POGY – Pineapple Orange Grapefruit Yuzu soap – with drop and horizontal hanger swirl

POGY: Description of fragrances:
Pineapple Cilantro: A ripe, realistic pineapple scent, with hints of coconut, orange, cilantro, vanilla, musk. CP: Slight peach color.
Orange Essential Oil: The scent of Sweet Orange is warming, comforting and “fodder for the heart”. It encourages you take things in good humor and absolves emotional confusion. It is stimulating & uplifting and good for colds & other ailments. CP: Discolors orange (after curing turns beige).
Pink Grapefruit: This is an exhilarating, wake-me-up citrus, with a juicy grapefruit aroma. Grapefruit is believed by aromatherapists to be a spiritual up-lifter, and to ease muscle fatigue and stiffness. It is also said to be a purifier of congested, oily and acne prone skin. Grapefruit is reputed to ease nervous exhaustion and relieve depression. CP: Water white.
Yuzu: A fresh and sparkling light Japanese citrus. It is also referred to as Japanese Grapefruit; with top notes of mandarin, tangerine, lemon satsuma, and ruby red grapefruit. A very subtle fragrance. CP: No A, R, D Very light. Water white.

The Plan

Make 70 oz soap, pour off 18 oz for embeds
Use 52 oz in 3 lb silicone mold for POGY

Master batch Oils #20: 50 oz Oils (Makes 70 oz /4.4 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 50 oz/ 1417 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.05 oz / 200 grams
Distilled Water: (2.77 oz disc/ 17.6 %): 13 oz / 369 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 14 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 14 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 14 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

POGY Scent Blend: 3.4 oz Total: (Keep Separate – do not blend!!)
1.0 oz Pink Grapefruit (water white)
1.1 oz Yuzu (water white)
0.55 oz Pineapple (slight peach discolor)
0.75 oz NDA 5x Orange (discolor orange)

3 lb mold – 52 oz batter/colors/3 oz EO/FO:
31 oz TD white, 0.8 oz Yuzu, 0.75 oz Grapefruit
7 oz BB Raspberry Red, 0.3 oz Yuzu, 0.25 oz Grapefruit
7 oz BB Nuclear Orange & BB Racing Stripe (turns yellow), 0.75 oz Orange
7 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade Yellow & BB Yellow Mica, 0.55 oz Pineapple
Color soap before adding EO to make sure you get the right color.
Drop & hanger swirl.

The Reality:

I soaped my lye and oils at 91F &101F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). The batter was pretty thin, but it had been quite a while since I made soap and I tend to over stick blend, so I was very aware and cautious to avoid doing that, with much success.

While waiting for the main batter to thicken, I tested some fragrances – one riced and accelerated and the other just accelerated, so this worked perfectly, as the batter was too thin to do anything else with it.

When the main soap was thick enough, I colored it and added the fragrance, which reversed trace and gave me just enough time to make some tube embeds.

I poured over half the white into the mold, then dropped swirled some colored batter, added the rest of the white, and finished with more drop swirls. I then did a horizontal hanger swirl and vertical hanger (for just one pass up and down.) Topped with lines of colored soap and figure eights with a thin chop stick, then zig-zagged lengthwise and sprinkled fine iridescent glitter on top.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

This worked exceptionally well – everything was timed perfectly and all the embeds, test soaps, samples and individual soaps came out extremely well.

They look lovely and smell amazing.

Christmas Spice Soap in tiger and vertical hanger swirls

Description of Bramble Berry Christmas Spice Fragrance: Perfect for the spice-lover on your list, with top notes of Orange and Lemons, and a middle full of enticing fragrances such as Cinnamon, Mocha, Thyme and Nutmeg; cooling down to a sweet note of Candied Ginger & Cinnamon Sugar – like a warm, sweet smelling kitchen. CP: Discolors brown 2% Vanilla. Accelerates trace. A very lightly, spicy fragrance. Use 1.33 oz per pound.

The Plan:


3 lb mold, 52 oz batter.
Tiger pour & vertical zig-zag hanger swirl.
Soap Very Cool to help minimize acceleration.
Pour off 25 oz extra batter for Snowflake and sample soaps.

