Sweet Meyer Lemon Blackberry in tiger stripe & hanger swirl with berry embeds on top

I’ve made this soap numerous times over the years, always changing up the design. You can see a couple of them on blogs here and here:


Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Sweet Meyer Lemon: A lush, Caribbean garden bursting with the aroma of sweet lemons, horned melons, succulent kiwis, and ripe pineapple wedges. Sweet tropical florals complete this island wonder. CP: Discolors to a light ivory/tan, preforms well. (Some Acceleration in the past).
Blackberry Cybilla: This ripe and juicy fragrance oil will take you back to the days of picking sweet blackberries off the vine during the long days of summer. CP: No A or R. Turns golden tan with .5% Vanilla. Great for swirling.


The Plan:
3 lb silicone mold
CP & MP berry embeds on top – 4.6 oz total
Tiger & Hanger swirls

Master batch Oils #9: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Distilled Water: (1.54 oz disc/ 12.3%): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Green Tea Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

48 oz Batter/Colors/ 1.5 oz of each FO:
12 oz TD White, No FO
12 oz BB Lemonade Yellow & CC Yellow Locking Mica, .75 oz SML
8 oz BB Raspberry, .75 oz SML
8 oz BB Queens Purple, .75 oz B, .5 VS
8 oz MM Cosmic Purple (blue-purple), .75 oz B, .5 VS
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More, CC = Crafters Choice WSP, TD = Titanium Dioxide, VS = Natures Garden CP Vanilla Stabilizer; SML = Sweet Meyer Lemon FO, B = Blackberry FO)

Use 48 oz batter
Order of pour: white, Queens Purple, Raspberry, Yellow, Cosmic Purple
Tiger stripe then hanger swirl
Top with 4.6 oz MP & CP berries


The Reality:
I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 92F and 90F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender), separating out the soap and using the extra batter for embeds.

I was surprised that I didn’t get any acceleration when adding the SM Lemon FO. I poured one round of soap in a tiger stripe, but then waited for 20 minutes until it was at a light trace. Interestingly, the white was the thinnest of all the batters throughout the pours – typically I see some thickening when using Titanium Dioxide, but didn’t get any this time.


Clockwise from top: Yellow, White, Queens Purple, Cosmic Purple, Raspberry

After filling the mold with alternating tiger stripes, I used my thin hanger tool (from Bramble Berry, here), and zig-zagged up and down, then 4 times horizontally. I swirled the top with a thin chopstick, then waited an additional 15 minutes to add the berries on top so that they didn’t sink into the batter (spritzing with 90% Alcohol before adding.)


Top with berry embeds and before adding fine iridescent glitter.

I finished the top with some fine iridescent glitter, and put into the refrigerator to prevent the soap from heating and melting the MP embeds.


The Cut:




I used a lot of yellow to try to represent the Sweet Meyer Lemon, as I didn’t have any lemon embeds and I wasn’t 100% happy with the lemon tarts or wedges I had used in the past, (which you can see here.)

I’m not real keen on this design – it feels over swirled to me. I think it would have looked nicer if I just did the vertical hanger swirl and not added the horizontal swirl. And it doesn’t feel like the white adds anything to the design. What do you think?







Lavender, Litsea, Rosemary & Tea Tree Pink Himalayan Salt Bars with meadowfoam & tamanu oils; tiny embeds on top and negative impression mat on bottom


