Cream Soap Crafting

Bar soaps are fun with the swirls and the drama of never knowing what’s going to happen once you add that fragrance oil into the mix.  It’s quite the adventure!  But even more fun and rather dreamy to see is creating cream soap.  Little to nothing is written about this slightly off the beaten path region of the soapy world we are immersed in and I’d be the last one to tell you something new about it.  It’s mysterious, an enigma, yet due to its elusiveness, I can’t help but be intrigued and want to attack this mythical wonder with as much effort as possible.

I tried making a cream soap once before and didn’t not like how it turned out.  The finished foamy concoction was too sticky yet very drying even though that combo seems strangely contradictory.  Sticky should have some conditioning qualities, yet that batch oddly did not.  It cleaned my sinks for a while until it was gone and I waited another 3 years to try again.   In between, however, was not idly spent time.  Recipes were worked, tossed, tweaked, and perhaps tossed out again, replaced and finally one seemed to be good enough to try, so the batch I’ve pictured below is the result of that herculean effort.

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Cream Soap after whipping – 1/2 of the batch here

Sadly I took no photos during the process, so I can’t show you what it looked like earlier, but it was not nearly as tempting as this is!   It never seemed to break or soften as many others have stated theirs did after a few months, weeks or even days.  It stayed fairly firm right up until this afternoon when I took a mixer to it and whipped it to a frothy confection with a tad bit of hot water, then threw in some pink Himalayan salt though I’ve stolen a bit here and there and feel no salt whatsoever in this!  It’s a gloriously foamy, soft, and yes conditioning foamy soap that I think I’m truly going to enjoy testing out with fragrances and shaving.

It’s getting close to summer now and of course, that means shaving is necessary once again. Though men have it far rougher with daily shaving being a necessity of life unless they prefer to go with today’s current trend and have a tidy beard and moustache.  I hoped to find something that would make shaving less rough, less chafing, less tedious & even painful.  I’m hoping this batch gets me there.

I used glycerin in the soap’s basic formulation for a rich dense glide, plus an addtional boost fromcoconut water for greater bubbling action and a helping of Kaolin white clay for ease during close shaves.  I’ve heard mixed remarks about clay being beneficial for slip, some favor it while others state it simply makes slip harder to achieve due to the tendency of the clay to clog up between those multiple blades on many razor models.  Of course, those who prefer the Old School single blade razors may differ in their opinions on the use of clays in shaving foams or whipped cream soaps.

With any soap that includes water or other liquid, in this case coconut water, I’ve also added preservative to prevent spoilage.  The water is added after the soap paste is cooked, so the preservative is necessary.   If you’ve already spent two months or more on creating a foaming soap, you don’t want to risk losing it to mold & bacteria buildup because you wanted to avoid using a preservative.

So, the main thing about a cream soap is this – it takes patience.  Those who’ve done hot process & cold process should have no problem with creating a cream soap.  Many of the online soap calculators will give you the correct proportions of KOH and NaOH to use to make a batch, so use them, play with various formulas, find a combination of oils you really like for their conditioning and bubbling (oleic and lauric acids offer these qualities, but they’re not alone!) Use glycerin – it really does make the difference in a soap that doesn’t dry versus one that does!  If you want a stiffer soap, use more firm oils or butters, but remember that they will affect the end results in reduced bubbles.  Your conditioning will be better but the bubbliness will be worse.  Find that balance between both worlds.  Also consider using confectioners sugar mixed into your hot water/liquid during the soap making phase to boost the bubbles further.

Don’t be afraid to experiement with this type of soap because it’s not so frequently spoken of, shown or done.  Be bold and just do it!  It’s really not hard, it just takes patience because it will need to rest for quite a while so it will finally loosen up and become the frothy  creamy confection you see above. This batch was initially made in February!  It’s now May 1st and just now to the point where it’s reaching what I’d like to see in a cream soap. Give it a try and see if it’s something you’d like to add to your repertoir.  It’s worth it!

 

Jasmine

Jasmine

Jasmine

Jasmine cut, image added Saturday March 21st, 2015

Jasmine cut, image added Saturday March 21st, 2015

Spring is now here as of 6:45 this morning and I’m sure everyone has been awaiting its arrival and the hopes of brighter, warmer days ahead.  Surely they’re not so far off now, are they?

I breathe deep over the soap and close my eyes.  Other senses take over.  Hearing becomes keener, smell becomes sharper.

