Four Thieves with advanced Tiger Stripe Swirl and layers

I have made this soap ten times before, and always with the Zebra Swirl (see August 22, 2016 Blog and December 14, 2015 Blog, where I won Sponsor’s Choice award).

I am constantly fighting with the acceleration of the batter, due to the essential oils used, so I thought I’d try something different – layering with a Tiger Swirl in the middle.

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Interested in the Story behind the Four Thieve’s Blend? See the bottom of the Blog.

 

The Plan: 106 oz total batter
Pour off 16 oz for samples/guest size soaps.
84 oz, 5 lb mold in 3 layers: 1st layer white with EO; 2nd layer tiger wall pour (no fo, 6 colors); 3rd layer white with EO

I wanted to add Medowfoam Oil, as I used this in the past in this soap. It has some nice qualities: it is moisturizing & rejuvenating; makes a creamy lather; adds a silky, smooth feel; provides great emolliency without being overly greasy; and absorbs quickly. It’s also composed of fatty acids with a very high level of oxidative stability.

I stopped adding this oil because it’s so expensive, but I have some in my freezer, and wanted to use it.

72.12 oz MB Oils PLUS 2.88 oz Meadowfoam Oil 75 oz Total Oils
Master Batch #6 Oils (Makes 106 oz/6.6 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 72.12 oz/ 2045 grams
Meadowfoam Oil (3.8%): 2.88 oz/ 82 grams
NaOH/Lye 6% SF: 10.47 oz / 297 grams
Distilled Water: (3.75 oz disc): 21 oz / 595 grams
Sodium Lactate: 21 grams
Kaolin Clay: 21 grams

This is my recipe for the Four Thieves Blend:
5 oz – 142 grams Four Thieves Oil: (accelerates trace)
34% Clove:         1.7 oz        48 grams
30% Litsea:        1.5 oz        43 grams
16% Cinnamon:  .8 oz        23 grams
12% Eucalyptus: .6 oz        17 grams
8% Rosemary:     .4 oz        11 grams

The original blend has Lemon, but I replaced it with Litsea, as it is 1/4 the price of 5 Fold Lemon. I used to use 5X Lemon, as it would stick well, but a few years ago the price quadrupled and is no longer viable to use (16 oz cost close to $130.) Non-folded Lemon disappears in CP, as do many citruses.

90 oz Batter/Colors/ 4oz EO: (use 84 oz batter & rest of colors for samples)
1st Layer:
38 oz TD white 2.2 oz EO
2nd Layer:
24 oz total (use 18 oz: 2.5 oz in tiger pour of each color, .5 oz for top; save 1 oz for samples) No EO
4 oz BB Ultramarine Violet Purple
4 oz BB Fuchsia Pink
4 oz TKB #40 True Red
4 oz BB Zippy Blue
4 oz BB Hydrated Chrome and Chrome Green (got too thick, switched to CC Green Mojito)
4 oz BB Nuclear Orange
3rd Layer:
28 oz TD White 1.8 oz EO

Top with swirl of colors.

I combined the Lye & Oils when both were at 88 degrees, hoping the lower temps would help slow down the acceleration (which it did). I stick blended to emulsified and poured off 38 oz for the first layer and 28 oz for the third layer. Stick blended more, then weight out 4 oz for each color and 16 oz for guest soaps.

Added TD to the 38 oz container, then 2.2 oz of EO blend; blended quickly & poured into mold.

I then mixed up my colors. The 1st layer was already stiff enough pour on; I did a tiger stripe wall pour with the six colors four times over.

In the first layer of colors. the green batter had gotten so thick, that after one pour, I realized it was messing up my whole design, so I quickly took 3+ oz from the 16 oz container and mixed in some Green Mojito coloring. I used this for the next 3 series of color pours. (The first green I used had been sitting in oil for a couple months. I suspect it had gotten old.)

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You can see a bit of the dark green on the upper right – it was so thick, that the subsequent soap pours got snagged on the green and went a bit wonky.

The colored batter seemed to keep getting thinner, so while I was waiting for it to thicken up, I made my sample & guest size soaps, adding some TD to the dark green, to help lighten it up and used it for 2 guest Victorian hearts (adding extra batter and more EO blend). For the rest of the soaps, I used some color on top, then added white batter with EO blend and swirled in a little more colors for the bottom. (I mixed in the EO separately for each individual mold, because of acceleration.)

It took about an hour for the second layer to set up enough to add the last layer. All my leftover colors and the 28 oz poured off at emulsified stayed thin until about the last 15 minutes – then everything really thickened up fast. But I was still able to add the EO blend and pour the 3rd layer, then added blobs of color on top of that and swirl:

I added some fine, iridescent glitter to jazz it up a bit.

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Close up

 

The Cut:

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I am very pleased with how these turned out. It makes sense not to fight the acceleration, but incorporate it in the design.

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I first tried a straight cut on these, but found the crinkle cut to make it much more interesting:

 

Sample/Guest size:
22 oz (1 oz of each color from above & 16 oz with 1 oz EO blend)
1 – String of pearls mold
2 – Flur-de-Lis
2 – Guest Victorian Heart using thick green lightened with TD
2 – Guest Victorian Heart

 

The Story behind 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 debate between them, they agreed to share it in return for their pardon. This offer was accepted.

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 Blend. (An aside: they used 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 this behavior.)

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