Description of Bramble Berry, Bulk Apothecary, & Essential Depot Essential Oils:
BA Lavender 40/42: The “40/42” refers to the balance of Linalool and Linalyl acetate esters, which is what gives it such a consistent floral scent but also means it is standardized in a lab to ensure consistency in smell. It also has a balsamic woody undertone with a floral, herbaceous fresh scent. CP: Water White.
BA Litsea (May Chang): Used for Lemon, or a base note in more elusive citrus notes. The scent of can be compared to Lemongrass, although the former is often described as “finer” and “sweeter” than the latter. Like most citrus oils, its scent is immediately uplifting and rejuvenating, which makes it very useful for combating emotional problems and psychological issues. It is used to treat acne and oily skin. CP: Discolors Yellow.
BB Rosemary: Best known for its aid in memory and hair loss, this distinctive smelling essential oil is considered stimulating in nature and is often found in energizing blends. It is also considered a symbol of love, and the sprigs have been traditionally used in wedding ceremonies. CP: Water white, no A or D.
BB & ED Tea Tree (Melaleuca): Has a minty, earthy smell that leaves you energized & revitalized. Tea tree oil can be used to treat a wide variety of medical conditions and shows promise as an antimicrobial. It may be effective in a variety of dermatologic conditions including dandruff, acne, lice, herpes, and other skin infections. CP: Water White.

Why Meadowfoam & Tamanu Oils?
Meadowfoam Oil: This oil is moisturizing & rejuvenating; creates a creamy lather; adds a silky, smooth feel to products. It is composed of 98% long-chain fatty acids, with a very high level of oxidative stability, which extends the shelf life of other oils. It provides great emollience without being overly greasy; absorbed quickly and gives a lighter feel than many other oils, retaining scents longer. The oil is extracted from the seeds of a Pacific Northwest native annual flowering plant called Limananthes alba.
Tamanu Oil: Greenish-black in color and very thick, it smells like butter pecan ice cream or Kahlua, and is quite pleasant. The oils of the seed and root have been used to treat wounds: it has been topically applied to treat various ailments such as cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and stings, abrasions, acne and acne scars, psoriasis, diabetic sores, anal fissures, sunburn, dry or scaly skin, blisters, eczema, herpes sores, scars, and to reduce foot and body odor. The oil has also been topically applied to the neck area to treat sore throat and used directly on scars to fade them.
Thousands of years ago, the natives of Tahiti found a large, strange tree growing near the ocean. They soon found that the dried nuts from this tree, which they name the “ati” tree, contained a special oil that they used to improve the look and feel of their skin. There is a very small supply of Tamanu oil in the world because of the small growing area. It takes a full 100 kilograms of Tamanu fruit (which is the annual production of one adult tree) to make just 5 kilograms of cold pressed Tamanu oil.


The Plan:
18 bar mold, with negative impression mat on bottom; tiny heart & bird embeds on top.
Add 3 oz/5.4% each of Meadowfoam & Tamanu oils to Master Batch oils.
2:1:2:1 Lavender, Litsea (May Chang), Rosemary, & Tea Tree (Melaleuca)
Pour lines of color, then swirl with chopstick in chevron patter.
Add tiny heart & bird embeds.
Put in 150F oven for 4 hours, then un-mold while still warm.

Salt Master batch Oils #2: 50 oz Oils Plus 3 oz each Meadowfoam & Tamanu (Makes 80 oz soap – plus 30 oz PH Salt = 110 oz/ 6.875 lb total)
SMB Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
Plus: Meadowfoam Oil: 3 oz/ 85 grams
Plus: Tamanu Oil: 3 oz/ 85 grams
NaOH/Lye 10% SF: 8.23 oz / 233 grams
1:1 Aloe & Distilled Water (2.48 oz disc; 13% disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Kaolin Clay (1%): 16 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Fine Pink Himalayan Salt: 30 oz (by weight)

Essential Oil Blend (2:1:2:1) 6 oz:
2 oz Lavender
1 oz Litsea (May Chang)
2 oz Rosemary
1 oz Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

(25.5 oz batter each color including salts)
18+ oz Blue (Alkanet Root in oil), 7.5 oz PH Salt (+ Ultra Marine Blue)
18+ oz Yellow (Annatto seeds in oil), 7.5 oz PH Salt
18+ oz Pink (Madder root in oil), 7.5 oz PH Salt (+ Dark Red Brazilian Clay and TD)
18+ oz Purple Brazilian Clay in water, 7.5 oz PH Salt (+ Queens’ Purple Mica and TD)
30 oz salt – 7.5 oz PH salt in each container


The Reality:
I’m not sure what I was thinking using the Tamanu oil – it’s extremely dark and even such a small amount turned all the oil green. With the delicate colors I was using, I really needed the clearest oil possible.

