Destashing Fragrance Oils

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Fragrances

If you make soap or other scented bath and beauty products, today might be your lucky day. I have some fragrances that I am not likely to use, but you might find them useful to have. I am listing the fragrances below with an approximate weight. I am sorry, but I can only ship in the US because of the cost of postage. If leave a comment on this post or you email me at info@newenglandsoaps.com, along with the fragrances you want and your zip code, I can give you a shipping estimate. After you confirm you would like the fragrance, I will send you an invoice via PayPal. You do not have to have a PayPal account in order to pay, as PayPal works with both credit and debit cards, too. Prices are discounted from the full price you would pay from the seller. Please note that depending on what you buy and where you are located, shipping might be more than the cost of the fragrance.

Note: If you make any requests this week, I will need to wait until July 3 to fulfill them.

Bramble Berry Fragrances

  • Sun-Ripened Raspberry, 1.5 oz + 4 oz (one unopened bottle)—$1.50 for the 1.5 oz, $4.00 for the 4 oz, or $5.00 for all of it
  • Chipotle Caramel, 0.15 oz (enough to make lotion or bath bombs)—shipping only
  • Passionfruit Rose, 1.9 oz—$1.90
  • Cranberry Fig, .35 oz—shipping only
  • Energy, 2.15 oz—$2.15
  • Crisp Apple Rose, 1.6 oz—$1.60

Nature’s Garden Fragrances

  • Madagascar Spice, 3.7 oz—$3.70
  • Lick Me All Over, 1.9 oz—$1.90
  • Twilight in the Woods, 2 oz—$2.00
  • Cotton Candy, 2.4 oz—$2.40
  • Sandalwood, 3.8 oz—$3.80
  • Gingersnap Cookies, 2.7 oz—$2.70
  • Sea Salt and Lotus Blossoms, 5.6 oz—$5.60
  • Sweet Pea, 6.2 oz—$6.20
  • Fresh Cut Roses, 6.8 oz—$6.80
  • Honeysuckle, 16 oz—$11.00
  • Spearmint, 10.3 oz (note: this is the fragrance, not the essential oil)—$8.00
  • Seaside, 12.5 oz—$9.00
  • Amazingly Grace, 16 oz—$11.00

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Heavenly Honeysuckle

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Nothing smells more like summer coming on than the scent of honeysuckle. I lived in Georgia for a long time, and it grows simply everywhere. I did find a patch of it here in Worcester even. I smelled it when I was out walking, and there is no mistaking that scent. In fact, when I participated in the S.O.A.P. Panel, it was the only scent I could identify among the test scents because I know it so well. I purchased the fragrance as soon as Bramble Berry started selling it. My batch of Heavenly Honeysuckle soap sold well last year, and I hope people like it with some changes I made to the colors.

I love the way wet soap looks, don’t you?

By the way, I used Nurture’s micas in this soap: Amaranth Pink, Yellow Vibrance, and Pink Vibrance. I am really in love with Nurture’s micas. No one is paying me to say that, either.

I’m not sure what will happen when I cut this one. Last time, I had some titanium dioxide crackle, which sometimes happens with heat like this fragrance generates. It’s a floral, and if you’ve soaped florals before, you may know they can misbehave. Sometimes I think titanium dioxide crackle looks cool. We’ll see what happens when I cut it.

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The Personal Care Products Safety Act and New England Handmade Artisan Soaps

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Lavender & CedarIf you’ve been following some of the news surrounding the Personal Care Products Safety Act of 2015, a bill introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), you may have read some alarming and even irresponsible reporting that led you to believe that the U. S. Government is about to shut down all handmade soapers for good.

This simply isn’t the case, and you have no cause to be worried about New England Handmade Artisan Soaps or most of your other favorite handmade soapers. In fact, this bill is not likely to impact my business in its current form.

Kenna of Modern Soapmaking has done a tremendous job breaking down the bill and explaining the parts that are of most concern to soapmakers. Her work is so thorough that I will not reproduce it here, but I do feel compelled to address the most common concerns I have seen raised in articles about the bill.