Jasmine, sweet yet sensual, evocative yet innocent walks hand in hand with ethereal orange blossoms and the crisp green notes of bamboo.  It’s the scent of summertime.  An evening in late spring or early summer.  You know the ones I mean.

Windows are flung wide. The curtains lift and fall with the gentle evening breeze that comes through.  You can still hear some distant lawnmower humming, a dog barking as it romps with the young boy who plays with him in their backyard fortress.  Soon enough it will be time to go inside, get his bath and settle in for the night, the faithful family dog watching over his young charge.

There’s a quiet hesitation in the air just before the sun slips further beyond the horizon, the soil beneath our feet is still a bit cool, still awaiting that day when the burgeoning bounty of new growth reveals itself and we all smile when we see the tiny fragile shoots threading their way upward, reaching for the sun.

A mother rocks her baby to sleep as the evening deepens and she smiles as she lays her baby down for a night of restful sleep as some of the more precocious spring flowers already in bloom perfume the air. That moment is held in our minds, in our hearts for all time as the scent of summer.  Freshly cut grass – green, dewy, and clean.  Florals – light, calming yet uplifting and that scent we all know as night.  It’s dewy, cool, but promises much more.  This lovely fragrance is all of that, the stuff of memories and far more than all of that, it’s a genuine scent that brings all we hold dear to mind.

This gorgeous fragrance is available from Fragrance Laboratory,  along with so many other outstanding fragrance oils.  You’ll simply have to experience this scent for yourself to get the best it has to offer.  It’s a yellow oil and slightly discolours the soap, but barely to a very pale yellow, which can easily be overcome with enough white to lighten it.  I prefered to keep some of that pale sunwashed colour by adding a bit of Extra Bright from TKB Trading plus some Silver White (also TKB) that’s an bit iridescent, shiny and evening makes the bars sparkle in the right light.  This scent really needed to shine and the Silver White gives just the right amount of shimmer.  Unlike so many other floral FOs, this one does NOT accelerate at all.  I had plenty of time for swirling and decorating the top in any way I wanted to, so the top was improvised a bit from a technique I’d seen done with a cake decoration.  It would work better if I’d waited a bit longer to do the designing of the top, but it still turned out pretty enough to please me.   Tomorrow, I’ll check to see if it’s firm enough to be cut and if so, I’ll post some pics of what I find inside.  Fingers crossed there because I tried something I’m not very well-practiced in yet, so it’s anyone’s guess what in there!

Green Tea & Nectarine

Once there was a quiet, unassuming tea leaf, green and summery, subtle and soft, but she wanted more.  She wanted a moment in the limelight where everyone’s eyes were firmly fixed on her and no other.  Yet being the soft-spoken type, this would not happen without a bit of help, so she went in search of a friend to call her own.   One that would walk hand-in-hand with her on those halcyon days of summer when the birds sing and the bees hum all in harmony whilst she savors the sunshine in good company.  As luck would have it, a lonely Nectarine happened by in search of someone who’d be there for him as well.  Being so similar to peach, poor lonely Nectarine was often overlooked or suffered from frequent episodes of mistaken identity.  He struck a chord with this gentle verdant Green Tea upon proper introduction and walked softly towards that summer sunset, happily together, speaking in notes that perfectly matched and complemented one another and they’re forever friends for all time.

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Well, that’s the story anyway.  A scent blended from two Fragrance Laboratory fragrance oils is a sure winner.  It’s just a given.  Green Tea, a new one to FL’s selection is soft, subtle, mild yet  welcoming part of any spring & summer collection.  If you are a soap maker, this is one you’ll simply have to try to see just what a soothing yet elegant scent it is and how reliably it soaps in the often-befuddling, gremlin-riddled world of cold process.  It’s a dreamboat!  No discolouration whatsoever, no acceleration, just pure luxury and the scent is in a category of its own.

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The Nectarine is not your mama’s Nectarine.  This one’s more sophisticated, modern, clean, with a green crisp edge that satisfies and evokes a time of sandals, sunshine, and juicy gratifying drinks that the grown-ups only can appreciate.  Leafy green notes from this marry perfectly with the Green Tea to make it a match made in heaven.

