I began with the best of intentions. Right there with that one statement, you know this isn’t going to turn out as it was originally planned. You’re right about that, but only in a manner of speaking. No, it didn’t turn out looking like I’d originally planned. When changing a recipe that wasn’t lacking fo anything to begin with, adding something that will tip the scales one way or another, you know that things aren’t going to go as they did with the previous batch.
I used the same fragrance oil, Orchard Pear from soapmakingfragranceoils.com, which is an absolutely scrumptious scent. It literally makes your mouth water when you catch a breath of it nearby. It’s summertime in a bottle! So I thought with the champagne already in there, how could I make it even better. Bad idea. I decided to try adding a bit of pureed pears, courtesy of baby food. No extra things added to that, so how could anything go wrong, right? Huh! Well, everything was clicking along as usual, measured out the oils, slightly heated to Coconut oil to melt it, mixed all oils together, added a bit of the oil to separate pots to mix the micas with first. Added the softened colloidal oatmeal & coconut milk to the oils remaining in the soaping pot. Added the FO to everything proportionally. Had the mold sitting nearby. Once the lye went into the oils, it was blended in to get it thoroughly blended. Okay, so far, so good. Then divided it up and stirred – with a spoon, mind you, in each of the pots to blend the colours into the soap evenly. and BAM! Thick and getting thicker by the second! By the time the full amount of soap batter, in all their various colours had been plopped into the mold and a desperate attempt was made to twirl things around a bit, it was sesriously too thick to do anything with other than pray for mercy.
Heat started building and it was tangible from a few inches above the mold! It seemed pointless to try to stop gel because it would only create that horrific bulls-eye partial gel I hate so much, so I let it run through that phase to see where it would end up. The colours that had begun so nicely, a soft green and a bit of a subtle, sunset peach & red blend began to slowly fade until they were barely discernible one from another. I wanted to cry. It smelled so sweet, juicy, almost delicious, but it looked bland – ordinary, colorless, and blah! It just devastated me. I love this soap and love how it feels in my hands, or in the shower, but this is NOT what I was shooting for at all in looks.
So here’s the image from Instagram before it went totally into gel –
It’s obviously preparing to gel already and this was just minutes later. Long enough to thump out the bubbles, which believe me there were plenty, set it up on a table and snap a picture with my phone. There were obviously several colours that were easy to differentiate from one another. Now let’s see what came out of the mold –
So there are still a few bubbles in there, which was the least of the problems, but the tops were the prettiest part of this batch. You really can’t tell one colour from the other in the centers of the bars. It was discouraging.
So here’s the lessons learned from this –
1) don’t change a recipe that had nothing wrong with it in the first place
2) if you do change a part of it keep it to just one change at a time
3) if you add pureed foods, consider that they will add sugars and therefor will cause extra heat, thus pushing it towards gel
4) do not combine champagne, wine, ale, beer, or other spirits in your soaps along with pureed foods without adding extra liquid to prevent the acceleration from being uncontrollable.
All that aside, this is still a very luxurious bar of soap and will still be available for purchase and will also be included in the latest offering of Gift Bags. It will be available after March 3rd and with the pears, champagne, Tussah silk, colloidal oatmeal and coconut milk, it’s sure to be a skin-loving winner. Even ugly ducklings have their strong points. #beautyisonlyskindeep #looksaren’teverything #handcraftedsoaps #artisansoaps #champagneinsoaps