I soaped my lye liquid and oils at 118F & 126F, once again getting busy while waiting for the lye to cool and soaping lower than 130F, which seems to be ideal. After stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender), the batter turned a very dark yellow that none of the botanicals in oils could combat (except the Annatto seed, which is yellow anyway.)

I had wanted to go very natural with this batch, but the discolor from the Tamanu oil prevented this. I had to add some mica’s & clays to help adjust the colors. This was the first time using Purple Brazilian Clay and I should have previously tested it, as it turned a brown color (which may have been from the yellow batter too).

It was a frustrating session because of these issues. I had wanted to do a Clyde Slide swirl, but went with pouring lines of colors, as I was worried the large amounts of clay for coloring would accelerate those colors – which it did a little, but not enough to cause problems. I made a chevron patter throughout, using a chop stick; added the dividers and tiny birds & heart embeds on top.


The light pink embeds were made earlier using Madder Root in oil; black (dark blue) from Alkanet Root; yellow from Annatto seeds; and the purple embed used Queens Purple Mica.

I covered the soap and put into a 150F pre-heated the oven for 4 hours, leaving it on for the first 30 minutes and rewarmed it to 150F at 3 hours, then turned it off again. The soap was still warm when I took it out and I waited 20 minutes until un-molding – all the bars came out easily.


Bottom after unmolding, before removing dividers. The colors are already starting to lighten up a bit and morph a little.


The Cut/Un-molding:




Back of Soaps:



In spite of all the color issues I had, these turned out well, although they started out a bit darker than I had wanted. (There was more fading when curing and they now look prettier than the photos.)

I look forward to trying the Purple Brazilian Clay again, using a lighter batch of oils and hope that it turns purple without having to add any mica.



Additional Resources:

Check out more Salt Bars on the links below:
Eucalyptus Mint Tree PH Salt with Neem & Tamanu oils. Plus Unscented PH Salt Bars
LLP: Lavender Lemongrass Peppermint Pink Himalayan Salt & Dead Sea Salt
Unscented Pink Himalayan Salt & Dead Sea Salt Soap with clay & plant colorants
Pink Himalayan Salt Test Soap Batch with Tamanu & Neem Oils
Eucalyptus Mint Tree with Neem Oil & tiny embeds
Grapefruit, Kumquat & Lime with tiny embeds
2 Batches: Unscented and Lavender, Moroccan Mint, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage & Black Tea Blend
Orange Lemongrass Patchouli & Unscented
Lemongrass, Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint
Peach Mango Kumquat with Aloe & Coconut water
POGY: Pineapple Orange Grapefruit Yuzu


For Salt Bar Recipes, click on these links:
Salt Master Batch Oils #1
Salt Master Batch Oils #2 (“Everything But the Kitchen Sink”)




I’ll Be Your Huckle-bear-y, in tiger & hanger swirls with tiny embeds on top

I loved the colors used in the Grapefruit Bellini soap so much (see blog here), that I wanted to use them again in this soap. I also liked the idea of embeds “glued” on the front of the soap, and I had planned to try that again too (used in Oud to Owls soap here), but I ended up putting some others on top instead:
Description of Crafter’s Choice Huckleberry & Mandarin Fragrance: Tart and fruity blend of mandarin, huckleberry, strawberry and black currant. CP: No A, R, discolors tan, .5% Vanilla.


