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Test Batches #15-16: Holiday Scents

So, things have been a little mad lately, mostly due to work, BPAL, family obligations, and other things that fill up the last quarter of the year. I finally got to finish up a project I started on before the madness fully descended, however:

I made myself a pair of soap molds from scratch :) This probably isn't incredibly exciting news, but I'm not a handyperson so I was inordinately proud of myself. ;) The upside is that using both will let me make 20 bars at a time -- if I feel the need to make that much.

As for actual soap, yes, there's a bit of that, too!

(Hmm, maybe I should make a scent blend called Holidaze, but I'm not sure what it would smell like...)

I mentioned a desire to do this one quite a while ago, in passing. XD It doesn't look exactly like one would expect this scent to look, I think, but that's partly because of the nature of the fragrance -- it just makes stuff brown, not much to be done about it.

Any guesses on what it is?


Coming out way darker than it should, it's egg nog! ;D

Most scents containing some amount of vanilla fragrance will discolor to various shades of brown. There are additives that are supposed to help delay or prevent this, and I used some, but it either didn't work, or we're seeing the coloring power of vanilla beans (the brown powder on top and in the soap). Perhaps a bit of both. I meant for there to be little brown specks throughout the lower part of the bar, but apparently 1 Tbsp of ground bean is waaaay too much, even for 2 lbs of soap... :x The white "topping" is only white because it's actually unscented!

Well, now it looks like a fancy coffee drink, but how does it smell? The fragrance itself is strooongly boozy-eggnog in the bottle, and the scent carried over pretty well to the freshly finished soap. A week and change later, to me it smells mostly of a thick sort of vanilla (a cream of some sort?), but I've yet to try it in the shower or anything. I'm afraid that the unique egg nog note may have dissipated, though. :( A bit more time will tell -- or maybe I'm just over-nogged and I can't tell anymore. XD;

On a side note, this was the first soap I made in my new mold -- it sure looked all nice and spiffy and uh... rectangular. XD

Olive oil, organic sustainable palm oil, distilled water, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), fragrance, cocoa butter, castor oil, ground vanilla bean.

1. Any allergies to these ingredients?

2. Is it okay for egg nog soap to be brown? XD;

This past weekend's scent blend is less specifically seasonal, although I think the scent of evergreens is more of a winter association for most folks :)

I had epic derp in the process here; if you look at the soap, you might be able to see a bright green near the bottom of the bars as well as an almost-black color and the muddly dark green. My original intention was bright green soap with some darker swirls. Problem #1 was that I added a bit too much charcoal powder -- I've never used it before, but it's certainly effective. ;D But the main problem, #2, was that I forgot to put the scent in BEFORE I started playing with the color and setting up my swirl. :| I did that once before... like in JUNE in my first attempt at swirling. Talk about feeling dumb. :| So, this time, like back then, I ruined most of my would-be swirl because I had to stir it up pretty thoroughly to get the essential oils mixed in.

The upshot is that I actually like the darker green color. XD If I were to do this class of scent again, I'd probably stick with the dark green/near black palette, it seems nice and murky. Maybe not *quite* as dark, but I quite like the effect. The mid green/near black would have been pretty uncool, I think ^^;

The only reason any of the near-black survived was because I saved some to put on top to make fancy swishes -- that's why most of the dark swirls appear towards the tops of the bars. ;P

And just a little gold dust for the holidays. XD

Olive oil, organic sustainable palm oil, distilled water, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, sodium hydroxide (lye), castor oil, essential oils of Siberian fir needle, Virginia cedar, frankincense, rosemary, and peppermint, iron oxides, activated charcoal.

1. Any allergies to these ingredients?

2. Piney soap -- good all year round or no?

These should be ready to send out in a couple weeks for those interested -- as well as that citrus basil soap from a while ago :3


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 24th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
I'm allergic to Virginia cedar (also known as Eastern red-cedar or Eastern juniper). :( Fun allergy; means I can't drink gin, eat anything made with juniper berries, or handle a lot of fresh Christmas plants.

ETA: Yes, it is one of the stupidest allergies ever.

Edited at 2011-11-24 01:59 am (UTC)
Nov. 24th, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
D'ohhh, that is definitely not a cool allergy :| (Not that there are really any cool ones, but y'know.) The primary note with this blend is the fir needle; I wonder if something else could be added instead of Virginia cedar for a sense of evergreen wood...

Thanks for that, though, I definitely don't know anyone else with that particular allergy! :o
Nov. 24th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
Allergies - none with either of these soaps.

Re: eggnog soap being brown, I personally don't see an issue, especially since you have the awesome white poofy stuff on top. I know, it's not *really* poofy, but that's how it looks to me. I think that bar looks amazing.

I LOVE pine/wood scents, so I give a resounding YES to pine scents all year round. I read the scent notes on that particular bar and squeed - you hit several of my favorites! I also like how bar looks like a pine bough. I'm interested in what it looked like with your original swirl pattern.

Thanks for posting - it reminds me to go over to your review thread and see if I can add a review for you. :)
Nov. 24th, 2011 04:50 am (UTC)
Thanks for the input! :3 LOL, actually, the white top of the egg nog soap is a wee bit "poofy" -- it didn't get as hot during the chemical reaction as the lower part, so it's kind of softer and crumbly, kinda like Vala was if you happen to remember that one. Totally an accident, but it's an interesting contrast. I hope it doesn't mean the white's going to melt off faster, though...

XD I love me some pine, too, so I was really happy to nail this blend down. IMO it's not like the usual wintertime "pine" scented things, but it's definitely an evergreen scent. The scent in the air is sweet, but when I washed my hands with a scrap piece I was left with a woody scent, so I'm really curious how this one will behave when used... :)
Nov. 25th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
1. Nopes
2. I think it's okay, yeah, but my first thought was definitely like Starbucks latte XD

1. Nope
2. I think people do use pine-scented soap all year, yeah. I'm not especially keen on pine scent myself (omigod, I know ;) but this soap looks absolutely magical :D
Nov. 27th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
XD If the egg nog smell is worth repeating, I'll have to try less (or no) vanilla powder to see if that keeps the color lighter. It really does look like coffee...

Ha XD I know piney smells aren't for everyone, lol. Although it isn't straight up piney per se, it's definitely in that family of scents and is probly kinda strong if you don't like that sort of thing ;D Glad it looks appealing, though! (It has a nice feel in the hand, too, very smooth.)
( 6 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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