Sunflowers!

How could anyone stay grumpy when confronted by such a happy face?

 

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t they just make you smile without even thinking about it?  Sort of the way pansies do, too.  Such sweet little faces they have, like little freckle-faced boys and doe-eyed girls looking for permission to have just one more cookie.  Right before supper.  You can’t resist, you just have to smile and say it’s okay!

These robust flowers, while bright, cheerful, often statuesque, are not that much in the fragrance department.  I don’t recall a scent when walking amongst my own sunflowers in summertime, but well, I guess it’s more of a figurative scent than a literal scent.  The fragrance evokes the feelings of warm, sticky days spent outside, watching the large blossoms nod in a warm breeze as they follow the sun westward.  A lazy, hazy, kind of day.  Spent best in a hammock and a glass of ice tea sweating in your hand as you sway dreamily in time to the beat of the bees humming and hummingbirds thrumming.

This scent is actually an extremely complex blend of fruits and florals, beginning with lemon in the top notes and ending with sandalwood as a base. In between it’s accompanied by bergamot, jasmine, rosewood, and rose, melon, and a host of others to bring on thoughts of sunshine, time spent outside, fresh breezes, and warmth on your skin.  The scent, too, will make you smile just as those adorable blooms up there do!

I’ve been using the same recipe in the past few soaps to see how it behaves with various types of fragrances.  it includes olive, coconut , hemp, watermelon seed, and cherry kernel and frankly I’ve been a bit surprised by it.  It seems to heat regardless of the fragrance used, though this one seems to have been a bit on the hotter side.  I didn’t add any beer, wine, or other spirits, yet it’s heated nearly as much as the Champagne Pear did.  The sugars from the champagne caused that one to heat up, but this batch today didn’t have any spirits in it at all.  It had coconut milk, but then so do all my soaps with only a couple of exceptions.   The hemp milk doesn’t seem to cause the heating to the same extent that coconut milk does.  It doesn’t have the sugars that coconut does.   It also doesn’t have the same amount of fats that coconut does, which is part of why I prefer to use coconut.  It gives such a creamy texture to the lather and the soap, that it’s irresistible to use it in soaps!  Use the milk then top it off with some coconut water and it’s heavenly!  Love using coconut but some folks can’t have it, so they’re the reason why I experiment and explore other options in soaps.

This batch had the coconut milk, too, of course, and the colloidal oatmeal, Tussah silk, and some Kaolin clay for a nice glide across the skin as well as the cleansing it’s known to provide.  The soap’s initial image in the mold just before going into the fridge follows and the cut views will be edited in later once they’re available.  Probably tomorrow.

Sunflowers & Sunshine Silk Soap - in the mold

Sunflowers & Sunshine Silk Soap – in the mold

Emerald Isle

My oh my oh my oh my!   This fragrance is sooooo seductively clean, just flat out sexy that I can’t stop going back to the soap in the mold and sniffing it.  Every time I do, I just moan!  It’s unbelievably fresh & clean, a true green-blue fragrance if it had a colour to designate it.  I was looking for another fragrance to add to the mens’ line and this one is a hands-down winner as far as I’m concerned.  I definitely want my man to smell like this!  It’s  built with the notes of  French verbena, Florentine iris, lemon, violet leaves, and a base of Mysori sandalwood and ambergris.  The Mysori is a mellower version of sandalwood that creates a gentle, warm yet alluring undertone for any fragrance without the bite that other types of sandalwood can have.   This fragrance, from Nature’s Garden and Candles, is called Green Irish Tweed.  I read the reviews on this FO ahead of time to see if there would be any issues I should be forewarned about and found that most were happy with how it behaved without a hitch during the CP soaping, though there was one voicing an opinion of seizing during CP soap making.  She actually posted twice on this, after trying it again changing her procedure a bit and found it was a bit better, but the others had no problems at all.  I took from this that it depends largely on your soap recipe.  I stuck with oils that would not be likely to firm up quickly, and this worked out beautifully.  There was more than enough time to get a three-colour drop swirl done, then pour on the mica/oil on the top, smear it a bit, then go back with a skewer to give a pattern to the top.  I actually had enough time to gather up the pots, buckets, spoons etc while waiting for the soap to firm up a bit more so the oil & mica could be added to the top.