Master batch Oils #20: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

52 oz Batter/Color/4 oz FO + 2 oz VS (6 oz blend):
26 oz TD White
6.5 oz BB Bubblegum Pink (should turn red)
6.5 oz BB Red Mica mica
6.5 oz MM Hunter Green mica (dark green)
6.5 oz CC Apple Green (Light green)
Alternate white with each color down middle of loaf for tiger pour.
Zig-zag (skinny) vertical hanger swirl.
Top with lines of colors and swirl with toothpick.
(BB = Bramble Berry, MM = Mica’s & More; CC = Crafter’s Choice WSP; TD = Titanium Dioxide; VS = NG Vanilla Stabilizer)

The Reality:


I soaped the lye and oils at 86F & 90F, stick blending until just emulsified (using an immersion blender). I divided up all the batter and colored it. With the extra soap I made two different Snowflake soaps (four of each of Lingonberry Spice and Gingerbread Cookie), using the Clyde Slide pour – while checking on my main batter frequently.

I was fortunate enough that when I finished the snowflakes, the rest of the soap was almost thick enough to use. I added the fragrance blend and it thickened up slightly, for a perfect pour. I did a tiger swirl, alternating each of the colors with white, pouring down the middle of the loaf mold until complete.

Then I used a skinny hanger and pulled & pushed it through the mold numerous times (7 total?). After adding some lines of colored batter on top, I swirled with a chopstick, then spritzed fine iridescent glitter and Isopropyl Alcohol (several times to prevent ash.)

I put in a dedicated soaping room and covered with a towel for a few hours, then removed it. I wanted to start the gel process, but did not want it to overheat (which happened last time with this fragrance and Vanilla Stabilizer.)

The Cut:

Conclusions:


The acceleration was interesting with this fragrance. I first got a slight acceleration, which worked in my favor as it made the batter the perfect consistency for this pour. Then the soap started ricing a bit, which I hand mixed out before each pour. When I was almost finished with the tiger pour, the batter started to reverse trace and was very, very thin.

But the soaps turned out lovely, as well as all the snowflake soaps (which you can see here).

Gold Frankincense and Myrrh Goat Milk soap in drop and hanger swirls with mp dove embeds on top

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
BB Frankincense & Myrrh Cybilla: Warm and sensual, a wonderful exotic scent. CP: Discolors brown, 2% Vanilla. scent lightens in CP as it cures.
BB Amber FO: A base note that adds a sophisticated structure to fragrance blends. This Amber blend also contains notes of Vanilla, Patchouli, Sandalwood and Musk. CP: Discolors brown, 3.2% Vanilla. May Accelerate.

The Plan:


3 lb mold, 48 oz soap + 18 dove embeds (3.3 oz)
2 oz Frankincense & Myrrh (FM), 1 oz Amber (A)
Drop & hanger swirls
Top with 18 gold dove MP embeds (2 on each bar).
Pour off 29 oz extra batter for special projects.

Master batch Oils #19: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
1:1 Frozen Goat Milk & Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

48 oz Batter/Color/ FO’s: 2 oz (FM), 1 oz (A) 1.75 VS:
19 oz BB Activated Charcoal Black, 0.75 oz FM & 1 oz A
5 oz Natural (will discolor Brown), 0.5 oz FM
6 oz TD White, no FO, 0.5 VS
10 oz TKB #30 True Red, 0.75 oz FM, 0.75 oz VS
8 oz TKB Lemon Yellow; BB Fizzy Lemonade & CC Yellow Locking Mica, no FO, 0.5 VS
Drop swirl colors into Black, then hanger swirl vertically & horizontally.
Top with black & 2 Gold MP Doves on top of each bar (3+ oz)
Put in refrigerator to prevent MP embeds & milks from overheating.
(BB = Bramble Berry; TKB = TKB Trading; TD = Titanium Dioxide; VS = Vanilla Stabilizer)

The Reality:


I strained the lye liquid into the oils in case any frozen bits had not dissolved, and I did find 2 tiny pieces of goat milk. I soaped the lye and oils at 86F & 90F, stick blending until barely emulsified (using an immersion blender) – then hand stirring a little bit to emulsified. (Milks tend to speed up trace, as well as a cool environment, and the house was at 65F.)

I separated out all my batter and colored each. The first thing I made was some embeds and 6 Snowflake soaps, plus a few sample soaps, using the clyde slide swirl.

By then my batter was a tiny bit thicker than I had wanted, but after adding the fragrance oils, it was perfect. I poured all the black and then drop swirled the colors in several times. I then used a gear tie to hanger swirl horizontally 3-4 times and vertically 3-4 times.

I let it set for a few minutes before spritzing embeds with Isopropyl Alcohol and placing them on top. I neglected to save enough black batter to cover the top completely, so there were a few places where the colors peaked out from under the doves.

I put in a dedicated soaping refrigerator for 24 hours to prevent gelling and overheating the milks or melting the glycerin soaps. I then waited an additional day to un-mold and 2 more days before cutting.

