Time for another soap challenge with Amy Wardens’ Great Cakes Soap Challenge! (Final soap is at the bottom of post!) This month’s theme is Winter Wonderland (must have an element of winter/snow) and there are two categories. “Natural” colorants and scents is one and the other is “synthetics” ingredients. I’m working within the naturals category.
Being so close to Denali, I am hoping to capture the look of glaciers grinding down the mountains. I am fascinated by the colors in glaciers and the different rocks that become part of those rivers of ice.
This is a photo of Denali and some glaciers from the National Park Service.
I used alkanet, indigo, rose hip powder, kelp (I’ve tested kelp in soap in the past. It initially has a distinct “oceany” scent, but it fades over cure time), dried peppermint leaves, and vanilla bean seeds as glacier colors. The vanilla bean seeds give a look of gravel within the colors. I added a touch of white kaolin clay, tussah silk and coconut milk powder to the batter. Tussah silk and coconut milk is so luxurious in soap, I add it to all my soaps.
I wanted an outdoor, fresh scent. I used an essential oil blend of spearmint, lavendin, Siberian fir, cedar wood, eucalyptus, and lemongrass.
My recipe is olive oil (67%), coconut, palm kernel, and castor. One of my requirements of my soap is that it feel luxurious and luscious on your skin. This much olive oil tends to make for a long cure time, but it’s worth it!
My first test batch turned out well, but not quite the look I wanted.
Batch two. I was more confident, so made a full size batch. Because the first batch was a bit soft, I reduced the Olive oil an bit and added some illippe butter to help with the hardening of this batch. Illippe butter is also white, so it will help with the look of snow. For this one, I poured about ½ to 2/3 of my plain batter into my tilted mold. I then poured down the lower side of the mold alternating dark and light batter. I then tilted the mold to the other side and finished pouring the colors. I did a bit of a hanger swirl and topped off the batter with the rest of the plain soap. This batch stayed very nicely workable for a long time so had to give it a few minutes to thicken before I could finish the top.
I really like this one, but I may make one more (searching for the Holy Grail here!) trying to perfect my soapy glaciers. The scent is fabulous, btw.
So, I did make another batch. Instead of hanger swirling, I did a spoon swirl. Saponifying as I type. Tomorrow, the cutting!
Well, batch three did not turn out as I’d hoped. The batter was too liquid to get the definition of color I wanted. About half the bars in this batch are more like the bar on the the left. Nice, but not as dazzling as I’d hoped.
Here’s a picture of all three batches. From left to right, batch #1, #2, and #3.
So batch two it is. (For my official entry photo)