple
Purple Tube Heart (4.5 oz)
Purple Jojoba Beads, Large – 20/40 (425-850 microns)

I tried something different with my colors (which I saw on a soaping video): I sifted the dry colorants (including TD) through a fine tea strainer. I then added the usual warm oil. I typically filter my TD in oil (as well as my purple) through a strainer when adding to the batter, but since I had sifted it dry, I skipped this step. (After trying this on two soaps, I will go back to straining the colors already mixed in oils, instead of just dry, as I got lots of purple spots on this batch and TD spots on the next one.)

I soaped with 89 degree lye-liquid and 101 degree oils. Stick blended to light trace, added colors and fragrance. When the batter was the right thickness, I added the purple Jojoba beads and poured soap simultaneously into both sides of the mold; added the purple heart tube into the white; removed the divider and topped off mold with more batter.

The heart tube I use is about 3/4 to 1 inch shy of the top of the mold, so I usually swirl the top 1/2 inch. This time I had another, slightly larger tube heart and I cut off 1 inch and added it.

I wrapped in towels to gel.


The Cut:




Leftovers in Large Victorian Hearts:

  • Black Raspberry Vanilla
  • Apricot with red jojoba beads (orange & white)
  • Pineapple Papaya with red jojoba beads (yellow oxide on top half & green for rest)
  • Black Raspberry Vanilla in Flue-de-lis guest (leftovers)


4th Batch:
Lavender Mint in 3 lb mold
with 2 Hearts & ITP swirl


I have added two tube hearts in the 3 lb mold several times in the past, but it has been quite a while since I did this. I use a slightly wider heart tube mold than the last batch.

I was going to make a straight Lavender, but decided to mix it up a bit with a hint of Peppermint, Tea Tree, and Eucalyptus.

Again, I wanted to go simpler, so I planned a white base with an In The Pot swirl of Ultramarine Blue & Ultramarine Violet (the colors of the heart tubes).


The Plan:
3 lb Mold. Mostly white, with a little ITP swirl with blue & violet and 2 heart embeds.

Scent Blend:
2.1 oz Lavender
.3 oz Peppermint 2nd Distill eo (8 grams)
.3 oz Tea Tree eo (8 grams)
.3 oz Eucalyptus eo (8 grams)

30 oz Oils (Makes 43 oz soap) Plus 2 embeds totaling 10.25 oz = 53 oz soap
Master Batch #6 Oils
Oils: 30 oz/ 851 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 4.27 oz / 121 grams
Distilled Water: (1.9 oz disc): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate: 9 grams
Kaolin Clay: 9 grams

Batter/Colors/FO: (43 oz batter, Plus 10.25 oz 2 hearts)
36 oz TD
4 oz Ultramarine Violet Purple
4 oz Ultramarine Blue
1 Ultramarine Violet Heart tube soap (5+ oz)
1 Ultramarine Blue Heart tube soap (5+ oz)

I added about 3 oz of each of the colored batter into the white for an In The Pot swirl. Poured 3/4 of this batter into the mold, added the two heart embed tubes (after spritzing with alcohol). Then topped off the soap with the rest of the batter, using the leftover colors to sprinkle on top and swirl:


Top of mold after swirling


Close up.

I sifted the dry colors again (including TD) through a fine tea strainer, then added warm oil. I did not use the strainer to sift my TD in oils, like I usually do and you can see in the photo above a few TD dots, so straining it dry doesn’t work as well as when wet (in oils).

The Cut:






Leftovers in Victorian Heart (with heart embed inside):


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