  1. Congress is cracking down on homemade soap. No, Congress is not targeting handmade soap. This bill is an amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Safety Act designed to “ensure the safety of cosmetics.” Handmade cosmetics are not being targeted any more than any other company that manufactures cosmetics is being targeted. The argument is that smaller businesses cannot afford the fees associated with registering products, but businesses that make less than $100,000 per year are exempt entirely from the requirement, businesses that make between $100,00 and $500,000 a year are exempt from the fee, and businesses that make between $500,000 and $2,500,000 would pay not more than $250 annually. Fees are graduated from there. I believe that very few homemade soapers would be impacted by this bill at all, and those soapmakers that are impacted are not going to be driven out of business by the regulations.
  2. This bill will make it impossible for small soap companies to remain in business. Actually, this bill just requires that soaping businesses earning more than $100,000 per year register and provide lists of the ingredients they use as well as report known adverse events. Labeling requirements will be stricter, but I personally think they should be. Right now, I am not required to label the ingredients in my soap at all as long as I make no cosmetic claims about it. I think that’s wrong. People buy handmade soap precisely because they want to know what’s in their soap. I should add that my friends in Europe who make soap currently DO have to comply with the same types of regulations that this bill would introduce, and as far as I know, it has not adversely affected their businesses. Celine Blacow of iamhandmade.com is one example of a personal friend. I am sure there are many others.
  3. Handmade soaps are all natural and much safer than commercial soaps, so this bill makes no sense. The government should worry about commercial soapmakers. Even if the bill were only directed at handmade soapers, which isn’t the case, and even though handmade soaps are perhaps more natural and safer than commercial soaps, it is really commercial soapmakers that this bill will affect the most because it is commercial soapmakers who are more likely to use the specific ingredients that Senators Feinstein and Miller suggested be reviewed for safety in the act’s first year: diazolidinyl urea, lead acetate, methylene glycol, propyl paraben, and quaternium-15.¹

My advice to anyone who is worried is first of all, read the bill. Second, follow its progress in Congress. Supposedly, May 10 was supposed to be the day we learned whether or not the bill had made it out of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, but I can’t tell that the committee has acted on this bill. If it passes the committee’s hearing, it will be voted upon by the Senate, then the House, and then signed into law by the President before it becomes law, so it has some distance to go. You can sign up to receive alerts on the bill on Congress.gov like I did. Finally, you can write to your Senators and Representatives and let them know you want to make sure that whatever version of the bill passes through their hands includes provisions that will not make the law too onerous for small businesses to comply with.

Most of all, it is important to educate yourself about the bill’s details before worrying that it is the end of the handcrafted soap industry. I am quite concerned about the amount of misinformation being distributed mainly because it is scaring my customers and my soapmaking friends.

Diazolidinyl urea, propyl paraben, and quaternium-15 are preservative agents (quaternium-15 is also a surfactant). Lead acetate and methylene glycol are used in hair products (dyes and straighteners). Asking for a review does not mean these ingredients are not safe.

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Recipe and Giveaway: Dead Sea Mud Spa Bar Soap

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The very first bar of handmade soap I fell in love with was a Dead Sea mud bar I used to buy at my local farmer’s market in Georgia before I moved. In fact, it was my love for this bar of soap that drove me to try making my own soap because I wanted to continue to use it, but I didn’t want to have to special order it from my new home in Massachusetts. I started studying the craft of soapmaking, and eventually I formulated several different Dead Sea mud soap recipes, but for some reason, I never tried making them.

At first, I studied the ingredient label on my remaining farmer’s market soaps and tried to replicate the recipe, even in my other bars of soap, but as I learned more about oils and butters over time, I developed my own Dead Sea mud spa soap recipe, and I decided the time was finally right to create my own version of this soap.

Dead Sea Mud Spa Bar

Why use Dead Sea mud in soap? Dead Sea mud is rich in minerals and salt that are good for your skin. Many expensive beauty treatments have Dead Sea mud among their ingredients. I purchased my Dead Sea mud from SoapGoods, but you can buy it many places.

I used a 33% water weight as a percentage of oils when I formulated my recipe in SoapCalc. You can use more, but be mindful of the fact that you have Dead Sea mud in your recipe, and make sure you don’t use too much. I used a 6% superfat for the lye.

  • 40% olive oil
  • 25% coconut oil
  • 15% palm oil
  • 7% shea butter
  • 7% castor oil
  • 6% apricot kernel oil

I used a fragrance ratio of 50 grams per kilogram, or 5%. At this point, I should explain that I usually use grams instead of ounces because they are more precise. You can still use the same percentage if you are using ounces.

