A Soap Opera, Part 2: Vanity and Hubris

Those are common elements of soap operas, right?

Now, the second batch turned out beautiful:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

I wrapped it tightly in old towels and for good measure stuck it in the oven at 80°C, because those small moulds will of course cool faster, but the “soaping” is a chemical reaction that feeds on its own heat. I could demould it the next day, no problem. The smell is rosemary, orange and lemon grass, with some ground rosemary and food colouring for the visual. Thus encouraged I decided to make that one soap I’d been thinking about: A marble cake soap: One part Vanilla soap, one part cocoa soap, blended in a cake mould and then cut into pieces.


For one thing, both batches experienced “soap seize” (in German it’s “Blitzbeton”, instant concrete): Instead of staying in a custard consistency for quite some time, it turned hard fast, so any attempt at making a marble cake was out of the window. Second, there’s a million recipes for making cocoa soap. Just stir the cocoa powder into your soap gloop. Looks and smells like chocolate, only if you think that chocolate smells vaguely like old fish. I wouldn’t have mixed it with the vanilla anyway, but I still did my best to put it into the cake moulds and let it set. So here’s the result:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

As you can see, because of the soap seize the moulds have not been properly filled. Second, the smells kinda, reversed? The chocolate soap smells now very mildly of chocolate, while the vanilla fragrance smells like cheap, over aged eau de cologne. They are not fit for giving away as gifts, but good enough around the house. At least the chocolate. Also, without the marble, the cake slices don’t look that nice. At least they look realistic enough that my beloved kid bit into one while I was shopping. I swear, she’s the dumbest smart kid I ever met…


  1. says

    There is vanilla in chocolate so it turns brown. So does plain vanilla. It’s a bummer. I believe there are synthetic vanillas that do not stain but to me they don’t smell like vanilla. Most synthetic vanilla is made from coal tar and are chemically identical to the natural scent agent.

  2. says

    Oh, the colour was fine. The scent wasn’t. It’s a fragrance for cosmetics and would probably be fine for some moisturiser. It was fine before pouring it into the soap mix, but then chemistry happened.
    BTW, the good thing about being married to a chemical technician is that he’ll simply shrug when the answer to “what’s in the oven” is soap.

  3. says

    It looks like you are having fun with this. Just do not mix-up some of the cookie-shaped, chocolate-colored soap for real cookies and chocolate :-).

    All joking aside, this actually really happened in an home for the elderly around here. During some speach about hygiene the elderly folk were given soap that was shaped like christmass candy. And since elderly fols are not that bright anymore, some of them mistook them for candy later on and ended up in hospital. And the presenter got their earfull for not thinking it through.

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