Black Pepper Plot

It’s a plot, a jinx, a bedeviling scent or something along those lines.  There’s no other reason why I can have so much trouble trying to make a small sized batch with such a wonderful, manly scent.  I just can’t figure it out!

black-pepper-slab

The above is a pic of the first batch.  Lovely you might think, but oh the ash that developed was monumental!  I had reduced the water slightly so why it turned out ashy is beyond my comprehension.  The ashing did not go away even with steaming.  I was stuck with it.  Maybe shaving it off slightly would be one thing to try but it turned out so soft, I still can’t mess with it without distorting its shape.  And I reiterate – I reduced the water and the lye was not old. Puzzling.

Well, with the terrible ashy-ness and the softness, there is no way I’m adding it to the collection like this, so these, if they ever firm up enough to clear off the ash, will be cut into samples.  It’s a fabulously fresh, clean scent, elegant, sophisticated and great for either gender, so it really needs to be in the collection, but not with that ashing across its lovely face hiding all the elegant swirls.  With this mysteriously poor showing countered by my determination to have it included in our catalog, I had to try, try again.

Round Two –

black-pepper-remake-3

This batch was made as a smaller sized batch, poured into a loaf mold (more on that bit later), and the gray color was replaced by a copper-brown that would offer higher contrast to the blue-green.  (Links to the micas used and supplier info can be found at the bottom of this post. I ran the recipe through four different soap calculators and hand calculated as well and came up with the same amount of lye but 4 different amounts of water.  What? So I went with one version that made the most sense to me, crossed my fingers and dove in.

The mold was the glitch in this one.  I grabbed the mold and poured in the base white, did the pours of the blue and the brown for a potential hanger swirl and then it hit me – OMG, this isn’t the right mold!  So the three colors were all poured into the correct size mold, thus creating an unintentional In-The-Pot/Mold-Swirl for the bottom half of this loaf.  I was torn between leaving it to firm up and lay a white top with wispy swirls of what remained of the two other colors or add the white and the bit of colors left and make it a sort of elemental with white and a bit of the other two on top only.  The former won out, so I walked away to let it firm up.  Easier said than done.  It took forever to firm up enough to work with  – about an hour.  Meantime, I’m pacing around, still wondering if I’ve done the right thing.

The bottom was left alone and firmed up nicely, so the white was added on and it didn’t appear to break through – much.  There might be a slight dip here or there, but all in all, it’s only on the top. I think.  The remaining color was added gently, swirled around a bit with a skewer, though I doubt it went far down.  The remaining mica and oil that was to go onto the top was added over the white that was left and poured along one side.

A slightly unorthodox approach, neither one thing or another and yet again another clear illustration of the last post’s discussion of marching to the beat of one’s own drummer. This might have been an entirely separate orchestra.  So, now we wait…..again.

I hope it can come out tomorrow but with this scent I just don’t know.  I’m not saying it’s the fragrance oil.  I really don’t know what the issue is with making this one. All I can say is, I’m just stubborn enough or a big enough glutton for punishment to keep working with it until it’s whipped into shape and does my bidding. Pics when it’s out – if it’s decent.  *cheeky grin*

Suppliers:

Micas:  Mad Oils – Hot Man on a Tin Roof

Mad Oils – Peacock

Mad Oils – Snow White

Oils:  Soapers Choice (unable to create link at posting time)

Molds: Candles & Wood Crafts

Fragrance Oil:  Wholesale Supplies Plus – Black Pepper

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