You can use between 1 and 2 tablespoons of Dead Sea mud per 500 grams of oils. My recipe is 1,100 grams of oils, and I used 3 tablespoons of Dead Sea mud.

You can use whichever fragrance or essential oil you like for this recipe. I used an essential oil blend of lavender and spearmint. I also put a pinch of tussah silk in my lye water (I usually do this with all my water-based soaps, but I find it too hard to dissolve the silk in milk-based soaps). I also topped my soaps with Himalayan pink salt. You could easily omit the salt.

Dead Sea Mud Spa Bar

Unfortunately, I didn’t take photographs of my process. Note: The reason I use percentages in recipes I post on this blog is that your mold may be smaller or larger than mine, and using percentages allows you to use SoapCalc to adjust the recipe for your own mold. I wish more soaping books also used percentages, but I have noticed that many soaping blogs do. If you want to figure out how much oil will fit in your mold, use this formula for a rectangular mold, check out this link for more information on how to do that.

And now seems like a good enough time for a giveaway, so if you’d like to win one of these bars of soap, enter the contest. Please remember that soap takes four weeks to cure, so the soap will not be shipped out until June 5, 2015. Good luck! Open only to residents of the United States (shipping costs are high; sorry!).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Matching Colors with Fragrances

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I decided to use the last of my S.O.A.P. Panel freebies, Mandarin Oasis. I didn’t test this fragrance on the S.O.A.P. Panel—it was not one of my eight fragrances, but it was one of the fragrances tested by the second panel last year. Testers received two ounces of each of the fragrances that were ultimately selected for sale.

Bramble Berry describes the fragrance as follows:

This fragrance smells great for both kids and adults! Similar to Energy, one of our top selling fragrance oils, Mandarin Oasis has a sweet orange top note but with a sophisticated undertone. Mid-notes of papaya, ginger and thyme really hold this fragrance together giving it a sweet and sultry aroma. Crisp notes of cotton, teakwood, and neroli make this fragrance extremely versatile for projects ranging from personal perfume, laundry soap, or sugar scrubs. Take your senses on a mini-vacation!

I don’t smell the similarity to Energy myself, but I do smell the sweet notes in the fragrance. I’m not sure I pick out a mandarin orange scent. It doesn’t smell spicy to me at all. I think I do detect the neroli. My nose is not the most sophisticated in terms of making distinctions among all the layers in a fragrance. However, Mandarin Oasis does smell absolutely gorgeous. It’s very feminine.

I’ve written before about using the color wheel to create soap designs. But I don’t use the color wheel alone when thinking about which colors to use. I also think about what colors match the fragrance. When I think mandarin, the first color that comes to mind is orange. I toyed with the idea of an orange, black, and white color scheme for this fragrance, but the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t think it fit this particular fragrance. I think quite a lot about colors that match the fragrances I use. The image Bramble Berry attaches to this fragrance is black palm trees at sunset. It’s pretty, but it doesn’t quite evoke the fragrance for me either. It seems a little too dark. However, it did give me an idea. What about using sunset colors?

Sunset

Photo credit: Luis Medina

The beautiful oranges, pinks, purples and yellows could work well with this fragrance, and pops of white could help bring the whole look together.

The first thing I did was make an orange embed to represent the setting sun. I neglected to take a photo of it.

I put together my colorants: Rustic Escentuals’s Clementine Pop Mica, Nurture’s Purple Vibrance, Yellow Vibrance, and Pink Vibrance, and titanium dioxide.

Colorants

I mixed the colorants up and decided to use squeeze bottles to make a layered design. I would not do this again. The soap set up a little bit fast, perhaps because of the floral notes in this fragrance or perhaps because of my recipe, but it was very difficult to squeeze by the end.

Mixed Colorants

I attempted to create a video of the process, but it wound up being too long and difficult to capture. I took a picture of the top before I put the soap to bed, but the lighting was not too good by that time (it was after 10:00 PM).

Top of Mandarin Oasis

The next day, I cut the soap. Given how it set up, I was happy with how it turned out.