With these two, it seemed inevitable they’d go together, though when I bought them that was not the plan.  I’d thought to use them separately, once I had them all out on sniffy strips and had these two close together it hit me in a wave of scent that had my sense reeling, mind drifting, nearly fainting with the headiness of it.  With the help of a lovely lady, Joene Lasky, in a Facebook group we both belong to that’s company run by Cindy Gooding of Fragrance Laboratory,  base notes were added and the fragrance soared into a whole new level of depth and body.

The colours used were from two sources.  The Enchanted Forest (darker green) is from Mad Oils as is the main base soap colour, Celery.  The silvery white is Silver White mixed with Extra Bright from TKB Trading, a reliable, non-crackling white that I’ve begun to use more and more in place of titanium dioxide.  The Silver White makes a sparkling, eye-catching oil/mica swirl for soap tops, too!   The peachy colour is Peach Sunset from The Conservatorie.  These are some of my favorite places to order the micas in soaps of all sorts and my favorite colours used in many, so you see these names frequently linked to their supply sites in here and I add them over and over in case you don’t want to have to dig through the earlier posts to find the link again and again.  These suppliers are ones that many soap makers rely on for excellent stock, customer service, and extensive colour ranges.  In the case of the micas, many are easy to work with but some can be temperamental about changing colour in the high pH of soap making and in most cases each colour from TKB and Conservatorie is tested for CP soap stability.  There are a few exceptions, but over all, they’re pretty good about giving you all the information you need to make a spectacular soap.  I’ve personally found a few that were those exceptions, so one day soon, I’ll gather those together and make a list to let you know which ones were genuine demons in cp soap.  Meantime, here’s to Spring, which begins on Friday of this week and all that it brings with it! Namely warmth & sunshine!

A quick add-in for the sliced images from this morning’s cutting of Green Tea & Nectarine –

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Hana No Kaori

A while back I made some embeds, lovely pearly white flowers that would be perfect for use on an exotic fragrance, but I left them unfragranced so they could be used in any soap.  They were tinted with mica, a thin brush and quietly tucked away to wait patiently for their turn to step into the limelight.  Today turned out to be that day after all.  It originally was not planned to be so, but the lightning speed of the white portion of my soap batch today changed the original plan to “just get it in there and do the best you can”  It was a loose soap until the FO was added but as with most florals, you can expect something like warp speed, and this was no exception.  But it’s too beautiful a scent to skip because of a little thing like acceleration.  Onward and upward!

This FO has notes of lilies, osmanthus, blush rose, Japanese wisteria, fern, ozone, blue delphinium, baby’s breath, pink freezia, over a light delicate musk.  You open the bottle, breathe gently inward and you cannot stop the sigh that escapes.  It’s as inevitable as a sunrise.  Some might even moan just a bit, but in lady-like fashion of course. It’s elegance, sophistication and innocence in one unforgettable scent.  This FO, called Hana No Kaori defies description as no words truly do it justice.  You just have to sample it for yourself and one sniff is all it will take. It’s available from Fragrance Laboratory.  Get at least a pound because you know once you’ve gotten it into your fragrance cabinet you’ll want it in body scrub, body souffle, lotion, shampoo and bar soaps!  Put it in everything, like Grandma says.  It’s absolutely gorgeous!

I’d really wanted a mostly white bar with just the lightest trails of colour done by hanger swirling & something really simple yet elegant on the top, but the soap was much too thick to do such work neatly, so I really have no idea how this came out inside.  I’ll try the plans on another batch one day using a different FO, a fruity one, for the design I’d wanted to do.  But this one is still ideally suited to the flowers topping this loaf.  It’s an excellent plan B design and a top notch FO!  Just remember to keep it simple!

This soap is not yet named.  Hana is the fragrance oil's name only.

This soap is not yet named. Hana is the fragrance oil’s name only.

Hibiscus Tea Soaping today

With a name like that, you’ll automatically start getting a hint of that wonderfully warm, sweet, fruity scent of a freshly brewed cup of tea sitting before you and this scent is exactly that!  It’s very reminiscent of the scent of the White Tea with Peach & Mango tea we have here that is made with white tea and hibiscus flowers.  Frankly, I think the tea manufacturer needs to change the name, but that’s a discussion for another time and place.  The tea was brewed especially for this soap and today it was finally made after many delays due to family, work- & weather-related reasons. None of which I’m resentful of, just couldn’t find time to play.  *sigh*

I used babassu, olive, coconut, avocado, and almond oils for this soap, coconut milk, colloidal oatmeal, Tussah silk in the lye water, and the brewed tea. I split the batch into four colours – with the mauvey-pink being the base.  For this colour used Colorona Bordeaux from TKB Trading, which works beautifully in CP soap, never morphs, but was a bit darker than planned so I added a bit of TD to it.  Tempest from Mad Oils, Enchanted Forest, also from Mad Oils, and TD mixed with Pearl Basics from TKB was used for the colours in this batch with the Colorona being the base colour for the soap itself.  The swirl was done with a milkshake spoon swirling the Enchanted Forest, Tempest and the white inside.

