Friday, April 27, 2012

Soap Challenge Week #5 ~ Mixing Your Own Scent Blend

Well....I'm a little late posting this challenge.  It has been nearly two weeks since I made the soap, and I am attempting to post these pictures before the link times out and the link for this week's challenge (which I'm going to attempt to make tonight) is created.  This week's challenge wasn't a huge challenge for me.  I am one of those people that finds it necessary to tweak every recipe I come across.  Maybe I just have difficulty with following directions.  As a result, from day one of my soap making journey I have been blending fragrances.

In the past I've created some great fragrance blends, and some pretty horrific ones.  I like to throw together fragrances that people don't expect to find paired together.  Some of my favorites have been lilac and blueberry, and one that I call "Faith" that is comprised of frankincense and myrrh essential oil, basmati rice fragrance oil, and ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

I did have some essential oils that I wanted to play with though.  What I was interested in creating was a lavender & peppermint blend....softened.  Both lavender and peppermint have a tendency to smell a bit medicinal.  What I wanted to play with was adding some floral and citrus notes in an attempt to tone down, or soften that medicinal bite.  I blended essential oils of pink grapefruit, lavender, peppermint, ylang ylang, and a chamomile neroli blend.

I decided to add some excitement by making a salt bar for this challenge, reformulating my previous salt bar recipe, and blending my own mica colors.  Just for fun I thought I'd swirl the soap in the mold if it didn't set up too soon.  So, how did it turn out? has it's good points and it has it's bad points.  It held up great through blending.  I was thrilled to death with it when I covered it and put it in the oven.  It looked great and it smelled great...a little strong, but I figured it would tone down a bit while it cured.

I pulled it out of the oven after about an hour to cut it.  The top was beginning to harden and I didn't want to wait until it was crumbly.  The colors had faded quite a bit.  I thought maybe it was a bit ashy, so I went ahead and began cutting.  Uh oh!  I started cutting a wee bit too soon.  It was still a bit soft.  It was falling to pieces!  So, after the first cut I just walked away for a ten minutes or so to give it time to finish setting up.  After that time passed, it was sufficiently hardened and ready to cut.  But the color was definitely a bit more of a pastel than I had hoped, and lacking the contrast I had envisioned.

The fragrance still had a bit of a bite.  I couldn't smell anything but the lavender and peppermint.  With a deep sigh, I decided to wait and see what happened.  Well, yesterday it had been nearly two weeks since I made the soap, so I decided I just HAD to test one of the end pieces.  Tell me I'm not the only one who does that! 

OH MY GOODNESS!!  I am in love with this bar.  The fragrance is alright.  It isn't all that I had hoped for.  It has an undercurrent of chamomile and neroli.  The ylang ylang is nearly impossible to detect.  But it's an okay lavender mint.  Still needs work before I'm thoroughly satisfied.  But the actual salt bar is amazing.  The bubbles must have been breeding because they just kept coming!  And they weren't big ol' airy bubbles either.  They were creamy and soft.  Water was actually lightly beading on my skin after I rinsed.  At first the lather looked almost oily or gummy.  I know....I'm making it sound REAL appealing!  But, after all, this recipe was super-superfatted since it had such a high percentage of coconut oil.  A little concerned I then added a wee bit more water and it recreated itself as a dense bubbly lather, with no trace of the questionable oiliness.  But the best part was after I dried off.  My skin felt so soft it was unbelievable.  I honestly kept catching myself rubbing the backs of my hands.  Soft as a baby's bottom!

Bottom line?  Okay fragrance; natural, a little medicinal.
Color?  Me no likee, but some folks love pastels.
Bar Quality?  A keeper!  Should sell well if I'm willing to share.

The colors I had envisioned
Freshly poured and swirled
The colors are already looking lighter
Unmolded ~ it looks ready to cut....but it's not!
First cut.  It's still too soft ~ almost like play dough.
Cut bars
More cut bars

I never did take any 'completed' pictures.  It has lightened slightly due to the salt content.  The fragrance has slightly softened.  Honestly, I think after curing, it is going to smell great!  But if they don't sell I won't mind a bit.


Amy W said...

Cool blend!! I love your way of thinking. :) Might need to get some pointers from you on the salt bar, as this will be the challenge in two weeks and I need to get ready!

koinonia community said...

Thanks Amy. I love doing soap bars. There is so little waiting involved.