Hi guys, it’s really been awhile since we, (me, really) have updated our blog. With all the demands for our soaps, the priority has always been making more soaps. Till date, we have made more than 1500 bars of soaps and we are still always running out.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I made a “I REALLY NEED TO WRITE MY BLOG!!!!” commitment to myself.
So I have! And starting from now on, I solemnly swear I will post one entry a week.
Let’s start with our number one selling soap – Calming Lemongrass!
Up till Calming Lemongrass was born, Lavender Bliss was our #1 top selling soap.
And whenever we happened to have lemongrass on hand, it sells extremely well too.
Brooke thought, “Hey, why not combine the two really nice scents together? Wonder what that smells like?” With that thought, she made her first Calming Lemongrass a couple of months back.
One of the things that always surprised me in soap making is, when you combine two scents, it doesn’t just smell like scent A and scent B. The mix of multiple essential oils and fragrance oils always transform into something completely different. Something unique, something exciting, something deeper and sometimes completely unexpected.
This is one of those deep mysterious scents. Everybody loves it, but no one ever got the scent right yet. They always go, “Ummmm! I love this smell!! I can smell this soap all day long! What is it? I smell something lemon-y, and flora?” The question mark tone at the end of the statement is always pronounced.
Lemongrass and lavender essential oil, while both pungent, assertive oils on its own, when mixed together, the citrus-y lemongrass became the top notes while the floral-ness of lavender became the base notes. Lavender became a supporting cast for this soap, lending its flora, “herby” scent to the bright lemon-y scent of the lemongrass, creating a totally unique, calming and yet refreshing bar of soap.
Brooke’s vision for this soap is an elegant design of purple base with a bright yellow top laced with poppy seeds for that mild scrubbing effect.
She first made the first bar in her kitchen a couple of months ago, and the rest is history. Ever since we added Calming Lemongrass into our soap line-up, it quickly propelled into our top seller list. Initially, we always run out of stock, and we have people checking with us when new bars of Calming Lemongrass will be ready before deciding if they should go to the farmers market. #loveya!
Nowadays, we make 4 loaves at once so there’ll be less chance of running out.
For all the Calming Lemongrass fans out there, this is for you – the step by step showing how we made our Calming Lemongrass.
THE MAKING OF CALMING LEMONGRASS
Gathering all my supplies – the purple in the white pail is simply purple oxide pre-mixed with a bit of water. That would be my purple base later.
Adding in TiO2 in my lye solution. Learned very early on that if i blend TiO2 into the oils, i get streaks of white in my soaps. But, by simply blending TiO2 into the hot lye solution, i get a creamy white solution with no streaks of white in my finished product. I figured this is because TiO2 is more soluble in water than in oil.
Adding lye solution into my base oils.
Stick blending the lye and oils. See how the oils turned from transparent to a creamy white base? That’s the beginning of the magic of turning oil into soap!
Once traced, it’s time to divide 2/3 of the soap base into the white pail with purple oxide. Mix well and that would form my purple base.
The other 1/3 of the soap base is then mixed with golden mica to give that nice, shimmery yellow. To that, I’ve added some poppy seeds for that scrubbing effect. (It’s in a red pail so i guess you are seeing more orange than yellow :p)
Because soap making is essentially a chemical reaction, there is a very small window of time to get things absolutely perfect. I wanted to use the drop soap technique, (which simply means pouring the yellow soap into the purple soap from a great height, and that gives the yellow soap enough potential energy to go into the purple layer, creating a rounded, random effect). In order to create the effect i want, i need the base to be thin and fluid, and that means i need to work fast and execute everything before the chemical reaction kicks in fully.
Actually, all the above verbiage really means that I am too busy to take step by step photos. *bashful grin*. But you get the picture.
So, purple base first, then yellow from great height, and lastly, I took a chopstick and run it diagonally across the top of the soap (I didn’t take that picture either) and a quick spritz with alcohol stops soda ash from forming at the surface of the top.
Viola, Brooke’s Calming Lemongrass after cutting into it. Isn’t it a beauty? And it smells GREAT! And if you have used one before, leave us a comment on how you find it! 🙂