The Plan:
2 lb mold, using 37 oz soap
2 oz Huckleberry & Mandarin FO.
Tiger pour, then circular Hanger swirl.
Extra batter for making embeds

Master batch Oils #9: 30 oz Oils (Makes 43 oz soap)
MB Oils: 30 oz/ 851 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 4.27 oz / 121 grams
Distilled Water: (1.9 oz disc/ 20%): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 9 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 9 grams (in oils)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 9 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%): 9 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

37oz Batter/Colors/ 2 oz FO:
9 oz TD White
7 oz BB Queens purple mica
7 oz BB Raspberry mica
7 oz BB Nuclear Orange & Racing Stripe Orange (turns yellow)
7 oz CC Yellow Locking mica & BB Fizzy Lemonade colorant
(BB = Bramble Berry; TD = Titanium Dioxide; CC = Crafters Choice Wholesale Supplies Plus.)


The Reality:
I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 102F & 100F, stick blending (using an immersion blender) until emulsified, then dividing out the batter. I worked on making embeds for future projects, then colored the soap that was separated out and adding the FO to each container, eyeballing the amounts. Since this was the first time using this fragrance and I didn’t make a test bar, I was unsure how the FO would react.

If you ever need a fragrance that never thickens and reverses trace, this is the one for you. I waited at least 30 minutes before starting my tiger pour, and still the soap was very thin. After the tiger pour and hanger swirl, I waited another 20 minutes before adding lines of color on top & swirling, but it would not thicken. I finished it off with some glitter and put in a 150F oven for 4 hours for CPOP. (Typically a 170F oven is used, but at an altitude of 6,000 feet, where I live, 150F is better, as 170F is too hot):


You can see how the soap is so thin, its overflowing in the mold


Close up of swirls on top


The Cut:
The CP bears I made for the front of the soaps were just too big and seemed to distract from the design, so I made some tiny MP bears and glued them on the top with clear MP after trimming & steaming:





I had originally wanted to make a 3 lb loaf and add some Mulberry and Red Berries FO’s to stretch this scent it out a bit, but the Mulberry was so sickly sweet oob that I scratched that idea and went with a smaller batch. And I’m glad I did, so that I could experience this wonderful scent by it self – I had no idea it would be so lovely.

The figure eight I made with the hanger did not show up as expected and the yellow turned into a greenish yellow. The rest of the colors weren’t as vibrant as I wanted, which was probably due to the .5% Vanilla and the tan discoloring.

It’s amazing how identical colors can turn out so different by changing the amounts and a bit of FO discolor. (See previous blog here, where these same colors were used.) I’m not excited about this design, but the fragrance is awesome, and lingers on your skin a bit after using.


Grapefruit Bellini in tiger & hanger swirls with MP embeds on top


Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Grapefruit Bellini (GB): This sparkling, fruity fragrance is a bright, happy scent. Top notes of Pineapple, Jasmine and Grapefruit are enlivened by Peach Nectar and Mango then finished off with Rhubarb and Sugared Musk. CP: Pale tan/yellow discolor; some fading of top notes, cures very light; accelerated last time used. Fades – use 1.5 oz/1 lb soap.
Pink Grapefruit (PG): Light, exhilarating, wake-me-up grapefruit. CP: wonderful, really hangs on, no fading.


The Plan:
Soap low temperatures to slow acceleration.
3 lb mold with clear MP embeds.
3 MP Butterfly embeds on top of each bar – 4.65 oz total.
Tiger swirl & hanger swirl in butterfly shape?

Master batch Oils #9: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Distilled Water: (1.54 oz disc/ 12.3%): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

54 oz Batter/Colors/ 4.4 oz GB + .5 oz PG FO:
18 oz TD White
9 oz BB Queens purple mica
9 oz BB Raspberry mica
9 oz BB Nuclear Orange & Racing Stripe Orange (turns yellow)
9 oz CC Yellow Locking mica & BB Fizzy Lemonade colorant
(BB = Bramble Berry; TD = Titanium Dioxide; CC = Crafters Choice Wholesale Supplies Plus.)

