Sunday, February 12, 2012

Energy bar

- combined around 45C
- blended until trace
- added
- 26g of grated grapefruit peel
- 26g of energy fragrance oil
- blended until trace restored
- poured into saran-lined box
- baked for 3h at 150F, left in oven overnight

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coffee Comparison

Despite mixed reviews from testers, I really like the espresso bar I made before. Mostly I love how rough the coffee grinds are. LP suggested I designate this a men's soap... I got two coffee-based scents from BB: Turkish mocha and chocolate espresso. I wanted to test them side by side with the same recipe, but I forgot that a 2:1 water discount sets too fast. The recipes are identical except the water content.

I wanted to deviate from my normal recipe and use up some of the other oils in my fridge. I also thought including cocoa butter would be nice and add to the chocolatey scent of the soap. So here are the two recipes, which you'll note have a respectable conditioning value.

Chocolate espresso:

- combined at 50C
- 24g of chocolate espresso fragrance oil
- 20g of coarsest freshly ground coffee
As I mentioned earlier, this set way too quickly. It was a paste by the time I transferred, and I had to use a spatchula to get it into the mold.

Turkish mocha:

- combined at 50C
- full oz (~28g) of turkish mocha fragrance oil
- 20g of coarsest freshly ground coffee
This was pretty reasonable, and I think I'll generally stick to a water discount of 2.5:1. I could pour it just fine, and it solidified by the following day.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sandlewood Shave Soap

First off, I stumbled upon this article about discounting the water content in order to speeden the curing process:

I was very excited about this because the writer said cure times can be reduced to two weeks. I'd like to stop oven-baking to accelerate the curing as I'm worried that degrades the fragrance/essential oils, but am impatient and don't want to wait two months for a bar of soap to be ready. So I decided to try it out on some shave soap that I've been meaning to make. Huge mistake.

Here's my recipe:

I blended attributes of the two shave soap recipes I posted previously, maintaining a heavy castor oil presence and about 1 tbs/lb of bentonite clay (this is important for providing slip to the razor). Jojoba oil was my own addition. Jojoba is supposed to have healing properties which is appropriate given that shaving ravages your skin. I discounted the water content heavily, going to the lowest amount they recommended to someone who had never done this before.

I combined the oil and lye, added a tbs of clay and a tbs of colloidal oatmeal and blended for about 30-60s before hitting trace. Now here's where things started going wrong. I only had a sandlewood sample size (1/2oz) so I wanted to divvy the mixture up and fragrance quarter of it with OMH. I was able to get a quarter out which I had LP fragrance with OMH while I mixed the sandlewood FO in. By this point, the mixture began to thicken, achieving a putty like consistency. I quickly started pouring into bowls, but by the last one, I was scooping it out and packing it into the bowls. Discounting water was not the right move for soaps that need to be poured into bowls and where a flat surface is desirable.

I casted about 100g into each bowl and got 5 bowls total.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey II

Followed same recipe as before (4/8/2011), except reduced the oatmeal content to 25g total. Hit trace, then added ~10g of oatmeal and fragrance oil. Then restored trace and added the remaining 15g of oatmeal and mixed by hand before casting. This should help maintain some full-sized oats.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Same procedure as OMH bar. Added the grated peel of 5 limes (3 lime's worth of peel was completely dessicated, 1 was partially dried, 1 was freshly grated; don't ask why). Added coconut-lime-verbena FO from CS. Hit trace, added FO, retraced, added peel, blended until trace, but noticed added the peel caused the solution to lose some viscosity.

UPDATE (7/3/11): The fragrance has almost completely disappeared. This may be like other citrusy scents - they just don't last. Barring the scent, it's a good bar - moisturizing.


Using the same recipe as OMH bar from 4/8/11. 3h bake time at 150F, followed by at least 12h in oven.

Added Lavender and Herb fragrance oil from BB and an absurd amount of lavender (20g). Hit trace, added the FO, restored trace, then hand-stirred the lavender buds in.

I have a number of different lavender scents from BB, I want to do a side by side comparison and figure out which is best. Perhaps I won't devote a full batch to each lavender, but will divide the next one up in two.

The 20g of lavender may have been too much. I think next time I could do with half that amount and a bit of oatmeal. Also, for some reason, the lavender turned brown. The lavender I got from Rishita stayed purple, even with the hot processing. Maybe this is justwhat BB's low grade lavender does.

The scent is pretty nice, very similar to the previous batch using CS's lavender FO.

UPDATE (7/3/11): Ok, adding 20g of lavender is not a good idea. The bar is way too crumbly. 5 or 10g should be more reasonable. Also, I can't stand that it turned brown. I'm not sure what to do with a lb of lavender, but I know I can't use it for soapmaking.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey

Ok, I pushed the conditioning value beyond the suggested range of 44-69 and achieved a 72. If this bar isn't moisturizing, then I'm going to conclude it just can't be done. One possibility is that the oven process does something, but I can't really see why.

Used the below recipe and 25g of oatmeal, milk, and honey fragrance from BB and 40g of oats. Baked for 3h at 150F, left in oven overnight.

This bar is good. Doesn't produce that dry skin feeling in the shower. I think this'll be my go-to recipe from here on in. Will post pictures as soon as it's sunny out.