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The Christmas Range 2021 – Santa’s Cookies

Blogtober 2021 – Day 29

Last (but – of course – not least) in the Christmas 2021 limited edition line up is Santa’s Cookies. It smells just like Ginger Snaps – a bit of biscuitty sweetness but leaning more towards the ginger, rounded off with nutmeg, molasses and vanilla. Just don’t leave one of these out for Santa to nibble on – he won’t thank you for it 😉

There we go, four days, four Christmas specials. Which one’s your favourite?

Thanks for reading, back tomorrow with the penultimate Blogtober post – hooray!!

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The Christmas Range 2021 – North Pole

Blogtober 2021 – Day 28

The third of this year’s limited edition Christmas specials is North Pole. This one’s a bit of a departure from the norm, but the fragrance is perfect for a winter soap. It’s a fresh, cool menthol/eucalyptus blend with a touch of camphor, pine, lemon and spice. Oh so invigorating!

Thanks for reading! Back tomorrow with the fourth and final limited edition Christmas special for 2021.

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The Christmas Range 2021 – Snow Fairy

Blogtober 2021 – Day 27

The second of this year’s limited edition Christmas specials is Snow Fairy. This fragrance was the runaway favourite amongst my customers last year, so it had to come back for a second appearance this year (with a new look, of course!)

Snow Fairy is fragrance that’s difficult to describe, so I’m going to break my unwritten rule and just copy the supplier’s description. Let’s see what you make of this:

“A captivating blend of sparkling pink snowflakes laying gently on opulent velvet moonlight rose mingles with zingy black raspberry to complete on a seductive base of warm dark smooth ambers, earthy patchouli and sheer musk”

What do you think? Any the wiser? If you know what pink snowflakes smell like, please do share! All I can tell you is that it smells absolutely gorgeous, as a great many of my customers from last Christmas will testify….

Thanks for reading, back tomorrow!

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The Christmas Range 2021 – Noel

Blogtober 2021 – Day 26

The first of this year’s limited edition Christmas specials is Noel, and I’m sharing it first because I think it’s my favourite of the lot. Noel is fragranced with a blend of rich festive fragrances including citrus fruits, spicy clove and cinnamon, and notes of sweet vanilla, patchouli, cedarwood and amber which round off the scent. This is a gem of a fragrance, and is especially wonderful for soap because:

  1. It’s a fragrance that contains vanilla that does not discolour to brown and
  2. It’s a fragrance that contains spice elements that does not accelerate (thicken up too quickly) during the making process.

A bit of a soapmaker’s dream come true really!

Available from the 13th November

Thanks for reading – back tomorrow!

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Rainbows for Christmas

Blogtober 2021 – Day 25

I promised a photo of the cut bars of Enfys (Welsh for ‘Rainbow’) that I made yesterday, and here they are 🙂 Fragranced with a sweet and fruity berry-like fragrance.

Just over 90 bars of Enfys, freshly cut and still a little tatty around the edges. Please forgive their current rought and ready appearance – once they’ve dried a bit they’ll be bevelled and generally tarted up, but they’re a little too soft to be titivated at this stage.

They’re currently out of stock, but when they’re ready – around the end of November, you’ll find them here.

I had thought to tack this photo on the end of a completely different post today, but Blogtober exhaustion has hit, and I reckon as long as I get SOMETHING posted every day, that’s good enough. We’re also going away for a few days tomorrow, and so today has mostly been a day of washing and packing, rather than composing an interesting and constructive blog post 😉

Speaking of which. When I first decided, on a whim, to take part in Blogtober this year, I completely neglected to consider our little trip away. It’s just a few days in Fishguard, on the Pembrokeshire coast, but it’s a few days away from work, to enjoy time with the children, and I’m not taking my laptop. So over the next four days I’m going to introduce the four limited edition Christmas special for 2021, and I’ll be back with a ‘proper’ post on Saturday. Which, in all honestly will probably just consist of photos of our trip.

So, short and sweet, but thanks for popping by anyway. There will be a post tomorrow, and the following three days, but I’ll be back in person on Saturday.

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A Busy Weekend

Blogtober 2021 – Day 24

It may be the weekend, but I’ve still been busy making soap. I generally try to avoid working on the weekend, but it’s half-term this week and we’re going away for a few nights, so I’m getting caught up in advance 😀

Yesterday I made 180 bars of soap – 60 Cysur, 60 Fresh Linen and 60 Rose:

And today I cut all the loaves into bars:

Yesterday I also cut the loaves of Luxury Facial Bar that I made on Friday. If you’ve never considered washing your face with soap, then this might the thing to change your mind. It’s cleansing but super-gentle, and won’t leave your skin feeling tight. Just check out the reviews on the website listing here

Today I’ve made 88 bars of Enfys (the Rainbow bar) – the most I’ve ever made in one go. These are currently sold out but are a great seller at Christmas, so I was really keen to get these made before we went away. Hopefully I should be able to get them all cut tomorrow (Monday) and then I can forget about them for a few weeks. All being well I’ll share a photo of the cut bars in tomorrow’s post.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading, I’ll be back tomorrow!

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A New Stockist – Amgueddfa Ceredigion Museum

Blogtober 2021 – Day 19

One of today’s tasks was packing up a wholesale order for a brand new wholesale customer – Amgueddfa Ceredigion Museum in Aberystwyth. Typically for me, I forgot to take a photo of the contents of the parcel before I sealed it up, but they’ll soon be receiving a fabulously smelling box of all of these:

I’d been thinking for a long time that I wanted to find a stockist in Aberystwyth, but yet hadn’t got around to doing any research, so imagine how thrilled I was (am!) that the museum approached me to enquire about becoming a stockist.