The Cut:

Conclusions:


This soap came together nicely. I had made a tiny star tube embed, but put so much soap into the mold that there wasn’t room for it. I was unsure whether to include it anyway, as I didn’t was to disturb the design or make it too chaotic looking.

Since I didn’t have a solid color on top (black), I dusted some gold mica on top, which I think helps make it pop.

The Snowflake soaps I made got a little muddied (See Sleigh Ride snowflake soaps here). I used red, green, & white colors, and the red & green merged too much on some of them. Next time I need to have twice as much white to separate them more. (Also, since this was the first thing I did, the batter was a little thin.) When doing two projects with one batch of soap, waiting too long can cause the second venture to get too thick to work with.

Peppermint Candy Cane Soap in tiger stripe and vertical hanger swirls with candy cane embeds on top


Description of Bramble Berry & New Directions Aromatics Essential Oils:
BB Peppermint 2nd Distill eo (P2): This smells more like a traditional mint smell, with a hint of candy canes. CP: Water White.
NDA Peppermint Supreme eo (PS): A top note with a strong aroma, Peppermint has a sharp, penetrating scent based on its high menthol content. This is on the sweeter side, like peppermint candy. CP: no info.
BB Peppermint Candy Cane fo (CC): A mix of sweet peppermint, vanilla, sugar, amber, and musk. CP: Mild Acceleration; 0% Vanilla; No D. (reviews: No A.)

The Plan:


5 lb Silicone mold with 3 oz candy cane embeds on top.
Tiger stripe pour.
15 white & 15 red CP candy canes on top.
Pour off 22 oz extra batter for 6 Snowflake soaps.

Master Batch Oils #19: 75 oz Oils (Makes 105 oz/6.6 lb soap)
MB Oils: 75 oz/ 2126 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 10.58 oz / 300 grams
Distilled Water: (4.66 oz disc/ 20% disc): 19 oz / 539 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 21 grams (in in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Aloe Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 21 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

83 oz Batter/Colors/1.5 oz P2, 1.0 oz PS EO:
41.5 oz TD white
41.5 oz TKB #30 True Red & BB Red Mica
3 oz Embeds
Alternate white & red in tiger stripe pour.
Add 1 red & 1 white candy cane embed on top of each bar
CPOP 6 hrs

The Reality:


I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 89F, stick blending just until emulsified, (using an immersion blender), then poured off 22 oz for Snowflake individual soap molds, which I made first, adding Candy Cane FO and stick blended a bit to thicken, then dividing the batter into half red and half white.

I did a Clyde Slide pour into another container, alternating the red & white down the side until completely used up. 90 degrees from where I added the soap, I poured into the snowflake molds, producing a ribbon of red & white stripes. I added one red or white candy cane embed to the mold for a little surprise when removing the packaging.

Because the Clyde slide pour is so time consuming, the rest of my batter got too thick for a advanced tiger stripe pour (alternating colors on the side of the mold) so I did a regular tiger pour – alternating red & white down the middle of the loaf mold (lengthwise) over the previous color. When I used all the batter I did several vertical hanger swirls using a gear tie.

I finished off the top with 1 red and 1 white candy cane embed on each bar, spritzed with alcohol, then fine iridescent glitter and put in the oven for 6 hours to CPOP. (I preheated the oven to 150F, turned it off, set the mold in the middle of the oven and 3 hours, I turned it back on to bring the temperature back up to 150F, then off again for the rest of the time.)

The Cut:

Some of the Candy Cane FO Snowflake soaps:

Conclusions:


I was very surprised that the main batter thickened up so much and so quickly. Even doing the tiger stripe pour was a struggle, having to pound down the mold after every color poured so that the next one would lay on top and spread out. Very Frustrating!

I probably did too many vertical hanger swirls (5-6), as the last one came out very pink and muddied. I remembered from the last time that I did this soap there weren’t enough vertical swirls (three?) so I wanted to do more.

In hindsight, I should have skipped the Snowflake soaps and just done the main loaf, focusing on the advanced tiger stripe design. However, I’m extremely pleased and pleasantly surprised how distinct the lines are and how beautifully the soap turned out.

Woodland Elves soap in drop and vertical swirl with gold stars on top


For a few years now I had made this design with a MP tree embed and a gold star on top, but due to time constrains this year, I had to come up with a new design. I did include the gold star and gave every bar three of them.

