Friday, 30 December 2011

Prickly Pear Soap - Follow Up

I tried 5 different versions. All of them have juice that I made from local prickly pear fruit. The first two have prickly pear oil in them, then I ran out so I used Argan Oil for superfatting the the last three.

 The first batch had the seeds from the fruit in it and I don’t like it.  It is WAY too scratchy, not like the nice exfoliation from poppyseeds or coffee grounds… The ABRASIAN from the prickly pear seeds is Not my thing. 

For the last of the 5 experiments I froze the prickly pear juice and the soap has turned out rougher, slightly bumpy, not as smooth as I like, and the colour runs.  So basically, I really liked versions 2, 3 and 4. The soap is wonderfully smooth, I love the lather and it leaves my skin feeling awesome!
I will continue my search for Prickly Pear Oil that I can afford, maybe include some other things from the prickly pear cactus, and continue making this soap. I may try a shampoo as well as Prickly pear is supposed to be fabulous for hair.

Scent – still have not come up with a signature scent for this soap yet… tried various but not impressed. Will keep trying!
I have had great feedback so far from this bar.  Except... one customer got it as a gift for Christmas for her not-well-loved step mother solely based on the word Prickly and the idea of cactus … and one person that tried it, did not like it for her skin. Haven't figured out why yet but something to look into and must have more testing…  

Happy Soaping everyone and Happy Happy Happy New Year!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoox Jen

Monday, 26 December 2011

Pomegranate Soap - Follow Up

I tried 4 different versions of Pomegranate Soap.  Unfortunately, the scents were all duds.  I have been very frustrated with my EO blending recently. I have decided that I don’t like Frankinsence or Palmarosa in soap.  I have tried blending them in many different ways but I just don’t like either of them. In the last few months, I have only come up with 2 new scents that I have really liked.  Oh well…  it is all part of the fun!   The colours were very interesting.  They all have fresh pomegranate juice that I made from local pomegranates.  They also all have some pomegranate seed oil in them.
The first photo shows them in order – Soap 1 (from left to right) has half water, half pomegranate juice.  Soap 2 has all pomegranate juice, no water.  Soap 3 has all pomegranate juice and madder root, as a colour experiment, and in an attempt to preserve the little pomegranate seed oil I had left, it is superfatted with both pomegranate seed oil and rose hip oil. Soap 4 is similar to soap 3 but without the madder root.

The soap is wonderful (except for the scent).  SO smooth and rich and my skin feels wonderful afterward.    This is definitely a repeat, but I need to come up with a great scent for it…

Also, I may not be able to continue experimenting with this one this year… as the pomegranate season ended suddenly.  Right when the local pomegranates were at their ripest, there was a torrential rain storm which made most of the pomegranates crack, open up and fall to the ground. 
 hope you are all well and enjoying the holiday season

Monday, 19 December 2011

Samples & Christmas Party Favours

it has been a wonderfully busy month full of Christmas markets, orders, packaging, creating

i created these for a local business woman who gave these to everyone for her staff Christmas party

Happy Holidays everyone.  I hope this week is wonderful for you!!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Olive Oil Experiment Results

If you are interested in reading about the results of my recent experiment with different qualities of olive oil in soap making, please come visit my other blog.

Happy Soaping and Happy Holidays!!


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Soap Making In Progress

I will be adding some of these photos to a new “Soap Making” section on my other blog

I am lucky to have the chance to be working with a photographer lately. We are swapping services as I am giving him language classes. He is also a web-designer... hmmm... the possibilities...


some ingredients...

measuring and pouring...

this time I was making a Pomegranate soap

some butters & hard oils...

mixing after melting...

mixing lye with oils...

awaiting trace...

adding the at-trace ingredients...



cut soap...

I had experimented with madder root but unfortunately it didn't take too long before this colour (which I had really liked) turned dark because of the pomegranate juice...

There are a ton more photos but these are some of my favourites.  Hope you have enjoyed a peek behind the scenes!

Which were your favourite photos here?

UPDATE:  My recent olive oil experiment is almost complete.  I am waiting for testing results from a couple of more people and then I can put all of the information together and publish, hopefully before Christmas!!
Happy soaping!!!

xoxo Jen

Friday, 2 December 2011

We Have A Winner!!

Alexander of Sapunuri naurale guessed correctly!