The museum is currently open Thursday to Saturday 11am – 4pm, is free to visit and has a rather nice gift shop from which, very soon, you’ll be able to buy your favourite soap. Do pop on by 😉

Find them on Terrace Road, Aberystwyth, SY23 2AQ.

That was a quick one huh? That’s what Blogtober does to you 😀

Thanks for reading – back tomorrow!

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Five Tips For Using Soap Based Shampoo Bars

Blogtober 2021 – Day 18

Once upon a time, everyone used regular soap to wash their hair. They didn’t wash their hair anywhere near as often as we tend to today, but nevertheless, they used soap and their hair, generally, didn’t fall out. Then, in 1934, Proctor & Gamble launched the first synthetic, detergent-based liquid shampoo, and this became the go-to product for most people for many decades. During this time, some people continued to make, and use, soap specifically for hair washing – and STILL their hair didn’t fall out. I’m labouring this point because I’ve read a LOT of negative nonsense recently about soap based shampoo bars – claims that they’re bad for your hair and scalp. Well, I’ve used this type of shampoo bar, and nothing else, for the last four years and honestly? My hair is thick, long, and most definitely NOT falling out.

Soap-based shampoo bars are a great choice if you want to limit the amount of synthetic ingredients in your shampoo and they are less likely to cause skin irritations. They are free from sulphates and silicone, which can make them a good choice for dandruff prone hair. Shampoo based bars can also work out a lot cheaper gram for gram that syndet bars and, in my experience, last a lot longer. By the way, almost all traditional liquid shampoos are also synthetic detergents.

There are, however, some things to be aware of if you’re trying a soap based bar for the first time.

  1. Soap based shampoo bars work best in soft water areas. It’s perfectly possible to use them successfully in hard water areas – I have customers who do – but you may find it’s difficult to work up the big lather that you need for best results.
  2. You MAY experience the ‘Transition period’. Soap based shampoo affects your scalp very differently to traditional shampoo and it is perfectly normal to experience heavy, lank or greasy hair when you first make the switch. This is completely normal, and it can take from one to eight weeks for your scalp to rebalance sebum production. It WILL pass though. During the transition period it can help to use cider vinegar in the final rinse – simply mix one part apple cider vinegar with ten parts water.
  3. Make sure you work up lots of lather during washing. I’m not 100% sure why this works but having lots of lovely, abundant lather does make a difference.
  4. Rinse really, REALLY well. Any residual soap left in the hair is going to make it feel lank.
  5. If you use conditioner, use it on the ends only. Your scalp doesn’t need conditioner – it’s basically a detangler which protects the hair from becoming damaged while combing when wet. Ideally use a Soap Mine Solid Conditioner Bar along the length of the hair, paying particular attention to the ends.

The Soap Mine Shampoo Bar recipe is significantly different to the regular soap bars. It has been carefully formulated as shampoo and actually contains apple cider vinegar to lower the alkalinity a little. Nevertheless it is still soap. If you find that you simply can’t get on with it, just use it on the rest of your body. Nothing lost, and no waste!

I hope these tips help – please comment below if there’s anything you think I should add.

And if you’ve tried your best and soap based shampoo bars are definitely not for you, then why not try one of our Zero Waste Path Syndet Bars?

Thanks for reading, back tomorrow!

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Blodau (Flowers) Soap

Blogtober 2021 – Day 16

Phew! Made it to the halfway point! Tonight’s post needs to be a quick one because as always, I have nothing prepared and Saturday night is family TV night in the Hinde household and we have a date with The Cube!

It’s been a busy week making soap (I’m still catching up with stock levels) so I thought I’d show you one of the batches that came off my one-woman production line this week. Blodau (Welsh Flowers) is scented with a 50:50 blend of lavender & ylang ylang essential oils. Ylang ylang on its own can be a bit heavy for some, but combined with lavender it’s just gorgeous. This bar has been my 7th best selling variety of regular soap bars on the website this year, but for some reason it’s more popular in wholesale orders where it’s my 4th most popular.

I generally make four loaves of soap in one batch – this was Blodau in the mould this week:

Blodau in the mould

The next day I unmoulded and cut the four loaves, and ended up with 60 bars of soap, no two of which were the same. I love how ever bar of soap I make is individual and unique:

Freshly cut Blodau
Freshly cut Blodau

All sixty bars have now been put to bed for their six week cure, but as always there’s plenty available on the website, get yours here!

Blodau Handmade Soap
Blodau Handmade Soap

Thanks for reading! Back tomorrow with Day 17 🙂

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The Purity Range

Blogtober 2021 – Day 15

I LOVE good smells. I’ve always been the one who has to sniff every variety of whatever’s on offer, and of course as a soapmaker, fragrance plays a huge part in my daily life. Not everybody feels the same though, and over the years I was often asked whether I offered a fragrance-free soap. It surprised me, actually, how regularly the subject came up. For a long time the only unscented soap I could offer those customers was Castile. Castile – pure olive oil soap – is a wonderfully gentle and mild bar but it doesn’t have the fluffy, abundant lather of my regular bars. Finally, last year, I decided to create a fragrance-free bar with that same fabulous lather.

That was was when Purity (Purdeb in Welsh) was born. I chose to make it uncoloured as well as fragrance free, and while I love my fragrances and colours, there is definitely something beautiful about a plain white bar in all it’s glory

Purity Handmade Soap

Purity proved to be a popular choice as soon as it was launched. It seemed to make sense to create a new category on the website for all the uncoloured/fragrance free options, and so the Purity range was created. If you’re not a fan of fragrance for whatever reason, you can now find fragrance-free soaps, solid shampoo, solid conditioner and a facial bar all in one place on the website.

Thanks for reading, back tomorrow when I’ll be halfway through Blogtober! Hooray 😀