Description of Bramble Berry Woodland Elves: This fragrance officially welcomes you to the holiday season! It’s the perfect combination of Christmas trees and Christmas spices including Siberian Fir, White Pine, Clove Buds and Mistletoe Berries. The pine and spice is tamed down by Pink Grapefruit, Frosted Lily and ripe Pineapple. Woodsy & spicy. CP: No Discolor; Sometimes A, sometimes no A. Strong – use 1/3 of normal amount.

The Plan:


3 lb mold, 50 oz batter & MP/CP gold star embeds on top (27 total, 4 oz)
Use 1 oz FO
Pour off 34 oz extra batter for snowflake soaps and holiday embeds.

Master batch Oils #19: 60 oz Oils (Makes 84 oz /5.25 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.46 oz / 240 grams
Distilled Water: (3.93 oz disc/ 21% disc): 15 oz / 424 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Mallow Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

50 oz Batter/Color/1.05 oz FO:
First layer:
8 oz MM Hunter Green, 0.15 oz fo
2nd Layer:
5 oz MM Mint Green, 0.15 oz fo
3rd Layer:
30 oz TD White, 0.55 oz fo
3.5 oz MM Hunter Green, 0.1 oz fo
3.5 oz MM Mint Green, 0.1 oz fo
Layer of Dark Green on bottom, Layer of Light Green; Pour all of white into mold and drop swirl both greens, then vertical ONLY hanger swirl (from bottom to top if possible – 3 times)
Swirl top with gold mica oil on the sides. Add 3 MP & CP gold stars on top (4 oz)
Put in refrigerator to prevent MP embeds from melting.
(MM = Micas & More; TD = Titanium Dioxide)

The Reality:


I soaped the lye & oils at 82F & 88F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender) and divided out the batter.

I mixed up the first layer with Hunter Green mica and FO, then stick blended it and poured into the mold – putting it into the refrigerator to help it set quicker (while I colored the other green batters and worked on Holiday embeds).

When the first layer was set, I added FO to the Mint Green, then poured it into the mold over a spatula, to prevent breakthrough, and put back into the refrigerator to set up. I measured the distance between the top of the green layer to the top of the mold and marked that on my hanger swirl tool (gear tie). It was between 1.5 & 1.75 inches.

When the second layer was set, I added TD white to the last container and fragrance oil to all of the jugs, hand mixed, and poured the white over a spatula into the mold, again to prevent breakthrough. I then poured the light green & dark green soap into the white from about 1-1.5 feet above, making 3 passes and two pours each to create a drop swirl. (All of these batters were a bit thick and the greens would not penetrate the white without the help of gravity).

I took the hanger and used it to swirl the colors just poured, moving it through the white vertically – going down the edge of the mold and moving up the mold 3 times, being careful not to put it in the mold below the markings.

I added some lines of colored batter on top and swirled with a thin chopstick; then put drops of gold mica on the sides and swirling through the middle of those to try to create hearts, which wasn’t very successful (not enough mica in the oil). I let it sit for a few minutes to firm up, then added gold stars so that there would be three on each bar when slicing (spritzing each with alcohol first). I had a mix of MP & CP stars. I then spritzed each star with dry gold mica to amp up the sparkle and put the mold in a dedicated soaping refrigerator so that it would not heat up & gel, which would melt the MP (glycerin) stars.

The Cut:

Some of the Holiday Candy Snowflake soaps made:

Conclusions:


I might have stick blended a couple seconds to long – to a medium emulsification, instead of just emulsified, as the soap thickened quicker than normal (the cool temperatures could have caused this too, as the house was only 65F).

I changed up this design from what I had done the last several years. Compared to last year’s soap (see blog here), which way do you like best?

I had made extra batter for Snowflake soaps, but by the time I was done with the main loaf, the rest of the soap was very thick. Mixing in mica colors in oil helped thin it out a bit, but not enough to do a clyde slide pour, so I did layers instead. (In hide site, the tops of the snowflakes were decorated in gold MP soap, so they design would probably not have shown through anyway.)

Fresh Snow Coconut Milk soap with Snowman and Snowflake Embeds

Description of Bramble Berry Fresh Snow FO: This fragrance is designed to mimic the feeling of peace and tranquility after a fresh snowfall. It is a very ozone-y fragrance, reminiscent of clean laundry or fresh cotton. The actual notes however are intriguing; crisp heliotrope, with supporting notes of spring water, juniper berry, vetyver and sandalwood. CP: NO A, D, R. Very Strong. Batter stays thin for a long time (milk helps it thicken up faster).