Use 47.35 oz for loaf mold; rest of batter for oval soaps.
Tiger stripe then hanger swirl in shape of butterfly.
Swirl Top.
Put 3 clear MP Butterfly embeds on top of each bar: (Pink, purple, yellow, orange) – 4.65 oz total.
Sprinkle with fine iridescent glitter.
Make 3 oval soaps, ITP swirl, with leftover MP butterflies on top (8 – 1.45 oz total.)


The Reality:
I soaped at very low temperatures: 92F for lye liquid and 90F for oils, stick blending until just emulsified (using an immersion blender). After dividing up all the batter and mixing in the colors, I added the FO blend. It stayed very thin for several minutes, and then accelerated fast.

I quickly poured Tiger stripe lines in this order: purple, raspberry, white, orange, yellow, white – then repeated several times. I made very hefty pours, as I didn’t know how much thicker the batter would get. (It accelerated just past a medium trace, then stopped without thickening anymore.)


The colors before any changes from FO or curing.

I then attempted to create a butterfly swirl inside with my thin hanger tool,  (from Bramble Berry, here) still working quickly, as I was unsure how stiff the batter was inside. I put the hanger in the middle of the mold and moved it half way down, then pulled it up and over to one side, zig-zagging a bit as I moved it half way down the outer side and pulled it up to the middle. I did the other side the same way.

When I brought it back to the middle of the mold the second time, I moved it down & out to the side, zig-zagging again from the edge down to the bottom, then pulling it up to the middle and repeated the other side. I was working blind, but trying to trace the outline of a butterfly inside the mold with the hanger tool.

I then swirled the top diagonally with a chopstick and zig-zagged it horizontally down the length of the mold several times; topped with MP butterfly embeds and fine iridescent glitter:


With MP Butterflies and iridescent glitter on top

In this close up you can see the swirls underneath the MP butterfly embeds a little better, as well as the fine iridescent glitter:



The Cut:






I know this was a huge amount of FO for 3 1/3 lbs of soap, but I actually worried that I hadn’t used enough. I remember the Grapefruit Bellini fading in this fragrance last time I used it, which is why I added some Pink Grapefruit FO. (I had 4.4 oz left of Grapefruit Bellini and wanted to finish it off. If I buy this again, it may be better to use a higher ratio of Grapefruit FO with it.)

After curing, this fragrance smells really amazing but is very light. The Grapefruit Bellini was almost 2 years old, so this may be one of those fragrances that have a short shelf life (although I remember it was light when new too).

I forgot that in the description of this FO, it says it discolors tan or yellow and I did not take this into consideration with my colors, however I didn’t get any discolor.

All the intricate swirls I made with the hanger did not produce a butterfly – it looks like a bird or rising phoenix to me. I’m not sure why I thought I could get a butterfly look – I truly had no idea – but thought I would try it anyway. However, I really like the unique design that was created.

It’s interesting that I used the same amount of purple & raspberry as yellow & orange, and yet the first two colors seem like accent colors and the last two appear to be the primary colors. I think this is because the white helps boost the lighter colors and contrasts with the darker ones.

I am very pleased with this design and would like to try it again sometime.


Oval Soaps with ITP swirl & MP Butterflies on top




Sparkling Fig Cocktail Soap in Drop Swirl

I bought the introductory four-pack of 2 oz Cocktail fragrances from Bramble Berry, and this is the first one in the group that I tried:


Description of Bramble Berry Sparkling Fig Cocktail FO: Sweet and fruity, with a healthy dose of fresh green notes, this cocktail is mouthwatering and intriguing. Top notes of exotic dragonfruit, orange, and green apple are balanced with peach nectar, pink peony and neroli. The shining star in this fragrance is the finishing note of fresh green fig leaves. CP: No A or D. 0% Vanillin. Preforms beautifully.


The Plan:
Use 2 lb mold and 2 oz of FO, with a complete drop swirl design throughout.
Leftovers in sample mold.