The lye was dissolved in straight water, chilled in the fridge, then added to the soap, after which the tea was added.  FO was added at this point and that’s when the curdling took place, so I’m quite sure it was due to the tea and perhaps also due to the babassu oil.  It’s a very hard oil, but provide great lather! I stick blended again even though it might speed up the trace too much but it was necessary.  The raw soap was divided at this point and the micas added with the Colorona being the largest portion.

The scent, a new one from Fragrance Laboratory this year, is Hibiscus Tea.  If you’ve never tried Fragrance Labs’s oils and shopping with Cindy, you’re in for a real treat!  There are several new fragrances for Spring 2015 as well as the long-awaited return of Mineral Salt Spa, which was a classic for many years for many a soap maker, so pop in, say hi sometime.  You won’t regret it!

With the used of the tea and the babassu, I’m quite sure that’s why I had a bit of curdling once I added the FO into the raw soap.  The fragrance did NOT do this, it was what I used in the batch. I truly hope the swirls are good in this with these colours!  I don’t think they’re too close together, so there should be reasonably good definition between each one.  We will so tomorrow when the loaf is cut.  It’s chilling out in the fridge right now because I prefer NOT to gel my soaps.  I don’t want to risk a partial gel or lose any of the fragrance from the heat generated by gel.  To hold you over until the cut, here’s what the soap looks like in the mold.  (The dark on the top is Hibiscus Flower petals.) IMG_2189 (960x1280)

IMG_2190 (960x1280)

 

and the cut pic……

Hibiscus Cut 4 bar shot (1024x768)

Spring 2015? Where?

It’s been a long, trying, freezing, dismal winter for everyone.  My heart goes out to those who’ve had the record-breaking, bone-chilling cold on record topped and worsened by the extreme snowfall amounts that are also headed for the topmost spot in the  record books.  It’s been brutal for sure, to put it mildly.  We all keep believing that it will end.  It has to end. It will, won’t it?  It never seems to end.  But it has to.  Right?  Well, I’m going to play the optimist today and say yes indeed this terrible, horrible, no-good rotten winter will finally curl up its toes and go quietly into that good night and we can go back to breathing milder air, slightly tinged with pollen.  Once again the lawnmowers will get cranked back up and husbands, sons, brothers, and uncles across America will grumble over the onerous duties of once again cutting the grass.  But that scent!  Oh the smell of fresh-cut grass!  You know the one.  It smells like watermelon to me, but then whenever I smell watermelon,…… yes, I think of fresh-cut grass.  Fresh-Cut GrassWatermelon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But until those glory days filled with dandelions, the hum of birds and bees buzzing flower to flower, and warmer sunshine filled days arrive, we have to think of spring while we create wonderfully soothing soaps, body butters, lotions, and fizzies that bring spring & summer to mind with every breathe we take.

We’ve loaded up with a new selection of fragrance oils, from Fragrance Laboratory, one of our favorite suppliers of fragrance oils, and are ready to send senses reeling this year!  We have a delectable array of tea fragrances like the succulent Hibiscus Tea, a resplendent blend of hibiscus tea, woody notes, spices and hibiscus nectar.  Are we drooling yet?  Hibiscus Tea

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is Jasmine Neroli, a voluptuous floral, purest white, softly sexy, almost ethereal yet far too worldly with the additions of bergamot, orange blossoms, bamboo & lime to be entirely innocent.  Jasmine

Our third one is a Nectarine that is a far cry from your grandma’s nectarine.  Gone is the drippingly sweet and here to stay with a fresh green note thanks to the a hint of lime, plus a woody oak, then it’s all nectarine.  Sweet but not too.  It’s just right.  Nectarine Tree

 

More fragrance are also here that I will list and describe in the next post, but to prevent overload, I’ll save those for later.  We ‘re also await the arrival of Himalayan Pink Salt in 3 sizes for a line of bath soaks.  We all need to unwind after the winter we’ve been through, don’t you agree?  What better way than a hot soak with something soothing, detoxifying and aromatic.  Pampering is always needed.

