A Soap Opera

I’ve wanted to make soap for a long time now. What stopped me so far was the lack of a safe work space. I am not going to handle NaOh in my kitchen with the kids running around. But with the workbench finally set up I got myself a “starting kit” for soap making and tried my first batch.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

I did everything by the book, prepared my stuff, and still managed to grab a bottle of bergamotte scent instead of lavender. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise. For one, my oils turned the colour pretty yellowish, the purple didn’t look that nice, and for a pure lavender soap it would have been ugly. But with bergamotte in the mix, the yellow “makes sense”. Second, while I used the amounts of essential oil specified in the recipe, the lavender does come off really strong. If I’d used 20 ml of lavender, it would have overpowered everything and probably made the soap unusable.

I let it rest for two days, and it was still too soft to take out of the moulds. Re-reading everything I came to the conclusion that the freshly made soap cooled too quickly as my work shop is quite cool. The next batch will get taken to the kitchen and wrapped thoroughly so it can cool more slowly.

My book also offered a dirty trick for dealing with too soft soap, which is to freeze it for an hour or so. That worked fine, but somehow turned the purple pink. I’m curious to see if it will turn purple again. It’s now off to drying and should be ready in time for Christmas. Yeah, this year’s Christmas presents will smell nice.

©Giliell, all rights reserved


  1. says

    That’s part of the joy of soap-making. You need to find pigment that can survive in the presence of base salts, and scents that do not trigger catalytic reactions in the soap, causing the dread “soap seize”. For example, cloves are right out. And vanilla turns everything brown.

    Those look great! And since you have been developing mold-making skills, you can make your own soap molds, too!

  2. StevoR says

    Where exactklyis the border betwixt purple and pink -nd mauve for that matter?

    Also Indigo?

    A non-violet question?

  3. kestrel says

    Those look so cool! I like the colors, actually.

    If your soap turns out to be too “lavendery” you could always market it as a natural moth-proofing. Moths **hate** that strong scent. I use lavender sachets (activated with essential oil) to put in my natural fiber yarns and so on. I have to renew the scent every month to keep it strong enough; if your soap exuded that much lavender scent it would be perfect!

  4. Jazzlet says

    Pretty, especially the swirly bars. I’m not sure whether to hope it goes back to the deeper colours or stays the paler ones, both are nice.

  5. says

    Thanks. I’m a bit of a Jack of all Trades. That probably means I’ll never be a master at anything, but I enjoy so many things.

    Yeah, I learned about “soap seize” today. (I knew about it before). Probably more about that experiment tomorrow.
    I absolutely love lavender. I think it’s got the right amount now, and I learned about how much I need for 500g of oils without wasting it! I’ll definitely make some pure bergamotte soap as well. Another one of my favourite scents.

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