I love challenges, a fact to which my poor neglected book blog can attest. I was thrilled when the Soap Making Forum started monthly challenges. I was eager to participate last month. The theme was Mardi Gras, and I even had an idea, but I didn’t get it off the ground. This month, I was determined. The chosen theme is Mythology, and I mined my favorite myths—the Matter of Britain—for my new soap Avalon. I realize King Arthur is technically more legend than myth, but I wrote what I think was a fairly convincing final exam in Medieval Literature in college about the notion that Arthurian legend was a British attempt at creating a mythology for themselves, especially later as writers like Geoffrey of Monmouth and Sir Thomas Malory wrote down the stories of Arthur.
Avalon was inspired by the resting place of King Arthur, the Isle of Avalon, or Isle of Apples. Back in the time when King Arthur would possibly have lived, Glastonbury Tor was surrounded by water, becoming a peninsula at low tide, and many believe it is the Isle of Avalon.
The scent I used in this soap evokes apples and roses, and it was described by Shannon of Smellicious Soaps (one of my fellow Soap Making Forum friends) as smelling like “walking through a rose garden while eating a crisp apple.” It truly is divine. The apples evoke the Isle of Apples, Avalon, while I see the roses as symbolic of the Wars of the Roses, during which Sir Thomas Malory wrote perhaps the most famous version of the Arthurian legend, Le Morte D’Arthur. Some scholars believe his treatment of the Matter of Britain was as much a comment on political events during his own times as it was a faithful recounting of the Arthur legend.
The soap is made with cocoa butter and olive, coconut, palm, sweet almond, and castor oils with a kiss of kaolin clay and silk.
I hope you like it! It will be available in my Etsy store toward the end of April.