 

So until next time, stay warm, stay dry and keep thinking spring-like thoughts!

 

Spring anyone?

Are you yearning for some warmth that isn’t coming from a space heater?  Pining with mole-eyed wonder for a single tiny ray of sunshine?  Spring is coming, no doubt about it, the days’ gradual lengthening is testament to that already.  The temperatures & precipitation levels, however, are not so easy.  Many places are having what seems to be an endless train of storms ripping across the region, dumping growing piles of snow to be dealt with by plows, trucks, blistered hands & sore backs. It’s been pretty evenly seen as a repeat of last winter, which is exactly what the almanac called for, unfortunately.

 

February is typically where hope begins to spring eternal for some.  The longer days are more easily noticed.  The temps, on average may climb a degree or two.  Some of those eager-beaver flowers begin to peep out from the cold soil to give a little whisper that better days are coming.  Our yard has a patch of snowdrops that I’d saved from my late grandmother’s backyard before her property was sold.  This is now the third winter in their new home and they’re now about an  1 1/2″ above the ground.  The buds will begin to appear at the tips of those slender green blades at around a height of 3″ and I can hardly wait to see them.  They’re a welcome sight after the cold, the blustery winds, the dead leaves, and the wintry mixes that plague the long dark days of winter.  I’m not a fan of cold weather.  It feels longer every year, not to mention harder to get through.

With the increasing light, slowly warming earth, our hearts and thoughts turn towards spring and summer and the fragrances of these warmer seasons in the northern hemisphere.   There are scents a-plenty in our fragrance cabinet, but who can resist the siren song of a new one begging for a bit of attention.  Certainly I cannot!  So in this year 2015 I’ve discovered, through the in-depth descriptive powers of my favorite supplier of fragrance oils, Fragrance Laboratory  has an All-Star line up of Spring & Summer fragrances ready to make their timely debut.  I can barely wait to get my greedy fingers around these new fragrances!  They’re offering some truly luscious, mouth-watering temptations to stock your FO shelves with this year and of course, they’re always tested thoroughly before offering them to us. Here’s what they’ll have in store for us this year …..

Hibiscus Tea  – a new sort of twist on a tea fragrance with a base offered and built on Oud.  It’s just barely sweet, leaning more towards the tart side, with hints of spice and floral, though not in heavy amounts.  Hibiscus nectar is there blended with violet & iris over myrrh, lava rock, and of course the Oud wood. What a truly unique turn this one takes and it should be an adventure to work with it in our product line.

Jasmine Neroli –   fresh, clean, light, with notes of white florals, a subtle touch of green to complement, bergamot, lime, and neroli coupled with jasmine at the heart of it all.  All this beauty is based over orange blossom and bamboo.  What a olfactory treat this is going to be to work with!  It would be great in the bath & body line, but think of the wondrous possibilities for home and household freshening.  A laundry powder?  Room freshener, linen spritz, natural home cleaning products?  Just heaven!

Nectarine – This one is nectarine, without a doubt, and just for the fans of juicy peaches and nectarines!  It’s refreshing, juicy, and built alongside notes of currant, lime, over oak.  No herbal notes, no floral notes, just that summer-fresh, mouth-watering scent to make your taste buds tingle – nectarine!

Green Tea – A calming, soothing blend of top notes lemon, mandarin, bergamot, over sage, nutmeg and cardamom with violet leaf and clear florals harmonizing perfectly with clear, clean green tea, oakmoss and musk.  (Is there a trend in this year’s fragrances with all these teas?)

Hana No Kaori –  is from a Japanese wisteria flower, light, pink, and subtle, over ozonic notes, baby’s breath, freesia, blush rose, delphinium, osmanthus, fern and a floral musk. This just whispers to you softly in your ear, begging, no demanding attention in an understated way.  It’s regal, subtle beauty stands up to any type of use you’d care to try.  I’d love to see this in a pastel bar of solid colour.  A barely-there pink with tiny blossoms on the top.

The last one in our lineup for additions to our line is a very popular one used often in salt bars.  Salt bars are great for detoxifying the skin, lightly exfoliating, and keeping your skin slowing all summer long.