The Plan:


Use 5 lb mold; 62 oz batter + 24 oz embeds (snowmen tubes 20.3 oz) & CP/MP snowflakes (3.7oz)
Make 4 layers – each a different combinations of blues & whites
Add snowmen tube embed after first layer.
Top with 30 MP turquoise snowflakes & 15 Light & Dark Blue CP snowflake.
Use 2 oz FO for 5 lb, plus 0.6 oz FO for 6 Snowflake soaps.
Pour off 22 oz extra batter for Snowflake soaps (individual molds).

Master batch Oils #19: 60 oz Oils (Makes 84 oz /5.25 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.46 oz / 240 grams
Distilled Water: (3.93 oz disc/ 21% disc): 15 oz / 424 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

62 oz Batter/Colors/2 oz FO:
14 oz BB Ultramarine Blue (dark blue)
18 oz BB Caribbean Blue (light blue)
18 oz BB Neon Blue Raspberry (turquoise)
12 oz TD White

Combine:
11 oz dark blue & 6 oz turquoise for bottom layer (clyde slide/ITP swirl)
Add Snowmen Embeds
3 oz dark blue, 8 oz light blue, 3 oz turquoise, 2nd layer layer
10 oz light blue, 6 oz turquoise, 4 oz white, 3rd layer
3 oz turquoise, 8 oz white, top layer
Top each bar with 2 MP Aqua snowflake & 1 CP Blue Snowflake.
PUT in refrigerator to prevent MP embeds from melting and milk from overheating.
NOTE: Made snowflake embeds half the thickness as last year and got the snowmen down to almost the bottom so the snowflakes fit on top better.

The Reality:


I strained the lye liquid into the oils in case any frozen bits had not dissolved, and I did not find any. I mixed the lye and oils at 90F & 95F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender), and separated out all the batter.

I colored all my main batter with the different blues and left the white for later (as titanium dioxide accelerated trace).

Since everything was very thin, I worked on making 6 snowflake soaps with the extra batter. I first added the fragrance oil and stick blended to thicken, then divided it out using the same colors as for the main batter. I did a clyde slide pour alternating the colors white, dark blue, light blue, & turquoise into the side of a separate container until all the soap was used. I then poured from the spout (90 degrees from where I added the batter) for a ribbon of colors into each mold. I added 1 MP snowflake embed on the bottom of the soap, as I had leftovers. It looks cute, and will be a fun surprise when removing the packaging.

As soon as I finished with the individual molds, the batter was thick enough to proceed on the main soap. I again did a clyde slide pour with each layer – which was a lot of work and took quite a bit of time. But the batter stayed a light to medium trace until the end, then it started to reverse trace and thin out a bit.

Each bar was topped with with 2 MP Aqua snowflakes and 1 CP blue snowflake. After spritzing with alcohol and fine iridescent glitter, I put into a dedicated soaping refrigerator to prevent the milk from overheating and the glycerine embeds from melting.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

This is the most time consuming soap I create: making snowman and snowflake embeds ahead of time, then all the colors and layers involved. But the fragrance is so stable, I don’t have to worry about the batter accelerating.

It is always a joy to make, as it is so unique and my most popular holiday soap. The fragrance is so snowy, I am a bit surprised and sad that it isn’t sought after all winter long.

Holiday Snowflake Soaps

Last year I made way too many holiday soaps and snowflake soaps, so I tried very hard to pare them both down this year – making fewer kinds and smaller amounts of each.

Some are the same as the loaf soaps: (Peppermint) Candy Cane, Christmas Spice, and Fresh Snow. I did not make a loaf soap with the other fragrances, just the snowflake soaps.

I made each batch of snowflakes while I was making the main soap. This mostly worked out well, although I did have a few where the colors got a little muddied.

Here are this years Snowflake soaps. Future Blogs will reveal each of the Holiday soaps.

Candy Cane Snowflake (silver trim) with candy cane embed:

(peppermint, vanilla, sugar, amber, musk)


Christmas Spice Snowflake (with gold trim or silver trim):

(orange, lemon, cinnamon, mocha, thyme, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon)

Fresh Snow Coconut Milk Snowflake (silver trim) with snowflake embed inside:

(smells like peace & tranquility after a fresh snowfall)

Gingerbread Cookie Snowflake (with gold trim):

(orange, cardamom, raisin, clove, cinnamon, rum, vanilla, gingerbread, tonka)

Holiday Candy Snowflake (gold trim):

(not as sweet as holiday ribbon candy)

Lingonberry Spice Snowflake (with silver trim):

(mix of fruit & spice: apple berry, lemon, balsam fir, cinnamon, clove, cedarwood, musk)

Sleigh Ride Goat Milk Snowflakes (silver trim):

(orange, green apple, peppermint, cloves)

Four Thieves #24 Advanced Tiger Stripe and Layers – including the story of the Four Thieves Blend

Last time I made this (see blog here), I tweaked the Four Thieves essential oil blend that I had been using for years. But it just didn’t have the wow factor as the original formula, so I have gone back to that.