I was so hoping to give you some more clues, but Alexandra got it after only clue 2. . .  My next clues were going to be:
Clue 3:  It grows here in the Mediterranean region, both wild and cultivated. . .
Clue 4:  The actual colour of this ingredient is beautiful and vibrant but so different to the resulting soap colour. . .
Clue 5:  We eat it.
And well, so many more ideas for clues but the correct guess is. . .
Can you believe it?
This photo is the same soap, just taken later the same day. It has been difficult to capture the true colour with a camera. The actual colour is a beautiful deep greeny brown.
Congratulations Alexendra!!!  Please send me your address to  and I will send you a bar of the soap!
 Here are the rest of the creative guesses.  Thank you everyone!

Tomato Juice
Brown Sugar
Kelp/ Seaweed Powder
vanilla paste
Dark Chocolate
Almond milk
Fuller's Earth
Green tea
Rosemary Powder
French green clay
Bentonite clay
Pureed banana
cocoa bean infused olive oil
rosin, pine tar
Olive Pomace
Vanilla absolute,
vanilla c02,
Laurel (bay) in olive oil
Laurel butter
Madder Root
xoxoxo Jen

Mystery Colour - Clue # 2

Thank you to everyone who submitted guesses yesterday!  There were a lot of awesome guesses but no one has guessed correctly yet...
I suppose this second photo is a clue in itself. When I first took it out of the mould, it was dark on the outside but very light on the inside. It didn’t take long before it darkened all over.  It continued darkening all day long...
Clue # 2 – This colour was a complete surprise. I have never worked with this ingredient before and I had no idea it would produce any colour at all.
Here is a list of the wonderful guesses so far:
Dead sea mud
Olive pomace
Bay laurel leaf oil
Prickly pear fruit
Dark cocoa butter, the kind that smells like chocolate
Dark chocolate
Cocoa powder
Kola Nut (don’t know what this is…?)
Brown clay
Hemp oil
Honey powder
Aloe vera gel
Vanilla Fragrance
Something I found next to my Aloe Plant
Peanut Butter
Olive Green Clay
Walnut Shell Powder

Good luck and happy soaping!!


Thursday, 1 December 2011

Can You Guess the Source of the Colour? Clue # 1

Would you like to play a guessing game?

The first person who guesses what the source of the color is in this soap, wins a bar...
Clue # 1:  The colour comes from a natural source.
I will coninue to post a clue each day until someone guesses correctly...
Good luck & happy soaping!
xo  Jen

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Another Potpourri Soap...

Each batch of Potpourri soap is so different…

as all of my cut offs are unique.
I colour coordinated this one with only left overs from alkanet and pink clay soaps, both shavings and soap balls…
These tiny, curly shavings are made with my IKEA cheese grater, the same one I grate my soap rejects with, which I normally use to make my laundry soap.
The EO blend is Lavender, Lemongress, Fennell, Ylang Ylang, a blend I love and repeat, altering quantities slightly each time, until I get it perfect.

Happy and Passionate Soaping Everyone!!
xoxo Jen

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Wonderful Gift from Nubes de Jabón

What a surprise! I received unexpectedly a gift of two beautiful soaps from Julia at Soap Artists & Nubes de Jabón &

Wonderful wonderful soaps!  The texture, feel, and suds are lovely and so very different from mine, the most different from mine of any hand-made soap that I have tried! 

White, milky, light, fluffy & bubbly suds…

Sweet and floral scents that last and last…

Soft conditioned skin that stays that way long after using them...

Thank you Julia for this lovely gift and opportunity of trying your soaps!

Also, for anyone who is interested, check out the soap photography contest she is hosting on her Soap Artists blog!

xoxo  Jen

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Olive Scrub Soap

An attempt at another exfoliating soap...

This one with olive pit bits in it. I got the olive bits from the mill where I get my organic extra-virgen olive oil from.  Apparently these are used to burn for heating, as are almond shells here, and also making pillows!

I tried two experiments.  The first one with vanilla 10 fold oleoresin, Patchouli & Sandalwood EOs...

and the second one with EOs of Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Pink Grapefruit, Patchouli & Peppermint...

Neither have any added colour.  The EOs did some pretty intense colour work!

I like the idea of the olive bits, although these are VERY scrubby soaps. Next time I think I would add less bits, maybe sprinkle some over the tops and also bring the soap batter to a heavier trace so that they are more evenly dispersed throughout the soap.

So far, this has been a wonderful Autumn full of experimenting and producing. I have some great new soaps on the way, a new facial cream, and have learned a ton.  I even tried making a liquid soap.  My first attempt was WAY too liquidy... but my goal is to have a great liquid soap recipe perfected before the summer season. 

Happy soaping... happy experimenting.... happy blogging... and happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans out there!