Sunday, May 8, 2016

Buttermilk and Carrot Bastille Soap

The Bastille soap was made yesterday and I think I can safely say this will be, as my daughter says, a gooder. It's made with Pomace olive oil with the addition of a little coconut oil and augmented with the addition of pureed carrots and buttermilk instead of water. I scented the batch with two teaspoons of lavender. It smells amazing and has a very pale orange colour, thanks to the pureed carrots.

By last night, it was already hard enough to cut and I probably should have. I cut it this morning and it was chipping a little. It was that hard, within 24 hours. I tested a few of the crumbs and it lathers beautifully already. I can only imagine what it will be like in 4-6 weeks.

One of these days, I'd like to get a proper soap cutter. My little cheese cutter is just a bit too small for the job. Ah well. I'm still very happy with this recipe.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Soleseife (Brine Soap)

This morning, I unmolded the soleseife (brine soap) I made on Thursday. It was still a bit on the soft side but I don't like leaving my soaps in silicone molds for too long. I don't know if it's true or not but it seems to me that it just doesn't "breathe" and harden up as quickly as it should. Then, I found this picture...

This is the very first batch of soleiseife I made and, as you can see, it was a bit soft coming out of the mold (a Pringles can), too. Maybe I should have left the soap for a while longer but it's out of the molds now.

I love the colours in the soap above. The colours faded very quickly, though. When wet, there's still some colour but it isn't as bright as in the picture. I have a feeling this batch will do the same and I'm okay with that.

Even though I added two teaspoons of scent, there's very little scent to these bars. That surprised me a little but there's just enough scent remaining to cover the "soap" scent. Another thing that surprises me is that, even though I used lavender and patchouli, the soap smells a bit like peppermint. I'm not sure why.

And while we're on the topic of scent, I came across the three remaining bars of the Two Vices soap (made with hemp oil and beer) and have decided that they need a good airing out. The scent of the hemp oil is very strong. They've been stored in a cardboard box for the past month since I had to clear out the spare bedroom for a guest. I really don't like the scent much but it's such a nice soap that I'll put up with it. For now, the three bars are back on the curing bench, airing out and aging.

If the smell doesn't lighten up, I'll have to find someone who doesn't mind the scent.

Today, I'm planning on making a Buttermilk Bastille Baby soap, made with, you guessed it, buttermilk and the addition of pureed carrots. For those who may not know, bastille is the name given to an olive oil based soap that has the addition of coconut oil to help with lathering. A true 100% olive oil soap is known as Castile soap; adding the coconut oil bastardizes it. Therefore, it is known as Bastille soap.

Now, though, it's time for another cup of coffee and a bit of vitamin D, in the form of sunshine.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

About Time!

There has not been a lot of production around here lately and I'm feeling a little deprived. Most weekends these days are taken up with gardening and grandchildren, leaving very little time or energy for making soap... or anything else, for that matter.

However, because John has to go for some medical tests and he isn't allowed to drive afterwards, I've taken the day off. We don't have to leave until around lunch time so I have some time to make a batch of soap.

One of the earlier soaps I made has really impressed me over the past couple of months. Last September, I made a batch of brine soap, made with salt water. I've been using it as a facial soap for the last month or so and I have to say... I love it! I don't have a lot of it left so I decided it was a good time to make myself some more.

I don't think I ever took pictures of that soap when I first made it. It was the first, and only, time I used a Pringles can as a mold. I used an in-the-pot swirl with pale pink and pale blue swirls. This time, I'll be using a selection of silicone molds and will again be doing an itp swirl, with pink, blue and mauve. Last time, I scented the soap with lemongrass and ylang ylang; this time, I'll be scenting it with lavender and patchouli. I'll also be adding a couple of cubes of frozen coconut milk that's been hiding in my freezer.

I'll let you know how it turns out on Saturday. Right now, it's time to get soaping!