Information on Essential Oils used:
Clove: Is an aroma stimulant and an aphrodisiac; it helps with fatigue & depression, the respiratory system, muscle pain, and nausea. And it has analgesic properties.
Litsea Cubeba (May Chang): Used for a Lemon, or a base note in more elusive citrus notes, this is a lovely, uplifting & rejuvenating essential oil. It can also be used to treat acne or oily skin. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties are said to make it effective against common infections like cold and cough. The oil is a tonic for the nervous system and can help with digestive problems as well.
Cinnamon: Properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, insecticide, stimulant, stomachic.
Eucalyptus: It awakens the mind and opens the lungs. It helps remove exhaustion & mental sluggishness and rejuvenates the spirits of the sick. It has a pleasant aroma and is effective as a deodorant, antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial agent. Helps to clear sinuses.
Rosemary: Used as decongestant and for muscle pain, it is stimulating & energizing. Best known for its aid in memory and hair loss. (It is also considered a symbol of love, and the sprigs have been traditionally used in wedding ceremonies.)

The Plan:


Use 86 oz batter for 5 lb & 52 oz for 3 lb loaf molds
Same 3 layer design as before.
Use 7.4 oz EO Blend (7 oz + leftovers from last batch)
Leftover soap in individual molds.

7 oz – 114 grams Four Thieves Oil: (might accelerates trace)
Original Formula:
34% Clove leaf: 2.4 oz
30% Litsea 2.10 oz
16% Cinnamon: 1.10 oz
12% Eucalyptus: 0.85 oz
8% Rosemary: 0.55 oz

Master Batch Oils #20: 100 oz Oils (Makes 142 oz/ 8.87 lb soap)
MB Oils: 100 oz/ 2835 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 14.11 oz / 400 grams
Distilled Water: (4.56 oz disc/ 14% disc): 27 oz / 765 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 28 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 28 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 28 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 28 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

5 lb Mold: Use 86 oz/Colors/4.7 oz EO Blend:
1st Layer:
38 oz TD white (in oil), 2.5 oz EO
2nd Layer:
18 oz No EO (2.5 oz inside & 0.5 oz for top – each of 6 colors)
3rd Layer:
30 oz TD White 2.2 oz EO

3 lb Mold: Use 52 oz/ 2.7 oz EO Blend):
1st Layer:
23 oz TD white (in oil), 1.5 oz EO
2nd Layer:
11 oz; No EO (1.3 oz inside & 0.5 oz for top – each of 6 colors)
3rd Layer:
18 oz TD White 1.2 oz EO

1st Layer for Both Batches:
61 oz TD white (in oil), 4 oz EO

2nd Layer for Both Batches: 30+ oz No EO
6 oz BB Fizzy Lemonade & BB Buttercup Yellow Mica
6 oz BB Nuclear Orange & BB Racing Stripe Orange (yellow)
6 oz BB Fuchsia Pink & BB Bubblegum Pink
6 oz TKB Soapberry Purple & BB Queens Purple
6 oz BB Caribbean Blue
6 oz CC Granny Smith Apple Green Mica

3rd Layer for Both Batches:
48 oz TD White (in oil), 3.4 oz EO
Top with lines of colors, swirl, spritz with alcohol & fine Iridescent Glitter. CPOP 5 lb mold.

The Reality:


I soaped the lye liquid and oils at 84F & 88F, stick blending until emulsified (using an immersion blender). This batch was so big, it was very difficult to tell when it was emulsified, so I over blended it a bit. (I’ve only made a huge batch like this one other time – see blog here).

I poured off 61 oz of batter for the first layer for both molds, tried to get it as white as possible, hand mixing in titanium dioxide (and really paying attention to how much used and the exact color of white, to be able to duplicate for the last layer).

I added 4 oz of essential oil blend and stirred as quickly as possible, as it accelerates trace. It turned very yellow, but I also knew on curing it would lighten a bit (and I knew no matter how much white I added, it would turn to an off-white, which I was okay with.)

I put the 5 lb mold on top of the scale, tarred, and poured in 38 oz. I the did the same with the 3 lb mold, adding 23 oz of soap. Then put both in the fridge to set while prepping for the advanced tiger pour.

