Sunday, 28 February 2010
This week has been exciting with a new opportunity forming.... I have been asked to create a soap out of the natural resources from the golf course where I work! So, I have been working on "Seville Orange", which has orange juice and peels from the Seville Oranges (hand picked by me!) at the entrance to the golf course, Aloe Vera (given to me by the gardeners and hand squeezed by me!) and the golf course Olive Oil. They want a guest soap that could potentially go into the properties for vacation rentals! The packaging I would design together with the bosses. I love it! This has really helped me even think about direction and marketing. This coast is LOADED with holiday companies! So, I have three batches. The oil combinations are tried-and-true recipes of mine so I am confident they will be nice, moisturizing, smooth, lathering soaps but will be interested in seeing the difference the golf course olive oil makes. I am basically experimenting with scent and a little with colour. Oh that pesky & fleeting Orange Essential Oil!!! (well, all citrus really - the only way I make lemon scent remain in a soap is Lemongrass, haven't conquered Lime yet) The spicy scents I combined with Orange stay nicely but the Orange almost leaves completely.... until batch 97! YES YES YES! Geranium (just a tiny bit as it can be so overpowering) has helped the orange scent stick and Batch 97 seems to finally be a great Orangy Essential Oil combination which (this is my great scent test) I keep picking up the soap to smell!!!
Saturday, 27 February 2010
A variation on my beloved Aloe Green Clay... very similar to the first one (one of the best sellers) but with attempted swirls. ATTEMPTED...but failed. As you can see, instead of swirling, I kind of got "blotching"... but the scent is just as addicting as the first one (an accidental run-out-of-everything, what-else-should-I-throw-in? experiment). I can't stop smelling it.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
An attempt at swirling, something I would really like to perfect... this is a soap I made over a month ago and have now tried out.... Vanilla Clove... and really love it. Slow starting but rich creamy & bubbly lather. Shea & Goat's Milk included. All natural colours (cocoa powder). I am crazy about Shea but may be using too much... It's all part of the experiment in perfecting recipes!!
Friday, 19 February 2010
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Selling is exciting and challenging... the challenge is finding the right market. Who buys luxury natural artisan soaps when you can get cheap soap at the Supermarket? The ladies at my Yoga class buy. English clients buy - they seem to love natural soap. The people that went to the Mojacar Flea Market this Sunday DIDN'T buy. Wasn't sure I was going to go as it has been raining all week. By 9am I realized the rain has stopped and I trekked it on over to Mojacar, with a little table and lots of my ready-packaged soaps. I squeezed my tiny stall between an older man selling second-hand electronics and 2 English ladies selling second-hand dishes and jewelry. Diego, the older man, told me as I arrived "Beautiful soaps, but they won't sell here. The people that come here are not very cultured... and they are looking for a bargain, not art." He was right. He was negotiating away and selling second-hand solders and irons, the English ladies were bargaining back and forth, seeming to be doing well as well. I gave out a lot of free little samples, talked a lot about my soaps, but the only person that bought a soap was Diego, who I think felt sorry for me! Met a lot of characters... the recently-laid-off Mirror-artisan supporting 5 children... the Italian lady walking around, looking for an owner for the dog she recently found, who goes each Sunday to sell-off her recently-dead-mother-in-law's tacky nick-nacks that she inherited... a man who tells me he doesn't use soap - NOPE - just Bleach. Yes - you heard right. Bleach! Each day he rubs a cloth with Bleach all over his body... and according to him - it does wonders!!! No thank you! Although I didn't sell anything, I did have a colourful Valentine Day morning, Oscar & Aurora came to support me as well, but basically - the Mojacar market is NOT my venue....
An adaptation of batch 90, but with real chocolate added, some adjustments to the ingredient quantites and scent and no swirling. It smells great, but I would like it stronger.... Can't wait to try it! Am just reading about "Hot-Process" soap making, which sounds great as I would use less essential oils.... and it is basically ready the day after making it! I will most likely give it a try this weekend. xo
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Counting down to 100 Experimental batches.... here is batch 90 - Chocolate Swirl. I am going to experiment with different ingredients, different liquid & lye quantities and different looks until I come up with a Chocolate soap TO DIE FOR. Suggestions welcome....... Hmmmm.... I wonder about a more original name than Chocolate Swirl..... Now comes the hardest part of soapmaking..... waiting 4 weeks until trying the soap!!
Sunday, 7 February 2010
My very first blog entry.... and I am getting close to reaching 100 experimental bathces of soap! I started in October 2009 and soap making has become a passion. I don't know what I love most about it.... creating new recipes.... researching ingredientes.... hunting down ingredients... creating packaging.... measuring.... mixing.... naming... receiving an order.... selling.... experimenting with scents.... design... colour.... removing a soap from the mould... cutting.... and of course.... trying out a new soap when finished curing. I love all of it!