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Songbird Test Batch #1

Ah, finally made some soap last night. I’d spent too much time in the past week just reading and not moving around, and was dying to make soap!

This formula has been on the backburner for a couple of months now, because I had to busy myself with other commitments. I’ve been meaning to experiment beyond my current range of natural ingredients, simply because

  • I need to satisfy this itch to play.
  • There are so many other essential oils out there that I haven’t tried using yet.
  • I’ve been making the same soaps over and over again, and I need to reignite the more exploratory side of me.

It might sound a little self-indulgent–and it is. But I really do need to look inwards once in a while and nourish myself, so that I’m strong and capable enough to giving more. Am I making sense? :p

Anyway, I’m still using ingredients that are reasonably skin-friendly. In this instance I used micas for colouring, the same stuff that you’d find in mineral makeup. However, people with hypersensitive skin may want to give this a miss just to be on the safe side.

I’m naming this soap Songbird, for reasons which I will explain in another post. For now, I’d just like to show you how my experimentation with micas turned out in this soap. For essential oils, I used cypress, cedarwood (virginian), pine, eucalyptus, and peppermint. I think it’s a nice balance between sweet and bright (the peppermint and eucalyptus), and woody (cedarwood, cypress and pine). I personally like it–it’s quite a grown-up kind of scent. You’ve gotta come smell it for yourself since I’m not very good at describing it. :”>

Right! So on to the photos. Here’s the soap still in the mold. I adore how the light soda ash actually helped to play up the shimmer from the off-white pearl mica I used in part of the raw soap mixture:

Songbird test batch 1

After popping it out of the mold and removing the paper lining. Look at the gentle waves of olive-green on the sides. Lovely!

Songbird test batch 1 - swirl detail

Here we have the soaps sliced up. The olive-green colour you see in the soap is from using wheatgrass powder, by the way.

IMG_0089

Notice also that the edges of the soap are a bit on the crumbly side. I think I’ve ever only come across this happening in my soap once before–it was for a batch of Clarity. Me thinks it could be the fact that the lye water I used was completely cool (I had prepared it hours in advance, instead of during the soapmaking session itself, which is what I normally do), and the oils were pretty much at room temperature as well. This batch of Songbird didn’t heat up much at all at the early stages of saponification either. Could that be the cause of the soap being a bit crumbly?

Or (this is my biggest doubt for this batch) was I too heavy-handed with the mica powders?

I wonder if the soap will have a slight bluish tinge to the lather once it’s used after curing fully. :p

And another interesting thing to note is the colour of the soap to which I added the white pearl mica. On the top of the soap it’s a brilliant, shimmering white, but the layers that were inside the soap were much less distinct, but still retaining a bit of shimmer. Perhaps adding some titanium dioxide to the white mixture will make it more… well, white. I haven’t got any on me right now though.

Well, that’s it for this test batch. Overall I’m quite happy with how the colours turned out, but I must find out how to do away with the crumbliness of the soap. On to test batch No. 2…

These will be up for sale, by the way. They’ll be ready towards the end of June, but I have yet to decide on the price. Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll post an announcement about it within the week. 🙂

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