Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice Soap

Today is the shortest day of the year. To celebrate the solstice, I thought I would make some new soap. Surprise!
I broke out of my hot process mode and made a cold process Sea Salt bar of coconut milk, coconut oil, avocado oil and castor oil and as much sea salt as oils. I scented this batch with Tahitian flowers, mango and melon essences. I colored the soap a cheery tangerine color. I sliced it up and placed the pieces on top of my credenza to cure for the next 4 weeks.
This type of soap gets very hard, very fast. The sea salt soap is much beloved and revered by some, and disliked by others. I like the salt soaps in the summer if I have suffered insect bites. I find the salt clears the sting and bites fast.
I have christened this batch "Figi Sea Salt Bars".
Can you tell that I am dreaming of the tropics?
Next up, I made another soap with lots of coconut milk, palm oil, castor oil and cocoa butter. The cocoa butter has that delicious aroma of chocolate, which worked nicely with the French Vanilla scent I concocted. I added nutmeg essential oil, lemon & myrrh.
I attempted a pale blue swirl with a touch of iridescent mica, but I don't know how that will turn out. I will find out when I unmold the batch tomorrow. I am anxious to try the coconut milk soaps. More experimentation going on - I have used coconut milk as an additive, but now I am subbing it for my distilled water. Stay tuned...
In honor of the first day of winter, I am posting some photos of the hot process soap I have been churning out
lately:

Above is a beeswax and honey hot process soap. The bar on the left is unscented and smells divine. The bars on the right were scented with rosewood essential oil and Turkish Rose of Otto. Curiously, the rosewood bars are not as perfumed as the unscented. Go figure?

Above is "Snow White", a pure olive oil soap. No scent or color. Lovely. My photo is a tad out of focus...must have been that pearly white blinding me! This soap will take a good 4 months to cure even though it was hot-processed. With castile-type soaps (olive oil), the longer the cure, the better the bar. Castile might be the perfect bar if aged well. Perhaps a year will do it. Seriously.

This is my hot processed "Gingerbread Soap" with Blackstrap Molasses, colloidal oats and a bit of cocoa. This soap is nice and hard. I like the faint swirl in the body of the bar. I added some vanilla (just like the bread recipe) and that usually turns soap dark. It is a good thing in soap. Think of the the vanilla bean, or the vanilla extract used in cooking...dark and delicious.

Last, but not least, here is my "Winter" soap that was as fussy as a prima donna. I added so much shea butter to this batch that I will be fortunate if it fully cures before next fall! It is a vanilla scented soap with tangerine to brighten it up a bit. I even rebatched this soap which accounts for the marbling appearance of the colors. See the tiny bit of gold mica on the tops?
I love the way these hot process soaps appear rustic. You can recognize the process by the distinct look of the soap. Most of the cold process soaps appear silkier and smoother and can be swirled like divinity.
Well - I like 'em both! Come on. We all know that I am a soap addict.
Happy Yule and Winter Solstice everyone!
In Beauty, Peace & Love...

2 comments:

  1. They smell pretty darned good!!
    Thanks for your comment here!
    xo

    ReplyDelete