Sunday, 16 May 2010

Mediterranean Lavender

I have been working on a series of soaps that will be Mediterranean soaps, with mostly ingredients from the area where I live. The first soap in the series is Mediterranean Orange and I have created a soap I am really pleased with. The second soap in the series is Mediterranean Lavender (including wild lavender hand-picked by me) and I am still creating it. I am certain I want Lavender & Goat milk in this soap. I have done seven different experimental batches, trying to achieve the perfect one... I think I got the scent. I think I got the recipe. But the look? I have struggled batch after batch. I have been experimenting with Alkanet powder (as I only use natural colour) and found that Alkanet doesn't seem to work well with goat milk. Every time I add alkanet with goat milk to a soap, I get a muddy greeny soupy grey. So I came up with a layer idea, part with goat milk and the other part without. But with the recipe I most like for this soap, I can only get BLUE instead of PURPLE. As my favourite of the seven batches has a blue layer, I may give up the hunt for purple, and just accept my blue lavender soap...I would be very grateful for some input, so I ask 3 questions:
1) Do you like the idea of a blue Lavender soap or should it be purple?
2) Which of the following soaps do you most like the look of?
3) Do you have any suggestions?

Batch 5

I put this batch first here(although it is the fifth I made in the series) as it is my favourite look of the seven batches so far, but I am still open to suggestions. The bottom layer has no goat milk, the top does. Notice a little "wave-like" shape in the blue... I think it is because I made the top layer right after the first and poured in onto the first layer within an hour... so that when I poured, the bottom layer was still liquidy and the cool wavey indent happened!

Batch 1

This was my first attempt... please note the soupy grey-green... and the white spots? I do not think they are lye bits but not really sure. I think they may be the Aloe Vera (from my garden... picked... squeezed and blended by me...) which I didn't blend well enough? This is the only batch of the seven which has aloe vera.

Batch 2

I didn't add colour to this one... just lavender. I kind of like its simplicity. It is an option as well....

Batch 3

More grey than green but still not pretty. Also... note the little white specs? Not the same specs as batch 1 - I have had these before - I believe they are bubbles?

Batch 4

Note muddy greeny grey again. Uggg. This is a 2-oil soap. I like the texture, not the colour.

Batch 6

I like this one too, but I think I prefer the colour on the bottom... and there are the little white specs in the blue layer again - bubbles?

Batch 7

This one could have turned out awesome! It looks similar to my favourite, but, I had a disaster happen... bottom layer went fine. But I started getting into a rush with the top layer and I had 2 disasters - Just when I was about to begin mixing, I realized it wasn't plugged in. I bent down to plug it in and the mixer tipped over along with the pot with the mix in it! I decided to just keep going with what was left and I finished it, poured it on and accepted that it was just going to be a smaller experimental batch. Then I realized that I had a pot of the solid oils left over! I had forgotton to put the solid (melted) oils into the olive oil!! So basically the top part is very lye concentrated pure castille soap. Notice the crumbling in the photo.

Look forward to your feedback!!


Polly said...

Hi, These are lovely. I love batches 3,5 and 6, and what a pity about 7 cost that is really lovely. The lavender on the top is a nice effect. I can't help about the colour, sorry. I've just started CP and so far, other than some clay and mica, i've used liquid colours, but I did get a nice liquid lilac once. Well done on these, they are pretty and i bet they smell gorgeous

Holly said...

I totally love batch #5 with the "waves." To me the color is right on and matches the color of the lavender on top. Plus, the waves fit in with the Mediterranean theme. Very pretty!

Dörte said...

5 und 7 Sind für mich wunderschön! Lavendel Muss Nicht Immer lila seins, in Meinem Garten wächst Eine Sorte, die ist richtig dunkelblau!

liebe Grüße Dörte

Sergio said...

uauu, really nice. You have made a great job with these sensationals soaps.

Soaps and Bubbles said...

Dear dear Jen,

since we're talking about Lavender, I think that batch 5, 3 and 6 caught my eye the most when thinking about the lavender smell.

Great job and congrats on finding the perfect recipe. Good luck xD

By the way...tnx about the comment on my banana's; it was idd time for something original. If I like the soap...I'll tell you
all about it :D

Anyhow..again great job! By the way...I do want to say that your spicy soap lasts really long; it's amazing...I mean...I use it every day and I like it so much. I am a big fan of that recipe and I think you should include it to your definite collection.


Edith said...

Hi Jen I really like all of your soaps especially 5,6&7 you have done a really great job there and could it be what isn't so good to you looks very good to others as I can't see anything wrong not spectacularly wrong nothing that a little tweaking can't put you slam down your moulds a few times once your soap is in the mould just to help with air bubbles I know it can be quite difficult to do that especially when you have poured layers etc but it can be done carefully just a thought as you may have done this already anyway well done those are all fab x

Ambra said...

I really like 5, 6 and 7 although it's hard to tell the colour of the others. Batch 3 look a lovely lavender in the photo, but you say it's gray. Also, I guess these still have some suring to do. The alkanet might change during that time.

Cocobong said...

Batch No.5 and No.3. I do love your alkanet results. Very earthy!
Lavender soap doesn't have to be blue or purple,'tho. I made a white lavender (sheepmilk based) that was a hotcake seller. If the scent is alluring then the color is secondary. Although...a red lavender would be kinda weird...Are those the same specs I was talking about in one of my posts, I wonder....sheabutter? But maybe just airbubbles. Those can visually crap a batch. No matter, Jen, your soap is awesome and your customers know it. Milk based soaps will always color to a tan, unless you add TD. Don't be afraid to use that stuff - it's natural, mineral based and does no harm to your skin. Safer than some eos, actually

Karen said...

Hi Jen
This is fun! The soaps look fantastic and I bet they smell great. I am linking your blog to mine. Bye
Karen (

Feli said...


Jennifer Young said...

Thank you so much for all your comments & contributions to the search for the perfect "Mediterranean Lavender Goat Milk" Soap, as well as your suggestions and tips for betting soap making! Thank you thank you! Muchisimas gracias! xoxo Jen