Mandarin Oasis

It doesn’t look precisely like a sunset. It reminds me more of an impressionist painting of a sunset. Perhaps you can see the glycerine rivers in the titanium dioxide. I think sometimes this look suits better than a solid white, and in this case, I’m happy they happened. They look a little bit more like wispy clouds than they might otherwise have done.

If I were to do this soap again, same colors and all, I might try to use a spoon to create the same effect, as the squeeze bottles proved difficult to use, especially by the end. Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of using squeeze bottles in soap designs because they are terribly difficult to clean. I thought they might be faster than using a spoon, but I’m not so sure. I took about two hours to make this soap from start to clean-up. It wouldn’t look exactly the same if I had used a spoon.

On a less complicated note, when a wholesale customer of mine asked for Green Tea & Cucumber, it seemed like a no-brainer to create a soap with a subtle green hue, much the same shade as cucumber flesh. How to get that hue, however? Chromium green oxide might have been a good choice, but it tends toward a moss hue. I wasn’t sure I wanted to use a mica either, as they tend to be more vibrant, and I needed something subtle. Hydrated chromium green oxide is not quite as dark as chromium green oxide, and it has a teal note to it that I thought might work well. The trick is to use just a scant amount. I think I may have used less than 1/8 teaspoon to color this whole batch.

Green Tea & Cucumber

The pureed cucumber in this recipe may also have contributed to the green shade, but it’s mostly the hydrated chromium green oxide because cucumber alone (unless you include the peel) will not result in even this much color. The leaves on top are Chinese green tea leaves—the green tea was a gift from one of my Chinese students. I didn’t think she’d mind if I sacrificed a little bit of the tea for soap. This one hasn’t gelled yet, so I’m not sure what the final color will be, but I don’t think it will stray much from this light, cool green. If anything, it might pick up some yellowish undertones, similar to the color of green tea. It’s exactly the shade of green I wanted, and it complements the fresh green scent of of the Green Tea & Cucumber fragrance oil I used:

This fragrance smells just like freshly steeped green tea with a hint of cucumber. It isn’t your typical sweet cucumber fragrance. The earthy green tea is the most upfront aroma in this fragrance oil giving cosmetic products a fresh and clean scent.

The beautiful thing about soap is that you can use whatever fragrances and scents you want, and you can match colors with fragrances, or you can use whatever colors you want with fragrances.

What do you do? Do you try to match colors with scents? If you have tips, feel free to share in the comments.

 

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I have admired the way soaps made with Cambrian blue clay look for some time. Once when placing an order with one of my vendors, I decided on a whim to purchase some Australian washed blue clay, thinking it was the same thing as Cambrian blue.

As it turns out, it’s not. After doing some research, I discovered that Australian washed blue clay is actually a kind of bentonite clay. I have used bentonite clay before in shaving soaps because it adds slip, but I hadn’t tried it in a regular soap before. I know that it’s considered to be good for acne, but I decided it was probably fine since I have used a bentonite-clay based shaving soap on my legs and suffered no dryness as a result.

Australian Washed Blue Clay

I’m not sure if everyone sells Cambrian blue clay wet, but Bramble Berry does. Obviously, my Australian washed blue clay is dry. I thought it looked sort of green, but it’s hard to tell with clay until you get it wet, and even then, it doesn’t always look the same as it will in soap.

I decided I would experiment with it anyway because even if it turned out green, that would work just fine with my planned batch. I had decided to use the Lavender & Cedar fragrance oil that Bramble Berry sent me as a thank you for participating in the S.O.A.P. Panel last year. I haven’t seen too many people talking about this fragrance in soaping circles (or perhaps I’m not looking in the right places, which is entirely probable). Bramble Berry does warn that the fragrance loses some of its camphor notes in cold process, which suits me fine. I also thought that it would work well with either a green or a blue soap, so it would be perfect for my experiment with Australian washed blue clay.

I use kaolin clay in most of my soaps because it adds silkiness and creaminess and also helps anchor fragrances so they stick better. French green clay is a staple of my Provence soap. I have used pink rose clay (a form of kaolin) to color some soaps as well, and I have used rhassoul clay in my Guinness Beer soaps. I almost always just add my clay directly to my oils and stick blend before adding my lye. I have had the fewest number of problems with mixing when I have followed this method for using clay.

Another method includes adding clay to the lye water (which you would also only do if you were coloring the soap with the clay only). I have never tried adding it to my lye water.

