I made a Watermelon Cucumber soap in May of 2016 (See Blog here) with a Bramble Berry fragrance called Cucumber Melon. After curing the ripe, sweet, juicy watermelon really popped (with not much cucumber scent) – which was great and I absolutely loved it.
However, now my bottle of FO is over a year old and all I can smell is Cucumber – not even a hint of Watermelon. I tried numerous test samples over the past several months with the FO by itself and with lime or coconut (or both) in various amounts, but nothing really worked other than just plain cucumber. After months of wavering between a blend or pure, I finally decided to make it straight.
Description of Bramble Berry Cucumber Melon: Juicy and ripe, not too sweet; more watermelon than cucumber, with a clean, crisp melon scent combined with cool refreshing cucumber. (Now that it’s over a year old, it’s more cucumber than melon.) CP: No D. Behaves beautiful.
I waffled back and forth for several weeks on a variety of milks to use, but could not decide what would work best with this fragrance. It had been 8 weeks since I made a batch of soap, and I had a huge list of scent combo’s I wanted to test, so I decided to just use distilled water and leave the extra element of milk out of the plan, making the difficultly level a tiny bit lower.
I also had trouble coming up with color and design schemes (spent 2 months on that too). When I finally chose to go with a Tiger Stripe & Hanger swirl, a wavered on using embeds on top or just swirls. I decided on the embeds because I had them made up and I can always swirl the tops of soaps. (With my plan to start making holiday soaps during my August vacation, I also knew there were many swirls and mica swirled soap tops in my future.)
3 lb mold; 48 oz batter, plus 8.15 oz embed tops.
3 oz Cucumber Melon FO.
Pour Tiger stripes, then up & down hanger swirl with thin hanger swirl tool (found at Bramble Berry here).
Make 86 oz of soap and pour off 38 oz for testing fragrance blends.
Master batch Oils #7: 60 oz Oils (Makes 86 oz /5.3 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.55 oz / 242 grams
Distilled Water: (3.8 oz disc; 19.2 % disc): 16 oz / 453 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Cucumber Extract (2%): 34 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Batter (use 46 oz)/Color/FO (3 oz):
8 oz BB Chrome green oxide
8 oz CC Apple green mica
16 oz TD white
8 oz BB Raspberry
8 oz BB Tangerine Wow
Pour light green, dark green, white, raspberry, tangerine, white – repeat.
Hanger swirl vertical with a zig-zag (idea from soapish).
I soaped at 110 degree for both Lye and oils, stick blending to emulsified, then poured off batter for Cucumber Melon soap. Of course it was way too thin, but that gave me a chance to make some quick embeds for future projects, as well as a few test soaps with different FO combos.
During and after each individual soap made, I went back and checked my main batter. 4 test soaps later, all of a sudden, the batter was very thick. I quickly dropped everything and started adding colors. (I usually color right after dividing into containers, but I knew the Green Chrome Oxide and TD has a tendency to accelerate a bit, and this is the first time using Raspberry, so I waited.)
I added my FO, stirred it in quickly and started my Tiger stripes, pouring dark green, light green, & white twice, then Tangerine, Raspberry, & white twice. After that I did one pour of each group. As I was moving along swiftly, I started noticing that my batter was actually thinning out – the FO had reversed trace! By the time I did the vertical zig-zag hanger swirl, everything was very fluid. So much so, that I had to wait quite a while for the top to set up before I could add my embeds (the first 2 tries, they sank fast!)
I swirled the top a bit before adding the embeds:
With embeds on top and a spritz of Snowflake Sparkle Mica and Fine Iridescent Glitter:
I love the bright, cheeriness of this soap and it was fun to make. I think next time starting with the orange & raspberry may be nicer, as the first colors get pushed to the sides. I can see lots of variations to do with this technique.
There is a more detailed version using the advanced tiger stripe done by Soapish on YouTube, which is definitely worth watching and trying too. You can find that at:
(You can also see the technique on a quick video on her Instagram page.)