I divide out 6 containers and colored the batter for the next layer. Because I had over stick blended, the batter was a perfect constancy for this. I tilted the 5 lb mold (lengthwise) and poured each color on the same edge 3 times. I did the same for the 3 lb mold and put both in the fridge to stiffen.

After prepping 48 oz for the last layer (with titanium dioxide and 3.4 oz eo blend), I carefully plopped 30 oz in the 5 lb mold and 18 oz in the 3 lb mold. The batter was at a thick trace, which made this quite difficult.

I had just enough of each colored soap to pour a small line of batter down the length of each mold, then swirled with a thin chopstick, spritzed with Isopropyl Alcohol (to prevent soda ash) and dusted with fine iridescent glitter. I put the 5 lb wooden mold into the oven for 6 hours to CPOP, and covered the 3 lb silicone mold with towels to help promote gelling.

The Cut:

Conclusions:


I had originally planned to split up the batter for each mold – with the acceleration of the fragrances, I figured that would give me more time to work with it. And last time I made this, I poured the tiger stripe in the 3 lb mold first and worried that I was using too much, so I used too little.

But I didn’t split it up for a variety of reasons (twice the work, time, containers, etc.). I had everything prepped and lined up so that I could work fast with the first and third layers and it turned out well. I kept track of the amount of batter for the middle layer (by weight) and had enough for each mold.

Because the soap was thicker for the second layer, the colors were very well defined, but I also used more batter for only three passes of each color, instead of four.

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. (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 these actions.)

Lavender eo Goat Milk soap with layers and skinny heart tube embeds

These were Such a hit, I had to make them again – improving the last batch (see here).

Description of Bramble Berry & Bulk Apothecary Lavender 40/42 essential oils: The scent of lavender has shown to have positive effects on mood and can help to alleviate mild feelings of agitation or distress. Lavender has been thought for centuries to arouse passions as an aphrodisiac. This is a bold yet fresh smelling Lavender essential oil, very similar to Lavender Provence. CP: No A, D, R.

The Plan:


Use 74 oz batter for 5 lb mold plus 12 oz heart tube embeds.
Embed Heart Tubes: 1 skinny Queens Purple, 0.4 Skinny Queens Purple, 1 skinny Plum, 0.4 Skinny Plum.

Master batch Oils #20: 55 oz Oils (Makes 77 oz /4.8 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 55 oz/ 1559 grams
NaOH/Lye 5% SF: 7.76 oz / 220 grams
Frozen Goat Milk & Frozen Distilled Water: (2.35 oz disc/ 13.5 % disc): 15 oz / 425 grams (Used 6 oz:9 oz)
Sodium Lactate (1%): 16 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 16 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Avocado Extract (1%): 16 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

74 oz batter/Colors/5 oz EO: (Used 1.75 BB & 3.25 BA eo’s)
Add EO to batter, then separate:
48 oz TD White (in distilled water)
15 oz BB Queens Purple (pour off 1 oz for top)
11 oz BB Plum (pour off 1 oz for top)

Layers:
14 oz layer of Queen’s Purple on bottom (stick blend and put in fridge to stiffen)
10 oz layer of Plum (next layer) (put in fridge to stiffen)
1/2 white, add heart tube embeds & rest of white.
Top with lines of colored batter swirled on top, spritz fine iridescent glitter.
Refrigerate until set, then put in freezer for 24 hours to prevent milk from overheating.
(BB = Bramble Berry, TD = Titanium Dioxide)

The Reality:


I used more of the BA essential oil than the BB just to finish the bottle (I find it a bit strong, so if mixing it with BB eo, I try to go half and half. I went ahead and added the fragrance to the oils, as I knew that it doesn’t accelerate trace (and I wasn’t testing any other scents).

I soaped the lye milk and oils at 84F & 88F, stick blending briefly until emulsified (using an immersion blender). Milk in soaps can accelerate a bit, so I wanted to start out very thin, since I needed to wait for each layer to set up before moving on to the next one.

I divided up the batter and added the extra to each container. I colored the purple, poured off 3 oz and stick blended the rest quite a bit, then poured it all into the 5 pound mold and put in the refrigerator to set up. (I used some of the 3 oz for individual molds and made sure to save over an ounce for the top.)

The purple set up quickly. I mixed up the plum – poured off some for the top and for individual molds, and then poured it over a spatula to prevent break through. The plum had thickened nicely, but was still very pourable, so no need to stick blend. I put the mold back into the refrigerator to set up, while I made a couple single soaps.