A third method involves making a slurry with clay and water or clay and oils. I have sometimes had clumps in my clay when I have used this last method, especially if I make a slurry and then add it to a bit of the soap, and then add the colored soap to the rest of the batch and blended as David Fisher describes here. I have had the best luck with this method if I just treat the clay like any other colorant and add the oil or water and clay slurry directly to the soap and blend. If you are doing a swirl or using other colors, it’s the method to try.

Since my Lavender & Cedar soap was going to be one color, I decided to add the clay to the oils and blend. It definitely looked green, but the final test would be adding the lye water and blending. Sometimes the color of the soap lightens once the lye is blended well with the oils.Blending the SoapIn the early blending stages, it looked a lot like French green clay to me. Once I was done blending, sure enough, it was still green.

Blended Soap

It’s pretty, but it’s sure not blue. I poured the soap into the mold.

Blue Clay Soap in the Mold

I decided to sculpt the tops a bit and add some pretty safflower petals.

Blue Clay Soap in the Mold

Here is a close-up:

Close-Up of Blue Clay Soap

In the close-up, you can see the soap has tiny flecks in it. Neither bentonite or French green clay does that (at least in my experience), and I really like the look of it. It’s not quite the same shade as French green clay, but it’s not far off. The safflower petals set it off nicely, but they would also have looked nice with a blue soap.

I would just have to wait for the unmolding and cutting to see what the soap would ultimately look like. So what happened in the end?

Lavender & Cedar Soap

A lovely shade of green. Definitely nothing remotely close to a blue. For the record, I gelled these soaps, too, so if it were likely to morph or change color at all, it would have done so.

Lavender & Cedar Soap

The real shame here is that you can’t smell them, looking at them on your computer screen. Oh my, do they smell good. A nice scent of cedar underlaid with the floral lavender and some other more complex woodsy notes I can’t quite pick out. Ultimately, I think the color is perfect for the fragrance.

Lavender & Cedar Soap

It doesn’t quite look like French green clay, either. The flecks in the soap are quite pretty, and the color does look nice with the safflower petals. The soaps have a nice, silky feel.

Even though the results of my experiment were not what I had anticipated (a blue soap along the shades of a Cambrian blue clay), I’m still quite happy with them. I love the fragrance, and really hope my customers enjoy the soaps.

Related posts:

Soap Challenge Club: Butterfly Swirl

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Butterfly Swirl Entry

I haven’t participated in the Soap Challenge Club in a long time. I really wanted a chance to try out the Butterfly Swirl, perfected (maybe invented?) by Zahida of Handmade in Florida. I don’t have a deep mold like Zahida, but the beauty of the Butterfly Swirl is that you can get pretty decent results even with a regular mold like mine.

When I participated in the S.O.A.P. Panel last year, I tested a fragrance called Mahogany. I said at the time that it reminded me of a sexy man. You can read my thoughts about that fragrance here and here. I loved the way it smelled. I have been wanting to make a soap with a color palette similar to this:

COLOURlovers.com-Mahogany_Soap

I knew I wanted to use Nurture mica. I have the Vibrance mica set and the Pastels mica set. I previously used the 24 Karat Gold mica from Rustic Escentuals in my Inspiration Soap Challenge. Even in cold process soap, it retains a lot of its sparkle. I hadn’t tried Bramble Berry’s Copper Sparkle mica, but after a quick check to see that it was safe for use in cold process, I decided to try it. I ordered it some time ago as part of a sample pack. I have used Bramble Berry’s Cappuccino mica in several soaps in the past. I love the rich brown shade. My palette hasn’t captured the exact tones of the micas, but it’s close.

I recall hearing Celine say in one of her videos that one color that really pulls a soap together is white. I think she’s right about that. Even if it’s just a little bit of white, it really seems to bring out the design. So, in addition to the four mica colors, I also used a little bit of titanium dioxide to produce a cream color in my soap.

I decided to call the soap “Sexy Man Soap” after my first reaction to smelling the fragrance. Here is a video of the making of the soap:

I really enjoyed the entire process of making this soap. The colors are a lot of fun to work with, and the fragrance is delicious. I’m going to have to order more of it.