Master batch Oils #9: 28 oz Oils (Makes 40 oz soap)
MB Oils: 28 oz/ 794 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 3.99 oz / 113 grams
Distilled Water: (1.24 oz disc/ 13.3%): 8 oz / 227 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 8 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 8 grams (in oils)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 8 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 8 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

37 Batter/Colors/ 2 oz FO:
10 oz BB Ultramarine Lavender (Light Purple – turned pink)
10 oz BB Ultramarine Violet Purple (Dark Purple)
10 oz MM Mint Green (Light Green)
10 oz MM Hunter Green (Dark green)
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More)

Drop swirl, build up top for full size bars.
Queens Purple mica & silver mica oil drizzle on top.
Sprinkle with fine iridescent glitter.


The Reality:
There were only two reviews on this new fragrance and neither said anything about the behavior of it while soaping, so I wanted to play it safe: soaping the Lye liquid and oils at 98F, stick blending until just past emulsified – not yet at light trace, (using immersion blender).

I separated out the batter and mixed in the colors. I then added the FO – it was slow to accelerate, so I quickly started working on a complete drop swirl design (something I had wanted to do in Oud to Owls (see here), but that accelerated too quickly.) About half way through pouring alternate colors into the mold, the batter got very thick – past a medium trace, and then it stopped accelerating.

I was worried that the batter would get too thick to build a soap top – fortunately it did not. I added lines of color and attempted to scallop the top with the back of a spoon, but this is not my expertise, and it seemed to just get muddy. I wasn’t satisfied with the look, so I added some Queens Purple mica and silver mica oils and swirled that in as best I could. I still wasn’t happy with the results, so I sprinkled with some fine iridescent glitter.


Swirled top with mica oils before adding iridescent glitter


The Cut:





I was unsure about this color combo, and contemplated adding a contrasting color like white or yellow, but even though this seems a little dark, I like the diversity. I might change the pink next time to the light purple I had wanted. (I thought I would get that with the Ultramarine Lavender, but it turned pink.)

I still need to work on my drop swirl, as I don’t feel I achieved the look I was going for. I rushed through the pour a bit, because I was anxious about the FO acceleration.

I do not care for this fragrance at all – it’s overpoweringly green and just not for me.



Raspberry Porter Beer Soap in Tiger & Hanger swirls, with cp raspberries embeds on top



Description of Bramble Berry Raspberry Porter: This fruity beer fragrance smells crisp and clean. It’s a fresh combination of Sun ripened Raspberry, Squeezed Lemon and a winey fruit scent with hints of Green Leaf and Rose. A discontinued fragrance. CP: discolors tan, .2% Vanilla. Behaves wonderfully in cold process soap but loses some of the sweet notes leaving you with a spicy raspberry scent.


The Plan:
3 lb mold 48 oz batter + 4.4 oz embeds
Dale’s Pale Ale (12 oz can), with alcohol cooked out & frozen, plus frozen distilled water.
3 oz Raspberry Porter FO
Tiger & Hanger swirl
Top with raspberry embeds


Master batch Oils #9: 50 oz Oils (Makes 73 oz /4.5 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.12 oz / 202 grams
Frozen Beer & Distilled Water: (2.5 oz disc/ 15.15%): 14 oz / 397 grams (9.75 oz Dale’s Pale Ale + 4.25 oz Frozen Distilled water)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 14 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 14 grams (in oils)
Buckthorn Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Dulse Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

48 oz Batter/Colors/ FO:
20 oz TD White
6 oz BB Raspberry Mica (dark pink)
6 oz BB Fired Up Fuchsia & TD (light pink)
8 oz CC Apple Green (Light green)
8 oz MM Hunter Green (Dark green)
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More, CC = Crafters Choice Wholesale Supplies Plus; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

Tiger & Hanger swirls, topped with 4 raspberries on each bar (36 total).


The Reality:
I let the frozen liquids thaw for 15 minutes, then added the NaOH. Soaped the Lye liquid at 95F and the oils at 92F; stick blended (with immersion blender) until emulsified, which took only a few seconds. (Beer causes the batter to emulsify quickly.) I forgot about this and it startled me a bit – I had thought about blending longer, but I’m so glad I didn’t.

