I enjoy reading the blogs of other soapmakers, seeing photos of their beautiful soapy creations, and learning about new recipes or techniques they've tried. Soapmakers have so much to offer each other and I appreciate those who are willing to share and encourage others in their craft. The market for handmade soap is large enough for all of us. Handmade soap is good and every bar is a unique reflection of its maker.
One of blogs I follow is written by Amanda Gail of Lovin' Soap Studio. She and her soap making husband Benjamin Aaron, "love helping soapmakers learn the craft and start their soapmaking business." They have written several Ebooks and founded the Lovin' Soap Project, which can empower women in developing countries by helping them learn how to make and sell handmade soap. I enjoy reading about their experiences as they travel and teach.
Recently Amanda had a giveaway on her blog. She had received four new fragrance oils from Bramble Berry, their 2016 Spring Fever Fragrance Collection of Clover and Aloe, Sunflower, Blooms and Berries, and Blueberry Jam. Since she uses essential oils exclusively in her own soaps, she decided to give away these wonderful fragrances to someone who left a comment on her blog. And that someone was me! Thank you, Amanda!
I make soap in my kitchen, so first I prepped the counter by covering it with kitchen towels, gathering the oils, colorants, and various tools needed to make soap. I used the same recipe for both, although I added more sugar to the lye solution of one. I'm curious if that soap's lather will bubble a little better than the other. I'll have to compare to find out, especially since I forgot which one had the extra sugar!
Top Notes: bergamot, lemon and mint
Middle Notes: green tea, rose and cyclamen
Base Notes: lily, amber, moss and light violet
As noted, this fragrance behaved beautifully. In keeping with the aloe scent, I used aloe vera juice for the lye solution. A portion of the soap batter was mixed with chromium green oxide while the majority was left uncolored. After pouring the soap, I used a gear tie to swirl the mixture and a knife to create the textured top.
After unmolding the next day, and cutting the loaf, I was delighted to see delicate fern like swirls of spring green. Each bar of Clover and Aloe is beautiful and smells wonderful!
Top Notes: grapefruit, bergamot and sweet grass
Middle Notes: heart of lily, jasmine, quince and sage
Base Notes: sandalwood, ylang ylang, plum, cinnamon, cedarwood
For color, I used chromium green oxide and umber oxide for the swirls and dusted the top with gold mica. I used the gear tie again to swirl and a knife to texture the top before spraying with 99% isopropyl alcohol to help reduce soda ash. Both batches were put in a preheated 170 degree oven for a little while to ensure gel.