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Test Batch #14: Citrus & Basil

Been pretty busy with BPALery this past week, but I made some time for a batch of soap last weekend, no rest for the... uh... ones who like smelling good? XD Since I was still waiting for ingredients of some of my (theoretically) holiday soaps, I made up a batch of citrus basil :3

All of the citrus oils are considered uplifting in some degree, and basil is too -- it’s said by some to help the memory and stimulate the brain. Maybe a good wake-up sort of scent blend, taken all together? XD; The basil is quite strong, not overpowering I think, but it’s definitely making itself known and identifiable!

Since I’m stubborn, I decided to try the swirl technique from the last batch again this time around, and I added a bit more water to the recipe to give me some more time to work before the soap began to set. It still wasn’t as fluid as I would have liked by the time I was done, but that’s probably because I delayed myself tinkering with the green colorant, which I should have done beforehand. :P

Citrus & basil -- yellow and green sounded reasonable, so I split the batch in half to color... The scent blend already made the soap somewhat yellow, so I settled for adding some green oxide to the other half. Stir, stir... not dark enough. Well, okay, a little more? ...no, still not dark enough. More?! Okay, that looks decent, gogogo! XD;

So I poured out the two halves, like last time, with the soap a bit more fluid this time. One of the fine soapers at Teach Soap related how she widened her swirling wire before doing this sort of thing, so I tried that, and it seemed to work a *little* better.

Here’s the unmolded soap, upside-down. XD The darker speckles in the green are bits of colorant powder that didn’t get broken up properly :S I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do that; next time I may try a whisk.

I kinda tried to cover all my bases when cutting this one. The swirl technique is called mantra swirl (???) or secret swirl, because you have no idea what it looks like until you cut it open. ;D Another soaper recommended cutting the bars horizontally for this kind of swirl, whereas I’ve seen results with vertical cuts too, so I decided to peek at both ;D

Here’s the vertical cut. It looks zigzaggy like last week’s, although maybe slightly better. Sadly, I think there’s just not enough contrast between these two colors for this sort of swirl. I think if/when I make this scent again, I’ll darken the green slightly. I do like this somewhat geometric swirl for these two colors, though, rather than something more random and abstract, don’t know why...

And here are the horizontal cuts. It’s really hard to see the swirls with the colors as they are, but some of them actually did turn out nice and swooshy. :3

Ingredients: Distilled water, olive oil, coconut oil, organic sustainable palm oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), castor oil, cocoa butter, vegetable glycerin, sugar, essential oils of grapefruit, basil, lime, Litsea cubeba, sweet orange and copaiba balsam, iron oxides, and tussah silk fiber.

1. Any allergies to the above ingredients? ;D

2. Do these colors work for the scent concept? (I think I may darken the yellow a shade too, now that I’m looking at it...)

3. Unrelated to this soap, really! I’m working on the non-soapy parts of getting a store up and running, and I think I’ll be starting up a Facebook page for announcements and so on. What about Twitter? I don’t use the damn thing ;D but I do see companies using it as a way to have short, quick contests and so on; does anyone use Twitter to follow companies and brands they like? Is that useful?

As far as starting the Etsy store goes, it feels farther off than I’d like. XD; I think I’m doing all right with scents (??!), but making good looking soap is something that takes a lot of practice, and practice... takes a lot of material. ;P (So much R&D! XD; )


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2011 01:42 am (UTC)
1. Not that I know of!

2. It looks like lemon-lime. Is that what you're going for? XD I guess I'd have to smell it to see how much it suits. I tend to think of basil as being a...uh...darker scent. I dunno. ;)

3. I've tried to keep up with Twitter but I just don't like it. X__X Facebook is where it's at, at least for me ;)
Oct. 22nd, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
OH I forgot to mention, regardless of the lemon-lime thing, I think the colors are really pretty. XD
Oct. 24th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
XD Thanks for input~

I do think both colors should be darker -- a little more gold for the yellow, a deeper color for the green. It does look kinda lemon-limey, doesn't it? XD It fits the scent to me in that it's an energetic, bright sort of scent, but I think the colors are just too light and they fade into each other. ;P

And noted on Twitter. ;D (Hell, I can't even keep up with facebook... ;)
Nov. 24th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
1. No allergies!

2. I like the yellow/gold and green concept, although I agree with you about making the green darker. I think more contrast would make your pattern stand out more.

3. I do follow a few companies on Twitter, but in truth, I just don't check it nearly as often as I check my Facebook.
Nov. 24th, 2011 05:21 am (UTC)
Now that I've done a bit more work in green, I'll have to try this design again sometime. XD I feel like the scent definitely goes with a vivid yellow and green :)

(And thanks for that -- I'm using Twitter these days, mostly to keep up with product news and the like, so I'm seeing how it works in that sense. Since you can link Twitter and Facebook, I'll probably end up doing that and killing two birds with one stone. XD)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

About Ma*Ga

The Garden's aim is to craft luxurious, skin-nourishing soaps with natural ingredients and a healthy dollop of whimsy.
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