The more I work with micas, the more I fall in love with them. I used mainly oxides and ultramarines in the past, but micas have such beautiful hues, and even if their sparkle doesn’t always come through in cold process soap, they’re still lovely to work with.

This technique is interesting because it’s hard to tell if what you’re doing will result in a butterfly shape in the soap. I knew that working with a flatter mold like mine would give me less room to get the shape I wanted, and I was quite pleasantly surprised when I cut the soap and found several bars did indeed have a butterfly shape.

Butterfly Swirl

This first set has a lighter top, but I can make out the shape of wings.

Butterfly Swirl

This second set has a nice shape, and more of the gold and brown show through. The blue is the outline of the wings.

Butterfly Swirl

I thought this third set of soaps made the best butterfly. The brown accents look like the edges of wings, and the blue where the soaps join looks like a butterfly body. The splatter tops look like the tops of butterfly wings. It is this last picture that I will enter for the challenge contest. Don’t you just love that Blue Vibrance mica?

I’m happy with how these came out. I made them for my husband Steve, and he’s claiming three, but he says I can sell the rest of them in the shop. Look for them in time for Valentine’s Day, in case you want to get some for your own sexy man.

You know what? It felt pretty good to make a video again after a long hiatus, too.

Related posts:

Spotlight on Carrot Buttermilk Soap

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Carrots are great for your skin. They contain beta-carotene, which is believed to relieve dry skin and reduce fine lines. Buttermilk is also great for dry skin and has alpha-hydroxy acid, thought to remove dead skin cells. Many beauty products on the market contain alpha-hydroxy acid.

I originally tried a carrot-based soap well over a year ago, and I wasn’t 100% happy with the results. It was a fine soap, and those who tried it even complimented me on it and said they loved it. It just didn’t look like it had carrots in it.

Carrot Silk

I made this soap based on a recipe I found at Soaping 101. To be honest, I think I combined the carrot soap recipe in the video with a facial soap recipe. I suspect it was another Soaping 101 recipe, but I am just not sure anymore where I found it. I do know I didn’t formulate the recipe, though I may have tweaked it. My recipe for this soap was as follows:

  • 35% olive oil
  • 30% palm oil
  • 15% coconut oil
  • 10% palm kernel oil
  • 5% sunflower oil
  • 5% castor oil

I used full water, which probably wasn’t necessary, and a superfat of 7% (I typically use 6%). I also added kaolin clay and powdered goat milk, and substituted 2 oz. of water for pureed carrots. I also used tussah silk, but I use tussah silk in a lot of my soaps. The recipe has a lot more palm oil and a lot less coconut oil than I typically use. I also used palm kernel oil, which I do not typically use and have actually discovered I don’t like much.

I was happy with how the soap looked in the mold.

Carrot Silk

However, I noticed that it heated up rather a lot, and it began to look a little bit like brains. If you haven’t experienced this phenomenon in soapmaking, check it out and scroll to Alien Brains. The resulting soap, as I said, was fine. And it was hard as a rock. I just didn’t think it looked like I wanted. I was put off using carrots for a while.

I really liked the look of some other carrot soaps I had seen. For instance, Rocky Top Soap Shop has a beautiful carrot soap, and Chagrin Valley has a very nice Carrot and Honey soap. Both soaps contain carrot juice rather than pureed carrots.

I decided to try Amanda’s advice and use carrot baby food. After trying baby food, I am convinced the trick to a good carrot soap is to use pureed carrot baby food or carrot juice to replace some or all of the water instead of making your own carrot puree. It may be that when I pureed my own carrots, I was not using enough carrots as compared to water, and though I have a blender, I had trouble making a very fine puree like you might find in baby food. You have to be careful with using fruit or vegetable purees in soap. Sometimes, they go brown (strawberries, peaches). Other purees seem to be fine (bananas).

I searched for an organic baby food that listed its ingredients as only carrots or only carrots and water, and I found one. I discovered when I used the carrot baby food, the resulting color was much closer to what I was looking for.

Carrot Buttermilk I completely scrapped my other recipe. I used two ounces of carrot baby food, removing two ounces of water from my recipe and reduced the total amount of liquid in the recipe from 38% (which SoapCalc figures as “full water”) to 33%. I superfatted at my usual 6%. As I said, I am not a fan of palm kernel oil, and I decided to simplify with fewer oils. I also used two teaspoons of powdered buttermilk, removing about a tablespoon of water from my recipe before adding the lye and using it to reconstitute the buttermilk. Buttermilk is just wonderful in soaps. I used two teaspoons of kaolin clay as well. I did not add the carrots to the lye water, as Amanda described, but rather to the oils. I blended the kaolin clay, reconstituted buttermilk, and carrots well with the oils before I added the lye water.

