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Makeovers (7. Love Spell / Bewitched)

The soap that I’ve long called ‘Love Spell’ is scented with a fragrance oil that is a copy of the designer perfume ‘Love Spell’ by Victoria’s Secret. Having recently applied for my bath bomb assessment, which includes bombs fragranced with the same fragrance oil, I was reminded that I can’t call them (or my soap!) Love Spell as it contravenes copyright. I knew this, and I should have changed it ages ago, but to be honest I just didn’t spend the time to come up with a replacement. As it was, when I received the message from my assessor, the new name came to me within a minute or two. Typical! Anyway, it will henceforth be known as Bewitched.

I first made it back in the summer of 2014. You can clearly see where the top portion, coloured with titanium dioxide, shrank more than the rest of the bar during the curing process. The top was simply spattered with leftover soap batter:

Love Spell V1
Bewitched V1

Soon after that I got into tiger stripe pouring, which I initially made with a flat top (and experimented with some black stripes):

Love Spell V3
Bewitched V2
Love Spell V3
Bewitched V3

And later with a textured top:

Love Spell V4
Bewitched V4

Finally I brought it in line with the rest of the range i.e. with a full bar drop swirl:

Love Spell V5
Bewitched V5

Day 23 of Blogtober 2016. I’m starting to believe I can actually do this 😀


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A Custom Order

A couple of months ago I began supplying my soap to a local retailer, Glosters in Porthmadog.  Glosters is a beautifully curated gift store, stocking handmade items made in-house, locally and further afield in the UK.


They took a selection of my regular range, but also wanted something exclusive, just for them.

One half of the Glosters team (Tom) is a potter (who sells his ceramics in the store) and the store also has a nautical feel to it. It made sense therefore when Myfanwy (the other half of the Glosters team and textiles whiz) said that she would like a ‘Potters’ soap and a ‘Sea’ themed soap.   I sent away for some sample fragrances, and in due course Myfanwy chose her two favourites.

This is the Potters Soap, fragranced with a fresh, clean scent of green florals and citrus, on a base of amber and musk. The dark blue reflects the colour of the Glosters’ logo, and for this one I kept an element of my signature drop swirl:


Potters' Soap
                          Potters’ Soap


And this is the Sea Soap, fragranced with a  refreshing salty sea fragrance (of course!), designed with the sea in mind and topped with real sea salt from Halen Môn:

Sea Salt Soap
                      Sea Salt Soap

Both these bars will be available exclusively from Glosters very soon.

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Christmas 2015 Soaps

Last year I made just one batch of soap specifically for the holiday season.  I swapped the usual raffia for a seasonal ribbon, and it sold out within a couple of days.  I posted at the time that it was a case of bad planning, but by then it was too late to do anything about it, and I vowed to do better this year.

I was super-organised, and ordered my Christmas fragrances in August (!!). I decided to make four different Christmas soaps. Four different designs made with four different fragrances. If I’m totally honest, I have mixed feelings about this lot, but judge for yourselves:

First up was Candy Cane – a mouthwatering fragrance which blends peppermint and vanilla. I liked this one so much I made a second batch, and good thing too, as it’s proving very popular and the first batch is already sold out.

Candy Cane
Candy Cane

Next I had a plan to create a stylised Christmas Tree design, complete with baubles. My main disappointment with this one is that I somehow had a brain freeze while rolling the ‘baubles’ and I made them two small. To me they should be the same diameter as the baubles on the top of the soap. I also tried to get clever and create some variation in the colours/designs of the baubles themselves by rolling different colours together, but it didn’t work as well as I hoped. Perhaps they would have looked better had they been larger. Anyway, they may look a bit quirky, but they certainly smell like a Christmas tree – the fragrance oil has top notes of pine needles and and spicy, woodsy middle and base notes.

Christmas Trees
Christmas Tree

The third fragrance was called ‘Yule Log’ which, predictably, is a sweet chocolate scent, with notes of bitter almonds, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. I planned to use this fragrance oil to make my ‘Clyde Slide’ entry for the September Greatcakes Soapworks challenge and used colours which are reminiscent of a Christmas Yule Log:

Yule Log
Yule Log

Sadly I was focusing so much on mastering the technique that I forgot to add the fragrance oil – arrrgghhhh! Never mind, I made it again and now have a scented and an unscented version 😀

My final Christmas design for 2015 is a second Clyde Slide – Moonlit Mistletoe – in grey, silver and green. It’s a true unisex fragrance, the top notes are herbal, green and fruity, balanced with spices, amber and patchouli.

Moonlit Mistletoe
Moonlit Mistletoe

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back again soon!

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Makeovers (2: Wake Up!)

Wake Up! was the first soap that I ever made using a blend of essential oils, way back in early 2010. Up until then I’d used fragrance oils in soap but, despite having an interest in aromatherapy, I’d never tried blending oils myself. Oh how things change! It’s a simple but refreshing mix of Peppermint and Rosemary essential oils – perfect for waking up the senses in the morning shower. While the fragrance blend has stayed the same since that time, it was a couple of years before it got its true name. Up until some point in 2012 it went by the predictable, if uninspiring, ‘Peppermint & Rosemary’.

This is the very first :

1st Incarnation of Peppermint & Rosemary - now known as Wake Up!
1st incarnation of Peppermint & Rosemary – now known as Wake Up!

I quite like the sprig of mint used there as a prop, but the least said about the background the better!

It wasn’t long after the above photo above was taken that I acquired my very first loaf mould (from The Moulds Shop – highly recommended btw), and my soaps became a more uniform shape and size.  For a while I was obsessed with the Tiger Swirl, and Wake Up! looked like this:

2nd incarnation of Wake Up!
2nd incarnation of Wake Up!

Interestingly, it’s only now that I realise that I hadn’t started bevelling the edges at this point – something I always do these days.

These days Wake Up! looks something like this:

Wake Up! from The Soap Mine
3rd incarnation of Wake Up!

Currently all my essential oil soaps are made using the Drop Swirl technique, as I wrote about here. Sometimes they have textured tops, sometimes mica swirls, but they are always (for now!) Drop Swirls.

I’m really enjoying looking back over old designs, so please bear with me in the short term while I indulge myself with these makeover posts – I will try to intersperse them with some other stuff as well 😀  Thanks for popping by!