Four Thieves in Tiger Stripe and Layers

I wanted to recreate the Four Thieves soap made just a few months earlier, but with a Tiger Stripe pour in the center, instead of a tiger stripe wall pour (See previous Four Thieves blog here).



The Plan:
100 oz of batter. (Pour off 10 oz for embeds/samples.)
5 lb mold in 3 layers: 1st layer white with Four Thieves EO Blend; 2nd layer tiger pour in center of mold (no fragrance, 6 colors); 3rd layer white with EO Blend.

Master Batch #7 oils: 70 oz Oils (Makes 100 oz/6.25 lb soap)
MB Oils: 70 oz/ 1984 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 9.98 oz / 283 grams
Distilled Water: (3.1 oz disc; 13.5% disc): 20 oz / 567 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 19 grams (add to lye water at <130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 19 grams (add to oils)
Calendula Extract (1%): 19 grams (add to oils)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 19 grams (add to oils)

Four Thieves Essential Oil Blend – 5 oz/142 grams: (accelerates trace)
34% Clove leaf:              1.7 oz        48 grams
30% Litsea (or lemon): 1.5 oz        43 grams
16% Cinnamon:               .8 oz        23 grams
12% Eucalyptus:              .6 oz        17 grams
8% Rosemary:                  .4 oz        11 grams

Wonder what the story is behind the Four Thieves Blend? Read it at the bottom of the Blog.

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; (only used 3 oz of each) No EO
4 oz BB Ultramarine Violet Purple
4 oz CC Purple Play Date (Plum)
4 oz TKB #40 True Red
4 oz BB Ultraviolet Blue
4 oz BB Kermit Green
4 oz BB Tangerine Wow
3rd layer
28 oz TD White 1.8 oz EO

Top with swirl of colors & Fine Iridescent Glitter.


The Reality:
Soaped the Lye & oils at 100 and 104 degrees. Stick blended to emulsified, poured off batter for 1st & 3rd layers, and 10 oz for embeds/samples. Stick blended the rest to a very light trace.

Mixed up the batter for the first layer and poured it into the mold. Then mixed up the colors for the second (unscented layer) and poured on top, as the first layer set up immediately with the EO acceleration. I poured each color in the center, instead of doing the wall pour I did last time. (When I did a wall pour in the Raspberry Peach Tiger Stripe – see Blog here –  it got too muddy on the sides.) With a center pour I only got two passes of each color  – which spread out to resemble 4 groups of stripes (instead of 5 on the previous wall pour).

It took a while for this second layer to set up. When ready, I mixed up the third and poured on top. Then alternated the leftover colors on top, swirling and adding some fine iridescent glitter. I used a new powder spray bottle to “spritz” on the glitter. (Purchased at Qosmedix here). I like this applicator in that I can easily direct the spray, getting it where I want it to go, without excess mess everywhere. (I had trouble with it the first time I used it (see Red Berry Rhubarb blog here), but filling up the bottle with more glitter solved that problem.)

First photo is the middle layer Tiger Stripe pour; middle photo – top after swirling; and photo on right – after adding glitter:

Close up of parts of top:

With Glitter added:

I placed in a 150 degree oven, turned it off and removed after for 4 hours. It was still warm, so I wrapped in towels. (Typically 170 degree oven is used, but due to the altitude I live at (6,000 feet), where water boils at a lower temperature, 150 degrees works better here.)

I like to use this CPOP method on occasion if I am using a wooden mold (silicone molds can cause sweating and bubbling in the oven). This forces gel, which can help brighten the colors and it also speeds up saponification to where the soap is firmer for un-molding and cutting.



The Cut:



Leftovers in 2 Victorian Hearts with Confetti (notice how much brighter the Kermit Green color is on the far left, verses how it looks in the loaf soap):


I’m not at all happy with how this batch turned out. The green is almost non-existent and there is not much for stripes or definition of colors. I definitely prefer the brighter colors and look of the tiger stripe wall pour design better in the previous Four Thieves soap (see here).

You may have noticed that I mixed up 5 oz of the EO Blend, but only used 4 oz. I had mistakenly thought I needed 90 oz of soap for the 5 lb mold, but only needed 84 oz and I felt that 5 oz of EO was too much, as several of these essential oils are very strong. I used some of the leftover EO blend in the Victorian Hearts and saved the extra for another time.

(Also, the original blend calls for Lemon, not Litsea, but Lemon EO will not stick in soap unless used at a 5 or 10 fold concentration. I have purchased 5X Lemon EO in the past at $30/lb, but several years ago the price went up to $130/lb, which is too prohibitive to use in soaping.)


The Story Behind The 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 debating, they agreed to share their methods in return for their pardon.

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. (They did use 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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