Mineral Salt Spa -an indulgent, elegant marriage of water lily, lotus, cyclamen, over bamboo, white cedar and musk.  It’s an enigmatic blend that will have you coming back just to sniff the bar, particularly after a stress-filled day.

I’m looking so forward to having some time to play with these fabulous fragrance this year and  try them in some new products we’re adding into our product line this year.  We’ve been tweaking, re-working and planning out new products to give our customers the best possible experience in bath & body their money can buy.  It’s going to be an exciting year for us and we’re hoping everyone is looking forward to short-sleeve weather as much as we are!  Keep a watchful eye on our Facebook page, our Instagram, Twitter, Google+, and in here for all the great new things we’re bringing to our web site soon!

If you too are a soap maker and want to learn more about these and other great fragrance visit Fragrance Labs today and discover these fragrances for yourself.  I promise,  you will NOT regret it!

http://www.neecysnecessities.comGreen Bubble with N

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have had a wonderfully joyful holiday with loved ones near at hand to share the happiness & togetherness!  I wanted to pop in a post a quick note to mention a fun swap I participated in recently, a Secret Santa swap amongst a group in Facebook called Lye Masters.  We’re an eclectic group who’ve had at least two year or more experience in soapmaking and either sell publicly online or in some other manner.

We exchanged names several months ago and kept it simple.  Just three items.  Only 3 and they should include at least one bar of soap.  The rest is up to us to decide.  I was sent two bars of soap and a small jar of a salve that the maker described as a drawing salve she’s known for. Penny Krier, a very talented soaper and herbalist who has many skills to offer as a soaper, not the least of which are bath & body care classes, teaching Beginner Yoga, and runs her business, Back To Eden with an extremely high level of knowledge.

Of course, I’d already dipped my fingers into the salve, drawn immediately to its earthy scent, enjoying the intensely herbal fragrance – that of resins, tea tree, and rosemary, though there are other ingredients to contribute to make it a drawing salve.  I love the scent and would likely use it whether I needed something like that or not.  I know my cuticles loved it when I tested it out on them!  The two bar soaps are equally herbal in tone with Rose Geranium in one and an ale, Black Bavarian Ale, with Aloe in the second.  They both are fragranced with essential oils, something I definitely enjoyed receiving.

These lovely bar soaps are a treat I’m genuinely looking forward to trying out as I’m no different from all other soapers I know in trying out others’ soaps to see what they’re like.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what other soapers expect to achieve from their formulations when they craft their own soaps & recipes.  Many have specific criteria or goals that all must reach with few exceptions. For example,  I like for all of mine to be moisturizing.  That’s excepted by those soaps I formulate for cleansing extremely oily skin types.  Oily skin types would be higher in cleansing oils & include one or more clays.

I’d also like to branch out a bit and have a more natural line in 2015. It would include soaps crafted with milks, silk proteins, clays for their detoxifying effects as well as subtle tinting, using botanicals-infused oils, no micas, and fragranced with essential oils if any.  This year will be a fun one of discovery and stretching  my creative wings, broadening our selection and product line as much as possible.  This Secret Santa has helped me to see what else is out there, try new things, enjoy the variety that others techniques offers and we’ll see what happens from there.

Secret Santa from Penny Keifer (1024x768)

Penny Krier’s soaps of Black Bavarian Aloe Artisan Soap, Cranberry Seed & Rose Geranium Artisan Soap and Herbal Soothing Salve.

Her web site is http://www.backtoedenpw.com

Happy Holidays & have a fun, safe New Year all!

And the cut view of Frankincense & Teak/Smoke & Mirrors Blend

Temptation is now cut!

Temptation is now cut!

This one heated up quite a bit unfortunately, plus the woody reddish colour morphed into an ugly-ish brown colour, not exactly what I had in mind, but the scent is outrageously sophisticated, earthy, woody, just wonderful!  Love it and it would be a great unisex scent.  The hanger swirl was modified somewhat increasing the intricacy of the design so it doesn’t look so chevron-plain.  No offense to those who love the hanger swirls. You can see that the colour heated up.  I’ve noted this happened in two separated batches, so this particular colour will not be used again in cold-processed soap.  The black is from a mica plus a bit of activated charcoal.  The blue is Key West Blue mica from Mad Oils.  I hoped to achieve a wispy look to these and it’s there, so I’m happy with the overall results of this one.  And the scent is in a class all its own.