When trying out a new fragrance, it’s always helpful to read the reviews on them, see what issues others have had and if they’ve come back after redoing the soap, using the same FO but a slightly different approach.  I only wish more sites would offer the opportunity for users to give reviews.  Many of the sites I frequent do, which is a real time and money saver.  You don’t want to find out the hard way that a fragrance that you’re about to use causes acceleration when you want to try a five colour swirl, or that a soap destined to become a gift or party favour is one that rices, seizes, or overheats causing partial gel.  That bulls-eye in the middle of bars would not be a welcomed sight in your soap bars!

This soap is crafted from four oils, plus a bit of white Kaolin clay, some Vitamin E, Tussah silk, colloidal oatmeal, hemp milk and goat milk.  I’m really looking forward to trying out a bit of it to see how it feels.  Maybe one of the samples will have my name on it.  I also can’t wait to see how the swirls look inside on each bar.  I love it.  It’s like a Rorschach test card. One that smells really divine!

This batch should yield about 10 bars, give or take, depending on the number of samples and will be ready for shipping after April 30.  Once it’s been cut, I’ll put it up on the web site, so look for it no later than Wednesday!  Have a great week everyone!

Emerald Isle

Emerald Isle

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t

Coconut & Palm Free Sweet Tea soap.

And if you’re hoping to be reading about candy bars, I’m sorry to disappoint.  Maybe next time.   This time it’s about coconut oil, palm oil, and the problems some may have with them. Now, first of all, i will not get into the politics of using palm oil,  though it’s been posted everywhere, making […]

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Fresh new batch of Fresh Lime Fizz

Fresh Lime Fizz #2

Man oh man does the fragrance oil for this soap send your senses reeling!  It can literally make you salivary glands start to tingle, like it senses you’re about to take a sip of a tart, zingy lime margarita.  Maybe I should have saved a bit of the one I cracked open to cook down […]

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Fresh Air!

Fresh Air in the mold

You’re probably thinking this will be about either air pollution and the toxins in the air, or vacation plans.  Wrong on both counts.  I’m a soapmaker, so this post is about a batch called Fresh Air.  This is without a doubt one of my favorite fragrances of all time.  It’s a mind-blowing, sophisticated blend of […]

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Comes with the territory

Discolouration

As with all soapmakers, we are aware of the obstacles, hazards, and pitfalls of the everyday things that can go wrong with a soap batch, either at the beginning or the end.  We also will often call the result of these obstacles ‘gremlins’ or ‘demons’ as they will show up without invitation, be extremely unwelcome […]

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Cherry Kernel & Pomegranate Lotion

Cherry Kernel & Pomegranate

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but a bottle of this creamy lotion is more than a bottleful of wonderful.  So the natural question for this lotion is typically – “What’s so special about cherry kernel oil?”  Well for starters, it’s loaded with three types of tocopherols (Vitamin E) – alpha, delta & […]

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Rosewood

Rosewood

After making this one I’d thought I’d never use this recipe again as I didn’t like the feel of it after it came out of the mold.  After a few days of drying and saponifying on the curing shelves, I’ve done a preliminary test to see how it lathers, and that opinion is dramatically changed. […]

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The return of a traditional favourite

Before the swirling on the top.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve loved this fragrance for years now and missed it when I tried using another one.  It just wasn’t the same.  Didn’t have that same kick to the senses that the original had, at least for me. It was inevitable that I’d return to my roots and […]

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Watermelon Seed Oil

Watermelon Seeds

Soap making is alchemy at its most useful and beneficial.  We take two entirely different things, combine them, and magic happens.  The results is an end product that’s both useful, beneficial and more often than not, it’s pretty to look at and feels terrific on the skin.  There’s nothing sexier than soft, silky, sweet-smelling skin! […]

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