The recipe fit well in my 9-bar mold. I left the soap unscented as I intended it to be used on the face and/or sensitive skin. In my opinion, the new recipe, which I formulated myself, is much more face-friendly than the one I borrowed—there is an excellent case to be made for creating your own recipes instead of following others’ recipes right there. Nonetheless, here is what I used:

  • 40% olive oil
  • 25% coconut oil
  • 25% palm oil
  • 5% apricot kernel oil
  • 5% castor oil

I had noticed that my old standby facial soap, Provence, which is a Marseilles-style soap made with olive oil, coconut oil, and palm oil, was making my face feel a little tight after I finished using it. I decided to pull out a bar of my Carrot Buttermilk soap to see how I liked it. I didn’t just like it, I LOVED it. It had a smooth, creamy lather that I didn’t expect to see because of the amount of coconut oil and castor oil I used, which usually produces a lather that is bubbly. Carrot Buttermilk will bubble up quite a bit more if you lather it up for a little longer. It actually feels like a soap that has more olive oil in it than it does (though it has a significant amount, and more than the Carrot Silk soap had). I suspect the difference is the apricot kernel oil. My face absolutely does NOT feel tight after I wash with it, and I am now in love with this little bar of Carrot Buttermilk soap.

You can purchase Carrot Buttermilk from the shop, and it’s even on sale for a limited time.

Creative Commons License
Carrot Buttermilk Facial Soap by Dana Huff is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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Free Shipping This Weekend!

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Holiday SoapsThis weekend, you can support a small, woman-owned business and get a good deal on shipping. If you use the coupon code FREESHIP here in the shop or on Etsy, you can receive free shipping. There is no minimum or maximum order.

Limited edition holiday soaps include Candy Cane, Cranberry Blood Orange (Etsy only), Frozen, Hot Chocolate, Hard Apple Cider, and Winter Sleigh Ride. Holiday soaps will sell out fast, so don’t miss out!

In addition to holiday soaps, we have customer favorites like De-Stress Stress Relief, Carrot Buttermilk, and Hobbit’s Garden, and seasonal treats like Vanilla Chai Latte, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Ale.

The coupon is good for any soaps, so why not get yourself a little something, too? Don’t wait—the coupon is good only through Cyber Monday.

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Holiday Soaps Lineup

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Candy Cane

Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. Here is a list of the seasonal soaps you can expect to see in the store in time for holiday shopping:

  • Hard Apple Cider, made with Angry Orchard® hard apple cider and scented with a delicious apple cider fragrance.
  • Mayflower Happy Hour, made with Mayflower Pale Ale and scented with a spicy amber ale fragrance.
  • Christmas Cookies, made with a ginger cookie fragrance and cute gingerbread men.
  • Hot Chocolate, made with a gorgeous hot chocolate fragrance and little soap marshmallows.
  • Candy Cane, made with a delicious candy cane fragrance blend including peppermint essential oil in a candy cane red-and-white stripe.
  • Winter Sleigh Ride, made with a fragrance blend of oranges, apple, peppermint, and cloves and a pretty swirl of Christmas red, green, and white.
  • Winter Wonderland, made with a fresh water/snow fragrance and a gorgeous swirl of blues.
  • Cranberry and Blood Orange, made with a blend of cranberry and orange fragrances and a swirl of red, orange, and creamy white with dried oranges embedded in the tops.
  • Candy Apple, made with a holiday candy apple fragrance and a swirl of red and white.
  • White Tea & Ginger, a spicy hint of ginger in a refreshing yogurt-based soap.

In addition to these seasonal soaps, you can expect to see year-round favorites such as Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey; Coffee & Cream; Guinness Beer; Lavender Dream; Lemongrass Sage; Provence; Sweet Honeybee; Baby Soap; and a new hit, De-Stress Stress Relief that was debuted last weekend at the stART on the Street festival here in Worcester—and is already sold out!

Which one are you most looking forward to?

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