I divided out the batter and started on embeds for future projects, as the batter needed to be very thin for the tube molds used. I didn’t have time to finish because the rest of the batter was getting thick.

When I got to my main soap, it was a bit firmer than I liked, but after adding the FO, it thinned out quite a lot, which I was very pleased about. But before I could complete my tiger stripe pours, it was getting thick again. I used my thin hanger tool (from Bramble Berry, here) and zig-zagged up & down, then finished off with lines of colored soap on top, swirling with a chop stick; adding CP raspberry embeds, and sprinkling with fine iridescent glitter.


Top swirled with chop stick


Top after adding raspberry embeds and before glitter

Put mold into refrigerator to prevent overheating.


The Cut:








Fortunately, the soap batter never got too thick to make tiger stripes. I am very pleased with the colors and swirls. There is not much distinction between the light & dark reds, unless you look at it up close. The white is more of a cream color, which tones down the “Christmas color” effect of the red & greens.

As the FO description states, it lost it’s sweetness and some of the tart raspberry scent, but is still a nice fragrance. I had thought of adding some Sun Ripened Raspberry FO to boost the raspberry scent, but I didn’t because I know how quickly that FO accelerates.

Lavender Bouquet Soap with 2 Hearts & ITP Swirl

I wanted to create the Lavender soap I had planned to make a couple months ago that I messed up (see blog here), using a different fragrance and colors.


Description of Bramble Berry Lavender Bouquet Cybilla FO: Nice and strong with hints of lilac, carnation and baby’s breath. Reviews: no sharp herbal/medicinal scent; lovely sophisticated clean scent. CP: No A, R, D.


The Plan:
3 lb mold, 52 oz
ITP swirl with 2 Heart embeds

Master batch Oils #9: 38 oz Oils (Makes 54 oz soap)
MB Oils: 38 oz/ 1077 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 5.41 oz / 153 grams
Distilled Water: (1.54 oz disc/ 12.3%): 11 oz / 312 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 11 grams (in Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 11 grams (in oils)
Carrot Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Chamomile Extract (1%): 11 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

44 oz Batter/Color/3 oz FO:
30 oz TD White
4 oz BB Neon Blue Raspberry (turquoise)
4 oz BB Aqua Pearl
6 oz BB Raspberry mica

ITP swirl
8.3 oz Heart Tube Embeds: 1 fat turquoise (4.7 oz) & 1 skinny aqua (3.6 oz – cut to fit mold)
Mica Oil swirls on top: Neon Blue Raspberry, Aqua Pearl, & Raspberry.


The Reality:
I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 102F & 104F, stick blending to emulsified (using an immersion blender). I worked on embeds for future projects and then had to wait a bit for the batter to thicken enough for an In The Pot Swirl. I mixed up my colors & added the FO, waited some more, then poured all the colors into the white and made one pass with the spatula, then poured about 1/3 of the batter into the mold. I added the turquoise heart tube, covered with more soap, then added the aqua heart tube, and finished with more batter.

I’m not sure why I didn’t add lines of leftover color on top – instead I just added some mica oil drops, then cut through them with a toothpick to create hearts and sprinkled with fine iridescent glitter, and covered with plastic wrap & towels and put in room with little heater to gel.



The Cut:


Which background highlights the soaps better?



When I cut the loaf I was surprised that the wide heart fell to the bottom – my batter wasn’t thick enough to hold it.

I should have waited a week before cutting, as the turquoise heart was fully cured and once again the bottom of the heart crumbled slightly, which happened with the previous Lavender Hearts soap here. (My theory is that if I wait a week the rest of the soap wouldn’t be so soft and I can reduce the fragmenting.) Fortunately, because it was at the bottom of the bar, when I trimmed the soap I also trimmed off the shards.

I was fast & loose with the ratio of colors to white, and once again feel that there is too much color in this. I need to go back to the “drawing board” and add less, making the colors more of an accent in the white.