After watching a great tutorial by Anne-Marie from Brambleberry, I decided to give "Modern Cherry Blossom" soap a try. I ordered a vertical mold and the colorants needed - the oils I had. They arrived this week and today was soap day! I have to say, this is one of the messiest techniques I've done so far.
It seems so straight forward. Mix and pour, right? Well, I kept the soap spills to quarter size or smaller, but they were everywhere! Electric bubble gum pink, white and charcoal gray.
Okay, let's start with the recipe.
1.5 oz castor oil
10 oz coconut oil
33.5 oz olive oil
5 oz palm oil
6.7 oz lye
16.5 oz water
3 oz fragrance divided between the three (4 cup) measuring cups. I used a mix of Cherry Blossom fragrance oil and Sweet Meyers Lemon fragrance oil. The Cherry Blossom is more of a cherry than a floral. In fact, I don't smell any floral, just sort of a cough syrup cherry which is why I added the lemon. My order came with two free sample bottles of the lemon, so I used them both - about 1 oz and then added 2 oz of the Cherry Blossom fragrance oil. Perfect ! The entire house smells like cherry and I'm pretty sure I'll be smelling cherry for a few days ...it's in my nose.
3 tsp pearl white mica (1 tsp in the base to lighten it prior to coloring and 2 tsp after dividing base into three equal (I just eyeballed it here) measuring cups.
1/8 tsp charcoal
3/4 tsp electric bubble gum (super HOT pink ....can't wait to use it again)
2 tsp sweet almond oil for diluting the electric bubble gum.
The vertical mold from Brambleberry comes with plastic sides, bottom and a center divider with a finger hole in the top for easy placement and removal. There's a small groove in the bottom to hold center divider in place. For this technique you don't use the center divider, but I can see where it would cool to use. Anne-Marie wrote me that there might be a small amount of leakage with the mold, but it was still better than having to line it with freezer paper. I didn't have any leakage (other than what I created myself!) and am really happy with the mold so far.
After mixing my lye water with my oils, I blended to a light/medium trace , poured the base into three measuring cups (one with the pre-diluted electric bubble gum) and added charcoal and pearl white to the other two. I added fragrance and mixed with my frother. Note to self: make sure the battery cover is tight on the frother. It stopped working because the battery cover had popped open. When I lifted it from the soap to close it, the batteries made a connection again and splattered raw soap (electric pink, of course!) all over the kitchen counter and the keyboard of my laptop. It's always something!!
Here's the vertical mold from Brambleberry. Really well made and no leakage. We'll see how it unmolds before I make a final judgement.
Not much to look at here I'm afraid. There's charcoal (more pea soup green...I'm hoping it morphs into more of a gray) pink and white. This shot of the top shows that last two pours of pink and charcoal.
There was a little leftover, so I poured it into a silicone mold.
Hindsight is 20/20: Make sure your soap is at a solid medium trace before pouring....and pour quickly!!! The lower pours were more of a light/medium and I'm not sure how they'll turn out. They seemed to swirl more when they should have sat on top of each other. The later pours (towards the top of the mold) were at a good medium trace and each sat on top of the prior pour in the center of the mold. I tapped the mold down a few times and the circles really looked the way I'd hoped.
Here's a picture of the goal. I need to wait 3-4 days to unmold, so we'll see how close I come. Sometimes the imperfections only add to the design and give you something really unique and special. If nothing else, I can say I worked outside my comfort zone and tried something totally new. A few more tutorial loafs and I think I'll be ready to adventure out on my own!
Next up: Faux Funnel Swirl !
So, here they are. Not nearly as pretty as Anne-Marie's batch in the photo above. My circles aren't as distinct and the pink is a bit too bright. I may try these colors in a log mold rather than the vertical. The smell of the cherry blossom fragrance alone is enough to turn me off this soap, I'm afraid. It just doesn't sit well with me.
Note the holes in the batch. It's a shame, because this bar actually has an interesting pattern to it !!
Uneven texture - partially due to my unmolding it on day two when I should have waited at least one more day. Even so, it's been sitting all week and it's still soft in the center, so I'm not sure if it would have ever hardened or not.
This is what I decided to do with it. I shredded it and rolled some into balls for embeds in a future soap batch. That way I can diffuse some of the overpowering fragrance too.
Live and learn !!