Lavender Essential Oil Soap with Layers & In The Pot Swirl

I liked the look of my previous batch of soap so much (see blog here), that I wanted to try it again with different colors and a touch more colored batter. I was originally going to go with white & two purple colorants, but added a 3rd purple, as it was a mica & I wanted to use some mica oils on top.

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Description of BB Lavender 40/42 Essential Oil:
A bold yet fresh smelling Lavender very similar to Lavender Provence Essential oil. Made from a mixture of lavender essential oils to create a dependable scent year after year, this Lavender does not experience the same crop variations due to blending different Lavender constituents in a lab after harvesting and distilling. CP: No A, D, R. Water White. (This doesn’t have the camphor scent to me like the Lavender FO, which I don’t care for.)

 

The Plan:
100 oz of batter
Pour off 10 oz for test samples.
90 oz in 5 lb mold with 2 small layers on bottom and ITP swirl for bulk of soap.
Violet on bottom; thin Ultraviolet Blue layer; then ITP swirl with white, violet, blue & purple.
Top with each color & swirl.
Add Silver & Queens Purple Mica Oils in dots and pull through with a toothpick to create hearts.

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: (4.1 oz disc; 17.7% disc): 19 oz / 538 grams
Kaolin Clay (1%): 19 grams (add to oils)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 19 grams (add to oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 19 grams (add to oils – can add at trace)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 19 grams (add to Lye water at <130 degrees)

Batter/Color/EO 4.5 oz:
20 oz Ultramarine Violet Pigment (15 oz for bottom layer, rest ITP)
20 oz Ultraviolet Blue Pigment (8 oz for middle layer, rest ITP)
10 oz Queens Purple Mica (for ITP)
40 oz TD White

 

The Reality:
Soaped at 114 and 110 degree Lye and oils, stick blending to emulsified. After separating out my batters and coloring, I realized that I only needed 84 oz of batter for this batch, so I used some of my batter for tiny embeds and planed on using the leftovers in Victorian Heart molds.

I added the Lavender and stick blended the Ultramarine Violet to a medium trace, then poured 15 oz into the mold. I did the same with Ultraviolet Blue, pouring about 8 oz over the first layer. I stick blended the Queens Purple to medium trace, but did not have to do any blending to the white, as the TD had accelerated trace. I added my 3 colors to the white in an ITP swirl and poured over the first two layers.

I put down a few rows of leftover color, swirled with a chopstick in a diagonal Taiwan swirl and added dots of silver & queens purple mica oils, swirling again with a toothpick. The batter was very stiff and the mica oil dots did not stay circular, but ran and blurred, so I was not able to make hearts from the dots, as planned.

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You can see the very subtle differences between the Ultramarine Violet Pigment and Queens Purple mica in this closeup of the top:

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I put in a 150 degree oven, turned it off, and let it sit for 6 hours to promote gelling. At about 3 hours, I turned on the oven on to bring it back up to 150 degrees, then shut it off again. (Recommended oven temperature is usually 170 degrees, but at 6000 feet, where I live, I have read reports about 170 degrees being too high a temperature, causing the soap to bubble. This makes sense, as water boils at a much lower temperature here.) When I pulled it out, it was still slightly warm, so I covered in towels.

The next morning it was very firm and I un-molded it easily. This loaf was much more solid than a typical batch, probably due to soaping at a thicker trace than usual, plus the the oven processing.

The Un-molding:

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The top and sides look lovely

Check out the beautiful swirls on the sides in this close up:

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You can still see the subtle differences of the two purples on top

 

The Cut:
I was very disappointed in the cut…I had used too much color and not enough white. I don’t care for the swirls in this. (As I was pouring the batter, I thought of adding a tube heart inside – I think that would have really helped the design. I disregarded that thought as I was looking at the beautiful feathering and swirls – similar to what you see on the sides, but neither of those came through in the cut.)

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Version 2

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I did a crinkle cut on two bars and really like the look:

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Conclusions:
There is always a very fine line between too much color and not enough. In the previous blog (Margarita soap – see here), I felt like there was a bit too much white space. In this one there is not enough. I also swirled this twice in the pot, which led to too much swirling of colors.

The ratio of white to purple was almost twice as much as in the Margarita soap. I should have calculated the ratios ahead of time and used a lot less color. (37% of color to white was used in the Margarita soap, while 67% of colors to white in this soap. I should have tried 45-50% of purples to white in this soap.)

Also, doing a hanger swirl in the ITP swirl area would have enhanced this design (or even doing it throughout the entire soap). Alternatively, pouring the two layers at an angle, then adding the ITP would have also made this more interesting.

I think the two purples are so similar and it’s difficult to distinguish between them, that only one is needed. All in all, I love the colors, the top & sides, but find the design inside a bit boring.

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