The last few weeks have been full-on soapmaking to restock the shelves depleted by the pre-Christmas rush. I only have two loaf moulds, and can only soap in the evenings once the little Miners are asleep, so it’s a fairly long drawn out process involving nightly soapmaking (what a shame :-D!) but I’m getting there.
This is Parisian Flora. A drop swirl fragranced with a blend of Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Rose Geranium essential oils, and coloured with titanium dioxide and micas.
Daffolidish? Daffodilesque? Daffolidic? I don’t know, answers on a postcard please 😀 What I DO know is that I won’t be soaping with Daffodil fragrance oil again any time soon!
It’s been a while since I participated in one of Amy’s challenges over at Great Cakes Soapworks so I decided to give the December challenge a shot. ‘Cos of course I’m not really really busy with Christmas Fairs at the moment, oh no, not me…
Having decided to sign up for the challenge (which, by the way, I have done for the last goodness knows how many months but not actually managed to make anything in time) I also signed up for a new idea Amy’s organised, a Soap Swap. I really love trying other soapers’ creations, but if I’m honest I think my main motivation for signing up was to make sure that I actually entered the challenge. Once I’d commited to swap my soap with another contestant, I knew I couldn’t just ‘not get round to it’.
The challenge this month was to make a soap using the spoon swirl method. This is something I’ve done many times before, and which I knew needed no fancy equipment other than the usual, plus a spoon. And Amy’s excellent tutorial video confirmed that yes, I did indeed already know how to do this one. So far so good.
I took a moment to decide on which fragrance to use. I didn’t want to use any of my regular range, as they have fixed designs, none of which is a spoon swirl. So something different, something that could, possibly, become part of the range if it turned out fantabulous. I opted for a delicious daffodil fragrance. First mistake. Using a new-to-me fragrance for a challenge / swap soap was not one of my greatest decisions.
I melted the oils and butters that needed it, then stirred in the liquid oils, and the fragrance oil. I chose three lovely micas which I thought represented daffodils perfectly, and combined them with a little of the melted fats. I know many soapers add the powdered mica directly into the soap and stick blend it in, and it works just fine. I keep meaning to try that but I guess I’m a little stuck in my ways!
I usually soap at room temperature, so I used some pre-prepared (water discounted) lye solution, and there you have my second mistake. Knowing that floral fragrances have a tendency to accelerate, I really should have used the full recommended water amount.
Anyway, you can probably guess what’s coming. I slowly added the lye solution to the fats and immediately it started to thicken. There wasn’t a lot I could do but, knowing that I wasn’t going to get another opportunity to make a challenge soap by the deadline, I carried on, managed to get a bit of colour mixed in, and squished it into the mould. I DID then spoon swirl it. I really did! If you look closely at the pic below you can see where the spoon moved within the mould, but it’s not really that clear 🙁
Oh dear. My poor swap partner. Sam – if you’re reading this, I will send you a bar of this one (it does smell lovely!!) but I’ll also send you one of my more successful soaps!
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