I prepped the white, which was now at a medium trace – but adding the titanium dioxide in oil thinned it out a bit (the batter was a very beige color from the goat milk). I spritzed the plum layer with Isopropyl Alcohol (forgot to do that with the purple to help each layer adhere to the next), then poured half of the white soap over a spatula, again to prevent break though.

I sprayed each heart tube embed with alcohol and set into the batter, then poured the rest of the soap on top. By now the colored soap I had set aside was very stiff, so I added a little warm Sunflower Seed oil, which thinned it out enough to plop bits on the top of the soap and swirl with a thin chopstick.

After spritzing the top with Isopropyl Alcohol a few times (to prevent soda ash), I sprinkled on some fine iridescent glitter and put in the refrigerator for several hours, then into the freezer to prevent heating up the milks.

The Cut:

Conclusions:

This was a well behaved soaping session. The Cylde Slide design inside the heart tubes is pronounced, which I am very pleased with. I always thought the skinny hearts look better than the fat ones, but it feels like there is too much white space between the heart tubes. Having them closer to each other would have helped. And using fat heart embeds would also take up more of the white, which I think I will go back to next time. I also like the ratio of the layers, which look more balanced (smaller layers, compared to the larger ones in the last batch – seen here).

Smokey Bay Leaf soap in tiger and hanger swirls

Description of Bramble Berry Fragrances:
Tobacco & Bay Leaf (TB): A rich & complex scent with top notes of bay leaf and fir needle, mingled with cedarwood and bergamot – warm, woodsy, & sophisticated. The fragrance has a fresh, clean aroma with well-balanced natural notes. CP: No A, Discolors to beige.
Vetyver (V): Has top notes of Lemon & Rosemary. The middle notes contain florals, Sandalwood and Patchouli and finally, the luscious blend finishes off with musk and vetyver. CP: water white.
Black Tea (BT): Tea leaves with tobacco overtones; top notes of Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, & orange; jasmine, cedar wood, amber, musk. CP: No D

The Plan:


3 lb silicone mold – 52 oz batter
Pour off extra soap for Sunshine Orange Yuzu Sunflower soaps (see that blog here)

Master batch Oils #20: 60 oz Oils (Makes 84 oz /5.25 lbs soap)
MB Oils: 60 oz/ 1701 grams
NaOH/ Lye 5% SF: 8.46 oz / 240 grams
Distilled Water: (3.93 oz disc/ 21% disc): 15 oz / 424 grams
Sodium Lactate (1%): 17 grams (in oils or Lye water at 130 degrees)
Kaolin Clay (1%): 17 grams (in oils)
Aloe Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)
Cucumber Extract (1%): 17 grams (in oils – can add at trace)

Scent Blend: 3 oz total: 2 oz TB, 0.5 oz V, 0.5 oz BT

52 oz Batter/Colors/ 3 oz Blend:
26 oz TD White
26 oz MM Mint Green
(MM = Micas & More; TD = Titanium Dioxide)
Alternate pouring white & green into mold in tiger stripe pour (in center of mold).
Hanger swirl vertically.

The Reality:


I combined the lye liquid and oils at 84F & 92F, stick blending very briefly (using an immersion blender). Then divided up the batter for 2 soap projects (see blog here for other soap).

It had been a while since I did a tiger pour, so I wasn’t exactly sure about the thickness of my batter. I alternated lines of colored soap down the middle of the loaf until full. (It seemed like the perfect pour, but I also noticed how much the white & green merged while pouring.) I then did a vertical hanger swirl (alternating up & down 5 times), using my thick hanger (which is a gear tie).

I finished with lines of color on top and swirled width-wise with a toothpick, then zig-zagged length-wise, to get some very fine lines. Since this is a masculine scent, I restrained myself from adding some glitter on top. After spritzing several times with Isopropyl Alcohol, I put some plastic wrap on top and covered with towels to help promote gel.

The Cut:

If you look below at the soap on the left, you can see even more clearly how the edges turned pink.

Conclusions:


The making of this soap flowed smoothly and turned out beautifully.

This fragrance can do strange things with the colors. The first time I made it, it turned purple, then slowly morphed almost back to the original color. The last time I made it (see here), I used a light green that turned grey and stayed that way – very disappointing.

I made a sample soap a few months ago with these same colors and it stayed white & green, with no morphing. This time it came out slightly lighter than I had planned. And a strange thing happened when I cut it – all the edges inside were discolored – the green, a darker green, and the white turned into pink and sadly has stayed that way. But the scent is wonderful.